My Last Run

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  • Yep, it's a bit cold out isn't it? I found it affected my breathing a bit today. First few miles were a bit burnt on the throat. A rest yesterday, so hit the usual longy trail for a medium run of 10 miles. I like that I can now say that 10 miles is a medium distance. A bit of a mix of paces, between 9:20 and 10:15 m/m, slower in the stickier parts. A few birds about though, looking to keep their food levels up. Jays, Robins, a flock of Fieldfare and some cute Long Tailed Tits. Also, a Munjac Deer, that initially looked like it was a dog belonging to a walker - very unperturbed by our presence. 

    I tried the caffeine bullets again, at 3 and 7 miles, and think I like them. They seemed to give me a boost and good bit of mental sharpness, that meant I was able to concentrate on keeping my form in order. I was also able to do the last 2 miles a bit quicker than the middle part, so may stick with them. 10.05 miles in 98 minutes - happy with that.

    One little tip you might try. I've been wearing my good hiking socks for cold runs and love the comfort and warmth. May not be for you, but I like a thick sock generally to run in and they seem to be keeping my battered toes from falling apart too.
    I run, therefore I am.
  • A horrid run this morning. I was always going to be doing a recovery run, but some very slippery bits forced me to lower my pace a lot more than intended (I averaged 11:43 min/mi for this run). The pavement outside my house seemed fine but there were a lot of other surfaces that were not, and in the dark spots between the street lights it wasn't easy to see the icy bits so I had to slow right down. After five miles of that I'd had enough and so headed home for brekky.
  • Sounds like fun, Cal :) Glad you stayed on your feet. A thin layer of snow here but most of the paths in the cemetery were clear, with only the odd patch of ice. Just 5K for me, in 28 mins, which cleared the slight stiffness in my legs. Enjoyed the sun shining off the snow and ice and had two bonus spots of Green Woodpecker and Mistle Thrush. Feel like I'm back on plan now.
    I run, therefore I am.
  • Nice early long run Cal.  Wish I could do that.  Well done for staying upright this morning and I wouldn't worry about pace in those conditions for sure.

    And a good 10 miler by Will too.  The prospect of 10 miles used to fill me with dread but after several rounds of mara training it feels pretty normal to do a run of that length (some days are harder than others obviously).
    Nice wildlife spots (today also)

    I am generally fine with normal running socks in winter, I just use longer ones than in summer so that I don't get cold ankles.  I think my running shoes would be too small if I used my hiking socks in them (the thinner ones might work though).

    Yesterday's group outing was very icy in parts and our pace was quite a bit down as well due to not clearly seeing the dodgy spots in the dark.  The bridges and side roads where the snow had melted and the resultant water was freezing over were particularly treacherous.  No slips or falls fortunately.  Quads went to concrete up the hills.   
  • Another 6 miles late afternoon once the wind had dropped.  Still pretty icy but it being daylight I could see where to tread carefully.   Found a smooth and ice free bit of tarmac for 8 x strides.  Did those quite well, found it helped not to jog into them but to stop and then walk the first 1-2 steps and then build the speed smoothly.

    Rest of the run was a bit quicker than intended, I am trying to pick up my feet a bit better and it automatically makes me run faster.  Need to be cautious about making changes to my gait though. 
  • JD1JD1 ✭✭✭
    Looks like you're back on track,Will.I know lots of runners like a caffeine boost before a run,I haven't tried it yet, always worried about getting stomach cramps.

    You're putting in good miles,Hazelnut.I enjoy a 10 mile run,usually try and do them at tempo pace.

    Just an easy 5.03 miles this morning.Resting up tomorrow,then racing Saturday .
  • Good luck for your race on Saturday JD.  What are you running and do you have a particular goal?

    I certainly can't go out on an early run (when I do them) without a double espresso.  (+ banana and a mug of tea).  No stomach problems with that, I think with the caffeine gels it is the combination with the sugars that don't agree with me.  

