My Last Run

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  • Hello,
    Lastest run, 5k steady state run around Arsenal stadium 18:55. Pulled out to get under 19 for the last mile. The stadium is a good alternative to a track. Its flat and smooth and has mile and km marks. Will do this once a month up to the summer until I feel confidident to parkrun. My local is Finsbury park which has a long drag and a short but steep incline and my fastest there is 18:42 over 10 years ago. Last time I did 20:00 in 2018.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Welcome Stephen. No reason not to parkrun now...lots of people slower than that...lots of people (like me) who have lost a lot of speed over the last year or two.
    18:42 is a phenomenal time at Finsbury. I was over 27 when I ran it, though that was three or four years back.
  • Stephen, well done and welcome. I never got under the 20.00 mark.
  • Good parkrunning Cal and JB.  Nice support from your clubmate Cal.  

    We are lucky to have a cellar for the bikes JB.  Need to have a clear out though.  

    Welcome Stephen - tidy time for your 5k.  Doesn't sound like you are far off your best times, maybe some hillwork to mimic those inclines for Finsbury?

    Mixed bag for me this weekend.  Back to my flat river loop yesterday for an attempt at a hard 8k (also known as 5 miles in old money).  Decent enough warm-up on the loop - bit over 4 miles steady with a few strides towards the end, then into the hard stuff.  Not far after the start of that you have to run up a slight incline and over a bridge (sorry walkers who had to move out of the way whilst perusing a footpath signpost), then back down a similar decline on the other side.  Don't know why I thought it was a good idea but I booted it down that and blew up.  Result was a 5 minute sit down on a bit of grass thinking about life, running and maybe taking up advanced knitting (I'm not great at basic really).  Rather than slinking the rest back though I set off again at comfy hard and managed to pick the pace up again.  Not all lost therefore.  My own fault for the bad pacing. 10.4 miles

    Also went cycling yesterday afternoon - it was a nice one - so was fairly tired this morning.  I decided to get out earlier than later as we are forecasted a storm so set off after a small breakfast only.  Seems quite a few people had similar plans of going out in the morning - lots of walkers with and without four legged companions.  One Bernhadiner mix decided I would make a great play thing - I had to walk with him to his owner as he really was too big for jumping around.  Running itself was actually quite nice - I managed to relax and trot along by feel rather than fuss about paces for once.  Overall that came out at my standard long run pace so decent enough.  Some of the gusts were already pretty strong but I decided not to fuss about that either and just keep going.  11.8 miles.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Nice one Hazel. Tom Daley knits...so you'd be in good company.
    I did not fancy the weather at all yesterday...I'd put up with it for a shorter run, but not for the 20 miler I had planned. So I went to the gym and did an hour on the spin bike (and a few half hearted glute/ham exercises, since by that point I was tired and soaked in sweat).
    So of course, that meant I had to do it today. Went as early as I could (around 5.15am) to minimise traffic and got lucky with a few road crossings. I did a similar route (King's Road/river) to last week but as I'd gone earlier, I hadn't realised Wandsworth Park has no lighting at all, so I had to slow down a fair bit as I couldn't see much at all. Nearly tripped on a stick and then scared another woman who was taking a photo of the river with her phone.
    It was lighter when I got to the bit with the church, so no worries about tripping over the coffee van cable. Unfortunately I had a bladder malfunction (as in my hydration bladder...not my actual bladder) but didn't realise until I got home and noticed my leggings and the bottom of my top were soaking wet. Ugh. I also have a nice red stripe across my chest...not sure if that was my HRM strap or my sports bra, but it's pretty sore either way.
    As for the HRM, readings seemed rather erratic, so not sure what was going on there. Perhaps it was a bit looser than usual which was why I got chaffing. I felt normal so pretty sure it was the monitor rather than my heart. Eh, technology!
  • dangeroushamsterdangeroushamster ✭✭✭
    edited February 7
    Welcome Stephen ! Parkrun ain't no race, there are people there twice as slow as that every week. I've never even travelled that fast !!! 

    Had a mixed, on the poor side, bag last week. Thursday took the dog up some steep muddy paths, he loved it, I however tweaked my calf. I thought I'd done real damage and didn't run that day but was all gone next morning. Must have been cramp of some sort... I am very relieved as it bloody hurt

    Either way next day Parkrun @Penallta with my fastest 5k to date at 21.28

    Penallta is mainly on path with a gravel around the pond section. Some gentle hills, certainly not as flat as advertised ! Still a really good atmosphere with some music at the start and finally a 64% age grade ! Next stop 70%

    After not running the day before I felt like I needed to put some effort it but that effected my 'long' run yesterday. It was a struggle and ended up cutting it early at only 13k as what was a slow pace as well. Ran through Tredegar park though and its so different without the Parkrun tribe !



