Showing posts from December, 2007


Although I haven't really mentioned it in my blog I've been feeling really lethargic over the last few weeks. I'm not very sure why, but I have been sleeping really badly so this will have something to do with it - the best analogy I can come up with is that its like going to bed really tired but with a head full of stimulants. As a result this week my mileage has dropped off significantly. My first run of the week was on Wednesday (Boxing Day) to do my 9 mile loop through the park. To be honest I didn't enjoy the run at all, the place was heaving; literally thousands of people in the park - I've never seen it so busy. I had to weave a lot to pass groups of people, but also be wary of dogs off their leash, plus kids with their new bikes and rollerblades etc. To cap it off, the park roads were choked and had to make a couple of late manoeuvres to avoid oncoming vehicles. On the plus side, taking this into account I went at a fairly hard pace and averaged 6.55min

2007 Review. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Another year is almost over, but incidentally is also almost one year to the day since I started blogging. Heading into 2007, before I had even contemplated entering the Marathon des Sables I set myself four targets. To recap these were: 1) Sub 13 min run on the Mungo Bone 2) Sub 36 mins for a 10k road race 3) Cycle sub 48 mins on my 14.5 mile lap 4) Improve upon my average cross-country position of 59 th . These targets were set with the idea of improving my physical fitness rather than as preparation for an ultra marathon which is what I am now heading towards. As a result the targets do seem a little strange, as if nothing else they are all a bit on the short side. On the other hand it shows how far I've come over the last year when I hadn't really contemplated running anything over 10km. The first target to fall was the sub 48 min cycle ride which I completed in April. Arguably this was the easiest of my targets, where to be honest all I needed to do to improve my time

Another 50 miles (well 48.4...)

I started off the week with an easy 10k at a very slow pace and followed this up on Wednesday morning with a 12 mile run to work at whatever pace that felt comfortable. I'm beginning to really enjoy this run on a cold winter's day, setting off whilst its still dark, then running underneath Spaghetti Junction and the last half an hour along the canals. Although I was slightly slower than usual I was carrying a fairly heavy rucksack in compensation. Only other thing to note was that at the Christmas Lunch I broke my 10 month abstinence from alcohol since entering the MdS in early March! I was getting increasingly tired during the week and for some reason or another I just couldn't get a good nights sleep. As a result on Thursday I was totally shattered, but still forced myself out for a run, but gave it up after just 1km which is the first time I've mentally caved in. I decided to not bother with a run on Friday; apart from anything else I'm not sure whether I

Hitting the Wall...

Since the cross country last weekend I gave blood on Monday so decided not to go out for a run as it probably wouldn't be a good idea. Then didn't run on Tuesday either because I couldn't be bothered, but also because I decided to run the 12 miles to work early the next day instead. I had a really enjoyable run to work and got there a lot quicker than usual but without the additional effort. It took me 1:28 instead of the usual 1.32-35 I followed this up on Thursday with a short but intense 3.5 mile run just to zap the legs as I haven't done a proper speed session for a while. I averaged 6:30 min miles so was fairly happy with the effort although very tiring. Finally on Friday I did a 10km recovery jog, and unusually for me didn't look at my watch at all and just ran to how I felt. I was slightly surprised that my recovery jog was still 7:30 min miles but I couldn't have gone much slower than I did. Today I went for a 20 miler, but have to say that I felt

North Staffs Cross Country - Race 4, Leek

During the week I did next to nothing in preparation for Saturday's race at Leek, just a 3.5 mile jog to keep the legs ticking over on Wednesday. On Saturday the final race of the North Staffs Cross Country League was held at Leek. The conditions were frankly awful with heavy rain in the days leading up to the event making the ground saturated and foot conditions very heavy, with the course well churned by the time of the men’s race. As a result, all of the downhill stretches were very slippery whilst the rest of the course was extremely boggy with calf deep mud most of the way round. There was also heavy rain during the event itself making for horrible conditions. The course was very hilly and is by far the hardest race of the season containing several significant climbs, but thankfully the laps tend to be a bit shorter than normal because of this. As it was tipping it down I tried to stay in the car as long as possible before getting changed inside the school. With about 10 mins

Another week goes by...

Not a particularly interesting week. Monday was a rest day , followed by 6 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and then 9 miles on Sat and Sun. I did the Sat 9 miles at a moderately hard pace of 6:48 min miles (60:26). On Sunday my legs felt dead so the day before must have taken more out of me than I thought. In the end I just jogged round the same route, but still managed to go round comfortably in 7:24 pace which was pleasing. In the end it was just 30 miles for the week but couldn't really do any more because of work commitments. This weekend I have the final cross country race of the season at Leek so wont do much this week, just a couple of 3.5 mile runs to keep the legs ticking over. The main issue for me is that after the cross country race this weekend I have no events planned going into next year. I've been looking for something over xmas , but cant find anything suitable. Any ideas? I have agreed to go for a long run out somewhere hilly on the last weekend of the