LETJOG14 – Week 9

 Focus. I need to focus.

Again, I was determined to get some decent mileage under my belt this week, I haven’t run as far as I thought I would have done in this LETJOG14 challenge. I was desperate to do a 10+ miler!

I didn’t manage to get out on Sunday, nor Tuesday and Wednesday, but it still turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag this week, one disasterous run and one cracker!!

This Week’s Runs!

Thursday 3.2 miles – I had been looking forward to a long run after work, I had the route planned in my head, I knew what pace I wanted to do, I’d had a decent lunch…..by the time I got home I was ready to rock n roll. I got changed, kissed the clan and headed out.

First issue was waiting for the GPS Garmin watch type thing to connect to a satellite, that took about 10 minutes, it was ok though, I was still motivated dispite the cold, I pressed start on the watch and start on the Map my Run iphone app thing, and headed off. It wasn’t until I’d gone about a mile and a half when I realised that I hadn’t heard the app lady shouting out my splits / distance at a mile…I look at my phone which is strapped to my arm, and it hadn’t started. I was sure I had heard her say ‘begin workout’. Bloody wench!! Apparently not.

So, I had to pause the watch, knob around with the app – which didn’t want to play – and then start off again. I’d lost all motivation, especially when the app started telling me random times and distances. I hadn’t even gone two miles yet, and had no desire to continue. Messing around with the app had pissed me off, so I trotted back home.

Hence no ‘click here’ option for this run. I was gutted, but no point in continueing – I’d lost focus.

Saturday – 11.54 miles (click here) - After the app meltdown on Thursday, I needed to get out for a long run, so I tried again on the Sunday.

The route back in my head, a pace somewhere between 7:50 and 8:20 per mile was the target. I was in the zone and ready to run.

Straight down through the village to Boreham Interchange, over the A12, up past the BMW garage, then Sainsbury onwards towards BnQ, over the roundabout (mistake: this took me onto the dual carraigeway / bypass type road, luckily there was a small path), down to the roundabout with the dodgy carvery on, chuck a left, a little bit down hill towards the retail park, right at the round about, then right again, uphill now, left at the lights, follow it all to the Young Offenders prison, right at the lights, more up hill all the way to Aldi, left over the railway bridge, towards the second round about, swing a right, uphill again towards Beaulieu Park, just over two miles of uphill running I was fudged but my pace was pretty constant.

I plodded around Beaulieu Park, back around to Sainsbury, left past the BMW garage, up and over the A12 and headed back home on the 2 mile straight.

And yes it has occured to me that I may describe the route, but you guys probably haven’t got a clue where I am describing….hahaha

1h 34 mins. 11.54 miles. Av pace 8:12. I was well happy.

Weekly total = 14.72 miles

Total covered this year = 121.37 miles

Distance left to cover = 749.63 miles.

Next target – 150 miles (not far now)

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

LETJOG14 – Week 8

Give me more!

I was adamant that I was going to run more than 15 miles this week, just under 12 miles last week, and a poor performance the week before have left me well under the average mileage count to beat this LETJOG14 challenge, it’s time to up the ante and start cracking out some proper runs, especially with the Warwick Castle Half Marathon a few weeks away.

This Week’s Runs!

Sunday - 8.5 miles (click here) – A pleasant Sunday evening run with Wifey, my aim was to target 8 miles and keep each one under the 10 minute barrier, which we almost did, all barring 3 of the 8.5 miles. And that was mainly down to waiting to cross roads. Very proud of Wifey, she is coming along well, and should be in good shape for the Southend half marathon in June!

Tuesday - 5.4 miles (click here) - The Lunchime 5 miler, frought with it’s usual mix of deaf and ‘stop dead in their tracks’ tourists, light jumping cyclists and kids on half term! Fast paced, chilly and entertaining. Love it.

Saturday – 3.6 miles (click here) – I went to the gym yesterday….I ached when I woke up. I went to the gym this morning…running was not top of my to do list, but needed to get out just for a quick 5k. So I went when Edward was at football training, a quick blat around the village, not quite the 5 miler I normally do, but it was enough!

Weekly total = 17.5 miles

Total covered this year = 106.65 miles

Distance left to cover = 764.35 miles.

Next target – 150 miles!  

 

LETJOG14 – Week 7

Arrghh I still cant get motivated!

Still not feeling the running love.

Not sure what’s been going on with my head for the past few weeks, ok, so I was a bit sick last week, but even before that I wasn’t motivated. Running bored me.

A good couple of runs this week put my total into double figures.

Tuesday night’s run was all thanks to my mate Crispy. We’ve run together before a couple fo years ago, and we’ve done the Southend Half Marathon together on a scorching hot Sunday….He stopped running after that, and credit where it’s due has got himself back into it, and from the way he ran tuesday night, storming up a bastard of a hill like it was flat was impressive!! It’s good to see him back!

