Thursday, 22 July 2010

Another low mileage week

After Monday's sore-legged pootle I wasn't sure when I'd be able to run again as I had assessment centres to run Tuesday and Wednesday.  Bloody hard work, both from a mental "concentrating hard to give people a fair crack" and also from an emotional one as several people in the process are people I work with and who could possibly end up with no job at the end of this.  Both days were long and tough - 8-8 on Tuesday and 8-9 on Wednesday - so no running and unhealthy takeaway on the way home both nights.

Today was "just" my last day in the office before holidays so was again stacked out, but at about half five I switched off, set the old "out of office" and grabbed a few miles with Rich and Tim.  Just 6 of them in the end as K is off to rounders again (I'm a "rounders widower"...) which we did at a very steady pace - 49mins for an average pace of 8:08, but with the HR right down below 130 most of the way and averaging 125bpm. 

Headingley for beery blokey fun tomorrow then presumably hangover and packing Saturday, so my next exercise is likely to be in the Grafagnana Mountains, Tuscany! 

Monday, 19 July 2010

Sore legs from yesterday

Surprisingly sore legs when I woke up this morning - definitely not used to hills or running in the warmth. Had a pretty full-on day at work so got out afterwards for a steady recovery run with Herb and Hinsley.

We did 5 miles on the canal which Herb declared to be "boring" but was just fine for my battered thighs. 40 minutes almost bang on for 8 minute pace. Rich and have decided that we need a decent longer run, a track session and some kind of tempo effort each week, so track sessions will be booked in from when I'm back from Italy.

First day without Linz today so Deb was a bit stressed to be looking after me - and pre-board exco meant that it was more pressurised than usual - so didn't think it was fair to ask her to start booking training sessions in the diary!

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Sunday, 18 July 2010

A steady Sunday one

It's a while since I've done a run of anything longer than 5 miles or so on a Sunday, but as this is the last weekend before we go away and it's K's mum's birthday while we are on holiday she took the kids over to see her (and my mum) whilst I stayed at home and waited for the Sky man.

He wasn't coming til 3 though, so I thought I'd best get some exercise before sitting down to slob about in front of the Tour. The weather was a bit wild so I decided to run rather than bike. It's a while since I've done a decent length run on a Sunday, so I set off to Bolton Abbey unsure how far I'd go.

A gusty wind from the west made the run up to Halton East feel easier than it was, but by Bolton Abbey village hall, the 4 mile point my legs were wondering how they were going to get home.

I decided to carry on to the Cav Pav which gives me slightly over 10 miles, and when I turned for home I realised it was going to be hard work uphill into the wind.

I turned with the watch on just over 40 minutes, so it wasn't going to be a proper long run, but double figures is respectable I reckon. The pull up to halton east wasn't too bad in the end and I even had the energy for a slightly brisker last mile to give me a negative split and an average pace of 7:52. My legs certainly knew that they'd run on something lumpier than the towpath today though!

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Friday, 16 July 2010

A week with little running and no blogging

Sorry, readers - I've been a little remiss with both running and blogging this week, but whilst I've done none of the latter I have at least done a little of the former.

Hinsley and I went out for a nice steady 8 miles after work on Monday, which was at an average 8 min mile pace - Rich found it a bit tougher than me I think, as he's still struggling a bit with his knee, but my HR was acceptably low at an average of 131.

Then nothing all week except a fair bit of driving, one night of very heavy drinking (and hysterical laughter - think "fat bloke lunging"...) and a crashing hangover.  It's also getting stupidly busy at work, with travelling up to Newcastle most weeks, preparing for assessments and worst of all Linz left today.  I'm grumpy about that - so now I'm PA-less as wel as busy.  Arse.

Today's run was a post-work 5 miler.  There's a pattern developing here - no lunchtime runs for ages.  It's definitely harder to push yourself into getting out after work, even when the weather's nice, but once we;re back from jollies I'm going to have to get into GNR training, as assuming the start's ok it should be fairly fast.

