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Don’t say good luck

I had big plans for this week but unfortunately this weeks training was put on the back burner while I showed a bit of willing at work.

November is generally the last busy month before December which I’m hoping will be pretty quiet. I worked over 50 hours this week not including the hour unpaid lunch each day or the 45 mins walk (or less if I run commute) o work and back.

I pulled out of the Bedford half this week as my calves were stiff and sore from being on my feet all day for that time.

I managed a gym session today and I did run home one day but the next day I had to pull out of a run only a mile in with calf pain.

…..Now let me explain the title of the blog. I try not say good luck to people when they are running a race. I know race conditions and sometimes even how people feel on a race day can be left to chance. But I like to think that if you’ve worked hard or done enough training you will reach or surpass your goal. Luck doesn’t come into it.

You can see how your friends and fellow runners are doing by looking at strava and facebook. You know in yourself whether you have prepared enough or not. This week I knew the Bedford half was one step too far for me and I will have to wait for next year to run another half marathon.

I’ve achieved loads in the last 2 weeks and I don’t even look at today as a set back. I put my energies into something else this week and last. I will reverse that in coming weeks and push myself into more running and gym instead.

I have two clear weekends which means 2 Saturday park runs in a row (YAY!).

And to those of you running a race or taking part in an organised fitness event. I hope you enjoy it and smash your goal. I just hope you haven’t left too much to chance

 

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Another week another milestone

So this weeks training hasn’t gone too great. I’ve been tipping containers at work for most of the week and my hours have changed a bit so I’ve been feeling more tired than usual. I only got a short run in Wednesday and a gym session the same day.

Luckily I worked very hard last week so I managed to carry that through to this weekends 5 mile race in wolverton.

I am pretty sure I saw only 3 other striders at the race today. It’s a very fast race and has a 1 hour cut off. There was a very good field of runners.

I had been rushing around non stop since Friday afternoon so I wasn’t sure how I would do but I did have a bit of a bonus going into the race. after a bit of mental agility I realised My 2 fastest 5 mile times were actually set before I turned 35. That meant that if I beat my last 5 mile time of 46.24 It would be a v35 PB.

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I started quite far back in the race and although the pace was hard I think I kept a pretty even pace throughout (around 8.30 per mile). The course wasn’t as pancake flat as I was expecting but it was pretty flat (maybe twice as much ascent as parkrun). The only curve ball was I completed lap one and as I started lap 2 there was a 2 mile sign. I didn’t realise that lap 2 was going to be a larger circuit of willon lake.

All in all I surpassed my expectation for the 2nd week in a row and according to chip timing I completed the course in 42.58. 3 minutes and 26 seconds faster than my previous time from 2015.

Christine (club captain) did fantastic as always and with chip timing improved her 5 mile PB. Daniel Mann had a solid showing but didn’t improve his PB This time round. I’m sure John Chapman got a new Pb at V60 and possibly a club v60 record for the distance which is 2 in 2 weeks for him. I didn’t get to see him after the race so this is unconfirmed

I’m not 100% but today was meant to be the striders club 5 mile championship. By virtue of being the only v35 male runner from the club at the race I wonder if I get an award. I’ll be happy to settle for a well deserved pb and my best time for the 5 mile distance since June 2014.

Roll on next weeks Bedford half. Looking at this last photo from todays race I’m on form

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A steady week looking to the future

It’s not been long since I last posted But I wanted to get another blog in before Saturdays race.

After park run Saturday morning I went to the gym Saturday afternoon and then went for a 5 mile run Sunday morning. Sundays run was a tester for the wolverton 5 mile race this Saturday in Milton Keynes. I managed the distance in 46.15. The route was by no means flat (Harpenden cycle path).

I’m looking forward to the race as I have never ran many 5 mile races (metric distance races being more popular) and my last time for the distance was 46.24 (so I ran in practice better than I ran my previous race) in June 2016. What’s also interesting the time before was 39.15 (which is one of my fastest times at any distance) in June 2014. So potentially my time Saturday could be my fastest 5mile in almost 2.5 years.

