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)

 

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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 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!!

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

Chelmsford Running Club

Running alone

There’s something nice about running alone, you can run at your own pace, you can increase or decrease your speed when you want, you can run where you want to and you can run when you want to.

You can watch and listen to the world go past as you run along streets, by streams or through woods and fields. You can experience the sights and smells alone, special moments when you see a deer an owl or a kingfisher, ok so it may be nice to share those moments, but it’s those moments that make MY run special. A reason why I like to run alone.

The solitude of running; that YOU time of the day. If it’s before or after work, its weekends, its running in the sun, snow or rain, it’s that short spell of freedom that allows you to break away from family or work stuff and come back refreshed and re focussed, de stressed and calm. Another reason why I like to run alone.

But running alone doesn’t help to improve your running. Nor does it help to get you used to running in a race or group running.

Running alone does not give you a pat on the back, or those words of encouragement when you want to throw the towel in, it doesn’t push you to improve your speed, it doesn’t give you a team of runners who are there for you and it certainly doesn’t give you another social aspect to your life.

Chelmsford Running Club

A year or so ago a friend of mine suggested I join a running club. “I don’t need a club to run” I said, full of myself. At the time I probably didn’t. I was achieving my own little goals under my own motivation and drive, something which I continued to do.

Then just after Christmas just gone I looked up “Chelmsford running club” on google, there in front if me were the words “Springfield Striders running club”. I took a quick nose at the website, they met up a couple of times per week, loads of members seemed to regularly win medals and they were fairly local.

I forgot all about them for a while, my time to be one a Strider was not yet.

Since I have booked myself into the upcoming races I have struggled to motivate myself a bit. Getting up in the mornings is a struggle (which is odd considering there’s normally daylight steaming through the curtains and it’s not dark at 5:30am). I knew I needed to do something to help with getting out and improving my distances and run times if I was going to finish these races.

So two weeks ago I punched “Chelmsford running club” into google again. Again there were the “Springfield Striders” in front of me. I decided there and then that I was going to attend a meeting on a Thursday the following week.

Joining a running club

I was very much looking forward to Thursday evening.

I was a bit nervous when I arrived, I didn’t know what to expect, or where or how far we would be running. What if I was too slow? What if I couldn’t keep up? What if I was out of my depth? What if I made a total tit of myself! Just…what if..?

I needn’t have worried. The first person I spoke to was very nice and friendly. I explained it was my first time and that I ran “a bit”. She introduced me to a member called Paul (which was easy to remember), we chatted for a bit before we went out. Paul has ran numerous races and completed 12 marathons, all in quite a short space of time.

Tonight we would be running 5 miles. Brilliant. Or unless you are Paul’s GPS system 5 is actually 6.5 miles.

Paul and I set off at a good pace, after a few hundred yards we were joined by another couple of guys. We ran. We chatted. We laughed and joked. We continually encouraged each other throughout the whole run. Time flew past.

I struggled a little with the slightly quicker pace, but I felt rejuvenated. I wanted to do it again. Back at HQ we warmed down and said our goodbyes.

I was buzzing. Why the bloody hell hadn’t I done this ages ago??

If you are thinking of joining a running club then do it. Now.

There are lots of additional benefits to it, discount from running stores, discount from race entry fees and help and encouragement from other people just like you!

Go on…do it

This was the 6.5 mile route!

Wednesday 28th March 2012 – Enthusiasm

Wake up! Wake up!

I’m Knackered. Fact.

Don’t know why. I’m not doing anything majorly different. Struggled to get my arse out of bed this morning.

When I went to sleep I had all the enthusiasm in the world to get up in the morning, get my kit on, run down stairs and then run the streets for half an hour.

This morning’s enthusiasm levels were as low as a snakes belly.

I miss my bed.

That aside I got up and went downstairs. I looked out of the window, the clear dark sky gave a chilly impression and my thoughts immediately aimed themselves at my warm bed. Brilliant. Why couldn’t my thoughts aim themselves at the run? The fields? The roads? My pace?

I stretched slowly, paying more attention to stretching my calves out, I didn’t want that niggle in my right calf to come back, definitely didn’t want to get an injury this morning, having to walk home would be a royal pain in the butt!

Once out on the road, breathing in the crisp fresh air, blood pumping and listening to other runners inspirational stories on my ear phones the smile came back and so did the enthusiasm. It came back in bundles.

What creates enthusiasm for running?

It’s the feeling of freedom. No it’s not. It’s the sense of peace and quiet. No it’s not. It’s appreciating the elements. No it’s not. It’s the feeling of achievement when a run is completed. No it’s not.

