My Last Run

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  • I hope not, John - I'm really enjoying getting back to touring parkrun at the moment.
    Easy 6 yesterday (in the dark again) and then off to Brooklands parkrun today. My plans to do South Oxhey (near Watford) were scuppered by a tube strike, so Brooklands, which is all train, was the next best option. It's on the site of the old airport and race track and the route from the station takes you past the famous Brooklands banked curve, what's left of it. Hard to imagine cars driving at that angle.
    They were using the B course, which is flatter and drier than the A course, but very wiggly (it uses the bike track for part of it) and the section through the woods is rather lumpy (as in, it's rather derelict hard path that has split apart and been overgrown). Even so I managed my fastest run of the year by quite a good margin: 26:21. Still a good way off where I was but I'm moving in the right direction now...previous best this year was 26:48.
    I felt decent, although I should probably be dead according to my HRM.
    The most pleasing thing was my splits, as I got faster: 8:29/8:25/8:20 and then 7:31 pace for the last bit (though I was still overtaken by a spry looking VW60).

    I do actually have a 5K race on Wednesday evening - it'd be nice to get closer to 25 if I can, though running in the dark always messes with my head a bit.
  • Cal, Brooklands has been recommended to me (presumably the A course), so it was interesting to read your report. Doesn't sound like a PB track (or even an SB one) so well done for your performance. Very encouraging, especially was we approach a new year. Good splits. Bodes well for you midweek 5k - although I hope it's not too dark.

    My PR tourism was also very pleasing - although I have to go quite a long way to find a course I've not run before. However, we arrived in Southampton in good time to tackle the run on their Common - a huge expanse of rough parkland but with excellent wide, smooth paths. More or less 2 laps and just a little bit hillier than I expected.

    A very large field of 565 meant there was a little bit of congestion early on and my first 2 laps were are 4.20 pace. I was then overtaken by a guy I though was about my age and that bucked me up and in effect we had a head-to-head over around 3km. I prevailed, just, with a 21.03, only to find out he was a 'youngster' in the 60-64 category which he won.

    So I was very pleased with my time, position (48th), category win and age grade of 80.44% - the 5th best of the day. Mrs JB did a tad over 35 mins which was good on that course.

    All being well, I'm in a decent shape to have a crack at ending 2021 with a SB on Xmas day.
  • Well done, John! 
  • Out for a 16 mile plod today...cold, dark, foggy - could barely see for the first few miles even though I stuck to main roads so my pace was glacial. I headed for Crystal Palace Park and it was only just getting light when I got there so I had to be very careful on the unlit sections. There was a Lightopia there with lots of colourful stuff but, of course, it wasn't turned on. Looked nice though.
    Hilliest run for a long time but managed to keep average HR in the 150s (it did get to 170 on Fox Hill, though...unsurprising as that one is 20%) I've been aching quite a bit since despite an epsom salt bath so I guess I'll need a good stretch. Been very lazy about that recently.
  • Cal, good run in challenging conditions. I also encountered some horrible foggy conditions in my more modest 8km run this morning. My heart wasn't in it, TBH. I mentally struggle on any run that isn't either fast or hilly. I know its silly but it's me.
  • I can relate to that, John. I guess mine was hilly, so there's that.
    A sluggish 5 miles in the dark this morning, which I don't much like as I have to be constantly on the ball so as not to trip on any wonky paving stones. I don't know why councils don't use tarmac or similar on the pavements instead of stones that end up breaking or sticking up. Hmph.
    Anyway, it was very slow. Groin had a nasty twinge at the halfway point and almost stopped, but it eased off so I finished the run. Had a good old session with the Theragun when I got back, followed by stretching. There are a lot of tight, sore bits. Hoping nothing will snap when I do my 5K tomorrow.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Cal, now there's a coincidence. I've only ever had a groin problem twice and then this morning................5k dolly mixture session - fartlek I suppose. And then I felt just a little tweak in the groin. Nothing serious, got to it before it flared up (I think/hope).

    I think it comes from a new exercise I've been doing. It's called a 'leg tuck' - like a hanging leg raise but you bring your knees up to your elbows. New to me - the US army has just started using them as one of a battery of exercises for new recruits. I don't think they are targeted  at  UK citizens about to celebrate their 67th birthday.

