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)

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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 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.

LETJOG14 – Week 2

Weekly Runs

So, for me my running week starts on a Sunday, that’s mainly because I use Map My Run iphone app and that logs my runs for me, and it starts on a Sunday!

I have yet to start my 8 week trianing programme, that will commence in a week or 2, depends what happens in the next two weeks with regards to gym work and any runs I can get in – I need to get back into a steady pace and run. Something that is slowy coming back to me since the crash.

LETJOG14

For me, this challenge is all about the running. There are 874 miles to cover in this LETJOG14 challenge. Some people are cycling it, some are running it, some are doing both. I think there is even a chap incorporating swimming into it too!

But I think the challenge is more difficult running and running alone. Outdoors.

I could incorporate the 20 miles cycling I do each week going to the station and back. But I haven’t, it’s all about the running….Lands End to Jon O Groats (LETJOG14).

That, by the way, takes nothing from everyone involved in this challenge, it’s not a simple feat we are taking on. This is just my preferred way of completing it.

Weekly Stats

Sunday – 5.1 miles (click here). Not a great pace, but a good distance to start the week off.

Tuesday – 6.0 miles (click here). I was not looking forward to this one, my legs ached, but that soon went once I got going. A slightly better pace, and a slightly longer distance, to the point that I could have kept going. I put it all down to Wifey’s home sweet potato and tuna fish cakes!

Thursday  – 3.7 miles (click here). My first run at lunch time at work for ages! I forgot how much of a pain in the arse it is having to dogde tourists, duck out of photos, avoid being hit by buses, and on the plus side how beautiful our capital city is. My pace was mental quick, felt good throughout. Looking forward to getting out there again next week.

Saturday – 3.7 miles (click here). Out in the afternoon sunshine, a quick and steady run around the village with my average pace under 8 minutes per mile. Very pleased.

Weekly total = 18.5 miles

Total covered this year = 24.4 miles

Distance left to cover = 849.6 miles.

To follow everyone’s progress on twitter, search for the #LETJOG14 hashtag!!

The First Run of The Year!

In the Blue Corner

So here I am then, weighing in at a post Christmas 13 stone 7lb, a strapping 6ft 1inches (ish), size 10 feet, sticky out ears and ruggedly handsome hahaha

They are my starting stats for the year.

My targets for 2014: (in no particular order)

1. To run 4-5 half marathons (already booked Southend and Warwick Castle)

2. To Run at least the 874 miles for the #LETJOG challenge.

3. To cross the finishing line of the Southend Half Marathon hand in hand with wifey.

4. To get down to my fighting weight of 13 stone and 1 lb by March.

5. Improve the 6 pack by June for our Holiday

There is someway to go with my training for a half marathon, and it starts here.

Training for a half marathon

When I trained for the Amsterdam Marathon back in 2012 I stuck to a 12 week training plan as best I could. At times I went over the stated amount of miles, but I rested when it said to rest and I incorporated some races during the 12 weeks too.

I’ve had a look at a few training programmes at a ‘just above beginner’ level to try and improve my pace and strength as I haven’t ran properly for 3 months, I have found one which takes me up to 8 miles, but I will probably adapt a little to suit my working hours and weekends etc.

First run of the New Year

So, I’ve just got back from my first run of my training, and knocked 5.9 miles off of the 874 miles for LETJOG14, only 868.1 miles to go. Piece of cake hahaha.

So, 5.9 miles; 1097 calories in 49mins 24secs. Average 8:22 pace.

Not as quick as I used to be, but it’ll do for a starter!

No Excuses.

Let The Running Commence….

…well maybe not today, but possibly tomorrow. Or perhaps the day after?

I want to run but….

…I’ve got an excuse. I had a really bad car accident at the beginning of October and have been unable to run or train properly or go to the gym. I have been out for the odd run here or there, just to de-stress and unwind. Or to run with Wifey; who ironically picked up her running enthusiasm just as mine was lost in a 70mph wrestle with bloody great lorry.

