My Last Run

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  • Hazel, thanks. Very sensible for you to take it easy while you recover fully.
    Mind you, your version of taking it easy would scare 95% of the population.
    Talking of which, I'm feeling a bit yuk today after my weekend double.
  • Some excellent progress it seems with that hammy JB ! Also sensible to take today off it seems...

    I disagree though Hazels easy would scare 99.5% of the population...

    Complete Cardiff Bay 10k in 44.23 official which I'm supremely pleased with. After some bad sessions and not feeling right since the germs I had very low expectations and if it wasn't for a mate I ran with saying he was aiming for 45 I probably would not have started right but after 5k at a 4.22ish pace I just kept going. Last 3k I dropped to 4.30 and started to struggle but I didn't have much more which is always pleasing knowing that everything is left out on the course.

    Cardiff Bay itself is a very well organized and supported event with a cracking atmosphere ! Fully recommend and dead flat as well for the most part...

    The only bit I don't like for events at the minute is the use of open ended cardboard water cups. I get it's environmentally friendly but they are next to useless to drink out of without stopping ! 99% of that water just went over my head

    Legs as a bonus also feel pretty good today. The extra dog walking yesterday evening must have done them some good ! 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Hamster, well done mate! Great running and you surpassed your own expectations. Back in the day I used to try to get below 43.30 as that meant 7 minute miles. That's now easily within your reach.
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Great work on the 10k DH - I told you you would go sub 45 :D Especially as you weren't feeling good.  Drinking in a 10k is hard - I try to avoid it if I can but I read your race was on the hot side.  Sub 43:30 could be a good next target for you.

    Bit over 5 miles at a non-scary pace yesterday evening.  Much cooler thanks to a bunch of thunderstorms moving through but still pretty humid.  Made a minor change to one of my standard routes and promptly took off in the wrong direction at a junction.  After a couple of minutes I asked myself why I was heading up rather than down the hill.  Ups.  Saw a hare - not so common around here. 
  • Thanks both ! Need to man up and get myself into the faster training groups @ the track now. Have 3 weeks of no mans land training until after a 5 day festival where next HM block starts... Do have a trail 10k and 10k @ Barry Island in between... 

    4k jaunt yesterday just to remove some ache from the legs and aiming for a slow, easy 10k today before some intervals tomorrow 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Sounds like a good non-plan for a few weeks DH.  I am already missing having one to tick the boxes on but I guess it is good to do that every now and then.

    Group run yesterday evening - rare visit from a guy from further away which was nice.  Was otherwise a bit quick for my liking once we had split the group up but just went with the flow.  Pace dropped quite a lot once we hit the steeper hills anyway.  Cool compared to the last couple of weeks and a bit grey/dull but we didn't get wet. 6.5 miles 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    DH, I hate cups too - I always end up waterboarding myself. It's not so bad if it's just a 10K - I often skip the water stations completely for shorter races unless it's hot - but for a marathon I really want bottles. There were cups in Vienna so I ended up walking through all the water stations so I could take on enough liquid.

    Hazel, we had storms yesterday too! I did get a 6 mile plod in first thing (legs not bad at all, considering) so avoided a drenching.
    Today I did an 8 mile progression (from very slow up to moderate pace - 9:47 was the fastest mile) just to shake things out. Naughty right hammy was OK but I still have a little niggle in the top of the left thigh - not sure what it is, but it's been there since the London 10K. Still, it's not too bothersome - I'll just keep up with the stretching and whatnot.
  • Another who tends not to drink when running here. Never really mastered the technique in a race and TBH never felt the need for one in a 10k. 

    DH - looks like you are adopting a very structured approach. Speaking as one who doesn't, I'm sure this will bring you benefits!

    Hazel - a hare! Not seen one for years. But I did hear a cuckoo for the first time in a while the other day.

    Cal - running into your 50s is about managing injuries as much as anything eh? Pleased to hear that your errant hammy is behaving itself. I don't think I'll ever fully trust mine.