This Week’s Runs!

Tuesday - 6.3 miles (click here) – An invite from Crispy to see if I fancied a 5 miler was a blessing in disguise, the spark I needed to get my arse outside and the chance to run a new route. Crispy, back into running with much motivation and drive was an inspiration, and I reckon I could of beaten him over the 5 miles if it wasn’t for 2 ruddy great hills that I haven’t ran before (he has run them frequently), the first was ridiculous and he pounded up it like a feather weight gazelle – the git!

Thursday - 5.4 miles (click here) - Another crack at the new lunchtime route, I really enjoy this and hope to do it at least once a week. One day I will get used to the tourists, apparently dodging in and out of them and cyclists helps to build your core muscles….at least that’s what I am telling myself!

Weekly total = 11.7 miles

Total covered this year = 89.15 miles

Distance left to cover = 781.85 miles.

Feeling better!

LETJOG14 – Week 5

What I lacked in quantity…

This is the first time in a long while that I haven’t had the inclination, nor the motivation nor the energy to haul my arse off the sofa or leave my desk to go out for a run.

I’ve managed one run this week, and to do that I seriously had to pull myself together and give myself a kick up the backside with my own size 10s.

An evening run around the village, ‘perhaps blowing the cobwebs out may get the buzz and the motivation back’ I thought.

 …I made up for in pace!

My one single run this week was a blinder. My pace has been getting slightly quicker on the shorter runs, and this one was no exception.

It was only 3.9 miles but each mile was under the 7m 30s per mile. Not sure why or how, no change in diet, perhaps the rest had done me the world of good, but it was pretthy quick for me!

This Week’s Run!

Monday – 3.9 miles (click here) – great splits, quick pace, and not all on the flats!

Weekly total = 3.9 miles

Total covered this year = 67.15miles

Distance left to cover = 803.85miles.

Hopefully it will be much better next week.

LETJOG14 – Week 3

Increase the mileage

After the somewhat slow yet steady start to this year’s running, and to the LETJOG14 challenge, I wanted to increase the mileage this week.

15 miles average per week is the target, I was way down on the first week, just a little over on the second, and needed to catch up a bit this week.

Warwick Castle Half Marathon

Whilst I am clocking up the miles for the LETJOG14 challenge, I am also in training for the Warwick Castle Half Marathon which is at end of March. I got my half marathon PB of 1h 43m 34s there last year; in the rain, wind and snow that battered us around the hilly course. I’m not sure I am going to be able to match it this year, but anywhere around the 1h 50 mark would be good.

Weekly Stats

Sunday – 6.4 miles (click here)  What was initialy going to be a simple 5 miler, ended up being a little extra. I’d wanted to run a bit further past Hatfield Peverel and up towards Witham, but this meant running alongside the A12. Nothing bad about that, except the part I wanted to run along was notorious for accidents. I bit the bullet and went for it. The traffic tearing past me at 70mph was ok once I had got used to it, but a little daunting to start with.

Tuesday – 3.7 miles (click here) A lunchtime run at work, cool and fresh (the weather, not me), and plenty of pedestrians and cyclists to dodge. A pretty quick pace.

Wednesday – 7.2 miles (click here) A steady evening run around the village and out towards Springfield and back. A good route, couple of teasing hills, the only downside is having to cross a couple of roads on busy roundabouts….where drivers feel the need not to indicate (very frustrating).

Thursday – 3.7 miles (click here) Another brisk canter around the streets of London. Beginning to enjoy this route and run pace. Will look to incorporate a few hundred more yards, 4 miles would be nice.

Saturday – 3.8 miles (click here) A quick (well, much quicker than I intended to be) run around the village, all miles coming in under 8 minutes. Happy with that.

Weekly total = 24.8 miles

Total covered this year = 49.2 miles

Distance left to cover = 824.8 miles.

Thursday 14th June 2012 – Chelmsford running routes

Club night

Thursdays seem to come round so quickly, which isn’t a bad thing as it’s the only day I really get to run with other people and always come away feeling like I have given 100%. Plus it’s nice to have a bit of a natter to other people as I run, and to find out a bit about my fellow club mates, I am after all a newbie here!

It’s always nice to get there as the room is filling up, lots of buzz about the room and every time I’ve been so far there has been someone new joining that night. Running seems to be growing in popularity as a recreational past-time and great way to keep fit, plus clubs also have a great social side too.

Back to school

Tonight’s run would be the Newhall route. A 6.5 mile run up and around the large private school next to Beaulieu Park. This was the route I first ran with the club, tonight I would try to run a bit slower than last time, my legs felt heavy around 5 miles on the previous run.

