Saturday, 18 July 2009

A picture of perfect health

It's Saturday, the weekend, a chance to lie in and laze around.
So I got up at 6.30am and went for a 4 mile 'sprint'.
For the first time in around 3 weeks I am injury-free and I decided to trake advantage.
I hadn't done any speedwork for a long time so I got out the front door, aligned my watch with the planets and ran my little tush off.
There was a guy twatting golf balls across the park, but no=one to twat them back so he would hit 5 balls then walk about 200 yards and hit them the other way. What ever floats your boat.
Other than a couple of joggers it was empty.
It was bright, there was a small breeze and all round very good running conditions.
It felt great to hurtle around the park without having shooting pains going from neck to toe. You can never really get use to that feeling.
I was listening to one of the Late Night Tales compilations (some fella from the Arctic Monkeys) and the whippersnapper introduced me to some quality tunes. Check out the tracklisting here.
The upshot of this early morning activity was 4 miles closked up in just 27 minutes 20 seconds. That's 6.50 per mile.
Now, if I could just do that for 26.2 miles...

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Two birds in the bush is worth one in the hand

From the swallowed bugs to the mental nut-jobs to the possible dirty mac brigade, I see a lot when I run around Wimbledon Park. 
I keep myself plugged into the iPod most of the time as old people always want to ask you a question, no matter how shattered, pissed off or in pain you are and the kids love to impress their mates by shouting something or other. Without taking my cans of I am 99% sure it involves Forrest Gump.
Today though I was slightly knocked to one side of the newly relaid concrete pavement when two honeys were having a little squat in the bushes, side by side. Toilets not an option apparently.
Now, I have been to enough festivals in my time to have seen this kind of feminism taking to the fields but these two lasses got it all wrong (or right, depending on what they were trying to achieve)
It was only 5:30pm in broad daylight and they were about 10 feet off the aforementioned path behind bushes, but they were facing the bushes.
This left the sweet tushes sticking out for all to see. From a distance I thought a hairless Chinese freaky breed of dog was having a rootle but no. It was a fine pair of butts.
Ladies, men face the barrier, you face away. Thems the rules.
But thanks for the show.
Anyway, it is still difficult times (I was going to say hard but you would probably get the wrong idea) for my running.
The trapped nerve at the top of my left butt cheek persists and yesterdays run was no speedy job, clocking in at 1hr 17 mins for 10 miles.
Todays was much better but there is still the risk i=of reigniting the bastard pain if i have to stop sharply or turn a corner too quickly and I did 8 miles in 59 mins 38 secs.
Rest day tomorrow, which is a good job as my mate is turning 40.
I don't have 40 year old friends do I?
Then 4 miles on Saturday with a 15 miler on Sunday which will add up to 42 miles for the week (I did 5 on Monday)
The most exciting thing about today is that I have exactly 100 days to go until the Big Day.
Who knows what I'll see between now and then? 

Monday, 13 July 2009

From Fernando to Fartlek

I am getting my mojo back.

After a period of injuries and not getting any faster, a 14 mile run on Saturday gave me hope that I won’t be hobbling around the cliffs of Beachy Head after all.

I woke up with a dead leg and asked the wife whether she was responsible (she denied any wrongdoing – I have sent it to the Court of Appeal).

My mind started having a conversation with itself, shall I do 4 miles today and 14 tomorrow, maybe I should just rest, etc.

It turns out that the best remedy for a dead leg is a 14 mile run.
I whipped around the perimeter of Wimbledon Park 14 times, did a half-marathon time of 1:37:26 and finished the whole lot in 1 hour 44 which is a pace of 7m25s per mile.

I was struggling a little at the end but that was just leg strength which is what I am building up.
As soon as I got home I showered and got changed and went up to London and must have walked another 4 miles at least.

Sunday was going to be a rest day but the wife dragged me kicking and screaming to a food festival at the Southbank where she forced me to eat some delicious, creamy, home-made ice-cream (all this following a lazy brunch in Wimbledon Village of Eggs Benedict).

Sitting on the couch in the afternoon I felt a pound of weight attach itself to my stomach so I leapt in the air, donned the shorts and running top and went back to the Park.

It was going to be a gentle jog, and it started out as one but then I decided to go Fartlekking!

This is a Swedish invention whereby you run with Abba on your iPod. Only joking.
No, this is where you run and pick an object like a lamppost in the distance and sprint there as fast as you can then slow right down for a minute or so and then pick another object and hurtle towards it.

It was fab!!

I loved it. Having run at pretty much the same pace for the last year it was great to open up and run as fast as I can.

Usain Bolt could still have caught me if he was asleep but it felt bloody quick.
And the best thing about this type of interval training? It burns fat very efficiently.
In fact it’s one of the best exercises for losing weight. Running, rowing, cycling, cross training. As long as you go all out then rest and repeat, you can’t fail.
I will get rid of that half stone and be 13 stone before you can say “32 inch jeans.”