    Debating sticking to the rest day or bashing out a set of strides... 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    That looks like a lovely place to run, DH. Glad the calf wasn't serious. I've torn a calf before...7 weeks out. I don't recommend it.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited February 7
    Hamster, lovely photo. Well done on crossing the 64% AG line. Now here's a tip on improving that age grade beyond the 70% without the bother of getting any faster: just keep up that Parkrun time until you are about 69 and it'll be an 80%!  Calves can be buggers; glad it's not serious.

    Cal and Hazel, both of you had eventful runs, although not necessarily in a good way. You both have bags of 'runner's resilience'. Well done to both of you. (You can tell I was a teacher in my former life - and not a 'could do better' in sight!)

    I didn't get my usual Sunday run in yesterday as I had the pleasure of undergoing an endoscopy at the hospital. Given that the weather was foul it was a close run (no pun intended) thing as to which of the two experiences would have been the more uncomfortable, but on balance I would have opted for the run. But hats-off to the NHS for calling me (and their hardworking staff!) in on a Sunday morning.

    Might venture out this evening although I feel a tad rough. Tomorrow is club training evening and I want to show that I'm serious and committed.
  • Thank all, never done my calf thankfully...

    Good plan than John ! Not that far away either... Hope all is ok and nothing serious 

    Opted to do the strides but didn't go all out. Really easy either side and didn't push them either as a half way house between doing them and not bothering.
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I hope that wasn't too awful, John...definitely time to rest-up.
  • Fine now, thanks. So fine that I did the club session. This was interesting, as it wasn't the session I was expecting. I was with the faster runners and the coach gave us a 20 minute block of 500 metres flat out with a jogging recovery of about 30 seconds. Meanwhile there was a slower group using part of the same course. So we had the young guns blasting away at the front of my lot (they mustn't lap me!), the slightly slower runners in my lot (they mustn't catch me!) and then other slower group sharing the space (I must lap them!). 
    The net effect effect was that when the 20 minutes finished I felt a bit sick. (Note to self, don't eat within 2 hours of a club session.)
    I'm beginning to know names now and everyone ids very friendly. Found out that one of the young guns runs for Scotland in mountain races. Not sure what he was doing at the other end of the country running at sea level on the flatest surface imaginable.
    Short bike ride today.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I'd be sick, too, if I ate within 2 hours. I can get away with three and a half hours if it's something light and carby. 

    Only managed five miles today. I was hoping for double figures but apparently I need more than two days to recover from a 20 because my legs felt so rubbery I could barely control them. All things considered, I did well to get the five done.
    Hospital tomorrow to get fitted for the holster monitor thing so not sure if I'll fit a run in before that or not. Guess it depends what time I wake up.
  • Good to hear nothing major John. 2 hours is about my limit although I prefer not eating anything big at all, my stomach churns...

    I like the idea of having people to catch and being chased, nice impetus to keep going ! Should practice some of these shorter sessions at Parkruns...

    After 6 days on the trot rest day finally for me. Local run yesterday but only 2 of us. Problem is the other person is much faster than me so 10k at his pace was a real effort to finish off this block ! 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Enjoy your rest, DH. Yesterday I had to go to the hospital to get the holster monitor fitted (it's a portable ECG, bascially) and didn't have time for a run beforehand. So I did an easy 5 miles this morning. Felt easy, anyway, though my watch made my HR quite high for the pace I was going (11s). I hope it's just the watch (wasn't wearing the strap as I already had three electrodes stuck to my chest) as I'm hoping I don't scare the doctors and get told to stop running. That would be bad.
    I'll be walking back to the hospital in a while to give it back.
  • DH and Cal - parkruns today? Cal - hope the HR settled down.