    Some recruits simply can't manage a single one and so they let them do some sort of plank instead. I'm totally hopeless at planks - but can churn out 10 of these buggers. But they are not 'groin friendly'!
  • John, that sounds likely.

    Well, Battersea Park 5K did not go as expected.
    I often do a short, easy run the morning of an evening race, but as my groin's been niggling and it was cold, I stayed indoors and did some stretching. Groin was pretty sore all day which worried me so I chowed a couple of ibuprofen and slapped an ice pack on it, then had another stretch in front of the telly.
    Once I got to the park I did a one mile warm-up and it was OK. Could feel it, but it's a niggle rather than an injury and I can run with it.
    I've not run in Battersea Park in the dark so wasn't sure how well lit it was and it turns out, not very. There are lights, but they're not exactly bright.
    The 10K started first, then it was the 5K's turn. Even with the little niggle, I was hopeful that I could get closer to a sub-26 again as the park is as flat as they come and I've had plenty of 10K PBs there in the past.
    I felt like I was flying - fast and strong - and I was able to keep pushing right up until the end. So it came as a bit of a shock when I saw my time was a lot slower than I thought it was...27:06! I can only assume that I shortened my stride in the dark. Garmin seems to bear that out as my average cadence was 187 but average stride length was 0.99m, whereas at Brooklands parkrun (where I ran 26:21), cadence was 186 but stride length was 1.03. Those few centimetres make a hell of a lot of difference to a 5K time, it seems.
    My HR was also high - average 181 but it climbed up to 192 at the end (this is using the chest strap). I felt OK...not light headed or anything...but that's higher than my recent parkruns. Not sure if the cold would have been a factor, or the fact it was evening rather than morning. 
    Oh well, at least I got a nice medal.  D
  • Cal, that does sound a bit odd. But you've got the data and it's conclusive - shorter strides = less distance. I think you are right about the 'why'; running at night is a little disorientating (akin to running on the TM in a way). Another coincidence: I went out for my first night run last night. I too felt I was 'flying' - but I wasn't. I think it's the disorientation of running in the dark that induces a bit of caution.
    Anyway: you did it. Well done.

    I've had 2 successive days of running for 30 minutes without any real goals other than to .....run for 30 minutes. As long as I can find some slopes to run up and down and throw in the occasional 'sprint' it keeps me happy.

    If England follows the Wales model of post-Xmas Covid regs then that's it for organised runs (as I read it): i.e a maximum of 50 people at an outside event. N.Ireland hasn't followed this protocol. God knows what Johnson will do. For now I'm working on the assumption that the Xmas Day parkrun will be the last for a while, but I hope that's just my default pessimism and I'll be proved wrong.

    Meanwhile, we are looking after my son's little dog over the holiday period and she is the perfect blend of all-out physical exertion and total relaxation. 

  • I am terrible at running in the treadmill, too, John - I feel like I'm going to lose my balance so I can't seem to run faster than 10 min/mi on it.

    I very much hope we don't lose parkrun again, or races. Winter's bleak enough without having everything remotely fun cancelled. Meh.

    Anyway, did a rubbish 4 miles in the dark this morning. While it didn't feel hard, it definitely felt more effort than it should given I was running between 11:30 and 12 pace. I didn't sleep well last night, and it may be a combination of that and recovering from the race. And maybe a few too many edible treats.
    Off to Manchester this afternoon...hoping I don't catch Covid on the train.
  • Hope your journey goes OK. Hearing bad things about staff absences on the trains, so fingers crossed. Are you running when you are there? Can't imagine you lying fallow for a few days.
    A nice simple evening run for me yesterday: run uphill for 30 minutes, turn around and run downhill to home. Could actually get to like running in the dark - the roads are well lit, there's no-one around and the absence of traffic means I can use the roads rather than the lumpy pavements.

    Merry Xmas! (I'm hoping Santa brings me an SB but the wind direction looks a bit problematic.)
  • Ups - dropped off the thread again - don't know if I was missed though.  

    I did at least want to drop in and wish everyone a Happy Christmas.  I need to read back a bit - might get some time for that tomorrow between driving and sessions at the table (at the PIL).

    I hope Santa brings you an SB JB.  Enjoy looking after the dog!

    Hope you got to Manchester ok Cal.