    Today I wasn't sure what sort of running I would be doing on setting out as we had had some more centimetres of snow overnight which didn't look like it was going anywhere.  Trudged around the field tracks for about 3 and a half miles - slow pace due to the heavy going, inserting a few cautious drills.  Then as I had hoped the snow plough had cleared the snow off the minor road I often use for speed work so I got stuck into 10 x 600m off 1:40 recoveries.  As usual the first one was a shock to the system but as of number three I had settled down quite nicely and got through the whole lot ok.  Paces are not as good as I would like them to be - ranging from between 2:33 and 2:42 and according to the pace tables I should be able to do 2:27s but I'm happy enough with the results as 10 of anything seem a bit daunting on setting off.  Another mile to cool down.
  • JD1JD1 ✭✭✭
    That's good going, Hazelnut,considering the heavy snow you have there.
    I'm racing in the final meeting of the North Wales Cross Country league.Think there's six clubs competing Saturday.It's a tough course and no doubt it'll be very muddy. There's some very good runners, so my expectations aren't very high,I'm just there to make up the numbers.But on a good note there's plenty of homemade cake and hot coffee after the race.
  • Nice speed reps, Hazelnut. Are you getting lots of snow yet? The UK is coming to a standstill with at least 2cm!!

    Good luck with the XC, JD. Sounds like fun and I'm sure the snow will add to the experience.

    Cold here in Norfolk but only a sprinkling of the white stuff. It was -2 when I did a 5.5 miler on Thursday night. 3 layers + a gilet were needed, but on the positive side, it was so cold I ran quite quickly, so a worthwhile sesh!

    Rest day Friday and then I took my Dad out training this morning, to prepare for his race debut at the end of March in a trail 10K. We had only planned to do 5 miles, but as things were going nicely we did the full 6.2, my Dad's longest run to date, in 1 hr 4 mins. Some precarious ice patches slowed us down and I'm confident we'll get under an hour on the day. Not bad for a 74 year old. Just hope I'm that fit in 30 year's time!
    I run, therefore I am.
  • I was feeling a bit under the weather the past two days. Thursday was a rest day anyway but I was supposed to run yesterday; however, feeling a bit run down and with a grumpy achilles, I decided not to brave the dreadful weather.
    Today was better and I ended up at Roundshaw Downs parkrun (it should have been Foots Cray but that was cancelled). This one was basically a cross country course - a bit undulating, still quite snowy and also rather muddy in places. Well, very muddy in places. My trail shoes coped with the snow but not so well with the mud (spikes would have been better, but I don't have any) so I had to slow a lot in places and came in at 28:10. However, this underwhelming time was still good enough for my highest ever gender placing - 4th - and despite everything, I really rather enjoyed the course.\

    Well done to your dad, Will - that's excellent.

    And I hope you did well today, JD.
  • That is a great placing Cal and even better if you enjoyed it. 

    Definitely well done to MrC senior, Will.  Well done for getting out in that cold.

    Hope the XC went ahead JD and you had a good outing. 

    I CBAed yesterday as it weas pretty nasty out with rain all day into several centimetres of snow and then a bit more of the white stuff on top.  Would have been a recovery anyway so no harm done.

    Today's conditions weren't any better on the ground at least and from above the rain/snow was replaced by fog.  Told myself to get on with it and got out for 11 and a bit miles.  Added a few ups and downs and had long stretches of of the slippy stuff underfoot so ragged pacing but that doesn't matter.  Couple of minor slips but no falls.  Kicked myself in the achilles 2-3 times which bloody hurt.  Had the wrong trail shoes on, the Bushidos are more suited to rocky stuff and didn't have enough grip.
  • A great effort in tough conditions, Hazelnut. I committed to an 18 miler this morning and was up and out by 6am, after a late night out with Mrs Will. The ice, however,  had other ideas. After less than a mile of slipping about and trying in vain to find some traction I decided it would be better back in bed rather than in A and E! Mission aborted and will have to get the miles into the plan somehow during the week.
    I run, therefore I am.
  • Bad luck after you made the effort to get up Will.  Can you shunt in a longish run durin the week somewhere? 10-13 maybe?

    A 5 miler in more of the wet soggy stuff this afternoon with OH.  Much slower than recovery pace but it felt harder than a recovery effort.  Really hope the nasty mess melts properly in the next couple of days.  We did at least "run" a route I am not familiar with, near to where OH used to work which was nice.