    2 runs to report:

    Tuesday it was Mrs JBs birthday and her 'special surprise' consisted of a visit to an 'island' (technically it isn't) owned by the MoD off the south coast. It's a  bit hush, hush and you have to go through security to get on (and off!) it. I hinted there'd  be 'a bit of walking and a bit of running' and so of course what more could a 66 year old want on her birthday than a 10k run which gave spectacular views of the coast. And even better the chance to see a tank suddenly appear. The run was 'only' 10kish but on a very difficult surface (shingle/sand etc) and was the furthest she has run for 20 years. We then got a bit lost walking back to the cat and in all covered about 20k on foot.
    I'm confident that my wife will be fulsome in her appreciation of the whole day when she resumes speaking to me in a few weeks............*

    *actually she enjoyed it

    Wednesday it was my drill of running up and down a steep path for half an hour while the occasional local struggles to walk up it and looks with horror as this rather manic pensioner (I got my bus pass yesterday!) hurtles past them. 

    It's been quite an eccentric couple of days.
  • JB sounds like tremendous fun ! Your wife normally get our running ? Mine would be furious, I dragged her to the Bay 10k and she hated it although done very well...

    Managed a few easy runs, in fact ran 6 days straight now including the race, and what turned out to be some mega session on track yesterday. Sets were 1200, 1000, 800, 90s recoveries. I was in a the group that should have done 2x sets but inadvertently and without realising tagged myself on the next group up and done 3x sets. I could not push the pace I wanted outside the 1200 but completed it and legs rather sore today. Time for a rest day...
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • DH, yes my wife runs a parkrun most weeks and then 1 or 2 other runs a week. But the 10k was outside the comfort zone. But she was very game!

    Great little patch of running from you. No wonder the legs are sore.
    Apparently, although uphill runs are harder on the breathing, it's the downhill ones that beat up the muscle fibres and are thus more 'effective'. The same is true for weight training as it's the negative part of an exercise (eg lowering the bar on a bench press) that builds more muscle, as long as it's done slowly.

    6k from me today in just under 30 mins. The second 3ks were run into a brutal wind. Not much fun!

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Glad the missus enjoyed the surprise, JB! 😂
    I agree about the downhills - they will batter your quads. But hams and glutes will do more work on the uphills. True that eccentric movements make you more sore than concentric, though.

    Good track sesh, DH...speed will come, no doubt. I definitely need to do something like that but not quite sure I trust my hammies yet.

    As for me, Thursday was a rest/walk/weight training day; Friday was another slow 6 miles which Strava, annoyingly, described as harder than my usual effort (I think Strava must compare it to all my other activities including walks and yoga, rather than just my runs. Anyway, never mind that). 
    Yesterday, a clubmate had borrowed his mum's little car for the weekend so offered to drive to a hard to get to parkrun with another couple of his friends. He picked Bedgebury Pinetum, which is a lovely conifer plantation out in Kent (with some other stuff there - there's a Go Ape and various carved Gruffalo statues). Nice and scenic with good (firm gravelly) trails, but definitely not flat. The course resembles a deflated balloon on a zig/zag string...you start on a downhill (6-7%) before rounding a bend and then running uphill until you get to the "balloon" bit. Then it levels out (ish) before going back down the "string" part to the finish. Unfortunately, that also means a punishing uphill finish. I thought I'd paced myself well - not too hard - before I got  to that bit, but my lungs and legs just didn't have anything in them. I finished in 28:49 so at least it was under 29 minutes.
    Hams were OK until I got back into the back seat of the little car (it was a Smart Car) for the journey home - righty ham tendon ached horribly. Still, it recovered OK once I got home, so no damage done.
    Today I decided on a 10 miler (I didn't want to go too long as I've got the next Wimbledon trail race on Wednesday, plus a 5K race on Friday) so ran down to Battersea Park, along the river, back through Wandsworth and King George's Park to Earlsfield then home via Wandsworth Common. Conditions were perfect - clear and sunny but with a nice cool breeze, so I was able to up the pace a little to the faster end of my easy range. Body didn't feel too bad at all. Enjoyed this run. 33 miles for the week so getting back to it.
  • Cal, that sounds like a lovely parkrun course. And a good run in the circumstances. I'm intrigued by your hammy problem which you seem to able to manage. With me, when mine goes theres no question of continuing to run: I just have to pull up. Which brings me to yesterday....