    I have struggled a bit with mojo post mara and getting back to decentish mileage.  I've set myself onto a plan again though to rebuild speed with an eye on a 10k at the end of February (if it happens).  No further plans at the moment really.

    Today's run: LT intervals - 12, 10 and 8 minutes off 4 minute recoveries.  Additonally some warm-up and cool-down mileage.  Tough little session - dropped off of the pace a bit on the 8 minutes but it is early days so not overly bothered.  
  • Hazel, good to hear from you again. Welcome back. Hope that the 10k race will rekindle your motivation. The New Year might also help. Season's Greeting!

    My hope for an SB in todays Parkrun were dashed, not by the unexpected downpour but by my approach of running the first km far too quickly at 4.03 and then fading. Beginners error!

    Finished with 20.57 (80.83% AG) and edged out  all the 60-64s and 65-69s - so I mustn't grumble.

    This finishes my best 'competitive' running year ever, and for the first time I've crept into the Top 100 UK rankings for my age cat for both Parkrun and 10k. No way wold I have predicted this.

    The next time I race with by on NY Day and I'll be one year older, so if I can sustain this form the AGs should get better. But it's a big if.

    Hope Cal's trip up north is going well.................
  • Funny story that, Hazel...got to Euston to find my train cancelled (with Omicron going around, a lot of services were). I realised I just about had enough time to get on the one before, so ran to the platform and jumped on board. As I sat down I saw the destination board saying Edinburgh via Birmingham...I'd got on the wrong one! So jumped up, but as I got to the door, the train started pulling away. Gah! Anyway, I got off at Milton Keynes and waited for the next Manchester one, which was the one I'd have got if I'd waited for the next one after my cancelled train, so it wasn't so bad really...but had a sweaty, panicky few moments.

    I did Heaton parkrun yesterday. It's a lovely park but undulating and I got a stitch halfway round so I was lucky to scrape in just under 28 minutes. It was also very cold - I took my hoody off to warm-up but quickly put it back on again. But never mind, that's another Manchester parkrun ticked off (I've done four now).
    Today I did an early 5 miles to give my friend a chance to have a lie-in. Not as cold as yesterday fortunately.
  • Cal, well, you got there in the end (the scenic route?). Hope your trip back to London goes smoothly. One of my pal's sons has just moved to Heaton. Likes it.
    Foul (but mild) weather here today. It's calmed down this afternoon an so I might have a run this evening - my new habit.
  • Same route, really, John...just with an extra change. And I'm already back...came back yesterday. No problems with the trains other than having a lot of children in my carriage, noisy buggers.

    10 mile race at the Velopark today...which meant ten laps. I hate laps and have no idea why I signed up for this...I did it once before and it was awful then too. It's very undulating and I really struggled with the downhills today. I thought I might get more confident with each lap, but nope. It was also windy and there was a strong headwind down one of the straights...ugh. Anyway, I decided to tough it out and got myself around. Time was an underwhelming 1:35:32 but with the wind, the hills and a bit of post-Christmas ballast, I wasn't on for a fast one anyway. Happy just to get it done. 
  • Cal, that run sounds a bit of a challenge. But you don't need to tell me how hard a velodrome is to run around: I did a marathon (70+ laps I think) around one! Horrible, horrible horrible. Well done for getting it done. 

    A leisurely 10k today with my mate. He's a fellow runner and lives no more that 50 metres away. We've been on almost daily walks around the block with his dog but for some reason in the past 3 years have only run together about 4 times. Funny that.
  • Ah well John, we don't run around the velodrome but the velopark outside it. This is more like running on a road, but it's very undulating. Laps are 1 mile each. I can't imagine running in a velodrome with the banking...that'd be weird!
  • Bit of a stressful journey up then Cal.  I would maybe have been tempted to keep going to Edinburgh but I assume you were visiting your friend in Manchester.  First bit of kit I pack for train journeys is earphones or earplugs!  Well done on the 10 miles - tough one with all those laps and undulations.  

    Can't even contemplate doing a velodrome mara JB.  It sounds like you might have found a new running partner there.  Is he of a similar speed?  Shame you missed your SB but you have had a great year as confirmed by the top 100 rankings.  Good luck for NYD.

