My Last Run

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  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    edited January 24
    John, I was there '85-'88 (although I hung around Colchester another year as I had a boyfriend in the year below, and temped at Royal London). It was still very much an army town with no-go pubs, but I tended to stay on campus whenever possible anyway. I only went on one demo march (against student loans...fat lot of good that did eh?) and there was an all night sit-in in the library (I forget what for) but aside from that, I was more interested in smoking hash with my mates. Oh, and I did Philosophy...useless as that was.

    DH, that sounds very tough! I think you should feel proud indeed.

    Hazelnut, perhaps we could all do with a bit of Vitamin D or something.

    Yesterday was a bit of a failure from a running perspective as totally bailed on my long run. I just couldn't face it and felt like I needed to stay indoors and do absolutely nothing (which is exactly what I did). Not sure if it was down to the various stresses of the past week or the shingles (which probably popped out because of said stresses) but I felt bone tired, unmotivated and my throat was a bit scratchy.
    Rather than try and do the long run today, I decided I would just do a short run to see how I felt. Ended up doing 6 miles and it went OK so I guess the rest day helped.
  • Hamster, I think I'd need a weeks rest after that day! I'm intrigued by that Parkrun so will look it up. Sounds like one to avoid!

    Hazel, so another 'Government' graduate then! I also did a Masters in the same discipline (Kent this time), which qualified me for naff-all! And talking of the EU (and this will date me), I was my prof's (Tony King) research assistant  on his book on the referendum.....the 1975 one! How many rest days do you take per week?

    Cal, ah, memories eh? My son did Philosophy at Essex. Sounds as though you've had a tricky couple of days. But you always seem to bounce back.........(Did you run at uni? I didn't.)

    No running for me: intervals on the rower and then a 1.5 hour walk on the Downs with my son's dog. And no wellies this time, Hazel!
  • I've just looked up the hardest Parkruns in UK and interestingly it comes out in the top 10

    https://athleticsweekly.com/featured/fastest-toughest-uk-parkruns-1039930710/

    Also interestingly Aberbeeg is just down the road from my folks and not far which is 3rd fastest. I'm surprised to see Riverfront which is on my doorstep to be down towards 26th... I may have caught tourism bug

    Also my legs still hurt considerably today
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Hamster, I did take a peak at it and it looks formidable!

    It makes the little 3 mile hilly run that I've just done look a bit pathetic - but it didn't feel like that at the time! Looks like you are paying for the madness of the other day; hope it eases soon.
  • You did great on those runs at the weekend DH.  Do take care playing footie - you don't want to get a knock which puts you out of running!  Have a good recovery week.

    I do 1-2 rest days a week at the moment JB.  Usually with some sort of cross training.

    Missing one long run won't hurt Cal.  Likely do you good rather if you were that tired.

    After Monday off (short walk and trundle on the turbo) I did a local undulating loop yesterday afternoon.  Still icy in parts (where the sun hasn't got to it) but the ice is pretty dirty by now so being careful is now quite runnable.  Down the hill was freezing fog, up it was sunshine so not a hard choice of routes really.  Was guided by effort rather than pace but with the hill racing season not so far off I should start putting more effort into the ups at least and also practice moving quicker over rougher ground.  8.7 miles in 1:20.


  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    John, I ran a bit for fitness though I was more interested in lifting weights. Did a bit of Thai Boxing, too. 

    DH, I bet it's a beast! I've done one of the top 10... Squerryes Winery. It's not that hilly (I mean, it's not flat, but I wouldn't call it a hilly parkrun) but it makes up for that with mud. Up until I did Homewood on NYD, it was my personal worst. I'm surprised Queen Elizabeth didn't make the top 20, though, as it's hilly and muddy (my time there was only a few seconds better than Squerryes). I found it tougher than East Grinstead and Lullingstone, though it should be noted I ran both of those in summer, which would make a massive difference.

    Good work Hazel...I am not good on lumpy ground, it has to be said. Not a fan of freezing fog either so I'd have chosen the same.

    I did a gym day yesterday - the elliptical is still broken but they've added a spin bike so I did 20 minutes on that before doing a few leg exercises and deadlifts.