To be fair, as good as an excuse as that is, it still doesn’t and hasn’t really stopped me from running or curbed my enthusiasm for running; far from it. Not being able to get out on a regular basis has been bloody frustrating, but I have enjoyed watching Wifey go from strength to strength as she trains for her first half marathon in June.

Something to aim for.

Her aim is to conquer the Southend Half Marathon, and whilst she only manages to get out once or twice a week she is already hitting 8-10 mile runs at a steady pace, it’ good training for a half marathon, 13 miles at the beginning of June should be a walk in the park for her.

I have entered this race too, and aim to cross the line with Wifey. I have ran it twice before, it’s a fairly easy course, simple route, and has lots of support from the crowds, especially when it’s hot and they hose you down!

For me, the race is 6 months away, by then I should have finished my physio, and be nearing the pace and good physique I was in back in October. But it gives me something positive to aim for, and in training I should eat away into the 800 plus miles that forms this LETJOG14 challenge.

But for now…

… I am going to break off another strip of this massive dairy milk bar of chocolate and pour myself another glass of port and lemonade…perhaps I will get my running kit ready for the morning and go out before work….?

Tenner says I don’t though!

LETJOG14

Time Flies

It’s been well over a year since I last blogged about running, it’s not because I stopped running, far from it, and it’s not that I didn’t want to; I just never got around to it, or forgot or some other lame excuse!

I changed jobs so my running routine and mileage went right out of the window, gone were the early morning 10k runs and weekend long runs, I was just about managing a couple of 5k runs in the evening. I even stopped going to my running club.

The last thing I blogged about was training for the Amsterdam Marathon (which I am happy to report I completed in 4h 15m).

A New Challenge

Now, a mate of mine called Dan Bowsher has completed many runs in 2013 in aid of charity, and has well and truly got the running bug. And fair play to him, he’s done a fantastic job, and the blisters and training have all paid off!

He has now come up with another challenge, and that is to run the distance from Land’s End to John O Groats in a year.

Simple? Well it’s 874 long, chilly, hot, mentally straining, hilly, wet, blister enhancing miles. As he says, it’s only about 15 miles per week, and a good challenge for beginners and seasoned runners alike.

Count Me In

I like a challenge, and reckon that this is something that I could do and fit in around current work hours etc etc yawn…..

The thing is, I had a bit of a bad car crash back in October and am awaiting a 6 month session of physio on my back. I haven’t really ran properly for the last 3 months, I have had to pull out of races and my pace is nowhere near where it was.

But this little challenge has given me something to aim for. It’s given me a reason to blog again. And if this blog helps to encourage 1 other person to do this challenge then that’s a bonus too! 

LETJOG14

Dan has set up a hashtag on twitter to follow #LETJOG14 (Lands End To John O Groats) and is encouraging others to join in and blog about it!

As of Wednesday 1st January 2014 I shall be capturing all my runs no matter how small on Map My Run, and updating my blog at least once a week.

So if you fancy it…..? Either tweet with Dan on his twitter account or Big Running Year twitter account, he would be more than happy to add you to this growing running community. LETJOG14

Sunday 29th April 2012 – Rain rain go away

Bloody weather!

For the last week or so now it has pretty much rained all day every day. Although we have a hose pipe ban, and according to the weather lady on TV this afternoon, over the past 2 years the monthly rain fall has only been above average for 3 of those months. The monthly rain fall has mainly fallen below average, hence the hosepipe ban.

Some places are expecting 50mm and over. 2 inches of water. Not much really, but this meager 2 inches brings with it ‘amber’ flood warnings.

Still, at least the boy’s like to sing ‘rain rain go away!’

Running in the rain?

I have been a bit lax on the running front lately, the wet mornings and evenings, puddle (small lake) covered pathways and grass verges have not been overly enticing to run on…not overly helped by the sound of the rain beating down on the bedroom windows, and the bed feeling extra warm and snug lately.

New running stuff.

I ran in a lightweight running jacket on Tuesday (the one that Virgin send you when you don’t make the ballot for the London Marathon – this was from last year), I thought it would make me claustrophobic, but it didn’t, I was actually quite comfortable. So I looked into buying one.