    I chose to do the Horsham PR. This was solely because I did the Horsham 10k last week and was narrowly pipped by a guy who regularly runs the Horsham PR and I fancied my chances over the shorter distance. But

    1. He didn't show up!

    2. The hammy went after about a mile.

    I think it wasn't helped by the 22.00 pacemaker. As it was an unfamiliar course I thought I'd follow him and then put in a bit of a surge over the last km. But the guy went off like a train and mainly on the uphill bit and I had to really motor to stay with him. And then.....ping!

    I then watched the rest of the event and at least 3 pacemakets were too fast. Probably better not to have one than to have one who burns you off in the first km.

    But it's a hard job and fair play to anyone who has a go. (eg Cal).

    Will be off for at least  week so won't have much to report, though I did manage an ordinary 8.43 for 2k on the rower today. Not disgusting but not great but OK for my age, weight and height.

    Saw my 3 grandchildren all do the Junior PR today (only 2 finished so one of them is a chip off the old block!) whilst also watching my younger son play football. Nice experience.

  • Oh John your poor hammy :( I guess it's one of those once gone it is more likely to go again. I don't know if being able to run on it means fully healed ? Irritating as it is maybe you need a full 4-6 weeks off or just easy running...

    Cal impressed you have so many races booked ! I don't think I could cope with that and trying to train to get best possible times. I've been to that GoApe many years ago...

    I had a good weekend. Local Tredegar House Parkrun 500th event so set a course PB on that. Ran with my boy at Junior Parkrun and whilst fully expecting him to hate it he loved it ! Proud of that. Managed 18k yesterday as a long slow run, heart rate & pace as good as they've been post covid - I think I'm truly around that corner finally ! I'm sure the lighter shoes are really helping with that as well...

    Spent most of the weekend out the house running, walking, parks with doggo & boy so feel like it's been used well 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    John, my ham problem is tendon rather than muscle - it's literally a pain in the arse. It's horrible when it flares up but when it does it's usually a progressive thing rather than just "going" as you say. Is yours muscular? It sounds like it might be. My experience of injuries is that tendon stuff can be run through as long as they're not acute, but a damaged muscle will stop you in its tracks. I had six weeks off with a calf tear back in 2014, and 2017 I was off most of the Autumn when my TFL got angry (and when I say angry, there was actually nothing wrong with it, it was just inflamed). It was too painful to run with and nothing worked until my GP referred me to a specialist who stuck some cortisone in it. I was back running a week later.
    Horsham's on my list of parkruns to do (I need to do the summer course as it's near the station, unlike the winter course). We ought to meet up as and when.

    DH, most of these are races my club does - got a relay next week too. The Friday Jubilee race is just a Runthrough one in the Olympic Park - opted for a 5K as the 10K is a four lapper and last time I did that I lost the will to live. But it has a nice medal (unlike the clubby races which don't have medals, unless you're good enough to be in the top 3, which I'm not).
    Sounds like you had an excellent weekend there - good news on the post Covid recovery.