Sundays run completed last weeks training and mileage. I managed over 20 miles and I’m quite pleased with that.

I felt quite tired Monday and Tuesday so I took them as rest days. I ran part of the way home from work and got down the gym for a good workout today.

Tomorrow I’m at the club for speed work and the monthly social.

I’m going to set myself some goals as I seem to have my running mojo back.

Short term:

Improve my 5 mile time this Saturday

Improve my half marathon time at Bedford in December ( hopefully sub 2.05)

Improve Park run time to sub 26 minutes before xmas (16th of December should be my next park run)

Medium Term

After xmas do the Gayton 10K and set a good time (hopefully sub 52 minutes or better)

Start an Ultra plan after Xmas preparing for the Spitifire Scramble

Book The half marathon at the Milton Keynes Festival of running and get under sub 2hours

Book the Milton Keynes Marathon and again get under 5 hours for the 4th time.

Improve as many of my times as possible for all the different distances without interfering with my ultra plan.

Oakley 20?

Long Term (ish)

Finish the Spitfire Scramble uninjured and hopefully able to walk under my own power.

Probably book something even more stupid and challenging lol

 

So a very busy 8 months ahead and probably more.

What a result!

Well I wasn’t expecting that today.

I had planned to beat my 28.38 park run time from last year. But instead I smashed it.

4 weeks ago I set a year and seasons best park run time of 29.23. I felt good that day and it was nice to get under the 30 minute barrier.

I wanted to surpass both times this week and set my best park run time since May 2016. After running over 1.5 miles to park run I did it. I ended up running my fastest park run since May 2016 in a time of 26.12 in 101st place a full 50 places higher than 4 weeks ago and over 3 minutes quicker than 4 weeks ago.  I placed 12th in my age category as well

I set a very low bar of 28 minutes and it was only the encouragement of my fellow stopsley strider Philip Davies that made me realise that.

 

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Sometimes I wish I had as much faith in me as my team mates do.

Philip bagged himself a personal best today as well as John Chapman who celebrated his 60th birthday and his first veteran 60 parkrun with a club parkrun record of sub 20 minutes.

It was a fantastic day  for so many runners who really pushed themselves to amazing PB’s. Maybe having a fat bloke pass them was the catalyst they needed lol.

A year to forget

I’ve been away for a while.

I didn’t complete a 100km run. I had more important things to worry about and my training became non existent.

The reasons are two fold. I went through an enforced career change. I worked for my best friend of 25 years and he was best man at my wedding  and I was technically let go. For lots of different reasons that some people may know and others will never know. I quickly found other employment and had to try to adjust to the pace of this new job and it was hard to begin with.

A few months later and blow number 2 My lovely bride of all of nine months says we should end our marriage and no she doesn’t want to work at it.

Although one event may not have directly caused the other lets just say that it definitely had an impact.

That happened in June. I admit I may have wallowed in a bit of self pity for a while but luckily not for long.

I got back to what I’m good at (technically) running away from my problems. Or at least taking better care of my health both physically and mentally.

I’m still grossly overweight and I do eat too much but I am a lot fitter than I was.

In September (actually the date of my 1s wedding anniversary) I ran the equinox 24hour race with a team of Stopsley Striders. It was a very hilly off road 10k course. I managed every one of my 3 laps in less than 70 minutes (per lap of course) including 1 night lap.

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Since then I’ve managed a 29.23 minute park run and I trained myself up for the Luton half marathon and completed it in 2 hours 9 minutes and 9 seconds which was over 5 minutes quicker than the time I was hoping to beat. My friend Ashley did the race with me and beat his best time for the distance by a significant margin.

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My goals for the near future are to beat my park run time of 28.38. If I can do that it will be the fastest I’ve ran a park run since july 2016. Which would be amazing. Running anything quicker than my last park run would be the fastest I’ve run in 2017 so fingers crossed I’ll do it this weekend.

