Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Dreadmill Daze

After my toughie tempo sandwich run on Saturday morning I've enjoyed a relaxing couple of days of easy running to recover well and ready myself for tonight's quality session; long intervals. The pretty but pesky snow has disrupted my nice new training plans but the white stuff didn't get the better of this Runningbear. A shuffle around town last night saw me clock 8 miles in the blizzard that hit Ilkley at 8pm. Thankfully the absence of any cars on the roads left space for hazard free running. 
Tonight was a different matter with no option but to go indoors for some quality. The ice and snow have forced a return to Keighley leisure centre for a bit of dreadmill running. I can just about cope with intervals sessions indoors but remain unconvinced that the physical effort is anywhere near a match for a session on the track. The plan was for something long and taxing so 4 x 5 mins seemed a good start. The trick is to translate the pace; there's no let up once that dreadmill belt starts turning over and you need to get heart rate just right for maximum training benefits. 

I'm not sure I managed it tonight. Starting out at 5.40 pace,  the efforts all felt a bit too 'manageable'; no lung bursting or leg burning of note. I finished with an extra effort of 2 mins at 5.14 pace, in an attempt to end the session on a high note. Somehow the heart rate didn't seem to reach it's usual heights so I'm unsure the session achieved it's true purpose or if in fact I'd selected a dodgy dreadmill. But, a total of 10 miles running was a start at least and not to be sniffed at; it's definitely better than nowt and a sensible start to some quality running.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Long Runs & Gingerbread

After a rubbish first week off, this second holiday week has lived up to expectations a little better with loads of nice food, running and long sleeps. After my track flogging on Tuesday, M and I pootled around Leg 6 of the Calderdale Way by way of a recce on Wednesday; a relaxed off road run along with club mate Stewart M. We'll be both be running this with our Bingley team pairings in a couple of weeks and needed a bit of a refresher of the route. 

The rest of the week has gone swimmingly, including a great return to some long running this morning, 17.5 miles clocked from home along the snow free roads in Ilkley. I managed 2 x 2  mile tempo intervals sandwiched in the run and felt pretty strong despite the frustrating loss of fitness these last few months. It's just so good to be running pain free again, I'd almost forgetten how enjoyable running is when you've no niggles. This afternoon was spent rustling up some  post run fuel; home baked cakes for a bit of cosy weekend indulgence. I have a weakness for Starbuck's gingerbread loaf at this time of year, it's absolutely gorgeous and I found the recipe online. So naughty but very nice.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Track is Back

I'm up and about and feeling alive again after my bed bound first week. I'd recovered enough in fact to manage a track session on Tuesday, a full one too with no cutting it short, skipping off, slowing down or changing the session half way through. The optimum maximum interval time to achieve VO2 Max training improvements is 5 minutes per effort according to Jack Daniels, so I opted again for 1200s, five of them in fact. Mile reps are just a bit too tough for me right now but not far off I hope. So 5x1200m with a lap of jog recovery saw me finish the session with a total of 10 miles. A solid session to kick off a return to some decent training after my sickly distractions last week.
Now all there's left to do is keep it up for the next few months, get fit and build towards a big race. Something in the spring to keep me focused. Now, what will it be...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

What Lies Beneath

Being all excited at two weeks off and only running/sleeping/slobbing to focus on I think I must've gone and jinxed myself. After a fine session at the track on Tuesday I was feeling very frisky indeed and ready for some serious training this week. All was going good, including the guilty pleasure of an afternoon trip to the cinema on Wednesday afternoon. I think the stop off at Ikea afterwards was the killer blow; the sofa bed purchase just finished me off. Shopping during holidays is really not good for you.

I've since spent the rest of this first holiday week in bed with some kind of sicky flu. Activities have included sleeping or shivering with some time slumped on the bathroom floor staring at the toilet bowl. I've literally done nothing else (except gawp at the telly, including the bonus showing of Close Encounters last night. A very sentimental weep-under-the-duvet kind of film). I now feel like a major space cadet and look all bambi-like trying to get up and down the stairs. I'm over the worst of  the lurgy now I think. I'm hoping the wussy wobbles will pass in time for me to get to the track again on Tuesday. I'm going insane with a duvet overdose; I need to breath some proper fresh air and see some sky. Poor M, he's had a dull week. 

On the bright side, local running mates will have noted some fantastically fast 10K times logged today at the Abbey Dash. Well done to all, including fellow blogger Tony over at Chasing Pavements. A brilliant run.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Big News

Another training week starts after another long run in the bag;  survived without incident or injury. I'm building slowly but steadily, keeping an eye on quality and not being carried away with quantity. This weekend saw a return to some pretty tough stuff; a steady and undulating 16 miles the day after a taxing session at the track. The legs are tired and creaky today, but in a good, post-hard-sesh kind of way.

It's the start of holidays for M & I too, with some time to catch up with ourselves. So plans are to blog a bit, slob a bit and spend some time watching films we've recorded for rainy days with cats on our laps, sitting in pajamas until teatime if we feel like it. Today was a recovery day, a lazy 5 miles in the late sunshine. The village was dappled in wintry light, I apparently missed the foul play.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Tenacious Me

Another blog after another buzzy sesh. It's been a long old week but well worth the madness as we're now off skool for two whole weeks!! I'm in heaven. We've days and days ahead of running, sleeping, reading and lolling with cats on laps. We've truly earned time off and it coincides well with getting back into some quality training and enjoying  daylight runs.

I was particularly proud of my stubborn little training streak this week when on Thursday  M & I battled the swirling winds and horizontal rain to churn out 10 miles around town. Not the gentlest of nights but exhilarating and a feeling of getting back into some proper training. Today was no different with a track visit in the wind and rain and a 400s session, splashing through freezing puddles and battling gusts on the bends. Tiring but fab. The times are down from my achievements on the track over the summer but little old leggy is behaving well.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Winter Tingles

Sorry, sorry, sorry [hands up]. I really did plan to blog on Sunday. I then just slumped in bed with a book post run for the entire afternoon before an evening of crazed pre-week washing and cooking Sunday dinner. It all left me in a crumpled heap before a return to the crazy scramble of work life. I'm here blogging now though :]

Blogging has suffered the blight of the mid year craziness at work as I appraise and account for my job and my team and defend each penny from the public purse we spend trying to do a hard but wonderfully stimulating and engaging job. I love my work but it's aborbing and demanding and I get as obsessed and intense about that as with lots of other stuff, like erm ...running... cake... Need I say more? I'm a freak but hope I'm forgiven.

Running however is starting to be ace again. Though I've had a very gentle few weeks of getting the leggy going I'm now getting back into some quality sessions, including a 16 miler last Sunday (that didn't almost kill me) and a bit of V02 work on Tuesday. 

Though I'm slow and blobby and far off full fitness I am running pain free (yippee) and can start planning races once again. Tonight was an easy 7 around the village with M. The night was cold, clear and starry and left my chilled legs with their first winter tingles of the season. 

Saturday, 6 November 2010


Guilty, guilty, guilty. Have bearly :] had time to eat or run this week never mind blog with madness at work. I'm now over the worst with a break on the horizon in just 6 days time... back blogging proper tomorrow.
P.s. Did 400s at the track today... was brill to be back.