    As I'm racing tomorrow evening, I decided to do a very easy recovery today. Dug the chest HRM out for this and attempted to keep HR below 145 (and below 140 as much as possible) but was only semi-successfully because the bugger wants to go 150s - even a ludicrously slow final mile couldn't stop it from climbing because it's slightly uphill. I was running well over 12 minute miles for the first four and 13:28 for that last one. My legs felt all jammed up from trying to run so slowly so I let 'em stretch out for a little bit once I'd hit 5 miles.
    I don't think I'll bother doing this again - I have to keep a constant eye on my watch which ruins any enjoyment I might get from running, as well as the fact it is doing the exact opposite of improving my stride length and cadence, which are already sub-standard. I think I'll just go by feel in future.
  • DH, I remember Tredegar House. Its lovely and a great venue for a Parkrun.
    You are certainly putting in some distance. A 4 day holiday will be well utilised by you, I'm sure.

    Cal, interesting analysis of your tendon problem. As you imply mine is muscular and reminds me of a time when my calf used to 'go' and I'd end up limping to the end of an event. At least that's not a problem now.

    I am very impatient to the point of utter (or perhaps nutter) stupidity.
    I jogged long with Mrs JB on Monday for 5k and even that was too much. I'm hoping I can pace her on Saturdays parkrun.

    Yesterday we picked up our canine lodger who we've got for a few days. She is an utter (or again perhaps nutter) joy. My son and family managed to fly to Poland without the problems that weve been hearing about from the airports.

    Also a family funeral yesterday, my auntie. We weren't close but she was a lovely person and it was nice to be part of the occasion.....until, that is, I looked around the room and realized I was the oldest person there!

    Today I'm beating myself by doing a half marathon......on the rower. No way could I do this in one of so I'm chopping it up into 7 x 3k chunks, and that's hard enough.

    PS Cal if ever you do Horsham let me know and I'll try to be there. 



  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Condolences, John...even if you weren't close. And at being the oldest. :)
    A half is a long way on the rower. Anything over 1000m is a long way on the rower, to be honest...if you want a drink or to scratch your nose or something, you have to stop, which is very irritating.

    I did an easy 3 mile shakeout this morning (first two miles recovery pace, then some faster bits in the last mile to open the stride up) then the second Wimbledon Trail race this evening. After the midweek hail and rain it was a lot muddier than last time, and I was a minute slower as a result (just under 51 minutes). Not a great result but at least I beat the bloke who bested me in a sprint finish in the first race, so there's that.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Today was the Runthrough Jubilee 5K at the Olympic Park (there was also a 10K, but four laps of that course made me lose the will to live when I tried it before, so there was no way I was doing that again, and certainly not two days after the Wimbledon race).
    Anyway, I didn't get there quite early enough to do my customary 1 mile warm-up job so I just settled for some skips and strides. Legs felt tired. Guess I should have seen that coming after Wednesday...that and it felt hot to me (17 degrees apparently, but it was very warm in the sun). I'd hoped I might get back under 27 minutes but that proved to be a vain hope (I ran 27:42 in the end). I wore my strap and HR was in the 180s for most of it so I don't think I could have pushed much harder. Didn't feel like I wanted to, either.
    Oh well. Got the nice medal and Runthrough's legendary flapjack so I'll count it as a win.
    I've got more races next week...a relay in Richmond Park on Wednesday night (still figuring out how to get there) and then I signed up for the Dorking 10 mile on the Sunday. I don't know what I was thinking. 
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited June 3
    Cal, wow that's a lot of running or should I say racing which of course is far more draining, especially at that heart rate and in the evening heat.
    I am, though, very jealous of the sheer number of events that you have access to, and that before the many god know how many parkruns. It's a bit like working in s sweet shop of living above a pub.

    Talking of sweets, when I was a kid, the class fatty, I was pretty much addicted to sugar. As an adult I've been pretty disciplined but yesterday I lapsed and quickly worked my way through a packet of wine gums.

    I was so cross with myself that I went out for an 8k run, in the evening heat, which mainly consisted of hill repeats. I kept waiting for the hammy to ping but it didn't. So I'm now wondering if my luck will extend to a fast parkrun tomorrow.......I'll give myself a fitness test in the morning and if it feels dodgy I'll just do a slow jog at Mrs JB's pace........

