Monday 31 January 2011

Peeeee Beeeeeeee! :D

Yay! :-)

20:45. Didn't quite reach puke speed but near, feels great considering i'm way over my racing weight.

had a couple of beers after and really fancied a fag! :P then pedalled hard home buzzing :) In theory if i keep at it, lose kilos i could get under 20....?

Record turn out tonight too and Pb's all round :)

Patheon 5k Race Series

Quite soon after joining my company 3 and a half years ago, I started up a running group - I was training for reading half marathon at the time as was another guy from work. It was just a weekly run out from work during the cold dark winter to get some miles in without running such a high risk of getting arse raped, it ceased after Reading and since then I've just done my own thang.

After the Ironman I was pretty fucked to be honest, it took me a couple of months to realise just how fucked I was - it wasn't until I got my energy back, my life back, my sense of humour,  my sex drive, my periods and all the other things that vanished due to overtraining. I underestimated how much recovery I'd really need, I'd been training 15 - 25 hours a week for 6 months and I couldn't get into my head that it was OK to do nothing. So I continued training way too soon after the event - like a few days later, only to find 4 weeks later, I was proper fucked. Jaded, moody, uninterested. So I threw myself into going out, having fun, drinking a lot - you know - like acting my age! I was still keeping active but not stressing about training schedules or mileage I was just doing it to enjoy it - cycling and running to work (I'd got rid of my car) , mountain biking, rock climbing - not because I had to, but because I wanted to. You'll notice Swimming isn't mentioned..! It was liberating.

As a plan to get back keep ticking over I decided to set up a monthly Park run at work, so asked a few friends at work if they'd be interested, put up a poster and got a pretty reasonable response. Thus - The Patheon Park Run was born. It was a little bit of a selfish set up initially - to get at least one 5k effort run in to get some speed back into my weary long slow run legs. It has ended up being a sociable group of walkers/runners progressing into a running club after this last event.

The first race was at the end of October, I'd measured out a 5k route starting at work, running round the estate in a sort of figure of 8.

The results are as follows, with a little background of what I did between races.....

Race 1 - September - 20:55 (there was less than half a second between me and the guy who came 2nd)
Took up smoking. Went out a lot, gained a bit of weight. Did quite a few long slow runs, nothing fast, I knew I had london marathon in April so wanted to keep on top of my endurance.

Race 2 - October - 21:29 (got my ass whipped by a new runner to the group)
Took up smoking a bit more.... went out a bit more. Still cycling everyday and running when i fancied it (sometimes to and from work in a day - 9 miles in the morning, 9 miles in the evening)
Again smoking on th e increase, christmas parties, year end at work - swapped food for alcohol during the week. Partied hard. Had gone back to my old rule of "no smoking before I'd trained that day"

Race 3 - November - 22:01 - a knee niggle injury had cropped but didnt affect running too much til i did long stuff. but this day it was hurting so i said "i'll take it steady" I didn't
More xmas parties, working 2 jobs over xmas period so my day was like this for 2 weeks:
7am - cycle to work, 8-5 work, 5.30 - cycle home. Change, cycle to job 2, 7 - 1.30am - work. cycle home (in snow/ice), 2am - 6am sleep. For 2 weeks! I was fucked. I didn't run much during this time, partly cos my knee wouldn't allow it. mostly cos I was only getting a few hours sleep a night.

Race 4 - December : 22:30 - was really snowy, was the " Fancy dress Christmas Pub run" originally it was going to be a fun run of Drink a pint, run 5k, drink another pint. It was just a straight 5k in the end
I had most of xmas off training, did normal folk stuff, saw friends, hung with family, made snowmen...I'd done a few short runs, a boxing day race and not touched my bike for 2 weeks. I went to running club and kicked ass!

