Week ending 10th July

43 mpw, 7:40 min/mile

Footage from the 2010 Lord Mayor’s 5k

The Hancock Half Hour was run as a steady training run, rather than the race it could have been. Instead, I raced the difficult Lord Mayor’s 5k in 18.11, which was not too shabby. Particularly considering the fact that it formed part of 30 miles that were run within 40 hours including a 6.5 mile round trip warm up/down.

This week is all about preparing for the Fairlands Valley 50k. Including the preceding Saturday, I’ll be aiming for two rest days.

Week ending 3rd July

56 mpw, 7:53 min/mile

This week contained six runs, plus a mediocre (sprinting) performance on sports day, which was more than planned, but ok. A good run on Thursday finished with a tight hamstring which needs monitoring.

The plan for the week ahead is to drop one run (to five), while a potential race on Saturday may shift the regular training routine. Meanwhile, I have entered the Fairlands Valley 50k as preparation for Switzerland.

How far is too far?

July_2011_race_calendar

Today I entered the Fairlands Valley Challenge. This makes my race mileage for July alone extortionately high – as if it were not high enough already. In fact, I will race further in two July races than I will have raced in all other races this year added together. See if you can use the pie chart to work out how far.

Note: maths knowledge alone is not sufficient to answer this one, hence it’s filed under ‘training’

Week ending 26th June

39.5 mpw, 8:06 min/mile

I seemed to spend the week recovering from the Three Peaks. My feet may as well have weighed 10st as my hamstrings could barely lift them until Thursday. Running on Tuesday felt like a waste of time, although I’m told it wasn’t – still not convinced MI & JN.

I now feel like some energy is returning and am hoping for an extra day’s training this week – having not exceeded 4 days a week since I was ill. The toughest challenge this week will be remaining injury free after a 4*100m leg at School Sports Day.

Thunder on the Mountain

The Yorkshire Three Peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernshide and Ingleborough, form the basis of many events, whose total distance covers approximately 25 miles. Five of us ran the Heart Research challenge last year and had such a fantastic experience, that we decided to run it again this year – with five additional runners and three walkers (with one runner from last year unavailable).

A poor weather forecast ensured we prepared for nasty conditions for the duration but, by the time we had pitched our tent the preceding night, we had seen nothing of the thunderstorms, gales, rain and fog that had been mentioned. That is until we went to bed – when the heavens opened.

Four hours later and we were woken by our neighbours, but it was time to start getting ready ourselves. And, by 5am, we were on the move. A road closure, a wrong turn and an extensive diversion meant the journey took nearly 2 hours – this was significant because it meant we would have less preparation time and would have to negotiate hundreds of walkers throughout the first 10 miles.

Pen-y-Ghent was wet and windy and visibility was less than 5m in places, but we made it to the top. And off it again, just. Once visibility improved, as we descended, we barrelled down at a tremendous speed until we hit boggy marshes and started treading water, literally. A number of our party fell over, others were in bogs up to their waists and DS lost his trainer. At this point, we stood there laughing while he reached for it as it continued to sink – until his socks weren’t visible and his arm was submerged as far as his armpit. Well, it was funny. Although, to be fair, he wasn’t the only one who lost his shoe.

Whernside was next and fortunately the weather was improving (although visibility was still poor), but that didn’t make the ascent any easier. In fact, as we started descending, GH requested some painkillers before disclosing (some 10 minutes later) that she has twisted, or possibly broken, her ankle – as far back as Pen-Y-Ghent, some 10 miles previous. Furthermore, the ankle was the size of a tennis ball and it was almost three miles to the next checkpoint – where first aid would be available. I have since been informed that the damage is only a sprain, but she was unable to continue.

We stopped for an obligatory brunch at the café en route to Ingleborough, before continuing our journey. Ingleborough’s climb is immense, albeit brief, and it was hard work to the top but, by this stage the skies were clearing, the temperature was increasing and we were drying out, so we made it safely. The final run home seemed somewhat easier than the previous couple of hours and the ‘runners’ finished in about 6 and a  half hours [I am still waiting for clarification of the actual running time], followed by the walkers a couple of hours later.

All in all, this was a superb experience once more, and shows some of the reasons that I love running*. Just try convincing me that this isn’t good fun. I challenge you.

*The only negative aspect of this event can be discovered here.

Week ending 19th June

37.5 mpw, 6:40 min/mile*

I still felt like my body was trying to overcome a cold, as my legs seemed heavy. And, as such, the 5 mile run of the Hancock Half Hour Handicap felt particularly difficult – although I did manage to sneak under 30 mins.

Saturday was then a run/walk of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge – covering close to 25 miles of hilly, often muddy, terrain. It was particularly hard work, and explains the aching throughout my legs in the following days. On the plus side, it should be great training for Switzerland, although I didn’t feel like I could continue for another 5 miles, let alone another 25.

*pace does not include the Three Peaks run

Week ending 12th June

39 mpw, 8:09 min/mile

This week was full of slow runs with my legs feeling tired and sluggish. They were run at an ‘easy’ pace, although certainly didn’t feel easy. Only today, did they begin to feel like there was any fight in them.

A couple of tough runs are scheduled for this week with the Hancock Half Hour Handicap over a 5 mile course and the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge in the space of 48 hours. I’m looking forward to them both, but am not sure that either will be as quick as may have been the case a few weeks ago. Best keep my fingers crossed for good weather…

Week ending 5th June

20 mpw, 8:01 min/mile

The week started well with a steady hill session. But the next day, an interval session ended with a feeling of illness. I had always planned to rest on Wednesday, but the cold I had been staving off (from probably long before Paris to London) finally caught up with me. In a big way. So the half term was spent dosing up on tea and honey.

Sunday arrived, and I didn’t feel much better but, wanted to run before I returned to work. Time will tell if this was a wise decision. I have also taken the decision not to run the Wymondham 10m in a week’s time, so I can focus on returning to ‘normality’.

As an aside, my training schedule is now viewable via dropbox – see link on the rhs. I’m only just starting to use dropbox, so the nature of this link (and the file) may change.

Week ending 29th May

46 mpw, 7:41 min/mile

An easier week, with three rest days, but two long runs at the weekend including a run with the emu and tfp on Sunday. Three long runs in nine days have made my legs feel slow again, so I need to inject some more speed into my training when they’re ready.

Still haven’t entered the Wymondham 10m, but the (Yorkshire) Three Peaks run is taking shape once again for the following week.