    Our son's little dog, a Greek rescue  one of indeterminate breed, goes home this evening when the family returns from Poland. We are going to miss her as she has made us go out for some nice walks and is very lovable. But we won't miss her sneaky onto our bed in the night.

    PS your post jogged my memory of a mate who once told me that 'Dorking' sounded like it should some sort of a sexual offence.  Perhaps it is!

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you should get your own dog, John - there are many lovely rescues looking for homes.
    As for sugar, I just ate two bags of sweet popcorn. 😚

  • Cal, very tempted to get one but quite happy to 'share'.

    Got through the parkrun. 21.28 in very blustery conditions. A category win and 3rd best age grade in a field of 400.

    Strapped the thigh (think Egyptian mummy) and no hamstring problem = happy bunny.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Ah, give into temptation. It'll make a homeless doggo very happy (and you can post pics here, which will make me happy too). Glad you had no problems at parkrun. Which did you do?

    My choice for today was Upton Court in Slough. Partly because I needed a U for my parkrun alphabet, but I also felt the fact it has a view of Windsor Castle to be fitting this weekend. The park itself is a fairly plain green field with Slough rugby club in one corner, and a line of trees. However, there were some gorgeous wildflower sections (poppies and some other flowers) on the first part of the course.

    I opted to run from the station (it's about 1.3 miles but I ran a bit extra around the park as I was early, so I did 2), then (after a little wait...the rugby club is open to drop bags, pee, have a drink etc) the parkrun itself. It's a two lap course with the first lap a little bigger than the second. I'd say two thirds is grass and one third on hard path, but it's firm grass so I was OK with my road shoes. I pushed a little but not to the point where my breathing sounds like someone sawing through a log...I have had two races already this week, after all. But as it turned out, I ran a very similar time to yesterday: 27:39 (it was cooler and slightly drizzly with a breeze, which made it more comfortable than yesterday so I was a couple of seconds faster despite the grass). 
    Once I'd got scanned and whatnot, I jogged back to the station (1.3 miles) and got the train home again. 
  • Cal, well done on bagging a U. They are not easy to find. Sounds like a nice set up 
    I ran Worthing, my local course. As it's one of the fastest around and on my doorstep there has to be a good reason not to do it. Actually today would have provided a good reason as not only was it windy but it was an easterly and our course has a longer easterly section. My splits were typically 4.06 downwind and 4.28 upwind.


    PS your canine case is well made 
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    Well done. Well it seems I am paying for doing two races and a parkrun in four days - felt like utter crap this morning, just groggy and tired. I usually go out early, especially on Sunday as it's normally my longest run of the week, but I decided to eat breakfast and go out just before 10 to see if that helped. It didn't. I shuffled for four miles and decided that was enough. Been feeling slightly wheezy, actually...never been diagnosed with asthma but I'm wondering if I've developed it in my old age, or if I'm just run down and tired. Hoping I feel better tomorrow.
  • Cal, that sounds a bit worrying. Your body was trying to tell you 'no more'. Maybe get the asthma checked out.
    I ran a relatively sedate 10k with a pal. He carries a bit of weight and is slower than me, so we ran at conversational pace which I've marked down as a low intensity run at low HR. I must admit that I enjoyed it.

    Just watching the Diamond League coverage and good to see our own Jake Wightman win the 1500m. Even better as he happens to be the record holder for our local parkrun!
  • I'm still addicted to sugar and sweeties... I can demolish a bag of haribo in an hour quite easily and often do. I tend to keep an eye on my weight these days and as long as nothing major changes I'm happy to keep going that way.

    A category win and 3rd best age grade in a field of 400 is nothing to be sniffed at John ! 

    Cal, sometimes a rest is better than pushing out something you know will do no good. I need to remind myself that sometimes not running is not a bad thing. It's become massively habitual for me again and I find it hard not to go out sometimes... 

