Thursday, 20 January 2011

Last week's Round-up

I made it out for three runs, which is okay by me. Too much going on in life to hope for four a week. Did my longest run in four years, a 13-miler, which was pretty okay. Hard, but okay. Actually, according to it was 12.88 miles, but it was fucking windy, so I'm claiming it as 13...

Total for the week: 21.5 miles. Very pleased with that - no injuries, no real problems, it's all good, dawg.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

A fab run... the dark.

Got up early (well, 6:20ish), left the house about half an hour later having decided to run a route I've never done before. It's easy to get stuck in a rut when running, to do the comfortable miles, so I thought I'd surprise myself and see what happened.

I went a few miles out of town on a road which, for the first couple of miles at least, had a pavement; for the last mile-ish, no pavement, but as it was still dark, I could see cars coming from some distance away.

I was wearing a fluoro vest, flashing arm collar, white running shirt, white socks, and a headtorch, so I was pretty visible myself.

It wasn't easy, and I have to say the 5.3 miles felt more like 8 at times. But it was liberating, as I only knew approximately where I was going and didn't even know what the terrain would be like on what was really an old, barely-used road. Almost a farm road.

It was hilly in parts, but most of the climb was in the first third-to-half of the run. The second half flew by. I got home about 8am, had a bowl of cornflakes then took the dog out for a couple of hours. Great, great way to start the day.

PS: My headtorch fucking rocks.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Daryl Hannah can fuck right off.

I tried something new today. I thought, I know how I can beat the boredom and dead-footness of the treadmill - I'll break the run down into 5k chunks, so it's only half an hour at a time!

So today I did the experiment, and it was a complete disaster. I actually struggled to complete three miles on the dreadmill, and I hated every second of it. And yes, my foot went to sleep again. No idea why that happens.

I am not going on a treadmill again while training for this marathon. Treadmills are bastards. Which brings me neatly to Daryl Hannah... While I was running, I remembered her saying years ago that she is not skinny, she is the right weight for herself despite being obviously really skinny; stick thin, in fact. She said she eats whatever she wants, because she has a 'reverse metabolism', so the more she eats the skinner she becomes...

Now, I don't know Daryl Hannah, but I think there's a chance this might be a load of old bollocks. Especially if you watch the movie Shark Swarm - if her metabolism is indeed reversed, she must have stopped eating altogether for that movie. She looks like she's (not) eaten all the pies.

I'm talking bollocks. Ta ta!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Kittens 1, Sennheiser 0

I spent ages and ages trying out running earphones and headphones and finally found the ones that are dead-on, absolutely right for me. Sennheiser makes them, they're found here and they've seen me through a lot of miles.

The day before New Year's Eve, we were walking our lovely dog Millie round Ludlow Castle, when we came across a couple of kittens that were far too young to be out. We brought them home and phone the Cat's Protection Society, but they couldn't take them in, it being Christmas-ish they were inundated. So we set about finding them a new home.

Yesterday, Thelma (kitten) was sleeping on my desk while I worked. So cute, so lovely, and a great little cat. Or so I thought... She woke up and started doing kitteny things and I paid no attention. Until I noticed all the little green bits of cable on my desk and realised she had chewed the cable on my lovely headphones all to fuck.

Kittens 1, headphones 0.

PS: We found the kittens a great home and they left for their new adventure today!

Monday, 3 January 2011

10.5, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Realised I Fucking Rule

So, yesterday I ran 10.5 miles. I set out to do a minimum of 10, and while out, I mapped what I thought was 10.5 in my head, ran it, came home, mapped it and hey presto, I had it exactly right.

I used a couple of great mantras, had some quality choons on the iPod, and got on with it. Mantra of choice was my wife's wonderful "I remember when this used to be a hill", which is surprisingly effective when I want to reduce a steep slope to nothingness in my head.

The shoes I'm wearing, UK Gear PT1000, are working out great. They're supposed to be able to handle up to 1000 miles of running, which is about 600 more than any other shoe on the market; if they can do even half that extra, I'll be over the moon.

It wasn't quick - but I averaged 10-minute miles or just under. It wasn't pretty - according to one person I saw that I knew, I turned purple. But that's the furthest I've run since the Vegas half marathon on my wedding day in 2007, and I am feeling pretty damn proud of myself. Back on track for London, April 17th.

Bring it on!

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Well, it's now 2011 and my running has to get a lot more serious before the London Marathon on April 17th.

This last week I made it out twice - I'm not unhappy with that because I'll make it three times tomorrow. My mileage for the week will only be about 11-15 miles, which is pathetic, but it's a small stepping stone after two week plus of doing jack shit thanks to the weather. Next week I should be up around 20 miles for the week again, and we'll move on from that nicely.

First run this week was an easy 3.3 miler, on a course dictated by the amount of ice on the pavements. I did most of it on the roads, which was okay - it was nice and early, and I wore my beautiful Gore running jacket, plus some excellent flashing armbands bought from Aldi for a bargain £2.99. In short, I was very visible indeed.

That was Tuesday. After that little run, I ended up sleeping for two hours in the afternoon. I'm exhausted from work, and that day made me wonder if there's enough energy in the world to get me through this training while maintaining my workload.

Friday, I did another 3.3-miler, easy pace, just to see how it felt. Felt fine, really was quite easy. This one took me on to a footpath with quite the tree canopy over it, so even when the sun is rising it's pretty dark; combine that with the amount of people who have not bothered to clean up their dog's shite after the fact, and it's a little dangerous for runners... So I wore my most excellent Silva Trail running headtorch, with its sexy Intelligent Light feature. Hot diggety, I love that headtorch. Almost as much as love not stepping in dog shit.

So that's almost me for the week - one more run tomorrow, which weirdly will be my first long run in about three weeks. Aiming to hit nine miles with it, but I'll listen to my body and see where I end up.

Key songs on the runs this week - Puff Daddy's still doing it for me with Come With Me, and Pixies Where Is My Mind hit the spot on Friday's run. And of course Eminem's Lose Yourself, pretty much my failsafe every run.