    I did 10 miles this morning - no real issues. Quite enjoyed running today despite it being grey with no sunrise to speak of.
  • Funny enough Hazel there was a choice tackle made and a further few choice words had after it but no harm done. For the most part long runs on Sundays will mean I won't play that often... Good high anaerobic exercise though 

    Apart from inner thighs today everything appears mostly normal so it'll be the weekly club run done easy tonight hopefully. Had an extra rest day although dog got walked some extra to make up for it...

    2 days off seems the sensible approach especially if you incorporate enough easy running during the week. Whilst it might still be icy up on those trails I bet it's still really pretty up there Hazel.

    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Hazel, the 'hill racing season' sounds rather scary to me!

    Hamster, my son plays a lot of 6-a-side and last week a tackle 'did' his ankle. Looks like he'll have to defer his entry to a local HM. Glad that you got off a bit lighter.

    Cal, funnily enough I looked up that S. Winery parkrun the other day. Had visions of a nice chilled white being handed out at the finish! I've done the Queen Elizabeth and it is a real beast. Just the walk up to the start was hard.

    2 x 500m and then 10 x 250m today with a 2 min rest for the 500s and a 30 second rest for the 250s. Quite knackering as done at sub 4 minute km times.

    So today I finally (after 35+ years running) joined a club. Tempted many times but shied away. However this time I joined a newish local club (I've seen them at one or two events). They look friendly, have a bit of a veteran membership........... and I like their vest. This gives me access to local track events via UK athletics membership. Looking forward to meeting the team. (I've often taken a rather perverse pride in being an 'unattached'. Silly really. No-one wants to be a billy-no-mates!)
  • Shame about your son's ankle JB.  I might do longer intervals, but your shorter ones sound pretty beastly too (short recoveries and pacewise).  Good idea to join the club.  I am also tempted to look for a real one on top of my informal group but need to check availability first.  Wouldn't see me track racing though, I don't even know how good the veterans scene is there.

    7 miles yesterday evening - combined with a trip down the hill to do a bigger shop.  We have a good local shop with limited opening hours which we use frequently but I also go elsewhere once a week.  Meant running in the grey fog rather than sunshine unfortunately.  Maybe that was what reduced my motivation - it was more of a tick of the miles run than anything else.  Included 8 x strides. 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Hill reps for me today, as part of a 7 mile run. I made this a later run (10am) so it would be light and I'd be more awake, but it did mean a couple of traffic stops (one before the hills and one after...won't lie, I was grateful for that second stop) as I had to get across some busy roads to get to Theatre Street, the hill in question. And I had about as much fun at the theatre as Abe Lincoln.
    I actually wanted to figure out a good working max HR and while it's been over 190 at some parkruns and races, I only got it as high as 186 today (reps were 178, 181, 183, 185, 186, 186) so I figure that's as good a figure as any. 
    Tomorrow will be a gym day.
  • John, hopefully the injury heals quickly ! Get him to a physio, I so wish I'd done that after mine last year...

    I'm never sure about a running cub, I'm not sure what I'd get out of it. You have to travel to and from a meet, just seems like additional time that I could use running anyhow. I do like a technical t-shirt though...

    Completed a slow 10k yesterday but groin complained after 7/8k. Meant to do some speed work today but swapped to tomorrow to give it an extra day. Will do another easy 10k on the treadmill tonight 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Well done on the hill work Cal.  I am glad I don't have to deal with crossing busy roads very much on my runs though I agree sometimes it is good for a short rest!  Hope you enjoyed the gym.

    Careful with that groin niggle DH.  I have never been a member of an official club, just informal groups.  Maybe Cal can comment better.  I like the social side of being in my group and the friendly rivalry too.

    Tough run yesterday - 9.6 miles on a flat loop - decent warm up then 30 mins at HM pace and a bit quicker and a short cool-down.  I had had quite a heavy lunch and wasn't sure if it would cause issues but fortunately none. Struggled quite a bit on the first mile or so of the fast bit but perservered.  Saw a bloke twice running the same loop the other way around, I would say at a similar pace and making it look fairly easy.  Well, it was a bloke and certainly younger..   
  • Some speed session complete to round off my week. Muscles all held up thankfully ! 