Race 5 - January - I'd given myself january to get back into it gradually, with a half plan in place but again nothing strict or regimented, my main aim now is to lose weight. I'd also a few weekends planned for birthdays, or with friends, a big work night out midweek, so I knew it wasn't going to be a clean month. My only strict rule was NO SMOKING. There's a clear correllation between ratio of smoking/drinking and my times. Not to mention being fatigued and injured (which my physio suggested was possibly a symptom of fatigue also)

Through january i've been having physio on my knee, it was intermittent - fine as long as I didn't do more than 10  miles. I went to have my gait analysed at my normal running shop, and turns out I'd begun to pronate which was possibly what was causing my knee pains. He also suggested that it was fatigue making me run sloppy.

So i bought new shoes and made a new plan. For the next 2 weeks I wasn't going to run more than 6 miles. But was aiming to run 5 - 6 times a week doing 3 - 6 miles, but work on getting some speed back in my legs to fire up my fast twitch muscle again and also to lose weight - I know my body well enough that it does not lose it if I'm training long - i didn't lose an ounce during Ironman or previous marathon training so I've decided that unless I can lose 10 - 14 pounds I'm not doing london, I've got a couple of other big events later in the year which i need to have the optimum power to weight ratio or I'm going to struggle.

So I'm back in the gym, speed work, not smoking and am going to see what happens next. I asked  the lovely Amanda what she thought of my plan of just doing short stuff through feb while I get my racing legs back with 10 milers being my longest in prep for the marathon should I do it and she thinks that since I've got a good endurance base it should be ok. So that's my plan for feb.

Final 5k race is tonight, so will update later to see how my non smoking, strength training, speed work plan is going! :)

Moral of the story - don't smoke. It looks cool but makes you run shit :-S

Tuesday 4 January 2011

Boxing Day Relay

It's been a long while since I've written on here or indeed done any races. This was more of a fun thing organised by a friend at running club - the following details were emailed round

I won't be there tonight but can I ask if you want to run in the Boxing Day Great Canal Relay.
Those who have been doing the race since it started will be interested to know that this year is the 80th running of the event!
For those who haven't done it before this is a 6-leg relay race which starts at Bradford-on-Avon at 9.30 on the 26th December.

The lengths of the legs are about 2.5, 5.5, 2.5, 2.5 5.5 and 5.5 miles (although most of those lengths are wrong)
It finishes at the French Horn at Pewsey Wharf at about 12.30 where we have a drink, some
food and the presentation of probably the greatest prize in running.

It's not a race that's taken seriously - in fact everyone is discouraged from winning as this is seen as un-sporting.

"Competitors" are encouraged to run in fancy dress although this is not in any way compulsory.

Please let me know if you want to run and if so how far.

You can run any number of legs, although to be fair, no one has ever run

more than six"

Nearer the date we received further info and the following rules (not "this years rules")

"This Year's Rules:

1 Start 9:30 on 26.12.2010
2 6 legs
3 1 to 6 Runners
4 At least one lady (or equivalent) per team
5 No prizes - Again! - but a "magnificent" trophy
6 Optional entry fee of £1 per runner (ALL of which goes to Charity)
7 Other Rules may be added at any time
8 All rules may be ignored at any time (except possibly the new rule 9)
9 Fancy Dress is encouraged
10 For health and safety reasons, anyone over the age of 105 must be accompanied by at least one parent"

I was down to do the last leg (5.5 ish miles) my runnings been hit n miss lately, with a bit of a knee niggle hampering things but marathon training is underway and I've managed one 18 miler and getting some commutes to work done which is 9 mile each way - since i have no car i have no choice but to run or cycle so it's a blessing in disguise perhaps.

Anyhow, i received a call on Christmas day from the organiser to say both our clubs runners for leg 3 had pulled out for various reasons so would i do that one as well. So I agreed, he told me it was about 3.5 miles... if you look above it says 2.5....?! whatever it was all for fun.

Boxing day morning and I wasn't very well organised as I was staying at my folks I had my kit with me but nothing really very fancy dressish. At home i had an elf and Santa hat I'd been wearing on my bike but that wasn't very original, so I stole pops car and nipped home and had a quick rummage. I pulled the fairy lights off my bike (I'd been getting festive on the bike) grabbed a green dress and green tshirt, the angel  off the Xmas tree, a string of tinsel and ran back out the door.