    Bitterly cold and strong wind whipping off the channel here made for a very tough 'out' section. Quite a few of the stronger local runners were saving themselves for a couple of club events over the weekend so the quality of the field wasn't great. 21.25 for me - about right in those conditions and good enough to beat the VM65s, 60s and 55s.
    Mrs JB dipped under 35 which in those conditions was a very good run and just under the 60% age grade mark.
  • Well it's a good job I wasn't wearing the monitor today, as my HR was in the high 180s for parkrun. Did South Oxhey (a very small parkrun up near Watford, which takes place in a big, sloping field with a lot of molehills). Did a mile warm-up as per usual, then the parkrun itself. A rather uninspiring 29:07, but on this kind of surface and terrain, that's par for the course at the moment. As there were only 44 runners, 13 of them women, that was good enough for 19th overall and fourth female. Still, I have no idea what's happened to my speed...it's just not coming back in the way I'd expect it to.
    Guess we'll see at the Winter 10K tomorrow. I did the Summer 10K (itself a postponed Winter 10K) back in September and ran 54:something - a time I'd have been disgusted with in 2019 but was fairly happy with on this occasion, but I'm half a stone heavier at the moment, which isn't ideal.

  • Ups missed posting in the last few days again.

    Glad you calf is ok DH.  Lovely pic above (the light especially).  Well done on your Penalta parkrun result.  Over time you will find running long after a hard effort easier.  Needs a nice gentle start.   It would be good if you running buddy would slow down a bit for you.  

    Fingers crossed all is okay JB.  Nice club session above - can imagine you will get a good variety of training sessions with them.  Another fine parkrun results (uggh to the wind).  Well done to Mrs JB too.

    Long time to have to wait before running before eating Cal.  Especially if you are out on a long run.  Hope the monitoring will return good results to ease your mind.  Interesting you were able to run with the monitor.  Good luck with the 10k tomorrow.

    Ran every day Tuesday to today as I will be away tomorrow/Monday and won't run.  Slow group run of 6.x miles on Tuesday which counted as a recovery.  8 local undulating on Wednesday without overdoing the effort as I did a hard workout on Thursday - 2 x 800m(ish), 6k tempo, 2 x 800m(ish).  Was a bit windy and the splits a bit random therefore as were the recoveries (as I felt like).  I wasn't sure if I would manage the second pair of 800s but did do them at least faster than the tempo block.  Legs were certainly tired after that as it came out at over 11 miles with warm-up and cool-down.  Took a while to get going on yesterday's recovery 5.  Similar today on a long run tester of 16 miles.  Sort of tired I could cope with though.  I took a hydration rucksack with me and broke the run into 2 mile drinking intervals and ran a loop with one chance to cut it short on the second half or run it through.  Would have been a bit cold for walking back so I was glad I made it round.
  • Good luck today at the Winter 10k cal & well done Mrs JB !

    Local Tredegar House Parkrun again but an easy 26 mins as I'd done a harder 15k'ish effort the day before. Rest again today, my limbs ache although that might be due to a few beers whilst watching the rugby yesterday - oops

    Think we are attempting Severn Bridge next week and the wife will be attending ! Boyo is at grannies for the night so we have a spare Saturday morning for a change...

    After all the talk about clubs I joined my local Lliswerry Runners group. My running buddy is a member and the 10% discount @ runningshoes.com will probably cover the cost alone ! They do some decent competition stuff and I get a free top so bonus...
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Well done Hazel...looks like a good block of runs there.
    DH, Tredegar sounds like a nice parkrun. My clubmates did Severn Bridge on Saturday in the wind, which would terrify me. I would love to do it though (just on a calmer day).

    London Winter Run today. I wasn't feeling tip top yesterday afternoon/evening...bit spacey and tired, so I wasn't overly stoked about this one. However, I enjoyed its summer iteration in September so set out with three goals: 1) enjoy it, 2) try not to die and 3) try to get under 55 minutes if possible, but don't sweat it.
    I bumped into a clubmate at the start which was good because they keep you penned there for half an hour (why I don't know...but the previous race was the same) so it was good to have someone to chat to.
    She is one of the few clubmates slower than I am so I didn't run with her once we got going. I purposely avoided checking my watch, especially since I knew the buildings would throw the GPS out anyway, and ran on feel. Made a point of enjoying the sights (the route goes from Trafalgar Square into the City and then back), the various musical offerings on the route and high fiving the penguins. I felt like I was struggling a bit during mile 4 but then picked up again for the last mile and was able to push on at the finish. Time was 55:27 so a minute slower than the September race, but the extra half a stone I am carrying will have contributed to that. I am not too disappointed as, while that's a lot slower than my pre-pandemic times, it's not bad on my current form.
    Once again my heartrate (I was using my own strap today) was horrifying...started in the 160s and was up to 194 during my push for the finish. Not like I felt dizzy or sick or had any stabby chest pains, though.
    Another clubmate came past me at the finish - a guy I hadn't met before. He'd started in the wrong wave (he ran 40 minutes) so had someone to chat to on the way to the bag check, which seemed like an awfully long way from the finish.
    Anyway, medal is nice...the race is prohibitively expensive for a 10K, but they do good  bling.
  • Hazel, that session sounds very tough. A couple of days off will do you good, I think.