    3x 4.20k/m for 5mins, 3mins recovery
    6x 4.00k/m for 30s, 1 min recovery

    Blocked either side with 15 mins WU/CD resulted in a sub 50m 10k so pleased with that. That was hard though and did have to walk the last recovery but in my defense the set was uphill...

    Bloke or not Hazel I've seen your paces and distances and they are enough to but most blokes to shame, inc me...
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Good sessions from everyone else! For some reason I've given myself 2 days off, although today cycled up a short, sharp hill. Local Parkrun tomorrow - but the wind is brewing up so means a tough run.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited January 29
    A good day at the office for me. The wind was brisk but nowhere near as bad as it could have been. 20.59 was about par (AG 81.41%) and although my son beat me by a second or two (curses!), I edged out a guy who I've never beaten before and won my age cat. (In fairness, he's coming back from injury.) Also beat the all MV 60s, 55s and came 2nd to a young kid in the MV50 cat.

    BUT, this is as nothing compared with 2 young lasses (11-14 and twins) who lined up right at the front whereupon a know-all (me as it happened) remarked that they looked rather vulnerable. They then glided to sub 19 times, AGs in the mid 80%s and top ten finishes in a field of 400!

    How good will they be in a few years time?!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    It's always humbling to get your arse kicked by kids, eh John? Well done on that time, though.

    Today's offering was Barclay parkrun, which is north of London. I chose this one as it wasn't too hard to get to (tube up to Tottenham and then a short train journey that is covered by my Oyster card even though it's outside London...then a very pleasant one mile walk, half of which was along a canal. Saw two cormorants and a little egret). The other draw was that its winter course is all on hard path, which I fancied after weeks of scrambling about on dirt, mud and grass.
    The downside is that the winter course is a super-lapper - four laps of the park (which includes a long, if not steep climb, and then a slightly steeper descent) followed by two laps of a small lake. I probably wouldn't have done a hill sprint session two days ago had I known about the climb, but never mind.
    Time was a rather underwhelming 29:01 - looking at my Garmin map, the slowest bit was the downhill which I came down rather cautiously as I was wearing my Zoom Flys. The most disappointing part of that was I need a :00 or a :03 for my parkrun bingo, both of which I missed.
    The time itself wasn't good but if I compare it to Clair parkrun, a hilly four lapper I did at the beginning of 2020 before all the injury and health issues, and around the time I set 10K and HM PBs, it's not so bad as I did 28:09 there. Clair does have a bit more climb but they're fairly comparable.

  • That was a tough session DH - well done - certainly with that hill on top!  I think you earned a walk recovery.

    Nice family rivalry JB.  And another great set of results.  Speedy lassies those.  Would be nice if they do running as a sport and don't lose interest which could well happen at that age.  

    I guess it is hard to compare the various courses Cal.  Lots of laps for a parkrun - did you get stuck in traffic at all?  Must be hard to hit an exact time for the bingo.  You were close though.  Maybe practice the downhills a bit - I read brain off, brakes off somewhere but it is hard to do and as you say the wrong shoes can make it even harder.  

    5 miles recovery yesterday evening.  Had been neglecting other chores a bit for running purposes this week so got some stuff done and had to go out in the dark.  Actually quite peaceful doing laps of the village in the dark.  I had to run past someone's cooking dinner twice - smelt prettty good.

    15 miles today - down the hill, along a bit and back up again with a bit added on.  I was still a bit tired from Thursday's run so kept pace/effort sensible.  The tired bits from Thursday's tempo run didn't mind the hills actually - some 450m of ascent in total.  I added an extra hill in as I wanted to make up the distance to 15 and didn't want to do an annoying little loop somewhere.  A bit of a beast which I could just about shuffle up in my by then tired but still determind state.  I did nick a strava crown though - only 3 ladies had registered that segment but the one below me is a multiple junior orienteering world champion.  Maybe she had to read a map at the time.  
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I wish I could use that as an excuse, Hazel, but Barclay is one of those lovely parkruns that attracts less than 100 people. I was just crap.  :D

