Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Sunday, September 21, 2014


So, having reached 200k half way through the year, we're almost three quarters through the year and I have passed the 400k mark!

If a picture tells a thousand words, what does a picture from my Nikeplus page say?

July, August and September have been much higher distance months: 73K, 60K and 74K, respectively. During our holiday in Jersey, I ran 5K along the beach every morning which was a good way of getting in the habit of running more frequently.

September has seen me join other runners from my virtual running community, Run Mummy Run, in a challenge to run 100k in a month. It's been a good way of bringing focus to my week and maintaining a regular distance, around 24K a week. It's also shown how easy it is to fit those extra runs in that I don't normally have (make) time to do - half an hour on the cross-trainer or a lunchtime run have helped achieve the miles each week.

Pace for September looks much slower - this reflects the cross-trainer pace and a runch (lunchtime run) where I forgot to switch my watch off until I was back at my desk.

With three months left this year and based on this month, I should be up to 700K. By that time I'll also know whether I've been successful in the London Marathon ballot...

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014


Are there more days between 1 January and 30 June than between 1 July and 31 December? I'll leave you pondering that. Regardless, let's conclude that we are half way through the year.

So, last year I ran a total of 200k. That 200k can be broken down into:

23 runs at an average distance of 8.7k and an average pace of 6 minutes 36 seconds. Most runs were from home but others took me to Oxford, Jersey and the Reading half marathon.

This year's 200k can be broken down into:

23 runs at an average distance of 9.6k and an average pace of 6 minutes 26 seconds. Most runs were from home but others so far have taken me to Guildford (half marathon) Rye, Barnet and Kingston (Wholefoods breakfast run).

March in both years has been my longest distance month, reflecting the half marathons I've done take place in March. Last year I fell off the running wagon in April and recorded zero miles. This year I've stayed on and continued to record some miles. June this month has been my lowest distance month - a measly 17k.

I've improved my pace this year no particular magic formula, just through keeping running.

So by the end of the year I should have completed a further 200k. Let's see if I can get my pace closer to 6min/k...

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Surrey half

I'm writing about recent runs in reverse order. In early March, I ran in the Surrey Half marathon: Guildford to Woking and back. It was the first time this event had been held and it went very well.

The route starts at the Spectrum Leisure centre, heads north along country lanes to Woking and back again. We met the elite runners on their journey back to the Spectrum when we had reached mile 4! That's a reflection of their speed, not mine...

It was a v hot day, well hot relative to the weather we'd had in the previous months
and there seemed to be a surprising number of injuries, especially in the first few miles. Someone else who ran the route noticed the same. I did my good Samaritan deed for one chap who was sitting by the wayside with a couple of runners with him. They were waving, trying to get the attention of the water station a few hundred metres behind. It was clear that they weren't going to get anyone's attention just by waving so I ran back and reported to a Marshall before heading back in the right direction to a finish line.

The last 3 miles were significantly slower and that, combined with the additional few hundred metres while i ran to get a marshall, meant that this was never going to be my fastest half marathon (that plaudit still goes to the Windsor half in 2003) and was in fact my slowest at 2hr 17. This may also reflect the fact that my average pace had slowed during training (winter cough didn't help) since then I'm creeping back up again - a sub 1hr 10k is still on the horizon and yet to get a little closer. Something to aim for as part of my half marathon training ready for 5th October...

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Wholefoods Breakfast Run 8.2 miles

Following completion of the Surrey half marathon a couple of weeks ago, this Sunday saw me in Kingston for the Wholefoods breakfast Run. Usually after a half marathon, I find myself thinking "oh, I'll have a break from running for a week or two." That break usually continues for longer than it should. Signing up for a run two weeks later prevented that break from occurring.

In a twist on the meme "first world problems", I forgot my Nikeplus watch. This isn't so much a first world problem as an existential crisis: like the proverbial tree, if I haven't tracked a run, did I really run? The iPhone app wouldn't work hidden in a pocket so I thought I'd just have to chill and go with it.

Despite observing recently that I'm running for the enjoyment of running and not to measure my time, measure my improvements or run a pb, I do still like to have some post-run stats. I'd be lying if I said that not having my watch was liberating...

So, for the 8.2mile jaunt along the Thames, here are my 2 mile splits and average pace per mile for each split:

2M. 17:52 = 8:56
4M. 18:41 = 9:20
6M. 19:21 = 9:40
8.2M. 21:36 = 9:45

Total time: 1 hr 17min 30 secs

Ave pace: 9min 27 seconds

Someone please correct my maths if there's any glaring errors! Clearly of course, I will have to compare it to my average pace this year. What's clear is that my sub 9min mile was not sustainable. Something to work on? Perhaps a tip or two to be learned from this article:

So my angst over forgetting my watch was allayed by the timing chips and mats at 2mile intervals. It was a pleasant route: along the Thames, past Hampton Court and then back into Kingston. Only negative was the limited toilet facilities at the start but I suspect my need was psychological!!

Goody bag and mug at the end, various freebies from Wholefoods. Despite my scorn at their "healthy" convenience food, it was a good spread of chia seeds, a green shot, date and coconut bar and apple crisps. Plus coconut water which is a favourite source of running hydration.

My pre-run smoothie comprised oats soaked overnight in chocolate almond milk plus a banana (top tip: freeze them peeled!). I say pre-run. Getting out the house at 7am on a Sunday meant it became a post-run smoothie. At least I had a mug for it.

My next event? I've not booked anything yet. I want to find something which has an event the girls can join in. If we don't find anything, then a local Parkrun may do the job.

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014


I started the year with my usual plan of running the Reading half marathon, with half an eye on a sub 2 hour time.  As usual, the best laid plans of mice and men took priority and my traditional training schedule of a long run at the weekend with 2 sessions on the cross-trainer or doing circuits stepped into the breach.

Reading was wet; It was the type of wet which usually sees me staying firmly indoors and choosing not to go for a run. The type of wet where you're permanently in a shower and remain resolutely damp all the way round. It didn't stop the crowds and one highlight is always the steel band somewhere around the back of the Oracle. The last 3miles is always the longest, longer still when everything's soaked and your trainers have absorbed several puddles along the way. Once again, the Camel overtook me.

Later in the year saw us on holiday in Florida. This included a few days aboard the Disney Dream. I thought my main running opportunities would be in the gym on a treadmill so I took my indoor shoes: a pair of Vibram five fingers. Pip and I discovered the running deck when we were exploring the ship so, while we were moored at Nassau, I had a 4 mile run around the deck. This was followed up with the Castaway Cay 5K - I turned up bleary eyed, expecting the invitation to go for a run to be a fairly informal jog around Castaway Cay. I didn't expect to receive a running number and an exhortation to buy a pin and a t-shirt after the race; well, it's Disney, maybe I did expect the shop just by the finish line. I'm not sure if this link will work, but here goes anyway:

November saw me pull a team together for the three molehills. My original team pulled out at the last minute (something to do with being on holiday). Thanks to the power of social media, I managed to find two willing friends to join me on my visit to Denbies. Three legs, each up and down a different hill/ part of a hill on the North Downs. Box Hill was mine: over the stepping stones, up the very steep climb, a slip in the mud at the top and a long ascent down. On a clear day, the views are amazing. This wasn't a clear day...

We were in a very fast field, team Make Mine a Chardonnay, nobly finished last.

I'm not running Reading this year. I'm going to participate in the inaugural Surrey Half Marathon. Target time? I'll let you know...