Post long run happiness, pizza, and wine



After last week's failure of a long run I am delighted to report that yesterday's went just fine. Perhaps it was the glorious spring weather (anyone else fear a backlash in the form of snowstorms and howling gales coming soon?) or perhaps it was breaking the run into chunks.

It's all very well trying to do that in your head but this time I actually programmed the whole thing into my watch. 40 minutes easy, three times eight minute hill efforts with four minutes easy recovery in between, then another half hour easy, then half hour marathon pace.

It was only at that point that I gave myself permission to even look at what the mileage was - over 18 - which meant just a few to go. Hooray! I spent those last few deciding exactly what I was going to have on my post-run pizza (still working on sponsorship by Franco Manca, by the way) and whether wine, or beer, would taste better with it.  For reference, a number 3 with extra wild broccoli, and wine. Much wine.

While it was hardly a stellar pace, it was hugely reassuring to feel like I've dealt with the mental demons that seemed to be haunting my long runs - at least for now. For the next few weeks, my strategy is actually race based - I've got a whole series of half marathons lined up, of which some may be raced, some may be marathon paced and others might just be steady. And with bonus medals at the end.

So how was your weekend running? Similarily springlike? It was glorious, but a little unnerving to run in a vest, shorts and sunglasses in February. Though long may it last ...

Comments

  1. It was mild up here in Ayrshire, not balmy but mild so it was shorts and t-shirt for me at Parkrun. I tinkered with how I run so instead of an enthusiastic zombie posture I tried being 'springy' and leaning forward. For the most part it worked and I managed a 27 minute time without trying all that hard (as in not huffing and puffing) I also took advantage of not having to drive and ran back home adding another 10k onto my effort. It was satisfying to have gotten my weekend efforts out the way early doors and I took advantage of a free Sunday morning to get out on the bike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always like running to parkrun and back, adds to the mileage for the week but because it's broken into chunks, doesn't feel like a lot of work

      Delete
    2. I'm usually the designated driver but I know a few folk who do what you do. Will definitely use that tactic next time the chance arises

      Delete
  2. The weekend's running consisted of consecutive 20 milers over three days. The wife and kids were away for a few days, so I decided on doing a 'multi-day event' session such as this rather than a single long run preceded and/or followed by a shorter one. The first, on Thursday, was a bit of a struggle as I was in a fasted state having not eaten since early evening the day before with just water to put into my body during the run. It was fairly hilly (500 metres) along trails, but I kept the pace conversational and got the job done. The rest of the day was spent stuffing my face in a slightly hypnagogic state. I felt far better on the Friday being adequately fueled both before and during the run. It was a similar route to the previous day's, but with a bit more climbing (700 metres). I decided to keep Saturday's route as easy as possible (ie flat and mainly along tarmac), so went down to Oxford for a few loops around University Parks and Christ Church, before a few miles racing rowers along the Thames (I beat the two coxless pairs FYI). Even though the pace was kept conversational, the final run in this three-day, twenty-mile streak was the fastest at roughly 5:00 min/kilometre, which is my target 50 km pace in a few weeks' time. This is the third time in as many years that I've done something like this. Looking back at my Strava entries, this was by far the fastest over the most demanding routes. My combined time for the 60 miles was 8:40 with almost 2,000 metres of ascents whereas in previous years it was 9:40 and 9:30 (with barely 1,000 metres of ascents). A sure sign that my conversational pace is now a lot quicker!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well done getting back into it Kate and indeed to everyone else getting out.

    First training week for me post-Barca so booooring and nothing of note to report. I am however visiting home next weekend which conveniently coincides with pacers at the Strathclyde parkrun so that will obviously be balls out to see what happens...from then on it's concentrating properly on the Big25 so will make the most of some reckless pace when I can.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I almost managed to hit my target of 19.45 for 5k....falling 2s short. Having said that, my goal is 10s improvement per month for 12 months and as I managed 20.07 on NYE 2018 I am pretty much bang on schedule.

    Following the parkrun I took part in the Henrik Jørgensen memorial 10k, ambling along with the 4.30 per km group. It seemed like most of the runners in CPH had timed their long runs to coincide with the event, either putting in a shift before the 10k or else using it as a warm up and pushing on afterwards. The former group did the best out of the deal as there were complimentary beers in the stadium at the finish line (proper beer not Erdinger alcohol free) and then more beers and ramen in the new bar Mikkeller bar which was opening around the corner.

    Oh, and (almost) everybody was sporting HJ’s traditional white headband, which was a lovely touch.

    Many congrats to IDxxxxxxx on a bloody fantastic run yesterday...amazing time, doubly so for an old man like him ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Asta, I'd be doing cartwheels if I could - that's how happy I am :-D

      Delete
  5. No no no, you CANNOT put that photo up before dinner, that's crueler than cross country.