    Well done on your 15 and your crown! I do have a few crowns left but they're all segments I created myself.  :D

    After last Sunday's duvet day, I was determined to get a 20 done, and I did. I did a similar route to last time but with an extra bit...ran down to Battersea, across Chelsea Bridge, down all three miles of the King's Road, back across Putney Bridge, along the river back to Battersea, then back for another pass down the King's Road. Instead of taking the river path back to Battersea again, though, I cut through Wandsworth and went home via the common.
    I decided to push the pace a bit along the King's Road (not to MP or anything, but from slow 11+ miles to 10-10:40), had a two mile breather while I had a gel and recovered, then pushed a bit again down the river, had another 2 mile breather and then went a little faster on my second trip down the King's Road.
    After that I was pretty tired so the last five miles were a bit of a slog but I go them done. The entire run took just under 3 hours 40 which goes against convention, but I've run my best marathons after doing three or four runs of 20 miles or more, so convention can naff off. 
  • Cal, I've done the Clair Parkrun and - excuse my language - Clair is a bitch. Horrible short sharp hills. Well done for having a crack at one nearly as nasty. And then a 20 miler today? Unthinkable for me, so all respect to you.

    Hazel, 450 metres of ascent? That sounds tough. (Surprised you didn't pop in as an uninvited dinners guest of you evening run!)

    Well, a unusual run today form your flat-track bully correspondent. My (younger. fitter) training partner has talked himself into doing a HM called The Steyning Stinger. It's off-road, across the south downs and locally known as one of the toughest events around. He doesn't yet own any trail shoes, only runs twice a week on pan flat surfaces and never goes over 10k. But he has some pace (sub 19 5k) and a few years ago did an urban marathon in just over 3.5 hours. So he has talent and a track record.

    As the event is on March 6th I suggested that he should get his finger out and get off road and that's what we did this morning: an 8 (me) and 10 (him) mile run onto the downs but on hills that are not quite the real thing. He was fine, but my goodness I found it hard. Lovely views though.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    That sounds "fun" John - are you entering too?
  • Cal's 20 miles is inspirational and I'm really tempted to have a crack at 30k this weekend but would really have to slow the pace down to make it around. 22k was ok so adding an additional 8 should be doable... Maybe

    Hazel 450m of up and down collectively or all uphill ? 450m of uphill is basically a 3rd of my total for a month ! 

    Back to my local Tredegar Park Parkrun Saturday but it was fairly muddy around the lake. I felt like I was running on ice. I don't like to wear my newer shoes on that PR and my old shifts are rather smooth on the base...

    Also a 17.5km Sunday morning up and down a pleasant path. Lots of trees and small waterfalls to look at.

    Rest day today after 5 in a row and back at it tomorrow
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited January 31
    Cal, I think we might have divergent views on what constitutes fun! 

    Dh, Tredegar Park I remember I think. Has it got some sort of big posh house in it? That sounds like a very long path. (Do you ever go running in the hills above Risca? I think it used to be called Little Switzerland, but not Proper Switzerland like Hazel runs in.)

    Miserable day for me. Dentist: lots of serious work needed to save some teeth. X-rays were certificate 18.
    (Bone loss, not decay. Smokers are very prone to it apparently. But I've never smoked.)
  • John, Yes that's the one... Always running in through Risca or around Risca. Canal I run goes from Rogerstone, Risca, Cross keys & Cwncarn - my normal HM route but they've shut part of it for relining sadly

    That 'path' is at the top end of Risca and Twmbarlwm mountain is probably what you're referring too. I plan on running around that from my house this year as well as Machen where me and the dog walk most days
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • How's the dental work today john ? Sounds horrific tbh
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    edited February 1
    I hope the dentist isn't too traumatic, John, although I expect it'll be expensive. Couple of years back I ended up having to cough up best part of a grand after I broke a tooth on a popcorn kernel and needed a crown (plus a filling in the tooth above it). 