    I had to postpone my Christmas Day recovery - I set out on what I thought were wet roads but found a nasty coating of thin ice - was too dodgy so I aborted after one lap of the village.  I did manag a run later at the PIL in Germany though.  Traffic jams on the way home and a bit of CNBA saw no Boxing Day run so I caught up on that on Monday - a flat and rather soggy half.  I picked up the pace a bit on the last 4 miles which felt pretty tough - probably because I had put on a couple of kgs in absorbed rainwater by then.  More rain and wind yesterday - seemed a bit dodgy to head for the local woods due to the strong gusts so I did some loops of the village and a set of short hill efforts and a set of strides.  Pacing the run was difficult due to the undulations and the wind - I probably overdid the effort a bit.  I did cheat on the strides though - doing those with a tailwind!
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Cal/Hazel, the velodrome I ran around was not the classic indoor one as per Olympics. It is in Preston Park in Brighton and is very eccentrically designed. I think it's the oldest one in the UK. Something like 15,000 do the standard Brighton Marathon; only about 50 did this one. There's a reason for this!

    Hazel, it doesn't sound like great running weather with you - so well done for battling through. My running partner is younger than me and in his pomp did a 1.25 HM. But in recent years he's slowed down somewhat and is happy with a 25 min. 5k.

    Evening run in very, very mild (and dry!) conditions just about to happen.

    Any gaols for 2022? Nothing ambitious for me - just looking to move my age grade up a bit.
  • That weather sounds rough, Hazel, so well done for getting as much done as you could.

    Very mild here too, John...13 or 14 degrees. Ran in a T-shirt, though kept the long leggings to keep my hamstrings happy. Only problem was I got some underarm chaffing from the race on Tuesday (I was wearing a vest and arm warmers for that) which came back to haunt me today. Ow.
    Ran this in daylight so pace was better - 10:30ish rather than over 11s. Bit better.
  • john bateman 6john bateman 6 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2021
    Cal, underarm chaffing - nasty. I'm no stranger to sore nipples myself (although I feel a bit less manly for admitting it!). I remember one marathon I did in hot weather and thus requiring me to tip copious amounts of water over my head. I was wearing a white T-shirt which, by the time I crossed the line, had turned into a pink T-shirt.  

    I've run 30k this week, which is nothing much by others' standards but is a lot for me. Much of this has been uphill at 90% effort. Guess what - the Achilles are telling me off. And I deserve it.  Parkrun tomorrow: it would be nice to start the year with an age cat win - but as ever that depends on who else turns up. (There's one guy who is typically about 10-20 seconds in front of me who I'm determined to beat, so I'm rather hoping that he over-indulged at Xmas and gets legless tonight!)

    Happy New Year!
     
  • Yeah, it's not my armpit that chafes but just below it and then the top inside of my arm as well. 
    The advantage of having to wear sports bras is that nip chaffage doesn't happen, but I've had underboob chaffing and sometimes chaffing on the sternum. Any kind of chaffing is miserable, really...I'd just forgotten to put vaseline around my arms as it's usually a summer problem rather than a winter one.
    Careful with those achilles. Pretty sure that throwing myself into my club's January hill challenge is why I ended up benched with ham tendon pain the next couple of months. Good luck with parkrun!
    A lunchtime 3 miles today (it was raining earlier). Bit rubbish but just wanted to stretch the old legs a bit. Going to a new parkrun tomorrow...looks likely to be hilly and muddy. Fun?

  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I didn't indulge last night and got to bed at 10:30 so no alcohol related excuses...but still managed my worst parkrun ever today! (Well, not including the one where I tail walked, and the one I power walked while injured). I chose Homewood, which is not far from Brooklands where I went a couple of weeks ago. My parkrun mate Tunde drove. I knew this wasn't a fast one as it is undulating and in the woods, so can be muddy. And there was mud in places, but what I wasn't prepared for was the sheer number of tree roots. The whole run was a gigantic trip hazard and, given I run like a hovercraft, I had to be very, very careful. 
    Slowing down did mean I could chat to the runners around me a bit, which was nice, and the woods were lovely (or would have been had I not had my eyes downcast for most of it in order to avoid faceplants and rolled ankles).
    End result was 34:48 - my previous worsts were all in the 32s so this was definitely a challenge. I think I need to find a nice fast tarmac one as an antedote!
  • Cal, I think the most constructive comment I can make is 'something to build on'! As a fellow shuffler that sounds like a course to be avoided. 
    Fast tarmac is in plentiful supply for me locally. Indeed so fast that today's winner was under 15 mins and a VW55 registered an awesome 94% age grade. Bloody hell!
    My own 21.20 was just a tad disappointing, but unlike you I did have the excuse of seeing in the New Year with an empty bottle. I was pleased to just scrape a cat win and an AG of 80.08%. 
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    edited January 1
    Happy new year!