I ran from Silsden again today and ran up to the canal a bit quicker than usual at about 7:30 pace, then did a couple of miles at about 6:25 pace before slowing down again back to the car.  The effort felt ok, but it's odd to think that I was running 4 miles at that pace at the end of a 20-miler a few months ago.  More mileage needed...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

A Sunday ride with a Harrowgay

That's Harrowgay in the singular...  Wood is apparently lurved up and about to move to That London, and the Gym Bunny had a callout at work, so it was just me and Angry today.  We'd decided to do the short route of the White Rose Challenge, which is basically a very lumpy way up to Grassington, then back down the valley with Langbar as the sting in the tail.

We set off up Norwood Edge, with my gears playing silly buggers from the start, which didn't augur well for the horrid steep stuff around Thruscross, but I was pleasantly surprised by how good my legs felt considering how little cycling I've done, and how alarmingly large my belly has become.

Fewston looking a bit empty...

A blast down past Fewston reservoir suggested we might not be too far away from a hosepipe ban over here (as they've just brought in in Cumbria of all places), then we had the only unpleasant bit of the ride (in traffic terms) as we did a mile or so down the A59.  Up towards West End and there are a couple of vicious little climbs that had my gears jumping about all over the place and led to a stop for uninformed twiddling of screws and adjusters that have no effect but make you feel manly and useful.

 Tough going towards Grassington

On up to Greenhow, which we reached in what felt like reasonably quick time, but we then had 7 miles into the teeth of the wind.  Tim struggled a wee bit in places along here, but in the main our paces were pretty well matched.  A quick pie stop in Grassington (which we reached slightly quicker than we did on the White Rose last year - although I had stopped for a puncture that day!) then it was a turn for home, which we expected to be a wind-assisted whizz down the valley.  In the end there were sections where it felt like the wind was in our faces, but Langbar was definitely easier with a tailwind.

We arrived back in Otley after 3 1/2 hours of riding, with a fairly respectable average speed of just under 14mph, which considering there was a bit of hanging about on the windy bits is ok.  Really enjoyable little trip, showing we must get back into the habit of regular rides with the lads.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Steady away lads...

Three of us out at lunchtime today - me, Hinsley and The Newmanator.  All agreed it should be steady so a pace of "no more than 8's" was agreed and we set off canalwards, chatting away.  It was warm, but not horribly so, and keeping an eye on my HR showed it was mid-120's most of the way.

We were actually mildly castigated by an old lad on a barge for not trying - "less of that, more of that!" was his comment (with a chattering gesture followed by vigorous elbow movements which we assumed was to simulate faster running).  We kept chatting...

It seemed to be a day for chatty old folk as an old lady started gamely jogging on the spot and saying she would join us.  Which was a bit daft as she'd never have kept up.

Newman was complaining it was a bit too quick, and sure enough we had speeded up to a blistering 7:45, and my HR hit its maximum for the day of 132.

Very enjoyable, and my fourth run of the week which is more like it.  I would run home tomorrow but I have to judge some awards thing in Thackray's team so will be having a swift beer after work with them before heading home for the summer fair at school.

Overall stats for today are 5 miles at a gnat's over 8 min pace, with an average HR of 124.  Happy days...

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Quick after work run with the Herb tonight - half a mile up to the canal, then a 3m effort at 6:08, 6:10, 6:07 pace followed by 2 slower miles with Herb again.  Effort was respectable pace but I'm not sure I could have done another mile and the HR was above 160 by the end, but hey-ho - the main thing is to get through the new job medical ok.  Happy there was a bit of zip there anyway.

GFA entry arrived today, so I'm definitely in London next April.  I've also decided not to do Abingdon - I'm going to aim for a decent GNR (particularly as I can probably wangle a hotel the night of the race through work, new job 'n' all) and a fast Abbey Dash before throwing everything at a sub-3 London.

