Thursday 24th May 2012 – 5K time trials

British summertime

We had a good few days of lovely warm weather. I am not sure how long it is going to last, but it’s hot, people are happier (unless they are stuck in traffic or stuck on a packed train on the underground), the flowers are well in blossom, and everywhere around here is getting greener by the day.

This will probably be the only week or so of really good weather this year, so we should make the most of it. Although some of us will still be moaning because it is too hot.

5K time trials.

This was my second week at the running club, I had been looking forward to going all day. Having checked out the website earlier in the week, I noted that there would be 5K time trials this week.

5K? Simple. I had ran than time and time again. 5K time trials? I guessed that was a race. Run it as fast as you can…right?

I wasn’t overly concerned, I had ran 5K in under 24 minutes before, I thought that if I pushed myself I would be able to do it again.

We met at the club house and ran a mile or so to the parkland behind Chelmsford University. The 30 or so of us lined up, listened to directions of the route we were going to take. Two laps, along the river, under the underpass, keep on going, turn right, over the bridge, left again along the back of the Avenues, through the University car park, around the front of the University, around the back of what looked like the food hall, over the bridge on the left hand side, turn left for lap two.

Too fast too soon

As always, I got over cocky and over-confident, thinking I was going to breeze it. The competitive side of me came out instead of the sensible side.  I ran off at such a pace that when the app belted out my time at the first mile, it was it was 6 mins 57 secs. Probably the fastest first mile I had ever run. Foolishly I hadn’t taken into account the wonderfully warm evening, it must of been about 18-20 degrees, and it was humid, that didn’t help with my running. Not one little tiny bit!

No surprise then that my second mile was a lot slower at 7 mins 54 secs and the third mile was 8 mins 15 secs. I was properly shagged. I need to learn ‘less haste more speed’ theory a little more.

I may have worn myself out too quickly but I was happy to finish in 24 mins 45 secs, not last by any means but the first few to finish did it about 5 or 6 minutes quicker than me…that was quick!

I’ve set myself a marker now, and will be aiming to get under 24 minutes (in a sensible manner) next time. One day I want to get to 20 minutes. I bit more practice me thinks!

So, once we had all finished, and got our breath back, we all ran back to the clubhouse, a nice gentle up hill mile long run. Lovely.

Here’s the route and time.


Monday 7th May 2012 – Silence is golden

A gentle run

I had the whole day to myself today, initially I had planned to go out and run. To run wherever my legs took me and for as long as I could, perhaps I could of completed between 18 and 20 miles today. This was not going to happen.

My aim was to eke out a gentle 5k. I probably should have rested totally today but I had to run. If I don’t get out for run I feel agitated and narky, I get the same feeling when I’m hungry lol.

I’d ran over 20 miles the past two days, so over doing it today wouldn’t be a great idea. Plus my Virtual Running Partner, Rob Cameron (my mate and trainer / adviser who I am running the 2012 Amsterdam Marathon with) advised me not to run at all considering the last two days running distances.

He’s the boss!!

Silence is golden

Sometimes I am such an idiot.

I should of covered the blisters with some form of protection. I clean forgot. By the time I was half a mile up the road my right foot was throbbing, I should of stopped and turned around and walked the half mile back home, but no, clever me kept on going.

The numbness kicked in after a mile or so.

And besides I had other things to distract me, like my breathing and my footsteps. I could hear them clear as a bell. This may not sound odd to you, but it was quite new to me. I was out running without music. Without my iPhone. The iPhone was being repaired (cracked casing – common fault apparently).

This was probably a good thing, as the forth coming 10 mile race in 2 weeks in Great Baddow was a street race, and due to health and safety rules, iPods or other forms of music players with ear phones were not allowed. So to get out and run a few miles without music was all good preparation for that.

It was a little odd at first without the music, but what I really missed was not hearing the running app announce my pace and distance at each mile interval. I had to manually update my workout on the laptop when I got back, thankfully I’d worn a stopwatch to record my time.

A good time

I completed the 3.5 miles in about half an hour, my blisters were a mess again. I’m not going to run for a couple of days now. They need to heal a bit before I try to wreck them again.

Here’s the run.

Tuesday 3rd April 2012 – Quick. Brisk. Painless.

Quick, brisk, painless.

Three words I wanted this morning’s run to be.

After I had put some miles in at the weekend, and my calves were aching like mad, I knew that to try and do too much would be silly. So a quick, brisk and painless run is what I was aiming for. Well, two out of three ain’t bad!

Quick and brisk it was; painless it was not.

5K is easy

I have a 5k route around the village, it is the one I do probably 10 – 12 times a month, for me it is pretty easy, I must of run it over 150 times.

This morning would be no different. Apart from the pain searing through my calf muscles.

The weekend runs had taken their toll on my legs, I think it must have been running along the tow path that caused it. I need to test that route again to see what affect it has on my legs.

For now thought, here’s 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!