I went to the local Asics store yesterday afternoon and bought a new one, a nice lightweight black one (like the picture), also managed to get myself a running cap. I am not one for wearing baseball caps or running caps, so I felt a bit odd trying it on in the store, let alone running with one. I got the one in the picture.

Rain Rain Go Away

All morning I had been itching to get out, it had been raining constantly, a light drizzle, then heavy – constant. I couldn’t wait to wear my new cap and running jacket, my new protection against the horrid weather.

Around mid afternoon I declared that I would be going out for a run. I threw my kit on and proceeded to piss-ball around for ages with the jacket, my ear phones and my bottle belt (which was new too), I was getting the hump, I need to work on my running preparation time, especially for morning runs. I finally managed to get out of the front door.

Two minutes into the run, the rain stopped…the clouds parted, and for the next 45 minutes the sun shone gloriously as I trekked out a 5 mile route.

I was gutted, I was so looking forward to running in the rain, getting drenched and testing my new attire.

This is the non rain drenched run!

Saturday 7th April 2012 – Broken.

Take two of these.

As you will note from the other blog posts in this running blog, I have been quite fortunate so far with health and injury. My luck had to change at some stage. Law of averages.

Yesterday evening I had a raging sore throat, and I ached a little. I took some tablets before I went to bed, hoping that it would be gone by the morning, and I would be able to go for my weekly long run as planned.

When I woke up in the morning, the burning sensation in my throat that was triggered every time I swallowed had gone. I tested it several times and on each occasion there was no hint of pain or discomfort. I felt my legs and arms, no aching there either.

Bloody hell those tablets were good!

I am going for a run then.

The first mistake I made.

Initially all was well, getting out of bed was a breeze, getting changed equally as simple, stretching and going down stairs were OK, admittedly I wrestled a bit with the ipod and ear phones lead, but I do that every morning.

It all started going wonky at around the one mile mark, my right calf starting to go tight, using my in depth knowledge as a Doctor: I chose to ignore it and brush it off as a niggle.

My aim for today was to equal if not better the 14 miles or so I did last week, running along the river again. This was the second mistake I made.

Pain pain go away…

As I ran down hill between miles one and two heading for the bridge across the river and my cue to turn right and run along the river side, my left calf must of wanted to play up too, as it started to tighten and cause me as much pain as my right one.

Being an idiot I soldiered on. In hindsight this was the wrong thing to do. Every damn step I took was agony. I thought I would just run to the three mile mark, then turn around and go home at a gentle jog / quick walk. As I approached the third mile the pain eased off in both legs.

“brilliant, I will carry on then” I thought to myself. This was my third mistake, not good considering I hadn’t even been out of bed for 45 minutes yet!

With true British grit…

That heading should say “Like a total idiot..”

I kept going, the hard clay based muddy ground along the river bank was torture on my legs, my shins felt as if they were going to crack and give way with each step, my thoughts went to ringing Wifey and asking her to meet me at the next lock and take me home, that was another mile or so away yet, I could make it to there though…couldn’t I?

Anyway, no point ringing Wifey, her mobile was on silent and she would still be sound asleep. Looked like it was going to be either a nice slow painful walk home, or just keep going, but with perhaps a shorter route, the same one as last Sunday, but that was 9-10 miles, and a good three miles of that was a continuous uphill plod.

I must be bloody mental.

I turned right at the lock and ran 3 miles uphill, various gradients, various scenery, a little bit of country lane, a little bit of main road an awful lot of agony.

I have never been so happy to get to the two mile straight towards home as I was this morning. My mind was racing with thoughts of never running again, my throat was now raging, I felt sick, my legs were shaking, plus it was our youngest’s party tomorrow, we had family over, the last thing I needed was to be ill and ruin it.

I just kept going.

The end seemed to be miles away, every step was painful, my shoulders ached, my vision was a little on the wobbly side and I was sweating like a trooper. It took me about 20-22 minutes to run that two miles, I am not sure how my legs did it.

I was so very happy to get home, get out of my running kit and into something warm. I was physically shaking and felt quite sick and cold.

I took another couple of those magic tablets.

Might be best if I have a week off running…

If you’re interested, then here is my idiotic 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!