Thursday, 29 July 2010

The last few days

Is it me? Since the River Run it's all been relatively quiet on the running front. A couple of training half's on the 18th and 20th of July, followed by a hilly 5 miler on the 26th is all that I can report on. The pace and stamina seem to be in place but the enthusiasm seems to have waned a little. I really don't know why because the high I get off the back of a good run usually leaves me craving for more. The only thing I can put it down to is the countdown to my holiday in just over a week's time.

Just north of the Dordogne this time but with plenty of opportunity to hit the French trails once more, which I fully intend to enjoy. The kiddies will have their bikes this time, so the company will be great!

I'm also fully conscious of the need to up the LSR's in preparation of the ACC.

9 weeks to go

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Chippenham River Run 2010

Following last years race I had not trained for a 5km distance all year. However, with my overall fitness above what it was this time last year I thought I'd go and test myself out.
A very dodgy stomach preceding the start didn't bode well and doubts about even starting were creeping in. Knowing the course and the speed at the start I thought I'd dig in and push to beat last year's time of 22:06. With jelly legs and my lungs bursting after a few hundred metres I realised that my dodgy stomach was having more of an impact on my stamina than feared. Despite this, I dug in and pushed on for a 06:45 min/mile pace. It was touch and go at times, making the requisite pace on some stretches but dropping back on others.
When I saw the home straight I remembered how long it seemed to go on at last years event and could not quite judge the distance. I wrongly guesstimated a finish of over 22 minutes but managing to push a steady pace all the way to the end brought me in at 21:27 (6:55 minute/miles) - some 39 seconds of last years time and only 11 seconds off my 5km PB.
Pretty pleased with the time, yet I know on the right course, with less congestion, I've definately got a sub-21 minutes in me.
Watch this space!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Kernow Recce

A weekend in my home county proved a prime opportunity to reacquaint myself with part of the first day of the ACC, so we headed off to my folks who still live on the outskirts of Newquay.

Following a sleepless Friday night (I've no reason why? Seem's to be happening a lot lately!) I was up at 06:15 and on my way by half past towards the coast. My folks live only 10 minutes away from the sea so it didn't entail too much tarmac running, expecting the terrain to soon give way to something a bit softer. However, on hitting the path it became evident that the weeks of dry weather had baked the coastal path rock solid which made the relentless divots quite unforgiving.

It was an overcast morning but pleasantly warm with a slight onshore breeze which blew away much of the humidity that we had endured during the week back home in Wiltshire. With only rabbits and seagulls as company I got into the groove and a few miles on was soon on the downhill to Watergate Bay. There was a bit more activity here due to the Hotel complex, so I hurried on and upwards craving for the solitude of the coastal path.

(Note to self - Public toilets in Watergate Bay to avoid going al fresco!)

Watergate Bay to Mawgan Porth (the latter being the first check point into Day 1 of the ACC) was more akin to the terrain that I was wanting; more remote with greater 'undulations'. I'd set out to run just 10 miles as I had a full day lined up on the beach with the family, so the 5 mile turnaround was just before the beach at Mawgan Porth.

The route back was as equally pleasant with stunning views of the weather fronts making their shadowy paths in from the sea (thankfully the weather turned for the better later on). If anything, apart from a quick 'pit stop' at Watergate bay (see note to self above) the return leg was quicker and I found myself getting stronger as I neared the end of the run.

I eventually got back in a comfortable 01:45:45 working out at around 10:35/mile which is the sort of pace that I'd set out to achieve, although this will work out slower come October for the ACC.

Swiftly followed by a day on the beach!

Monday, 5 July 2010

Perfect Company for a Half

A half marathon training run was the order of a beautiful Sunday morning! My folks were staying for the weekend and were only too eager to look after the kids whilst Ellen jumped on her bike and joined me for the full distance (and impressive she was too!)

With the company came the ability to carry my water, and for the majority of the run my t-shirt too, and it felt fantastic to run unhindered.

For a 09:30 start it was surprising to see so many cyclists and horse riders out and about on a route where you can run for miles and miles without generally seeing anyone.

Anyway, it was a slow one, mainly due to the heat and being tired from a weekend full of nights out and gardening but I managed to shift my arse around averaging 8:55 minute miles; slow but pleasantly satisfying!