Thursday 1st March 2012 – The challenge begins

The challenge begins

So today is the 1st March 2012, and the day I begin my 155K challenge.

To be honest I wasn’t going to get up and run this morning, I was going to start the challenge on Saturday with a 10 miler (16k ish), but I didn’t run yesterday morning and I was keen to get up and get out.

Aiming for 4 miles

The aim for this morning was at least 4 miles (6.5k), a nice steady run as a warm up for Saturday. I managed a respectable 4.88 miles, which is 7.85k, leaving me 30 days to run 147.15k!

Shouldn’t be a problem really.

I just need to get used to running that bit further of a morning. I was running 3.2 miles, that extra 1.5 miles takes me about 12 minutes, and includes for 2 hills! It makes me puff and blow like a bastard but that will change within a week or so once I am used to it. In theory anyway.

Weather issues

At the moment the temperature is quite mild, it’s about 6 – 8 degrees in the mornings, which is nice to run in.

The problem is next week there is a slight threat of cold weather, temperatures dropping below zero and…snow! This could hamper the running situation as it did a couple of weeks ago.

Just need to get as many miles in as I can before it comes.

The run

A good run out this morning, managed to run a little bit further than I did on Tuesday with the ’tester run’, and I reckon if I can do at least that 3 times during the week I should be well on target for the 155k.

You can see the route here.

Saturday 18th February 2012 – 5K quickie

Still feeling rough

I wasn’t planning on running too far today. I’ve not been feeling great all week, managed to get out and run a couple of times, but it’s the weekend, and I didn’t want to spend it feeling sorry for myself.

For the last few weeks I have been getting up and pushing myself to the 10 mile barrier, which I happily broke last week.

This weekend however, I stayed in bed and had a lay in.

Back home

I was going to run today though. I had it planned to run.

Wifey and I were heading up to London to watch Phantom of the Opera this evening, the boys were staying with Nanny, so that’s where I was going to run. Back near Mum’s.

I’d got a route in my head, wasn’t sure of the distance, but had it roughly at around a 5K run.

5K quickie

I headed out from Mum’s house, ran down towards my old local pub, The Crown at Roneo Corner, turned left up towards Rush Green, left again at the lights up towards Barking and Dagenham College, past the college and towards the borders of Dagenham.

I managed to swerve Dagenham by about 150 yards by turning left into The Chase Nature Reserve.  I ran around the lakes, past the fishermen sitting there wrapped up under their big umbrellas watching the waves, around the cemetery and past the stables, crossed the bridge over the river and back up to the main road towards Mum’s.

The Chase holds lots of memories for me, I played over there a lot as a kid, I got drunk over there a lot as a teenager. Now I am running through it.

Over all, despite the rain and the wind, it was a nice run, my legs are back to normal now.

The week ahead

So, I  managed to run a quick 5K, good to get out and do a different route too.

Hoping to get back into the swing of things a bit more this coming week, especially after feeling crap last week

Oh and in case you were wondering – Phantom of the Opera was awesome!!

You can see the route and time here.

Sunday 5th February 2012 – it’s snow joke!

Who believes the weatherman?

For the past week now the weather forecasters have been predicted a heavy fall of snow in the south and east of England. Would we get it? How right were they?

Remember Michael Fish in 1987? “contrary to what some people are saying we will not experience any strong winds” I remember watching that and thinking nothing of it. I woke up the next morning and our street was a mess. We’d experienced the strong winds.

Apparently we would start getting snow at around 9pm last night. Well by about 10 past 9 it had started.

They had got it right.

Mad dogs and Englishmen, go running in the midday snow!

After digging the car out this morning at 8 o’clock to go and rescue Wifey, who had gone out the previous night and not made it home due to the heavy snowfall, then coming home and taking the boys sledging, then heading home for hot toast and a cup of steaming hot chocolate, then out into the garden to have a snowball fight and build a snowman, I was itching to go for a run.

I wanted to run in the crisp white snow.

Didn’t quite happen that way though.

You throw like a girl!

The paths, we still covered in snow, it had been walked through, but was still untouched in some places. I started to run, but found it a little slippery and was running like a ballerina. Hmm the roads looked nice and clear now.

I ran on the roads instead.

I got funny looks off of most of the people I passed. I don’t think anyone was expecting to see a bloke in black shorts and a bright yellow running top at that time of day in that weather, and at that pace!

I ran in the road all the way around the route, at one point up ahead of me was a group of people, all ages, from sensible adults to 9-10 year olds, about 8 or 9 of them all talking and larking about. I paid them no attention, kept eyes front and my pace steady…got bloody bombarded with snowballs!! Kids I can understand, but adults?

None of them hit me, is it because my bright yellow top put them off or was I just too darn quick? Or were they just simply crap at throwing?

The run.

The run was a little shorter than the normal 5K route, as part of it was just too snowy to run on. But the pace was quick (not because I was being chased by people hurling snow balls at me), and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Glad I ran in the road and dodged cars rather than run on the pavement and slip and do myself an injury!