    Hamster, well done for joining the club. I'm really pleased I did it. My subs were only £20, £15 of which went to UK Athletics. This must be the best bargain around! I wouldn't fancy running over that bridge in the winds we've been getting!

    Cal, 4th female for the Parkrun sound fine. The result of the 10k should give you room for encouragement, notwithstanding that HR. Sounds like a really good event. I reckon you could be a black cab driver with your knowledge of London.

    The high winds continue down here especially on the prom which is so exposed. 7k there yesterday at 5.00 mins per km was very hard.

    We were nearly scammed when considering buying a treadmill yesterday. You know that old phrase 'if something looks too good to be true then.....'. In this case that was applicable.

    Dentists today. I think he was going for the world record for the number of injections on one side the face.
  • John, getting Lon-Done done certainly gave me advanced knowledge of how to get to any part of London on public transport...so quite possibly!
    Well done on avoiding the scam...I hope your face goes back to normal soon. I hate that fat cheek feeling you get from dentist jabs.

    Not feeling tip top today so just did an ultra slow 4 mile recovery run. Hated "running" that slowly but need to be sensible after the battering I gave my ticker on the weekend. And I have a half coming up next Sunday.
  • Good to see you joining a club as well DH.

    Good 10k Cal.  Sounds like you judged it well and good news you were able to enjoy it a bit as well. 

    Ouch JB.  Hope you have recovered ok from the dentists in the meantime and the wind drops soon - read of some more UK storms though.  Take care.

    Nice group outing yesterday evening - 6.5 miles.  One of the guys is returning to running after quite a spell of stop start due to injuries.  We have to keep the pace down for the first half for him and then tend to split the group - he takes a shorter route, often with accompaniment and the rest of us speed up on the longer route.  That works quite well.  Bright night with the moon but pretty icy in places - more of a tip toe down the last mile rather than trying to catch the others up.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited February 16
    Cal, always good to have an event to look forward to at the weekend. Where is it? Tough course? Have you done it before?
    Face back to normal now: a shame. Thought I might emerge looking like Brad Pitt.

    Funny how the competitive instincts kick in - and of course I am as guilty as anyone. Club night: 400 metres fast, 200 metres slow and then back again and again etc. In my previous experience of doing this, I noted the two of my fellow runners, who were around my level, were either cutting corners on the 'slow' bit and/or using it as a way of closing in on me i.e. the slow bit became faster and faster. (They all happened to be women by the way.) Absolutely no problems with this; if catching someone - even if it's me - helps motivation and performance then it's an effective training session.
    However, my own motivation was not to let them 'get away with it' but to keep to the rules an still prevail. Had I been struggling I have no doubt I would have done as the Romans were doing. I managed the 'win' (not the right word, but you know what I mean) but I now get the feeling I'm running with a bloody great target etched onto the back of my t-shirt. Good fun - although in the midst of these little battles I was lapped by someone!

     
  • Cal that's a decent outcome and not far off the 3 goals met. I really do need to get a London event in my diary, miss London some days and not at all others but nice to run around old known locations. When do you find out results from your monitored HR ?

    John hope the teeth are doing better...

    Completed (loosely) a set of 8x800m with 400m recovery between each at 5k pace. That was all I had for that session, rock solid and probably the toughest I've ever done I think. Then I spotted another friend do 6x 800m at a pace I can barely sprint at ! Legs not too bad today though if a little heavy... 

    Today I can see me doing an hour on the treadmill as I don't like wind !
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • John...Hampton Court half. Flat along the river and surrounding roads. Run it every year. It's a fast course when I'm feeling good...PB'd there a few times. But right now I feel rubbish and the weather looks equally bad.
    Well done on your club run...great intervals from you too, DH.