Today is supposed to be a rest of sorts but I think I will go out anyway for 5 miles.

Like I say, I feel great and it seems to be inertia which causes the injuries.

That and the wife of course.

Monday, 6 July 2009

The agony and the ecstacy

I don't half put myself through the mill, very unnecessarily.
All day I have been working out how to run 10 miles and 4 miles over the next 3 days. I have tried all possibilities and eventually, as I was running a possible 10 mile today I turned it into a 4 mile as my ankle is a bit achey.
Tomorrow night I will have at least one drink after work. And yes, I do have to.
On Wednesday I could either run after or before work.
After would mean I get to sit down for dinner at around 2100.
Before means I will be ruddy tired during a long day at work.
But I know if I do it after work I will talk myself out of it.
Not because I don't want to, I really, really cannot stress how much I enjoy running, it's because I value my down time in the evening when I get shit done and sit and read a book and forget that it all starts again the next day at 6am.
When I am running I think about all kinds of crap from organising my desk drawer to world domination, inevitably work features and this is not what me time is all about.
So, it's a morning run on Wednesday, which is fine. I have to get use to it as I want to start running twice a day.
Plus my Suitwalker broke last week and I await a replacement so that puts running home from work on the back burner.
I was going to tell you all about last weeks run but it was going to have so many expletives in it, I couldn't go ahead and write it down (my mum reads this - come on!)
Needless to say I was less than pleased with dopey pedestrians and sub-standard equipment.
I am in a happy place and wish to remain here, but I don't know if a 6am 10 mile run will keep me there for long...

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Injury! Injury! They've all got an injury!

What is it? 

What have I done?
I am desperate to run, far, fast and well.
Then an injury strikes me down.
This is the recurring trapped nerve at the top of my left leg and it crippled me 3 nights ago.
I have managed just 24 miles this week, 11 of them today as I ran, gently, from Earlsfield to Richmond and back again.
Strangely enough when I am running the pain is at its most bearable but I know it's not doing me any good, but I just cannot listen to my body and in exercise this is the number one rule.
As I sit at home, not running anywhere the fear grips me and I wonder just how bad i am going to do in just 4 months time.
But rest I must and I am glad i have burned off around 1600 calories today so i can watch Federer march to his 15th slam with some comfort of mind.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Wanna Be Starting Something

It's all over now.

The birthday frock has been put away for another year and the social diary is bereft of entries. I can now start running again.

Only 16 weeks to go until I'm dying in Beachy Head at the top of the cliff rather than the bottom.

I just got a bit of literature through including my race number - 384.

It's definitely not the course for my dream sub 3 hour mark. There will be a total ascent of 3500 feet with gates, stiles, bridges, cattle grids and several flights of steps.

Even one of the sets of toilets is at the top of 227 steps. 

So, I am really knuckling down. I have it all planned out and I will be spending July and August pushing myself to the limit.

I don't want to let you down now, do I?

The B&B is booked with my very top pals Kwasi and Claire driving the wife and I down and we will make a weekend of it, if I make it round, of course.

Even with all this prior knowledge, however, I can't wait to get started. I just need to go and find a farm at the top of a hill to train on. Not many of them near Central London.

Today I did the run home from work - 6 miles in 45 minutes. And it was hot and sticky.
Then I did my core exercises, good stretching and a 5 minute exercise bike cool down.

Feeling great.
Bring it on you mothers.
Oh, and rest in peace MJ (I'm willing to overlook the last 20 years)

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Calm Before the Storm

It's OK, it's fine. I'm fine. I've just been a little lax on the old running front.

But I had it planned. I knew it would happen.

The weekend before last I went to Madrid on a gentle stag do with 9 fella's.

I managed to do quite a lot of walking and was always the first to rise and grab a hearty (but not good for running) breakfast, but I also did a hell of a lot of drinking.

Sugary sangria and the omnipresent Magners made up the most part of my diet along with fatty meats and cheeses one can expect of Spanish tapas.

I foolishly went staright back to work on the Monday and my head didn't clear properly until Wednesday.

I tackled a four mile run and it was fine. I hadn't lost any speed and there were no problems.

On the Thursday I did another four and then on Saturday I went around the Wimbledon streets and up that bastard of a hill three times.

I must say that I hurt a bit after that and even now, four days later I still feel as though I have been punched in my thighs for about five hours.

Still I will tackle the hill another two times this evening and get back into the swing of things.

Monday marks the 17 week countdown where I will be on a strict training plan and no amount of sangria will tear me away from it.

I am really not in the habit of embarrassing myself in Eastbourne. Madrid yes, but not Eastbourne.

I will be runnning 5-6 times a week, doing a proper stretching routine, 2 core sessions and 3 weights sessions a week too. It will be hard but I am looking forward to it.

So I have the wedding this weekend, I will let loose and probably dance like a little monkey with issues.

Then the serious stuff starts.

make sure you kick me up the arse if I miss a day and give terrible excuses.

Now where's that red wine and brandy...