I also hope to compete in the Bedford half marathon in December and improve on my half marathon time. I have entered the Wolverton 5 Mile race and I should easily get a sub 50 minute run. If I can get anywhere near 48 minutes I will be well pleased.

In a fit of complete lunacy I booked a solo place at the spitfire scramble so the 100km challenge is back on. I think I am going to have to run another marathon this year and a lot of extra training. At the moment I am still in the build up phase. I’ve managed to put in almost 25 miles of running some weeks so hopefully I can get that up and calm down on the snacking and get my weight down once again.

I’m hoping that I will stealthily become an athlete like last time. When I really trained I never even realised how good I was till I started putting on weight and training less.

As a last thing I would like to thank all my friends for their encouragement and support. Without you I might be in a much darker place (not that it isn’t always easy). Also thank you to at least 2 of my blog readers who encouraged me to fire up the keyboard once again.

 

Unexpected challenges

I haven’t blogged for a week and to be honest I am not sure I want to blog now.

I got some bad news last Tuesday that really took the wind out of my sails. It’s put the plans for my challenge in doubt and has put strains on my family and friendships.

I don’t want to say what’s going on as I like to keep my blog about running and what I’m doing. But it has been a stressful time recently and luckily my wife has been there for me.

As for running my last run was Last Thursday. It was Andy’s last speedwork session. It was held up a nasty hill called Bradgers. I didn’t quite do everything I should have. I cut one length short and missed another out completely. I participated in the relay at the end and that was good fun.

I should be going to club tonight and I am hoping to attend park run Saturday.

I am also, and I may live to regret this , set to play my first game for  rugby in 3-4 years on Saturday. It’s probably a stupid idea but rather than break stuff I thought it might be a good idea to relieve the energy at rugby instead.

Hopefully there will be some good news on the horizon and i can really knuckle down into my training.

Slow but steady.

So it’s been a good weekend. I didn’t go to club Thursday but I did run commute home.

Saturday was a really nice park run. I seem to have taken on the 35 minute pacer job and I’m getting better at it each week. It was also Lorraine’s 50th parkrunimg_20170204_085628435_hdr

Also after park run there was a meeting with willow and we discussed some Great ideas for fundraising. I also mentioned my 100k challenge and that I will set up a fundraising page. Interestingly my dad has given me £40 from the Buffalo Lodge that he’s a member of. So it’s off to a flying start.

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Today was a difficult run for me. I hadn’t slept well Friday night and even though I slept well last night it seemed to catch up with me. I was on a go slow till I got a taxi over to Venue 360 for the start of Zena and my 10 mile run. Although Zena did 13 in the end.

It is quite a picturesque view along the Luton to Harpenden cycle path but quite a hilly one too. One of the worst hills going out is Eric Morecombe hill. We stopped for photos at the top. i didn’t quite get the pose right

But Zena did.

I tried my best but i kept running out of breath. My legs are pretty strong still and even now they feel fine but I just couldn’t keep the pace going.

We turned left at Hapenden and the headed to Wheathampstead. We ran a few hundred metres past the sign and then turned round as we had hit 5

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All in all a good run.

And this week has seen me run almost 24 miles. I seem to slowly be progressing and getting back on track now that I have a good target to aim for.

Hopefully today I will finally sort my entry into the scramble and then set up a giving page of some sort.

The best part of running is the recovery day

Over the last few days I have finally picked up my mileage and am finding some semblance of fitness once again.

I didn’t run Sunday which is traditionally a long run day for me and most people. I am hoping to go out for a long run this Sunday though.

Monday I ran with my club stopsley striders. I haven’t been up on a Monday in months. I was happy with the run although I ran a lot slower than I should have. Nearly 5 miles covered though so not bad there.

Tuesday was track day and I had the pleasure of Donna Wiggetts company. We pushed quite hard and it was good fun. I think Donna is great because she just keeps going head down and she pushes herself. It was great fun talking to her.

No running Yesterday. I had a well deserved break. I hadn’t run 3 days out of 5 in a while and the point of all the training was to get fitter not injured. I am sure I can push it more in the future.