    I generally manage 50k a week but would like to increase that to 60k. Last 2 days of training until an 'enforced' 5 day break which again I have to tell myself won't do any harm. I will take my gear anyhow and try get a parkrun done... Need to find a beasting session for today but not sure what yet

    Managed an 18.5k on Friday in the baking heat. Hottest I've run in for a long time. Stopped mid way in a shop and bought a bottle of water which promptly disappeared !

    Managed the local Parkrun as well but dragged Bruno around with me. He enjoyed it and done much better than I anticipated to be honest plus when I got home...


    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited June 7
    Dh, great picture, great dog. Your weekly mileage puts me to shame.
    I'm getting anHRM which I hope will encourage me to do more miles at low intensity. 
    Enjoy your parkrun tourism.

    Yesterday I tackled a scary hill. 1 mile long and 20% in places. I managed it twice, having cycled there in the first place. I was totally shattered for the rest of the day.

    PS on the issue of weight I recall a phrase that non runners run to lose weight; runners lose weight to run.
  • That is some hill John ! Your hill running puts me to shame... I need more

    I recommend a HRM to everyone, I'm a believer. Mark Lewis latest video on VO2max results for him and his wife are really interesting in this respect. The difference between them being the bodies ability to handle aerobic/anaerobic running. The low intensity running really helps in this respect.

    Also explains why I've probably stopped losing weight now in that my aerobic system has got far better over last 2 years. It's definitely about balance to get the best results...

    Managed 8x (800m, 400m recovery) yesterday with WU/CD totaling just short of 15k. It was a repeat of a hard workout I done back in February which lmost killed me. Pleasant to see I completed in 4/5mins quicker and that my intervals where quicker and far more consistent in pace. 
    Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/garrethsmith
  • DH, I saw that Mark Lewis video and it was fascinating. It was quite technically challenging for my simple mind but he explained it very well. I shall watch his wife's progress with interest, although her starting V02 does seem to be well above average for an untrained person. I think shes going be a high performer.

    I'm afraid my HRM experiment has only lasted a day. It's a wrist one and even getting it on is a real fiddle. I don't fully trust the data either. Bottom line: I'm a technphobe.

    So it's a case of old dogs and new tricks. I'm never going to have the discipline for the low HRM training a la Maffetone, and I can get by with 'perceived effort'.

    The HRM has been donated to Mrs JB!

    So today I reverted to type and just designed a workout off the cuff: 8k at 5k per min pace. Managed this despite a very strong wind which messed with my timings a bit.
    Far more enjoyable that an 8 min per km plod!
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    What a cutie, DH! (Good progress there too).
    John, I feel the same way.
    My 6 miles easy run yesterday had my HR in the 150s, which would be enough to make Dr Maffetone faint. I did do a 3 mile plod this morning and managed to keep it below 150 but that's because I had a race this evening...the Parkland Relays (unsurprisingly a relay race, which is held on an undulating trail route in Richmond Park). The route is just under 3 miles and features a whacking great hill in mile 2.
    I guess the pandemic break didn't help my club as, despite having something like 2000 members, we could only manage to field two male and one female team. Our best male team came fourth but I think us ladies were near the back as I have no speed any more and one of the other members is a 40-something who is still dealing with the long term effects of Covid. But we weren't last, at least. I did quite enjoy it...just wish I could find my missing top gear.
  • Cal, Richmond park must be a very scenic location, not that we notice the surroundings when struggling for breath.
    I love relays, but I've only ever done 2! But I love watching them whether they are running, tris or even swimming.
    Managed a 22 km bike ride with Mrs JB today. It seemed like a good idea until we got to the turn and were battered by the wind along the seafront. She's not been on a bike for at least a year and the bike isn't great. Might now be another year before we repeat the exercise!
    For me the bike and exercise bikes are a bit of cross training.

    Parkrun tourism this weekend, Cal and DH? 
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