You can see the chilly dash route here.

Wednesday 1st February 2012


As you may of noticed, we’ve had a spell of chilly weather of late. It started off frosty and cold, the roads and paths were icy, and white-ness sparkled everywhere.

Then it’s just turned into cold weather without the frost. Which is odd. And very cold.

Can we expect some snow? I hope so.

Colder than a penguin’s under-carriage

Someone sent me a tweet asking if I wore tights whilst running in this weather? I said “no, tights are for women and bank robbers!”

I have since thought about this a little more, and perhaps the sensible option would be to purchase or invest in a pair of lycra running shorts? But to be honest, I just see them as being a bit girlie. I am probably wrong. But for now I will persevere with just a simple pair of shorts, and expose my legs to a brutal chilly battering!

This morning it was -2 degrees C.

My poor legs were still stinging around lunchtime!

The run

To be honest, what is there to say about a run in the freezing cold? My legs suffered the most, and not from aches or pains but from the exposure to the elements. As I said they stung for ages. My own fault. But I am now wearing two top layers, albeit the top layer is short sleeved.

Hmm, should I be wearing gloves too?

In conditions such as they were, and in darkness too, I perhaps should of stayed in bed. The odd ice patch here and there were not welcome surprises, a major slip or accident could of injured me for the long haul.

Not a position I want to be in. But, I enjoy it. I love getting out there and battling the elements. I love that sense of achievement when I have completed the run, no matter how far.

And I don’t think even snow would stop me from going out and running.

You can see my route here.

Saturday 4th February 2012 – the whole 9 miles!

The weekend has landed

I lay in bed last night thinking about what route I would run today. I wanted to break the 10 mile barrier, desperately.

I recalled the 8.42 mile run from a couple of weeks ago. Remember last week? I didn’t run due to wine over indulgence, and if I am honest, I had to test a few of Wifey’s cakes too.

I had an idea of a few extra roads I could incorporate, hopefully it was a mile and a half plus! and it would take me beyond that 10 mile barrier.

No pain, no gain and all that!

Normally my longer run starts out as a bit of a mission, the first mile or so bore me if I am honest. The same route, the same streets, the same houses, occasionally the same dog walkers.

Mile 3-5 are a little more interesting. Mile 4-5 I hit a mental barrier, I struggle a bit, my running style goes a bit wonky, my breathing is all over the show. Mile 5-6 back in the zone and heading home.

This morning was cold, as it has been all week, at least minus 2 or 3, a bit of a brisk wind and dark. I did a lot more stretching than normal, the last thing I wanted was to cramp up or something more serious. This played on my mind a little.

Keep on running

I have learnt that once you get into a decent pace you can pretty much keep on running until your legs fall off. Not quite literally obviously. But if I didn’t finish at my house, or if there was no finish line, I think I could keep running.

Not like Forest Gump. But I think mentally I could run and run. Not sure what  my legs would say to that mind!

The run.

I incorporated the additional parts of the route, I felt good, my legs were stinging (my thoughts frequently moved on to lycra shorts), and finished my run in 1h 23m 10s. A whole minute slower than the run a couple of weeks ago. The difference was that run two weeks ago was only 8.42 miles, this morning was 9.28 miles.

My pace was quicker, the distance was longer. I had done it again. This was the furthest I had ever run. Part of me was very happy, the other half of me was gutted that I hadn’t broken the 10 mile barrier.

Gotta do it next time!

Post run notes

My legs are quite achy, more so than they have been after previous long runs. Not sure if it’s the pace or the weather, or maybe I didn’t warm down properly.

You can see the route here.

Tuesday 31st January 2012

I love Tuesdays

I bounced out of bed this morning. Then almost bounced straight back in, by Jove it was cold.

I had a busy day ahead at work and was determined to get out for a run, especially after having had a rest day yesterday. Plus a run in the morning always puts me in a great frame of mind for work, especially if I have a manic day ahead.

It gives me an enormous sense of achievement especially if I wake up in a bit of a negative frame of mind.

Chilly to say the least

Looking through the patio doors, there was no sign of frost, it didn’t actually look that cold, brilliant. I enjoy running in the cold, but the temperature has dropped quite a bit over the past few days.

I stepped outside, immediately the wind whipped around my legs. “what the f£@k am I doing?” I thought. My excitement about running was almost blown out of me by the wind.

I stuck 2 fingers up at the wind and hit the road.

My run

Running into the wind is never fun or particularly easy. Running into an arctic type wind is harder still. I normally find myself increasing my pace, which I hate to do, but it does keep the blood pumping quicker, and my legs sting a bit. Oh and the cold wind blows into my tear ducts and causes my eyes to leak, cold tears steam around my cheeks, my vision gets blurred. But my legs keep going.

A slightly quicker run then, not surprising. Felt good.

Glad I did it.

Same again tomorrow.

You can see the results of my run here.