LETJOG14 – Week 11

It’s good to talk

Another week with only one run - my current mileage so far in the LETJOG14 challenge hasn’t even touched 150 miles. I should be way way past that by now.

I’ve got lots of catching up to do.

My only run this week was with Crispy. I asked him if he fancied a run Tuesday evening, we agreed a steady pace (around 8:30 I think is what he said….), and I thought I suggested a 5 miler, apparently not.

This Week’s Runs!

Tuesday - 7.4 miles (click here) - Crispy and I headed out into the fresh evening air, I had the head torch, while he had the red light on his back.

We settled into a good pace and chatted about things in general, he is running the Colchester half marathon next weekend, so a steady run was needed.

I don’t think I have ever talked so much whilst running. OK, so the odd hello how are you doing to fellow racers maybe – being polite like, but not a full blown conversation.

And it was quite comfortable too, I wasn’t gasping. Which was odd considering we were getting faster and faster. Each mile quicker than the one before.

7 miles later and just over an hour and we were done. I’d really enjoyed it, it had been one of those runs that flew past and didn’t take much effort, yet I felt like I’d had a good run – if that makes sense.

Weekly total = 7.4 miles

Total covered this year = 132.87 miles

Distance left to cover = 738.13 miles.

Next target – 150 miles (I can almost smell it)

 

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LETJOG14 – Week 10

Out came the sunshine….

Runners. Everywhere. It’s amazing.

I walk to work from Liverpool St station every morning, and when it has been wintery and dark I may have passed 1 maybe 2 joggers / runners – which, considering it’s 7:15am, is pretty fair.

Since the rain has gone a bit, and it’s getting a little lighter of a morning, there are runners everywhere – it’s encouraging, it’s motivating – it makes me smile.

I wonder how many of them are doing the LETJOG14 challenge?

This Week’s Runs!

Tuesday - 4.1 miles (click here) - This was my one and only run of the week. Considering the change in weather I should have got out more often, but it wasn’t to be. A poor effort.

But what I lacked in volume I made up for in pace. This is a cracking route, picking up the thames pathway at the Millenium bridge and running along the Embankment to Westminster Bridge and back.

There were hods of runners, it was like being in a race. And you know what I like about it? There are runners of all different shapes, sizes, abilities, colours, but they’re all out there enjoying themselves and keeping fit and healthy (well most of them were, there were a couple of women I past that looked like they wanted the world to end there and then).

A sprightly 4.1 miles with a 7:28 average pace was good enough for me. That includes dodging around the tourists, especially at Westminster Brigde and just before where they stop and gawp across the river to the Millenium Wheel….

I managed to get myself into at least 5 tourist’s photos on this run hahaha

Weekly total = 4.1 miles

Total covered this year = 125.47 miles

Distance left to cover = 745.53 miles.

Next target – 150 miles (almost there)

 

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)

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 4

Picking Up The Pace

This week was a short week for completing much of the LETJOG14 challlenge; there weren’t many chances to run, although it got off to a great start, only a couple more runs.

They may have been short but…they got quick!

This Week’s Runs

Sunday – 8.4 miles (click here). Wifey wanted to go for a 7 miler, so once the boys were packed off to the in-laws we headed out into the chilly night air. I enjoy running with Wifey, it’s nice to share a little hobby / interest. Plus, she is very determined to complete the Southend Half Marathon in June, and full credit to her, she will not stop, she keeps on grinding out run after run, and is happy to be pushed just that little bit more each time.

I have no doubt that she will finish the Southend half Marathon way way quicker and stronger than she thinks she can.

We ran through the village and crossed the A12 into Springfield, round up and through Beaulieu Park, up over the A12 back through the village and home. For me, easy on the legs and at a pace that I’d be happy to do a full marathon at. For Wifey, a great steady pace, and a run that had a little change in scenerey from the normal route(s) she does. I am sure this is one she’d be happy to do on her own.

Wednesday – 3.95 miles (click here). OK, so, cracking over 4 mile mark would have looked better, and psychologically sounded better, but for what was supposed to be a gentle ‘blow the cobwebs out’ kind of a run was just a blat, and by the end of it my legs were heavy, I needed that little bit to warm down sufficiently (honest…)

It’s nice to slowly get the pace back that I had prior to the crash, maybe only over a short distance, and not that much help on the half marathons, but it doesn’t half feel good!

Saturday – 4.7 miles (click here). No bloody armband to carry my iphone. No bloody Garmin watch. No bloody headphones. All in my locker at work. 40 odd miles away, ready for me to go for a luchtime run that I didn’t get around to. So I ran with that odd ‘naked’ feeling that you get when you’ve forgotten a piece ro two of running kit.

I dropped the oldest off at football and went for a quick 5k run. Around the village, up past the station and back, along the A12 and back to the training ground. A nice 4.7 miles all between 7:30 and 7:50 per mile. Cracking.

Weekly total = 17.05 miles

Total covered this year = 63.25 miles

Distance left to cover = 807.75 miles.

Here’s to next week.

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!

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 14th April 2012 – Breaking barriers

The weekend has landed.

Saturday again. I’ve had a busy week.

I missed my Tuesday and Wednesday runs, a slight chest infection and a trip to Paris scuppered those, and seeing as it was a short week due to Bank Holidays I am a day or two behind.

I have been planning my run all week, 15 miles was the target distance, no targeted time, I just wanted to be able to complete the 15 miles. This time though I was not going to run along the river so far, I think that was one of the reasons my legs and body felt broken after the last long run. So today I was only going to run a mile or two along the river.

As my running partner and great mate Rob Cameron says, “I need to get some miles under my belt” especially seeing as I have now entered the Amsterdam Marathon 2012.

Ideal conditions

I woke up full of enthusiasm and raring to get out and hit the road, I couldn’t of asked for better running conditions, it was slightly chilly, the sun hadn’t been up all that long, the roads were quiet…ideal!!

A mile and a half in and I was struggling, not just physically but mentally too, my legs weren’t sure what my brain was telling them, and my brain had no idea what the hell my legs and arms or the rest of my body was doing. I was determined to keep going though, I wanted to run. I needed to run.

Panic over.

I needn’t have worried, I soon got back into the swing of things, my stride and pace re-appeared and I was settling back into things nicely.

I detoured left at about 4.5 miles and headed on a steady mile or so decent towards the river. After the previous battering on the hard clay tow path a week or so ago, I was pleased to see that the recent rain had softened the ground, muddy in patches, but easier to run on, I headed towards Chelmsford town center for a mile or so, before heading back up towards Springfield.

A slight detour to elongate the route, and add a bit more distance and different scenery took me round in a loop and back on to the main road. It’s good to add new surroundings to a route.

Breaking another barrier

At mile 10 I was miles from home still, barely coming into Springfield, a quick route calculation meant I was sure to break the 15 mile barrier, this put a spring in my step, my legs were beginning to feel stiff and on auto pilot, I upped it a notch, got my head down and ran.

I broke the 13 mile barrier well over 2 miles from home.

Finally passing the 15 mile mark I was done. My legs just stopped, I was quarter of a mile from home. I walked the rest of the way home, happy. Aching like mad, but happy.

This is my longest run to date

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!