Monday, 27 December 2010

Sweet 19

That pesky white stuff is back again. After a few days of hitting the tarmac post lurgy I was starting to get all optimistic that we were over all these major interruptions to training. A hilly 19 miles on ice free roads yesterday was the first long one for a while but a great return to proper training. Seeing the snow again  this morning I'm now starting to get all stressy as the weeks tick by... only 12 weeks left before the taper! We woke up this morning to heavy snow and slushy roads, Ribble 10k is cancelled, the 3rd race in a row planned and postponed.
Ah well. Instead, I've taken to more sofa slobbing; 3 films back to back being the record yesterday afternoon. As Santa missed our house again this year I've been having wicked thoughts of purchasing a new DSLR whilst I'm confined indoors. Some fine deals on Ebay are taunting me; so far I'm resisting the 'buy me now' button but not sure how much longer I can hang on whilst I'm housebound. Oh, to have a super duper camera to play with instead of one that spits out error messages every time I press the shutter button. Have I been good enough this year to deserve I wonder...

Friday, 24 December 2010


To my fellow bloggers, readers, followers, friends and family who pop by from time to time, warmest wishes for Xmas. Those who know me well will not be suprised by our avoidance of Xmas cheer and such shenanigans where possible. To those of you who indulge, best wishes for a lovely Xmas. I hope Santa treats you well and a happy time is had by all. Enjoy the virtual Xmas decor...

Free Clipart

To those of you who also don't indulge, happy holidays anyway. M and I will be out running in the snow tomorrow, enjoying traffic free roads and tucking into a curry or something similar for dinner. Happy running.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Eye Spy

Forgive the desperate title... you might guess that I was very bored waiting for trains this morning. To entertain myself between the tannoy announcements of delays and cancellations I spent some time snapping away at discarded crisp packets, the odd pylon and then moved on to a collection of random and slightly blurry self portraits. I had exhausted all creative possibilities for the making of art in an empty train carriage by the time we reached Bradford.

Running has been similarly dull  and frustrating whilst attempting to juggle the lurgy, the freezin' weather and seeking alternatives to dreadmill training. Heavens I'm miserable this week. But really, when will this snow and ice end?! Testing times for the dutiful. Good luck out there.  

@~@~Sent from my BlackBerry~@~@

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Not Running But Walking

Though I've not blogged for over a week there's been plenty of running going on through lurgy and bad weather. M emerged after days of sofa surfing with a sore throat and too much daytime TV. He was feeling a bit better today in time for the fresh dump of snow and family visitors...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Great Escape

Wharfedale in patchwork
A return to some quality on the dreadmill for intervals yesterday saw me hammer out 10x500M reps at a fair lick on the machine. At 11.3MPH and gradient set at 1.3% the pace should have been okay but my heart rate was still a bit short of where it should be. I upped the efforts to 2 mins in the final reps, determined to be exhausted. 

Unthwarted I set about some research online comparing notions of treadmill effort with running in the great outdoors. It would seem that a couple of adjustments are needed if you're seeking to truly match the workload. We located a couple of useful sites here and here for some helpful tips on pacing your session. Essentially you need to adjust the speed and gradient to compensate for wind resistance, undulations and the effort of running on normal road or track surfaces. Running all my sessions at 1.3% gradient was a reasonable judgement but I need to up the speed a notch or two next time for a more satisfying, lungbursting workout. 10 X 2 minutes is the plan; a top treadmill tip according to treadmill aficionado and classy runner, Gary D.
Asquith 18 - course profile
After the treadmill training trials this week I was cockahoop to be out on some firm road this morning. The legs were feeling less than frisky but mighty glad to see some sunshine and tarmac after being kept indoors for much of this week. Today was an 18 miler under clear blue skies and bright sunshine. The overnight frost didn't stop this runningbear from getting the long road miles in but did require nerves of steel as I dodged traffic on some of the busier routes around town. Patches of black ice and compacted snow added interest to this undulating route, which was run at a more civilised 7.23 pace this week. I'm definitely learning my lessons from the marathon training breakdown that was last spring; I plan to stay fresh for quality sessions and run steady and long at no less than 7 minute pace... unless it's a tempo session :] Another fine training week in the bank.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Feel The Heat

There's no avoiding the dreadmill this week with more of the white stuff and even more treacherous training conditions. It was a bimble through the drifts on Wednesday; a frolic through virgin snow at a snail's pace just to stretch the intervals out of the legs. I was hoping that some miracle overnight would have brought a warming sun and a nearly snow free Thursday. No such luck whilst the midweek long run loomed.
So, back to Keighley for the full 12 miles; half steady/ half at  somewhere nearing MRP was the plan. The gym was dead, most sensible types cosied up at home in front of the fire no doubt. The row of empty dreadmills looked ominous as M and I stepped up to the plate and pounded our little hearts out. My feet are getting gammy from this indoor running with a patchwork of blisters on both feet. Is it from the heat? Whatever it is, these sessions are mashing my feet. 

5 miles in and all was okay, a dull but 'doable' run.  Building up to mile 6 involved a bit of mental 'bracing'; knowing the next 6 were all at 6.18 pace with no let up until 12. The running seemed to go fine; smooth and without trauma. The miles in the faster gear saw me lapse into a hypnotic stupor and miles 8 to 12 seemed to whizz happily by. A nicely taxing but not too tough a long run was done. As the snow slowly freezes, forcing even the hardiest of us indoors, I am wishing for some dry road for this Sunday's long run.