As Chelmsford running routes go, this one has a good mix. It was mainly running on pavement except for when you run along dirt tracks at the back of Beaulieu Park, then cut across a couple of fields along the back perimeter of the school, then it’s back down the long drive of the school to the roundabout at the A12. A steady mile or so along the pavement, past the BMW garage towards BnQ and then back towards HQ.

The run

It was quite overcast today and we’d been threatened with rain so I went out with my running jacket on expecting a drop of the wet stuff.

We all set off at a nice steady pace, I tagged in with a couple of guys that are quicker than me, the pace was manageable but after a couple of miles I was breathing hard. The bloody 3 mile mental block / barrier I go through each and every time is so frustrating. I wanted to stop and walk. I just had to keep going, as soon as we got to mile 4 I was fine.

Oh and as for the rain, no such thing. The sun came out and ensured I was toasty warm. Too warm at times.

I really enjoy this route, the mix of road running and off roading combined with a manageable distance make it good to run. I finished the 6.64 mile run in just under 58 minutes. A great run.

This is the route

The Southend Half Marathon

The Southend half marathon

Well the day had finally arrived. I’d been building up to this for a while now. Yesterday’s short easy run with Rob had relieved a little nervous energy and I felt relatively relaxed.

Although like most race days I was eager to leave and head to the race venue in good time. I didn’t want to leave it too late incase we got caught up in traffic or delayed somehow. I’d been training for this day and missing it or arriving late was not an option.

The Weston clan with Rob in tow headed off, we were due to meet up with Crispy and his clan before the race. Turned out he was as keen as me to get there and arrived some 20 minutes before we did.

The race atmosphere

We got there and parked up. Hundreds of people were already milling about. Some spectators but the majority were runners. All adorned with their individual race numbers, all either warming up, stretching or gentle jogging.

The atmosphere was buzzing. Me and Crispy kissed our respective loved ones farewell, got a pat on the back and words of encouragement from Rob, and headed on the direction of the start/ finish line.

We did our stretches and warmed up. Although we were already pretty warm: the forecast had been cloudy with some rain showers today yet the skies were blue and temperature was already rising. I hoped the heat wouldn’t have too much of an affect on us. We just needed to be sensible and run at a steady pace.

On your marks

Crispy and I huddled in amongst the other runners, everyone chatting or doing last minute stretches. The start time was 10:00am. We had a few minutes to go.

I was pretty much relaxed. I’d been in couple of races before, Crispy hadn’t though and I wondered how he was feeling.

The klaxon sounded on the stroke of 10:00 and everyone bottle necked to get under the inflatable start. It took us a couple of minutes to get through, as we crossed the line (which then activated our chip strapped to our ankle) I caught a glimpse of Wifey Rob and the boys to my left all waving and cheering. Today I would do them proud.

My targets for today’s race were a) finish in the top half and b) finish in under 2 hours. Crispy and I thought we could finish around 1h 50m mark but we hadn’t banked on such warm weather.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing

We started well, and the first couple of miles took us through a bit of a residential area before dropping down onto Shoebury front and heading towards Southend. We were to complete two laps up to the Sealife centre and back and them back up to the park where we started.

Between miles 2 and 3 people around us were already dropping off. It was very warm. I was a little concerned, we were running around 8m30s miles and I think we should of slowed a little. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Thankfully there were plenty of water and sponge stations but I was carrying my own bottle filled with water. I didn’t need water stations. I am a fool. Still people were dropping out. Still the temperature rose.

Mile 8 was my nemesis. We’d completed one loop and were a third through the second. I was busting for a wee. I felt dizzy and sick and my legs felt like jelly. I told Crispy that I may have to stop and for him to keep going. I didn’t want to hold him up.

I took water at the next station, followed it with some segments of orange a spectator was handing out, an energy gel I had with me and a jelly baby that another spectator was handing out. Before I reached mile 9 I was right as rain and re charged. I took water at every station from then in.

I felt good but I’d lost Crispy. I kept glancing over my shoulder trying to find him. I wasn’t sure if he was ok? Or if he’d stopped or what!? Just after mile 10 we all turned left and ran up a short hill. Turn right at the top and through residential area. My legs feel like lead. I stopped at a water station and looked out for Crispy as I caught my breath. No sign of him.

I carried on.

Crossing the line

I ran slowly on. The crowds cheering and clapping was great encouragement. We turned onto some parkland and ran along the sea wall. I stopped again. We were less than a mile from the finish line and I had intended on crossing the line with Crispy, yet I couldn’t see him anywhere.

I had to carry on without him, I ran as hard and as I could to get to the line, my legs were heavy, and my heart was pounding inside my chest. Wifey, Rob and the boys were all at the line cheering and clapping, I crossed the line and pressed stop on the GPS. 