The sat nav took me where I needed to be for my first leg, it was minus 6 and there was snow everywhere, but it was beautiful. I'd become quite used to the cold weather cycling 20 miles a day for work and running sometimes 18 but it still felt cold. I sat in the car park and transformed myself into a Xmas tree. I looked shabby apples but it got the desired affect, shame the lights weren't really visible in the daylight or it mightve been better. Then angel pinned to my head and i went to meet the others at the change over.

There were about 10 teams  - lots of others were dressed up too, one lady was in a skimpy elf costume, she looked freezing!! Others were dressed suitably for the baltic conditions. The canal was one thick sheet of ice, the barges all frozen into place. It wasn't long before the first runner came through and changed over. In the distance I could see a caped man running our way, it was our number 2 runner. We were in 2nd place, he slapped my hand and i bombed off.

It was so pretty out, lots f walkers with their dogs and kids, i said merry Xmas to everyone i passed, looking like a right dafty! I soon became really hot and took off my gloves. I felt like a little bunny skipping through the snow. It was really nice, i was expecting lots of ice but the ice patches were few and far between. My toes were getting pretty cold though! The last half of my leg was up hill... i questioned this when i got back - how can a canal path go up hill!? Someone said "that's why i didn't want to do that leg" cheers. ;-)

I powered up the last hill to the next change over not far behind the front runner, I'd gained a bit of time on him during the run. A lady looked at my feet and said "i thought you had spikes on the way you came up there so strong" which was a nice compliment :) the angel's head had fallen off and i was really hot now!

Someone had driven dad's car to the changeover and we drove in convoy to the next one 3 or so miles away. I had time to drink some coffee and take a slash behind a bush. watched the leg 4 to 5 changeover then on once more to the final leg. I decided to run this one in just my running gear as it was really hot before

I was told it was a bit confusing, you had to cross some of the bridges, but "not this one", "make sure you don't go into the woods"
"so i go to the woods and then over a bridge?"
"is it not obvious?"
"can't i just follow the person in front?"

um.. no, our runner was coming in, we were in first place. shit.

Ok, i was off at a pretty quick pace, then i realised i had nearly 6 miles to go so pulled it back a little. The snow down here was much deeper and untouched. it was brilliant, i bounded through like a kid. So tempted to do snow angels but i could see someone in the distance behind me, i kept checking to see how quickly he was gaining on me, not fast but he was going to catch me at some point. I pushed on, not knowing which crossing i had to take, where the woods were. Bouncing through ankle deep snow smiling.

The guy was about 20 m behind me now and i wasn't sure where to go, i shouted back "is it this bridge"  - "no" he yelled i ran past it and there's no way over it anyway!

I did the same at the next bridge, again no. After this one he was right on my shoulder, i was tempted to hog the path so he couldn't get through but i let him past. I asked if he was the guy doing it solo but he was doing it in a pair. He had a nice bum and legs that went on forever!

I couldn't keep with him, so i dropped back further. I could see about 500m in the distance the finish area where the crowd were waiting. I could also see a little way behind me, another runner. I started to dig in, but it wasn't quite enough. I was blowing, I could hear him gaining on me, i pushed harder, my legs burning and my chest tight, he was right there on my shoulder. 100 yards to go... i pushed. Again I thought i could just hog the narrow path... but i moved across so he could pass, i tried to stick with him, i contemplated pushing him into the frozen canal!

He pulled away from me and with 5 seconds between us at the finish, we were both near to vomitting!

It was declared the closest race in the history.

The guy in the pair was dq'd cos he had no lady in the team, so we got 2nd and 3rd (our other team came in a few minutes behind)

We went to the pub to get a pint to find the pipes were all frozen so no beer :( so i had a rum n coke and waited for the rest of the teams to come in.

The man with amazing long legs was even nicer from the front. (his face not his member!)

The magnificent trophy was presented (the idea of it is that the winning team have to add something to it each year)

Next year they're thinking of drawing names out of the hat to decide the winners. :)

Here's what we could've won....

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This latest blog will be hopefully following my transwales experience. Enjoy with me :-)