Showing posts from April, 2007

Shakespeare Half - Bloody Hell!

An early Sunday wake up at 7am for the journey down to the Stratford Half Marathon beckoned. The weather was warm, but not as hot as predicted, probably around 14 degrees but quite muggy with a gentle breeze about. I was anxious to carbo load and to make sure I was as well hydrated as possible but I perhaps went overboard with this and kept needing the toilet. Luckily about 15 minutes before the start I hopped into the McDonalds just a few minutes away, but even still by the time we started I could have done with going again. Being a fairly large half marathon there were around 3,300 runners (inc. marathon) packed onto the road next to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Even though I was at the start with over 10 minutes to go I couldn't get anywhere near the front so eventually ended up a few rows further back (about 300 runners ahead of me). I wasn't so bothered about this as it meant that I couldn't run too fast to begin with, plus with my first experience of chip tim

Experts opinion... Feet knackered!

Well today I had my bio-mechanical examination. What was interesting is the difference between this podiatrist (an American doctor who is a podiatry surgeon) and the so called sports podiatrist I had a couple of years ago. For a start it was a lot more thorough being 60 mins long and involved a substantial number of foot measurements (probably upwards of 25 on each foot). I've got loads of biro on my feet as a result. He then had me standing in various foot positions which were videoed, then finally I was onto the running machine. This involved me walking whilst he studied my feet before videoing this as well. Basically in laymans terms my feet are knackered!! There was a hell of a lot to take in - the most important being that the neutral point of my feet are at an angle of 32 degrees when it should be zero, give or take. He then said that in 26 years this was pretty exceptional as the most he has ever come across is 33 degrees! Not quite the Guiness Book of Records, b

Tactics for Stratford Half Marathon

During the last week I have been debating how to run my first half marathon which is at Stratford this Sunday. Having had a good run at the Leamington 10k recently I am going to try and do something similar. I intend to run the first 5km very conservatively then aim to run hard for the next 10km and then see what I have left for the final 6km. Depending upon how I feel I might run a km just after the half way point at a slower pace to try and conserve some energy for the latter part of the race. Being my first half marathon I will just have to play things by ear, but the most important thing is that I enjoy it. In terms of finishing times anything over 1hr30min will be a disaster, between 1hr25 to 1h30 will be ok , and anything less than 1hr 25 I'll be very happy with. Using some of the running calculators available my predicted time based upon my fastest 10k performances is between 1hr 21 and 1hr 22:40 - however being my first half marathon it is unlikely I will run that quickl

Tapering off...

Following Sunday's run at the Leamington Regency 10k it has been a week of training and resting. On Monday I went for a short 3.5 mile run as a ' loosener ', then on Tuesday I went for a 6 mile run. Quite early on my knee became very sore and had wondered whether three runs in three consecutive days was asking too much. Overnight my knee stiffened up so was still quite sore to walk on in the morning. It was the worst it has been for some months now, but at the same time never really felt like it was going to stop me running. On Wednesday I travelled down to Exeter with work and decided to stay at the YHA instead of a hotel. As the hostel was on the outskirts of the city and it being a really nice evening I went for another run along the canal path. It was really enjoyable following the wide meandering canal down to the coast. The knee at this stage didn't feel as bad as yesterday and it almost seemed like running on it was actually helping a bit to loosen the ligame

Leamington Regency 10k

During the middle of the week my feet were a bit of a wreck with the skin rubbed raw under the arches. With the weather being good at the moment I had half considered to go on a long bike ride instead, but fortunately the feet recovered enough to do the 10k at Leamington that I had entered a few weeks back. I decided that as the weather was a bit too warm I would just try to enjoy my run and not bother with pace cards and pb's . I ran in my father's old Small Heath Harriers vest which must be older than me as the club folded in 1980. As a senior he would have been running somewhere between 1965-1975 so the vest could be anything up to 42 years old! The vest will have never been round a 10k so slowly! I had to set my alarm clock for 6.45am as it was a good hours drive away to arrive in plenty of time for a 9am start. Its a bit too early for my liking but then at least we avoided the heat of the day which was predicted to reach about 23 degrees (though was already 18 degrees by

First Target of the Year Achieved

The weather today seemed pretty good so decided to go out for a bike ride on my usual route, even though my legs were still quite sore from yesterday's 10k. My best on this course is 49.27 in late 2006 for what I thought was a 14.5 mile course. Well having now measured it on mapmyrun it appears that I was a bit optimistic and it is actually only 13.6miles (basically the same as my half marathon run but with an extra half mile on the Lichfield Rd towards the end- map attached on my previous blog post a couple of weeks back). As you can see from the elevation profile the first part of the course is fast and mainly downhill though it feels flatter than it looks with a few short but sharp climbs. The two main climbs are towards the end of the lap with a short but very steep ascent in Shenstone , then a very long steep ascent from Little Hay to the TV mast. The low point of the course is 89 metres and the highpoint 174 metres. I decided to go as hard as I could, but very early on

Air Products 10k, Crewe

This year I decided not to go to the JK Orienteering festival weekend (mainly down to cost) so decided to do a 10k at Crewe instead. I felt quite tired when getting out of bed - mainly due to the sister not getting back until 1am then having a sleep over... The day was warm at about 16-18 degrees which was a little too warm for my liking when running at speed, but bearable none the less. The race had a reasonably small field of around 230 and the course was fast and fairly flat with the exception of two moderate inclines on each of the two laps. Again I carried a 36min pace card with me and was 20 secs up after the first 2k and I felt reasonable and within myself. Just after the second hill after 4k I was 18 secs up but it took a fair bit out of me and my legs were starting to feel very heavy. At 5k I was 10 secs up and I was rapidly beginning to slow. The last 5km was quite a struggle and lost a few places on the second lap eventually coming home in 38.08 (24th) which was disappoint