    Finally making some race plans for the next few months. (10k - HM)  Once I have that set up I can plan some good training.
  • I have half marathons on the next two weekends and in an ideal world I've have knocked out a 20 today, but a) I wasn't feeling great again and b) I delayed my run until lunchtime to give the ice chance to melt, so I had to make do with a 12.
    The blue skies were nice, but the sun was a bit of a pain as it's low in the sky and in my eyes a lot.
    I hope I feel better by next weekend. I'm not really ill, just not really well either.
  • JD1JD1 ✭✭✭

    Will - unlucky with the aborted 18 miler,very frustrating.Your Dad did fantastic,hope I'm still running at that age.

    Good milage in tricky conditions,Hazelnut.

    Cal,hope you're feeling better,Im sure you'll pick those extra miles up in the week.

    XC yesterday afternoon,it was only 5.5 miles but one of the hardest races I've competed in.The mud was the enemy!My trail shoes were next to useless,just sliding all over the place.Still felt drained when I got up,so I ditched the run and took the dogs out first thing.Back to it tomorrow.



  • I guess you needed spikes JD.  Hope you have had a nice rest day.

    Conditions here have improved quite a bit between yesterday and this afternoon, the slush was pretty much frozen through. I find that much easier to run on as it generally stays put when you step on it and has a rough surface.  Ruts, deep footprints and the like need caution though.

    I found a mostly ice free loop anyway, so set about a warm up of around 4 miles with 4 x strides, then did one mile as close to 10k PB pace as I could then another 2 miles to cool down.  Was 3 seconds / km off the pace but I'll blame a couple of corners and a couple of patches of the cold stuff.  Felt very hard though, don't know how I did another 5 miles on top in September at that pace.
  • JD1JD1 ✭✭✭

    Hazelnut,I definitely needed spikes.Looking forward to my HM in a couple of weeks.

    It's strange when you train at a certain pace and think how can I keep this up during a race,but you manage to do it.

    8.09 miles this afternoon.Legs felt a bit tired,so kept it nice and easy.

  • A bit warmer here this evening and got out for 5.5 steady miles. This stage of my mara training is feeling a bit relentless. My mate warned me there would be dark times! I just got the miles done tonight.
    I run, therefore I am.
  • JD, not surprised. My trail shoes didn't cut it on the muddy parts of Roundshaw Downs parkrun on Saturday either. I hear good things about Innov-8 Mudclaws, though, if you want an alternative to spikes.

    Hazelnut/JD - even 10 min/mi feels like work to me (I averaged 9:31 in my PB marathon). Christ knows how I'm going to stay under 9 min/mi for 13.1 miles next weekend. (Incidentally, looking at the course for the Olympic Park half, I think it's too twisty for a PB, so unless I'm feeling unbelievably awesome on the day, I'll probably use it as a bit of a warm-up for Hampton Court the following weekend).

    Will, yes...some weeks become a bit of a slog. I like to break it up with a few races.

    10 miles today. Felt much milder - didn't need my hat and took my gloves off after 4 miles. Saw one fox, who jumped over a wall, saw me and jumped back again.
  • An unexpected day off today so, after having had enough last night, I went straight out this morning for 5 miles round the cemetery! A few aches and pains but pushing through and enjoyed the sunshine and birds this morning. Now for a nap :)
    I run, therefore I am.
  • My foot issues appear to have cleared up after taking a week off at the end of the month and February has got off to a great start compared to January following a successful Portsmouth Coastal Half on Sunday in 2.08 despite the standard awkward terrain and even the road sections too which had iced over in places. I followed it up with a really good long run today, I went out for around nine miles but I felt so good as I got in my groove that I just kept going for sixteen miles and still had miles in the tank when I finished so it was easily my best run of the year so far. Now I can hopefully get some consistency and keep up the good form as we head into Spring.
  • JD1JD1 ✭✭✭

    Cal - had a look at the Olympic Park HM course,like you said it's very twisty.Never been to the park,is it a mixture of paths and roads?