I fell into the line of people collecting bottles of water and a finishers medal, continually looking out for Crispy. There he was coming in through the line behind me, looking a little dazed and knackered but he’d finished! I was both relieved and pleased for him!

We’d completed the Southend half marathon, I was very pleased, I crossed the line in around 1h 58 minutes (could of been quicker) and position 716 out of 1493.

Here is the very hot half marathon info!

Saturday 5th May 2012 – Half marathon training

Bank Holiday weekend

It’s May Bank Holiday weekend, I have a couple of runs planned for this weekend. Looking back at my stats for April it is quite evident that I need to get some runs under my belt if I am to have any chance of finishing the Southend Half Marathon next month.

To be fair, I have ran in excess of 13 miles on numerous occasions, and completing the course shouldn’t really be a problem, but you know what they say…’practice makes perfect!’ and I intend on practicing quite a bit.

Half Marathon training

This morning’s plan was to get out and run 10 – 15 miles at a steady pace. I didn’t want to do anything silly, especially seeing as I had a 10 miler planned for tomorrow with my mate Crispy.

Looking out of the window it was evident that the recent rain wasn’t about to cease at any time too soon, judging by the clouds in the sky and the puddles on the ground, although it wasn’t raining at the moment, I hoped we may get a drop during the run, it’s always quite refreshing to feel the rain on your skin when running.

I headed out, setting off for the usual back route around the village and then down into Chelmsford. At four miles everything was good, I was running about an 8m 40s mile.

At mile six I felt a little burning sensation on the underside of the arch of my right foot, it got hotter with each mile and I could feel the hot spot spreading. At mile 8 there was s familiar burning sensation beginning to bubble on the arch of my left foot. Bloody typical.

I had no choice but to keep on going. After a couple of miles the pain became, well, pretty much bearable. God knows what the blisters looked like, I felt the one on my right foot pop at one stage, the warm watery mess oozing out into my sock.

No pain no gain

The final 5 miles of the 12.5 mile run were probably slower than I would of liked, I was pleased to pass the 10 mile point with a good couple of miles to go. My legs were beginning to feel it, I’d run a couple of miles quite tentatively when I felt the blisters coming, this affected my stride and my pace a little, I just knuckled down and pushed on.

The 12.5 miles took me 1 hour 52 minutes, not exactly speedy gonzales, but a respectable time none-the-less.

Once home, I stretched and warmed down, and then inspected my burning feet…what a mess! I hoped they would be OK for tomorrow.

Here’s the blister festooned run!

Saturday 31st March 2012 – A river runs through it

A change of route

Saturday again, my favourite day of the week. My ‘long run’ day.

I’d been checking out some alternative routes lately, although I was quite happy to pound the pavements, I needed to do something different. Something to keep me on my toes, as it were.

We’re fortunate enough to live out in he sticks, and being a sensible chap, I have always stuck to running along the roads, especially in the dark mornings, always crossed the road on a zebra crossing, never talk to strangers blah blah blah!

Across the fields there is a River, this river runs, as you would expect, for many miles. We’ve walked along parts of it on many occasions, mainly in the summer. It had never once occurred to me that I could run along the tow path.

Off to get some fresh air!

I had worked out a route that took me along the road for a couple of miles, down to the river, then run along that for 4.5 miles which would lead me into Chelmsford town, then up past the prison, around Springfield, through Beaulieu Park, then back over the A12 and towards home.

I reckoned between 14 and 15 miles.

The first couple of miles were down hill, it was lovely, the sun was just beginning to rise, the birds were singing and I had a good feeling about this run.

Whilst running along the river, I tried on several occasions to kick myself repeatedly. Why? Well for not running this route before, that’s why.

It was stunning, the water was tranquil apart from the odd coot or duck paddling across it, the air was fresh…it was quite very close to perfection. Seriously, why had I not run along here before? I passed locks and old lock keeper’s houses, I ran past horses and cows eating the early morning dew covered grass, old gunner huts strewn across the fields. It was so much nicer than running along pavements.

The only down side was the ground, it was hard, cracked and uneven, tree roots threatened to trip me every now and then, and it affected my pace and stride. I was running slower, and the undulated ground made me more cautious.

Back on the road.

The river led me into Chelmsford town center, back on tarmac and pavements, my slower pace along the river meant I had conserved some energy, which was handy because the run up Springfield Road was a killer, my calves were aching.

By the time I reached mile 10 I had picked up pace a little, and was running at about 8:30min miles, although it seemed as if my legs were on auto pilot, it felt as if I had no control over them!

The uphill run between miles 12 and 13 almost finished me off. I have a mental issue with this hill. It nearly beats me on every occasion.

Happily I completed a refreshing 14.6 mile run in approx 2 hours 15 minutes, not a record breaker by any shot. But very enjoyable none the less.

Here’s the route!