Anyway my rest day was well planned. I had some lovely Singapore noodles my wife had bought on the weekend but was left over for lunch

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Also Today I got my new willow Gear. A tech top and a hoodie. Very bright and the tech top will definitely be used on Saturdays park run coming up.

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I put a selfie with me in the top and I smiled. I look rather goofy when i smile in photos so I think next time I will do my usual grumpy face. I tend to look better.

After I got home last night I had a lovely chicken salad and a ran a nice warm bath with a lush bath bomb. Tanya and I had bought a load of reduced Christmas style bath bombs and I still had a couple left as I don’t bathe very often ( i shower every day so don’t think I go round stinking all day)

So my rest day has come and gone and it’s back on the wagon again. I’m making time for my wife tonight as yesterday was a bit of a let down. So no club running tonight. I won’t do too many miles as i’m hoping to get a long run in sunday.

As for the rest of the week. Wardown Park run pacing 35 minutes again. Hoping i will do better and so will some people looking for a pb’s. There’s a meeting after park run with the willow foundation which I am hoping to attend.

Then six nations rugby with my dad Saturday. Really looking forward to spending a bit of time with him and maybe some takeaway.

Sunday a long run. Maybe a 10 miler if I can get it right.Then  back at the track Tuesday.

Hopefully I will be blogging again soon with some good news

 

 

A change of pace

Saturday morning was not the first time I had paced at park run but it was the first time I had paced 35 minutes.

It was also my first park run for 3 weeks.

I got there early after jog/walking the 1.5 miles to Wardown from my flat.

It was quite a nice morning. Warmer than it had been and dry too. It was great meeting all the other pacers. I hadn’t spoken to Dave Thompson in a while and it was nice to catch up.

All us lovely pacers posed for photos, the race briefing was read out and we all headed off for the start line.

I tried to not get too held up at the start but when races normally start you hear an air horn or even someone shouting GO! nope the crowds just all shifted forward and we were off.

I started off a bit too fast. I was worried about the inaccuracy of my GPS. Wardown park has a habit of playing tricks on GPS watches because of the many tight turns and low hanging trees. I vowed to pay attention to my actual pace and keep an eye on the time rather than distance.

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I ended up running around 11 minute pace which by the halfway point of the 3rd lap meant I had nearly 4 minutes of time to kill. So i walked for a while till I got half way up the hill encouraging all the people who passed.

It was nice to do something for other people. I am glad that although I am no way near where I want to be running wise I can still be useful to new and returning runners.

After the run I had a really nice sit down in the cafe after. i wouldn’t have been able to stay without Dave Thompson kindly offering a lift.

I spoke to some lovely people and it really struck a chord with me. I am more determined than ever to be as successful as i can be with this challenge.

Our club charity this year is the willow foundation. I just bought a willow technical shirt and a hoodie today.

I am hoping that this is what I need to get me off the fence and running well again. A super charity that now means a lot more to me than I realised.

Looks like I could be doing the St.Albans Stampede Solo. Not sure I could really get to the 100k target in 12 hours but who knows. Anyway If I did complete my target so easily it wouldn’t be a challenge. And i wouldn’t have any reason to continue writing this blog

A very different week

Although this week hasn’t been a complete polar opposite to last it is definitely better.

I was still laid up with the dreaded lurgy last weekend but thankfully I decided to finally run through it.

A tester run Tuesday as I was late for work and a .4 mile run. then a part run walk home meant i had covered my first mile since Monday the 8th of January. I had no idea it had been two weeks I am genuinely shocked.

I managed to get track work in on Tuesday as well. (4.3 Miles). I am also hoping to go to the Stopsley Striders tonight and their monthly social. I am hoping to get out and do a continuous 3-3.5 mile run tonight but it depends on who else wants to do it.

I have volunteered my services at park run for the 35 minute pacer.I am really looking forward to the run but maybe not the weather. I just hope it isn’t cancelled with the way the weather is turning.

So room for optimism but my mexican stand off with the weighing scales continues. Who knows in a few weeks i may brave them but for now I am just glad to be back running