    DH, I have no idea how you pronounce Twmbarlwm...:lol:

    I felt pretty wiped out yesterday...did go to the gym and did an easy 30 minutes on the bike but then had no energy for lifting, even though I was intending to do upper body stuff. I guess running for 3 hours 40 tends to hit you on a systemic level as well as a muscular one. So today I did a ridiculously slow recovery run, based on heart rate (given I have the heart of a small mammal, trying to keep it below 140 is monstrously hard). It did go over but I managed to average under 140 at least, though I was reduced to jogging at a pace I can actually walk at, which seemed to me quite daft. Anyway, hopefully I will now be nice and recovered for my run tomorrow.
  • Bet that downs run was lovely JB.  Dental work really doesn't sound good and as Cal says expensive.

    It was 450m of ascent in total DH.  Sounds like you had quite a pitoresque run too.   A jump from 22k to 30 in one go would be quite a lot.  Slow with the odd walking break (fuel) likely doable though.  The Welsh names make me smile too, can you speak Welsh?

    Well done on getting to the gym after that long run Cal.  I can imagine that recovery run was very tedious at that pace/ HR. 

    Rare two days off running for me - cycled 25 miles on Sunday as weather was ok for it, and a short walk / turbo combination on Monday.  Back to running yesterday - 6.5 miles with a running buddy.  We set off earlier than normal to avoid the forecasted winds/snow but did get caught in the last 10 mins of our run so we sped up a bit.  Running buddy is doing a running coach course soon so plenty of talk about that.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I'm glad we don't have snow here...well done for getting out. A buddy would definitely help, I think.

    It's actually super mild today - I went out at 6am and only needed a T-shirt (I still wore the long leggings though as I like to keep the potentially niggly bits nice and warm). Got 11 miles done, pretty slowly, but the legs felt OK and energy levels were good so I guess the recovery run helped.

  • dangeroushamsterdangeroushamster ✭✭✭
    edited February 2
    Cal, I'm not quite sure myself to be honest ! Something like tum-bar-lem... Close enough

    Hazel, Wish I did speak Welsh but sadly by 5 year old is showing me up these days :) 

    Me and doggo went up a hill for some off lead training. Sir howey valley far left, Twmbarlem just left of the post and Risca over his head :) 



    It is also very mild today in the south ! Should make the 10k later pleasanter with the local running group...
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited February 2
    DH, I walked around that Risca trail once but I wasn't running then. I remember it as a tough trek. Love your dog!!

    Hazel, what sort of bike have you got? I'm guessing a hybrid as you probably do a mix of on and off-road and up some pretty steep hills. I can't imagine you ever getting an e-bike. For me that would signal surrender!

    Cal, It's no wonder you weren't up for a hard-core gym session. Parkrun this weekend? If so, (another) new one? 

    So - my first ever group run yesterday evening with my and new and (first ever) club, rather grandly called the Run Academy. I chose it because it's not got the cream of local runners (we have a decent 'Harriers' club in town) and they seem quite friendly.
    I was put into the faster of the two sub-groups. We did a proper warm-up and drills (which I've never really done before!) and then 'only 20 minutes' of actual running. I thought this might be a bit soft. It wasn't.

    Within my sub group there were some fastish (and obviously younger) runners and they sort of set the standard.
    We did 2x10 minute blocks of 400 m flat out followed by 200m jogs. There was only about a minute of rest. By the start of 2nd block I was gasping a bit (not used to this format) and by the end of it I was knackered.  (I'd already made the mistake of a brisk run to get the the meet-up.)

    This taught me one thing: virtually all my solo training (and that comprises 95% f my running career) has been too soft - eg there were times last tonight when had I been on my own I would have given up, but the peer pressure kept me going. And the fact that I am old enough to be their dad really kept me going.

    So I'm going to stick at it. Indeed, tomorrow night is 'hill night'. One of the young guys said as I left, 'you'll like that' - and he had a bit of a wicked glint in his eye!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    What a sweet face your doggo has, DH. 
    Fab, John...maybe I should get out and run with my club more, only I don't much like evenings. Might be able to persuade myself to do the odd session in the summer, though, when it's light.
    I've got Swanley pencilled in...it's a fairly recent one (event 15) and just outside London, but easily accessible for me from Victoria. I'm going with a clubmate so it should be fun. Though she'll probably win while I'll trundle in somewhere around the half hour mark.
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