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

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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!