    Took yesterday off (I thought the easy run on Tuesday would mean I felt good yesterday. I did not.) but did venture out today for a 6 miler. Blustery but sunny and overall not too bad. But my legs felt dead and heavy and my HR was too high for the pace I was going. I thought injecting a few strides into the final mile might help pep me up a bit, but not sure if it did. I'll be resting again tomorrow.
  • Sounds like you are having fun at your club JB.  Maybe you should get a pen out to your t-shirt?  Strange, I wasn't that keen on Brad Pitt somehow.

    Tough 800 session indeed DH.  Don't know if I would manage 8.  I can imagine that the TM hour wasn't too much fun either!

    Hope the rest day helps prior to the half Cal.

    Bit under 8 miles yesterday afternoon - had to go shopping so combined that with a run on a flat route.  Not too windy (that picked up later), just a bit splodgy - wetter underfoot than from above.  It is nice for the off-road bits to have thawed out though.  I also did a bunch of strides and got liberally splattered with mud. 
  • Well I hope your parkruns are all going ahead Cal & John ! Most of the PRs around this way are already cancelled. Tredegar House & Severn Bridge are all gone with more to follow I suspect. I might not even make one this week.

    I have however put my name forward to volunteer at Riverfront in a few weeks. Last week that got cancelled as not enough volunteers. Also said they can use my name in a 'break the glass emergency', a few of us have agreed to that. Been enough times now I feel as though you should give something back...

    13x Strides for me tonight for a 4th session in a row. Legs felt it by the end. Supposed to be tomorrow but given the weather I wanted it done and out of the way today. Hoping it settles down enough for a long run Sunday
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited February 18
    Very much the calm before the storm here.................

    HS, good to end a training session with nothing left in the tank. Also brill to do some volunteering. I'm under a semi-permanent cloud of shame at how few times I've done this. Partly this is because at my age I always feel and might be very near the end of my running career and if fit will not one to miss a run. When crocked I do it - and enjoy.

    Hazel, I like the 'flat' part of your run, but not the 'mud' bit!

    Cal, Ah, I've seen that HM advertised and it looks lovely. I'm really tempted, although I know I'd not do myself justice at that distance and would struggle to put the miles in to do so. Today is the perfect day for a rest!

    Another training night Thursday, this time a hilly circuit. The coach is brilliant - not only does he tell you your splits but he records everyone's overall times and then not only reads them out at the end but tells you how your time compared with last weeks. I improved significantly and then threw in an 'extra' lap (encouraged by the coach) only to find myself being chased down by the resident alpha male. He duly caught me but I hung onto his tail (not literally) and finished with a couple of metres.

    Like DH I was absolutely spent - there's no way I'd have pushed myself like this on my own.

    Not sure how many if any local parkruns will be on after these  winds.............
  • It's a good one, John, but they do three runs on a similar route. The HC half runs from Thames Ditton, while the October Kingston half is on a similar course but starts and ends in (surprise) Kingston. And in the summer, there's the Harry Hawkes (10 miler...although they're also offering an 8 mile this year too) which is a shorter variation of the HC route. All good races if you fancy having a go.
    Unfortunately weather looks rubbish tomorrow - windy and drizzly. Not too cold though.
    Well done on your hilly run.

    DH, good stuff. I've volunteered a lot at Tooting and once or twice at other venues. Been RD a few times, even. It's a great way to get to know people.

    Well, most of the parkruns in London were cancelled, as well as my first choice (Harlow in Essex) and reserve (Southall...the new London one...though I was hoping to do this one another time). But Mile End was on so I went there, even though I've done it twice before. Any parkrun is better than no parkrun, right? (Though I admit I was tempted to do nothing today...but I knew I'd regret not doing parkrun so I got up and went).
    As I've got the half tomorrow I wasn't going to push too hard (I figured 9 minute mile pace would be fine) so I was surprised to end up with my fastest time this year of 27:43. Got to see a couple of parkrun friends, and pet two nice dogs, so it was all worth getting out of bed for.
  • Cal, yes I agree - good to get out anywhere and blow away the cobwebs. I too was going to give it a miss as the local prom based courses were all closed - for obvious reasons. So went to Preston park in Brighton. Not a bad course, although with a couple of sharp turns and a mean little hill that you do twice. Big field of 460 and some high quality runners. 21.17 just scraped me over the 80%AG (6th best in the field) and a category win.
    But hats off to the VW55-59 who scored a magnificent 94% on a windy day.

    Eunice wrecked a fence and knocked off a chimney pot which could have killed someone - and just missed my neighbour's nice car!
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