To be honest it’s a mixture of all of the above.

When I run I sometimes think about running different routes, I wonder what it would be like to run in warmer or colder countries, run along beaches, up mountains and this helps to keep me going, it keeps my enthusiasm levels up and the inner drive alive.

Getting up in the morning, however, remains a struggle sometimes!

Here is today’s route and the run.

Tuesday 27th March 2012 – Done it!

155K Challenge

At the beginning of this month I set myself a little challenge; to run 155K in March. That was 5k per day. Obviously not running that each day, but to achieve it over the course of the month.

By the 14th March I was well on target, and even thought that I could reach 200K, I contemplated increasing the challenge, but I didn’t. Good job really, as I went 5 days without managing to get out and run at least twice, on a few occasions I never managed to run as far as I wanted to, and once or twice I gave in to the elements.

Crossing the line.

This morning’s run took me to exaclty 97 miles this month, that’s 156.106 km

I was half aware of how many miles I had ran so far this month, and figured that by around 6:30am I will have completed the challenge.

I managed between 4 and 5 miles, it was probably the 3rd mile that took me across the 155K line – challenge complete.

What’s next?

For what I thought would be a simple challenge it turned out to be more difficult than I imagined, mainly because of the reasons mentioned before.

I am going to set myself another challenge though, probably go for ’5 half marathons in 4 weeks’ or ’200K in a month’.

For now though I am very pleased to have completed this challenge.

Here’s the run!

How hard can it be to run 26.2 miles?

Personal challenges

As I have mentioned before I like to set myself a running challenge from time to time. A sensible challenge, one that will push me just that little bit further.

Over the past few weeks, on my Saturday morning run I have been increasing my running distance, and trying it add a mile or so to my previous weeks distance.

Currently I am up to 14 miles, which is good, I never thought I would reach that distance.

I need to do something more though. I need to push myself a little bit further.

Bishop’s week of hell

A year, 18 months ago, maybe a little longer, I struggled to run a mile. That’s a lie. I struggled to run half a mile. But with a bit of determination, grit and positivity I got there. If you had said to me a few years ago that I would be running 20-30 miles per week and entering running races I would of fell on the floor laughing. But here I am doing just that. And more to the point I am enjoying it, it has become part of my routine now.

I recently followed John Bishop’s week of hell, where this normal guy, with no previous desire to run, row or cycle got off his arse and did something for Sport Relief 2012. He wanted to raise 1 million pounds.

To get from Paris to London.

This included a 185 mile bike ride from Paris to Calais, rowing 26 miles across the English Channel from Calais to Dover and then 3 back to back Marathons to cover the 82 miles from Dover to London. All this in 5 days. (It took him just three hours to do the journey the other way by train).

He enlisted some professional trainers to help him get ready for this challenge, and he had fantastic support from other celebrities, fans and family members or help him get through it.

It almost broke him…but he did it. And he managed to raise a couple of quid too!

Anything you can do…

This got me thinking.

No. I am not planning to copy his challenge. Simply because I couldn’t get the professional training and support to do this, nor could I get the French rozzers to give me a police escort out of Paris, nor could I get the time off work to train or to carry out the challenge.

I need to run a marathon. I need to actually compete in a marathon. First of all I need to cover the 26 miles as part of my run. In fact I want to try to run 30 miles in one go, this way I know that I would be able to run the 26 without much of a problem – in theory anyway.

Sunday 18th March 2012 – a wet t-shirt.

Mothering Sunday

After yesterday’s run. The feeling tired. The aching legs. I knew I had to get out and do a quick run today.

I had to get out and re ignite myself. Get my arse into gear and pick myself up. But family first. It’s Mothers Day.

I got up with the boy and we had breakfast and played while Wifey had a lay in.

We’d planned to go and visit my mum for lunch, then back to get bits done and have dinner. I would go for a run before dinner. There’s no way I can run on a roast!

A target of 5 miles

The clouds had threatened rain for a little while, and I thought I would be able to get out before the heavens opened and I got drenched.

How wrong was I?

It started spitting after half a mile, then full on raining by the time the lady app had announced my 1st mile. Thankfully it wasn’t torrential, but it was hard enough and heavy enough to cause my running top to stick to me and become a little uncomfortable.

I really wanted to do 5 miles. I almost managed it, cranked up a 4.84m run. I was a little disappointed with this, but after the 14 miles yesterday it was probably wise not to push myself too far.

You can see the run here.