Busy busy…

Things have started to get a bit busy lately! I am well into my training for the Cambridge Half Marathon, I have been helping with the new beginner’s running group, I have started the City and Guilds AutocCad evening course and I am also in the process of setting up a new parkrun in Huntingdon. I am also keeping up with my recipe challenge, where I am working my way through my new vegetarian recipe book.

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Training week 6

As I am upping my long runs by a mile each week, today’s long run had to be 8 miles. Originally I was going to do it yesterday but when I heard that a group of people from my running club were doing their long runs today down the guided busway I thought I would join them. Even though they are much faster than me and most of them would be running much further, I hoped I would be a bit more motivated knowing that we would be on the same route. The guided busway is almost completely flat and you can see for miles, but a lot of it is unsheltered and it was really really windy. The wind made the run really tough, particularly on the way back when there was a massive head wind, but the sun was out too so at times the run was lovely and quite warm. I was glad that I was only wearing my parkrun t-shirt and shorts (and a hat in case the wind made my ears cold!).

I was so glad to make it back to the car after my Garmin told me that I finally did the 8 miles. On the plus side my hamstring felt completely fine and I finished the 8 miles pretty much on target, however I picked up a couple of blisters on the way so I need to work out why before my next long run.

After waiting a short while for the others to finish their runs, I offered everyone a piece of apple cake and apple flapjack that I made last night (I had some apples that needed using up). The recent training evening I went to stressed how important it is to eat something straight after a run so I thought the cake would be appreciated (and it was!).

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January 2013 – In Training!

Last week I went to the training evening for the Cambridge Half Marathon that had been organised by the event organisers/promoters and Saucony. When I got there I had a bit of a chat with one of the experts about orthotics and then I went on the treadmill to make sure that my running shoes were still ok for me, as I will be wearing these on race day. Thankfully they said that they were completely fine which was a massive relief as I have only owned them for a couple of months so I really didn’t want to buy a new pair. We then went out into the cold and did an interval/effort session. I found it really tough and even the slow jog to and from the path where we were doing the intervals felt like a bit of a sprint for me, but I really enjoyed it (despite what I might have said during the intervals!). After this we went through lots of stretches, helped ourselves to some drinks and nibbles and then sat down for the workshops. They talked to us about nutrition, injury prevention, training and went through all of the information about the Half Marathon. We also got a technical ‘I am Training for the Cambridge Half Marathon’ t-shirt that I have already worn while training for the Cambridge Half Marathon. I definitely learned more in those few hours than I have over my last few years of running and it really got me thinking about eating better and training better.

As I am upping my long runs by a mile each week like I did for my last half marathon, I went out and did a 7 mile run in sub-zero snowy conditions down the guided busway at the weekend. It was hard and I did have to stop to stretch a lot more than I would have wanted, but I was so pleased (and a little surprised) that I stuck to the plan when it would have been so easy to cut the run short. I wonder if my run was helped by having soup for breakfast that morning?
half marathon training

 

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January 2013 – Catch up

After neglecting my blog since the Janathon, here are some of the highlights of the last 12 months (in no particular order):

Graduated with a Civil Engineering degree, went to my sister’s graduation, completed my first half marathon (Run to the Beat), started setting up a new Huntingdon parkrun, did a bit of motocross for the first ever time (and got very scared in the process!), got a pay rise at work, beat my 5 mile PB, came close to beating my 5k PB, recovered from a hamstring injury, signed up for the 2013 Thunder Run, signed up for the 2013 Cambridge half marathon – and that’s all I can think of at the moment.

I am now a couple of weeks into my half marathon training for the Cambridge half marathon although it is getting difficult cos of all the snow outside. When I signed up for my local half marathon it never crossed my mind that my training would be in winter. This is something that I will try to remember for next year! I have also set myself a couple of challenges. The first is to get a 5k PB as I was only 6 seconds away from doing it last year. I also hope to get a half marathon PB – the Run to the Beat half marathon was really tough and hilly so I am sure that this is achievable.

 

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Janathon Day 31 – Janathon COMPLETED!

I have done it! I have run 32 days in a row (every day in January and the 10k race on NYE)! I have completed the Janathon 2012!!!! I have therefore treated myself to a little reward for my efforts.

Today should really have been a rest day after doing my longest run of the month yesterday so I was happy to have an easy end to the Janathon by just doing 2km on the treadmill. If it wasn’t freeeezing outside then I would have considered running outside but it wasn’t (or it was?) so I didn’t.

I left it until 9pm to go to the gym and there were only a handful of people there and I was able to watch The Biggest Loser while running on the treadmill. Just over 12 minutes later my run was done and my Janathon was complete!! Tomorrow night and Thursday night I would usually run with the club but I think I might have a rest day tomorrow and try to remember how I used to spend my evenings before the whole running thing completely took over.

As I did on the evening of 31st January 2011 I once again started to wonder what I had learned from doing the Janathon. Again it is very late in the evening and I am very tired so here are just a few (not particularly thought through) thoughts (some of which have been recycled from this time last year):

1. I can run! I have proved that I can turn up and run well over 5 miles without walking.

2. Eating and drinking properly before and after a run is really important (eating cheese before a run is not recommended!)

3. Stretching after a run is also so important, even after a short run

4. If I put effort into my running then I can improve, especially if I tell myself that I can do it.

5. People at the running club are really friendly and are happy to help if they see that I am putting a bit of effort in.

6. Running is so much easier and much more enjoyable in a group of people

7. I can run faster and for longer than I think I can

8. Speed sessions are the only way that I am going to get any faster

9. I love running in the rain!

10. Running every day is really hard!

Anyways, thanks to everyone for their kind comments and giving me encouragement along the way and well done to everyone who has completed the Janathon. A massive thanks also to all those who have sponsored me and helped me raise money for the fantastic charity Kick4Life. The charity uses the power of sport to help some of the most disadvantaged children in the world and all of the money is massively appreciated.