Memo to self - don't eneter many races in the build up to VLM - think I'll permit myself Brass Monkey and Coniston 14.  No Trimpell, no Blackpool half.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Nice bit of variety

Took my stuff in today for an after-work run, and was joined by Hinsley.  He went off home to get his stuff, partly because he wanted a recovery after a fairly dire 41 at Manchester 10k yesterday, but also because he wanted to pick my brains about the assessment process for our latest restructure.  I seem to have got through my worrying patch ok, as our new exec team was announced today with me in it (I've known for a couple of weeks but was sworn to secrecy and that includes blogland), but now it's the next level that have the joys of psychometric profiling and assorted interviewy things.

Anyway, as I've not had my briefing for the assessments yet I wasn't able to help, so we made do with a very pleasant 7 miler of Rich's design.  We ran down the canal to just past the Fisherman's, then cut down onto the river which was lovely.  Near Saltaire we cut across and through some woods, rejoining the canal almost exactly opposite where we'd left it.  Back along the canal saw us do just over 7 miles at an average pace of 7:45 - very pleasant it was too.

We've decided we need to get back to a solid 3 runs per week - one long, one track (or at least intervals) and another one.  I'll try and get a tempo run in as well, but I also need to get on my bike.  As I'll be spending a bit of time in Newcastle fitting it all in might be tricky, but we'll see how we go.

I'm undecided about Abingdon marathon - haven't yet heard from London about my GFA place, but it seems the forms are coming out very, very slowly so it may be a week or two yet.  Assuming I'm in I might sack Abo, concentrate on a fast GNR and then build to the Abbey Dash before starting the London build up in December.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

A bit of wind...

Round at The Herb's last night for barbie and beer, which inevitably got a bit drunken.  We decided last night to run and not to bike, so were both grateful we'd already decided when we saw the bloody gale that was blowing this morning.

A slight surfeit of lager meant we were both glad to leave it til after lunch, but at the appointed hour I got togged up and ran down to Brackenley Drive to collect Andrew.  The run back up to ours seemed quite tough, and reminded me how every time I went out I had to start with that drag.

Once back on level ground we pushed on respectably briskly, mainly on account of the howling wind at our backs.  We'd decided on a 6 miler, which with the run down to Herb's added on is my 4.5 miler round Halton East.

We were miling at just under 8's all the way, and I ended up at home, after getting blown to hell on the way back, with an average pace of 7:44.

The comeback starts here, by the way - new job confirmed, and I'll have to have a medical every year now - so how much more incentive d'you need to keep your weight and cholesterol down?

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A couple of steady ones and a UDI...

Did nothing over the weekend to allow my bum (and liver) to recover from the C2C, then had to go to London for a couple of nights with work.  Ran Monday lunch with The Herb, who seems to be recovering some form.  We did 5 sweaty miles on the canal at 8min pace, with my HR a pleasing low rate, with an average of 124.  Even though I'm feeling (and looking) a bit tubby I suspect my fitness is ok - just need to concentrate on some longer runs and get back to the track.

Tuesday night saw me, The Newmanator and Hinsley out running in London, hoping to bank a few calories before heading out on Jeremy's leaving do.  We were staying at the Holiday Inn King's Cross, a shithole but convenient for work - however sadly not terribly convenient for running from.  However beggars can't be choosers (especially not during Wimbledon) so we ran down Farringdon Road dodging commuters, then along the river to Westminster and back along the south bank.  This was also 5 miles, averaging 7:42 pace, but with a slow first and last mile, so the middle 3 were a fair bit quicker.

We then headed out with Jeremy for beers - started at the Perseverance in LCS, then off to Covent Garden for what Irishman Jezza says is the best pint of Guinness in London.  Food at Cote (which was lovely French served by an even lovelier Turkish lady) then more beer and antics at some late night boozer.

Woke up the next day mildly hungover but with an Unidentified Drinking Injury - we were doing some groovy lunging moves and I seem to have slightly pulled a muscle in my inner thigh - hopefully I'll be ok for the City of Manchester 10k on Sunday - missing a race due to drinking would be really rather sad!