    Ouch to the chafing Cal.  I used to have a pair of shorts that rubbed the small of my back raw - often didn't notice until I got into the shower and then arrggghh!  

    You get great results off that mileage JB - it seems to suit you.  As Cal says - careful with the achilles - you don't want that long term.  Category win today and that AG ranking look good to me.  I can imagine those 15 minutes and VW55 runners had early nights.  I haven't any concrete plans at the moment for 2022.  Something will soon turn up though.

    Tough pr course then Cal - bonus to stay upright I would say.  One to compare with itself rather than other times.

    I have been taking advantage of the mild weather the last few days for some outdoor rather than turbo-based cycling - gentle trundles around the area rather than anything hectic.  Plenty of climbing though - disadvantage of living at the top of the highest hill around.  Two runs to report - a wet one on Wednesday - 8.7 local undulating miles and mild and dry for a tough hill session yesterday.  2.5 miles warm-up and cool-down there and back and then 6 x 3 and a bit minutes at hard effort up and jog down.  Hid my new running jacket in a bush for those - was fortunately still there on my return.  
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    I started the new running year gently with a four mile recovery in the evening dark on 1.1.22. 

    Back to harder stuff yesterday with a 13.7 mile run with the second half faster.  My legs were a bit tired from cycling on the 1st but were surprisingly happy to do some faster miles.  Good to tick off a HM distance at the beginning of the month.  I might gradually stretch the distance to a long run (16m) but as I am not mara training at the moment no rush for that.  Decent enough day for running yesterday - out in capris rather than long tights - cool but little wind.  With duller weather there were less people wandering around so less need for slaloming.
  • Cal JonesCal Jones ✭✭✭
    I didn't do a long run yesterday as I was heading to Winter Wonderland with my friend from Manchester, Colin, but thought today would be fine as it was still a bank holiday. I'd intended to do 17 or 18 miles, but after a rubbish sleep, being on my feet most of yesterday and a tough, technical parkrun on the Saturday, my legs didn't want any of that. Instead of getting faster as it got lighter, which is what usually happens, I got slower and grumpier. So I figured 12 was enough.
    I did do a new part - I crossed Chelsea Bridge after Battersea Park and ran up to Sloane Square and then down the King's Road. There were some gorgeous Christmas lights at the shopping end, which made me happy. I'd intended to follow the road to the end which would bring me out at Fulham Palace, but took the wrong branch and ended up on the decidedly unscenic Wandsworth Bridge instead. Another time, then.

    Hazel...I did think about trying to do another mile (and a bit) for the half but by that point I just wanted to stop. I must be tired!
  • Hazel and Cal - well done for putting in some decent miles and getting your running years off to such a good start. 

    All I managed was a very slow 10k yesterday.

    I did try some different intervals on the rower. I usually do 8 x 250 at 4 mins per km pace. So today I thought I'd try 4 x 500 at the same pace. The only difference was that I gave myself 2 mins rest between the 500s rather than the 1 mins rest between the 250s.

    I just about managed the same pace but it was much harder. So I'm now going to do my run intervals at 500s (with a 2 min rest) rather than 250s (with 1 min. rest).

    I checked Power of Ten today and found that my run on Saturday gave me 25th in the UK for my age category for 2022. This will not last long!
  • HazelnutCHHazelnutCH ✭✭✭
    Sounds wise to have not dragged out that run any further Cal.  Shame the end wasn't very scenic but it seems that the lights compensated a bit.

    Did you get a screenshot of your ranking JB?  Good luck with the 500s. 

    Breezy 8 and a bit miles yesterday evening.  Just short of 2 on my own then joined by 3 others - one on a bike as he wants to do some solo running at the moment but wanted to join us for some chat and fresh air.  The air was lively but nice to have a tailwind up some of the hills at least.  It was also quite warm - I could have done with at least capris if not even shorts.  None of that as of today though - woke to a thin layer of snow today, winter is back.
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