Stats

Distance: 2km

Time: 12:54

Ave Pace: 10:24

Janathon 2012 Stats (compared with Janathon 2011 Stats)

Distance: 71.9 miles (60.1 miles)

Time: 13.8 hours (11.4 hours)

Longest Run: 5.74 miles (4.34 miles)

Best Ave Pace: 9:53 (10:17)

No. Pbs: 1 (1)

Relief at having completed the Janathon: 100 (100)

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Janathon Day 30 – club run

It was absolutely freezing tonight!

There was a massive turnout again at tonight’s club run and we split into two groups depending on what pace we wanted to do. There were about 7 or 8 of us in the slower group and there must have been at least 20 runners in the faster group.

We ran from the leisure centre up to Brampton at a fairly comfortable pace (although I picked up the pace a little when I was told that the bridge we were on was haunted!). After just over 2 miles we got to Brampton and we met up with the faster group who had waited for us, had a bit of a breather, and then ran back towards Huntingdon, up to the hospital and took the scenic route back towards the leisure centre. There were a couple of killer hills along the route where I slowed right down and I didn’t particularly like it when the rain turned to hail, but overall I really enjoyed it. I knew that the pace was slow but I was so pleased that I was able to run this distance after 30 consecutive days of running – especially as this is the longest run of the year so far! Lots of people in the club and at work have been really encouraging which has really helped me to stick with the Janathon. Hopefully the Janathon miles will help me to do more quality runs in February which should (hopefully) lead to a bit of improvement in my running!

Stats

Distance: 5.74 miles

Time: 1:03:33

Ave Pace: 11:04

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Janathon Day 29 – pub run!

After having a bit of a lazy day, I finally went out for a run with Tonyparkrunner at around 6pm this evening. I bought some trail shoes yesterday as my road shoes keep getting really muddy at the parkrun and the next frostbite is also likely to be very muddy, so I wanted to do a comfortable run in them tonight to break them in.

I wanted to run a bit further than just to the town bridge and back so we decided to do a bit of a pub run (i.e. running passed the pubs without actually going inside) as I hadn’t planned a route.

We went passed the Dolphin Hotel, passed the Tap Room and Nelsons head, then up to Floods and The Aviator, (we skipped the Seven Wives as per usual!) and turned right to go passed the back of Royal Oak, into town by the Robin Hood and the White Hart, along the river (close to the Oliver Cromell) and then back passed the Dolphin Hotel to run back home.

I could not believe that we had gone by all of those pubs and only ran 2.5 miles but it was a great way to take our minds off the running and the freezing cold to think about what route we could take to go passed as many pubs as possible and I wasn’t at all tempted (well, maybe a little!) to go inside any of them.

Stats

Distance: 2.5 miles

Time: 27:44

Ave Pace: 11:06

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Janathon Day 28 – Cambridge parkrun

Today was Cambridge parkrun’s 2nd birthday. I had been looking forward to it for ages and it was very likely that there would be a record turnout. I had decided to take it easy again today as it was really really muddy and I thought that my legs would be tired from running on the treadmill yesterday.

My legs felt fine today though, so I ran with a friend from the club and her daughter (who I struggled to keep up with at some points!) and then I slowed down to run with another friend from the club who looked like she needed a bit of encouragement as she had already run a few miles before the parkrun for her half marathon training. I finished the parkrun with her in a comfortable 34 minutes and then I went to join the others for a latte and some cake!

There was a record turnout at the parkrun today and it was brilliant seeing loads of people in fancy dress, loads of people from the running club and my Dad giving us all encouragement as we ran by. 

Stats

Distance: 5km

Time: 34:13

Ave Pace: 11:02

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Janathon Day 27 – the treadmill again

I went to the gym as late as possible again this evening when it would be quieter so I wouldn’t have to wait to use a treadmill. I got straight on to the treadmill in the corner that I usually use, plugged my headphones in so that I could listen to Eastenders and got going with the run.

Maths has never been my strong point and I have discovered that mental arithmetic is much harder to do while running at the same time. I find the treadmill really boring so I try to use it as little as possible, but as The Frostmeister suggested that I should start upping my mileage, I decided to do a minimum of 2 miles. The treadmill is set to km so I set the goal to how many kms I thought would be in 2 miles (I still don’t know the answer!). I was wrong but it was still further than yesterday’s run.

I also had an alert that came up on the treadmill screen warning me that my heart rate was too high! I was pretty pleased with this at the time as it felt like the treadmill had finally acknowledged that I was trying my hardest, but I suppose in the long term this might not be a good thing!

Stats

Distance: 1.55 miles

Time: 15:56

Ave Pace: 10:17

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Janathon Day 26 – a quick run

Still feeling pretty sick this evening (and I am not really sure why) so I didn’t join the beginners at the club. It was also getting a bit too late to go to the gym so my only other option was to go for a short run into town and back.

It was raining pretty hard by the time I was ready to go so I knew I was only going for a short run. I turned back once I reached the Indian restaurant which was just under half a mile away which meant that I had to do a few laps on the road around the really small field (altho’ I’m not sure it is big enough to qualify as a field) outside my house to make it up to a mile. I thought that I was taking it easy and felt quite slow so was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my pace when I got home.

I also stopped feeling sick when I had got back from my run – maybe my body was complaining that I hadn’t been out for a run for over 12 hours!

Stats

Distance: 1.02 miles

Time: 10:16

Ave Pace: 10:04

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