    PompeyMatt - good to see you back in the groove,great HM time.

    9.05 miles this afternoon, 4.5 @ tempo and another 3.5 @ tempo,felt really good.

  • Glad to hear you're back on track PompeyMatt. 

    Good miles, JD1 .

    I decided to do a daily double and so was back out last night for 5.5 miles, which helped me claw back a few miles I missed from Sunday's abandoned LSR. Funnily enough , the 2nd run felt easier than the first and I was a whole second faster per mile overall for it!
    I run, therefore I am.
  • A warm up HM might be an idea Cal, running hard at both would be tough.  You could try running the first one progressively - finishing off with a few miles at your HM target pace.  Don't know how disciplined you are not to set off too fast. 

    Nice to have an unplanned day off like that Will.  The birds are getting a bit more active here the last few days.

    Good news on the foot Matt and a great HM and long run double. 

    Nice tempoing JD.

    Standard Tuesday outing for me yesterday.  A more or less novice runner came out with us for I think the third time so we kept the pace down to manageable for him.  He did well to jog up all of the hills. 
  • JD, I've only been once, to ride the big slide on the Orbit. I'm assuming paths and roads, yes. I think we'll run a bit of the Velo track as well, which is bumpy.

    Hazelnut - I've done back to backs three times now. Twice, I've PB'd the first one and then beaten it a week later. The other time was late Autumn when I was almost certainly tired from a lot of races and I got close to the PB in the first but then nowhere near it in the second, but that was Thames Meander which is off-road and I've never managed to get a good time there.
    Anyway, at the moment it's more that I'm a but ring rusty. Aside from my club's track 5K, I've not raced since Chester. I usually do a 10K in January but didn't bother this year. The only speed work I've done is parkrun so HMP will likely seem fast. I think I'm just going to try and get a sub-2 in the first and then try for a PB at Hampton Court if I feel up to it. If I don't, then there's The Big Half in March.
    Logged another 10er today so I've not exactly tapered... :D
  • Will do you good to pin a number on again in that case Cal.

    4 miles recovery for me yesterday afternoon.  We had had freezing fog at varying heights above the ground all day and every twig was coated in very fine ice needles.  Very pretty.  Saw 2 deer again.  Felt a bit breathy for the pace I was doing but I probably shouldn't have eaten an enormous banana before going out.
  • Hope your Half goes well, Cal. Like you I haven't really been doing any speed work as have been trying to just get the miles done, so I'm not sure how my Half will go next weekend. It's on my LSR training trail, which is nice and flat. I did 2:00:55 last year so hope to go sub-2. Like you say, I think it will be good to get a race number on again as I haven't since December. 

    The ice has gone from here now, Hazelnut,  and been replaced today by thousands of purple crocuses in the cemetery -  lovely.

    I have been slogging through the week and have managed to notch up 32 miles despite having to ditch my LSR. 4 miles at a decent pace last night was uneventful, apart from a lazy swine cruising up the big hill on an electric bicycle. Got back in time to catch up on Silent Witness with Mrs C and then headed out again this morning for a slow Slog of 6 miles. I am finding this stage of mara prep tough, but rewardingly so. Legs are feeling solid but will now take a rest day or possibly two before making sure I nail 18-20 miles on Sunday.
    I run, therefore I am.
  • I hope you're doing cutback weeks, Will. Most plans suggest every fourth week but I find I need one every three, personally. However, once race season starts it throws everything out anyway.
    7 wet and windy miles this morning. Quite mild, but the wind was hard to run into. Did 6 miles at easy/recovery pace then threw some strides into the last mile.
  • Yes, I have got cutback weeks in there, Cal, one of which is next week involving the Half (lol)!
    I run, therefore I am.
  • Good luck with your longie at the weekend Will.

    Agree on the cut back weeks.

    An unmotivated 8 and a bit miles yesterday afternoon - had planned to do some speedwork but neither mind nor body were in the mood.  I have been struggling with the mojo a bit this week.  Off later for a weekend XC skiing with a few people from my Tuesday running group which will be a nice break.  Will hopefully find some fresh motivation to get stuck into a plan for a HM mid-May as of next week. 
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