Bushy Park 10 mile training – 24th April 2010

As I had almost 2 hours to kill whilst my 12 year old was at Scouts I headed into Bushy Park as it was just next door. The fact it wasn’t raining was also a big driver for a longer run (we currently have a hosepipe ban due to a drought, even though it has pretty much rained every day since they announced the ban!)

Unsure if it would be muddy I wore my KSO Trek’s and carried a water bottle with a Nuun tablet (Tri-Berry) to see if it made me drink more.

With regard to the route I decided to pretty much run around the outside of the park and cut in to make up the distance as I reckoned even at 70% HR I should be able to get 10 miles in before I had to return to pick up Oliver.

Regarding wildlife, the deer were out as usual and starting to move to their evening places as the park would shortly be closed to cars and I disturbed several green woodpeckers who were rummaging for food in the long grass.

Well the Nuun was a success, after 1 hour I had drunk around 2/3 so had to ease off so I had some left at the end. The electrolyte also helped as I didn’t spend the night “running in my sleep” (and getting kicked as a result) which sometimes happens after such runs.

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Croyde Coastal run – 22nd April 2012

I didn’t go “overboard” on the wine at the wedding on Saturday as I’d found a nice coastal path for a 5 mile run for the Sunday morning (ate loads though!).

The wedding was in a village in North Devon (Croyde), famous for its surfing, and my route took me along the coastal path which I hoped would be pretty quiet early on a Sunday morning.

I left the house at 8:30am wearing a waterproof (it just started to rain) and wearing my KSO Treks (as it looked like it was going to be pretty muddy), and carrying a water bottle. I reckoned I had about an hour before the rest of the house woke up.

The run started along the road, before turning up a track to a farm beyond which it became a heavily rutted track which looked like it had been worn by several hundred years of cart wheels.

I turned right on a left bend onto an overgrown footpath leading east which led me down across open land to Putsborough, where I joined the coastal path http://www.southwestcoastpath.com/ and started to head west back around Baggy Point towards Croyde.

The sun came out at that point and the beach at Putsborough looked welcoming, if only for surfers!

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The path seems to pretty much “hug” the coast, I hope it doesn’t get icy or snow very often as an icy slip would herald a very quick and unpleasant descent to the rocks below.

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Alas the rain arrived.

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The path continued around the coast (and the rain continued on and off) and finally I could see Croyde beach in the distance.

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After a total of 6 miles and around 800ft of elevation I arrived back at the house to find everyone still asleep! Damn, I could have done a longer run!

Brighton Marathon (well, pacing for 8 miles of it anyway)- 15th April 2012

Now before anyone gets excited I didn’t run the whole Brighton marathon, but I paced a good friend for the last 8 miles, at least that was my intention anyway.

I generally run a couple of half marathons each year with my friend Phil, but as this was his first marathon I said I’d come down to Brighton and maybe help him out.

As we were staying at my ‘Parents in Law’ just outside Brighton we got to the start in plenty of time and I agreed to meet him around 18 miles and see if I could run along side on the pavement or something and provide encouragement, as miles 18 -26 took you a long way out West of Brighton and back and looked like it could get someone down at that stage in the race. I was wearing running gear, albeit with a few extra layersand my Camelbak , tracksters and a windproof top and of course my Luna’s.

The race started @ 9:00 and I made my way to the nearest Starbucks for tea, breakfast and to warm up as it was pretty cold just hanging about for the last 90 minutes. I reckoned I had got about 2.5 hours before Phil reached 18 miles, so I installed the neat iPhone App for the race that could tell you when your runner hit halfway, and could then estimate (on the previous 13 miles) where they were on the course.

An hour later , recharged (both me and my iPhone) I started walking a few miles West towards another Starbucks closer to the 18 mile point.

According to the App Phil had reached 13.1 miles in 1:56 so he was well on target. I watched till it said he was approaching 16 miles and headed out of my second Starbucks of the day where I had been making a small cup of tea last forever (I didn’t want to be looking for toilets and Phil).

Around 18 miles the road was very wide and I was able to stand in the middle section with runners entering and leaving this 4 mile loop off the main course, and started looking out for Phil who should be returning from the loop back to the seafront to reach the 18 mile point.

At last I spotted him (as well as a barefoot runner a few minutes in front) and as the runners were pretty spread out I jumped in alongside and began running with him!

He was doing very well, hydrated, snacking on Shot Bloks and looking pretty comfortable. We carried on till about mile 23 where I had to stop for a second to remove my windproof top (I was overheating and missing the pint of blood I gave away 2 days earlier), at that point Phil either decided to drop me, or else something “attractive” ran past him and he gave chase, either way I never caught up with him.

Looking at his splits I’m not surprised as he increased is mile pace by around 40 seconds per mile from that point to the finish.

Whilst I was looking for Phil, a runner alongside (who’s name I have since forgotten, but as his memory is younger that mine he may remember this blog address) started a conversation about my foot wear (Luna Sandals) and it was only when I looked at his I saw he was running in Vibram Bikilas. We chatted about each others minimalist footwear experiences, the sad loss of Caballo Blanco (it seemed we both met him in The Barbican talk in London last year), and the “clubmasloco” Google group that we were both members of.

We were both impressed at the 2 “real” barefoot runners we had seen in the race, of which at least one would be finishing around 4:15 I think.

At about 25 miles we stepped up the pace so he would get under 4 hrs, and I bailed out of the race at 26 miles having paced an old friend and a new one.

I met up with Phil at the agreed point beyond the finish (he was very pleased at his time of 3:44) and we made our way to the train station. We had a very welcome shower and Sunday dinner at my Parents in Law, after which I drove us back to Twickenham, and Phil then carried on home to Devon.

A good weekend and an excellent first marathon time for Phil.

River Crane 8k run – 6th April 2012

It’s a public holiday and you wake up to sunshine, so what do you do? You go running of course.

I headed out for a 8k run around Crane Park to stretch my legs as I was thinking of a PB/PR attempt at parkrun tomorrow.

The light was fantastic, with frost still on the ground where the sun hadn’t reached yet.

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The old Shot Tower was just peeking through the trees as I approached the little climb away from the river. The drought really showed in the low water level of the river.

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I ran in my Vibram KSO Trek To give my feet a rest from my Luna’s but I’ll be back in the Luna’s tomorrow at parkrun.

It was a refreshing run, cold but with warm sunshine, one of those ‘good to be alive’ mornings!

Bushy parkrun – 25th Feb 2012

I thought I’d have a go at getting closer to my PB (PR for any US folks) so I got down to Bushy early to get a good warm up.

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It looked like a busy Saturday morning (turned out to be 835 runners) but it way dry, not too cold and reasonable underfoot. I had decided to wear my VFF KSO Trek’s to give the back if my right heel a rest (still sore from strap on my Lunas being too tight last Sunday).

I positioned myself 6 rows back from the start line and didn’t have to do too much dodging round other runners before the field started to spread out as we hurtled down the grass next to Chestnut Avenue. I did the first mile in 7:11 (so I knew I had a problem as it needed to be 7:00 to hit my PB). Mile 2 was also 7:11, and by mile 3 I had started to tire only clocking 7:25.

I sprinted the last 100 metres to try and regain some ground finishing in 22:17, best time this year but 31 seconds off my PB I set last year.

Looking at the HR data my warm up paid off as it was a nice smooth HR curve (no 1 mile spike followed by a drop when I am warmed up).

Need more practice on these short fast distances which is tricky when I am so focused on the upcoming Ultra.