    Mine was tough going, but I was expecting it to be.
    Moved my tempo pace up to what HM pace was 4 weeks ago, and added a bit more distance for Friday's tempo run.
    Steady 5K Saturday with a few efforts thrown in, went and got my first Strava crown, which was nice.
    Sunday was same distance as last week, but more elevation and tried to push a couple of seconds/KM faster to make it 3:15 MP. Managed it, although I did get lost and left myself a mile walk back to the car when I was finished, which was not nice.

    Pizza was also had, although it's not quite the same when you're cooking it yourself is it? I need to find some decent (ideally vegan) takeway Italians in the North East that aren't in Newcastle.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I’m definitely waiting for the sting in the tail of this lovely weather. Last year we had the Beast from the East, then the Mini Beast mid-March. I distinctly remember doing my longest run 4 weeks before VLM, in driving sleet and snow along the Thames and half mara’s and 10k races being cancelled up and down the country! And we all know what the weather was like 4 weeks later.

    I ran 22.5 miles yesterday and it went pretty well. I ran the first 10k with my husband which is fairly slow and chatty so I didn’t even notice it, then went off on a wander up past the Thames Barrier>Woolwich>Thamesmead and back round again. It turned into a progressive run, my increase in pace coinciding with switching from Audiobooks to music and the fog lifting/sun coming out! I could have carried on at least another 2-4k but decided I should probably call it in and finish on a high.

    After not going to club track for months, I went twice last week and decided to take them up on a club place for the Brighton Marathon in 7 weeks time. I figured I’m in pretty good shape and can apply some marathon specifics from now on. The good thing is, the only expectations are to finish it and enjoy it. I’m not in PB territory so can step away from that particular challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I had an awesome Sunday morning, racing at the Wokingham HM, in what felt like perfect weather conditions. I hadn't raced a HM since spring 2016 and, so far out from London, took the decision to have a cut-back week and try to run fast. I had been feeling in decent shape in the last week or two and Thursday's tune-up tempo had been very smooth, so I figured on setting out at 5:40m/m.

    Mile 1 5:37, felt a bit quick and I didn't like the slight uphill as we left the park area. Then I settled over the next couple of miles into 5:40-ish pace. Had a brief chat with a Herne Hill Harrier who was running very evenly. Around 4 miles I moved into a quicker pace, following another runner, but still felt comfortable. I was running to feel, but did glance at my watch whenever it beeped for a mile, trying my best not to care about the feedback. Through 6 miles I wondered if I was overcooking it or not - trying not to calculate what the 10k time would be. I kept thinking to myself 'try to run relaxed to 10 miles and then work the last 3 miles' - even though I was definitely working at the time. I was moving through the field and I picked up a local runner around mile 8 or so. We ran together, pushing each other on. He was getting a lot of support from the spectators which also encouraged his pace, sometimes a gap of 3 or 4 metres would open up between us. When my watch beeped for 10 miles I looked down and noted the time 55:5x - over a minute and a half ahead of my 10 mile PB. Quick calculations, if it goes wrong from here and I drop to 6m/m that's still around 74 minutes. I have always had in the back of my mind that 73:xx is a quick time (I ran a HM when I was 11 and the winner ran 73:xx) and thought you don't get many opportunities to do this so kept working at it. Over one of a small number of hills in the back of the course a spectator told us we had 10s on the people behind us - it spurred us on. I nearly got dropped in the 12th mile, but at the 12 mile marker I pushed on, trying to get away. Of course I didn't get away either, but the final mile was quick and I managed to pass one more person as I turned the corner before a short dash to the finish line, seeing 73:xx on the clock. Ended up 26th with a time of 73:26 - second V45 with a 2:53 improvement on two years ago. I was elated at the finish I was maybe a minute ahead of what I'd thought possible. This was also my first race in Vaporflys. Did they help? Yes, my legs didn't feel as beat up in the second half of the race as perhaps they'd been in previous races. On the down-side a label inside the shoe has created a massive blister on the sole of my right foot. I'll be interested to see if my legs feel like recovering nearer 7 or 8m/m today.

    Kate, glad to hear that you had a good long run - I think you've borrowed one of my top tips for a successful marathon - having some of your favourite food readily available near the finish ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant stuff, very well done!

      Delete
    2. Congratulations. That's a fantastic performance.

      Delete
    3. I couldn't believe my eyes when your Strava activity popped up - that was seriously rapid stuff. Many congratulations.

      Delete
    4. That was eagerly awaited in the Sunday feed. Really pleased for you David - you pulled it off and then some. Fully deserved with the volume of high speed work you've done. I can't quite get my head around 13 off mile splits every one comfortably sub 6 min!

      Delete
    5. Love that the HHH are spreading the running good vibes! :) Well done on your run!

      Delete
    6. Thanks all! Back into marathon training now :-) and dealing with the pain of running on a popped blister :-(

      Delete
    7. Fabulous run, it was a great day for it, congratulations! How are the legs recovering after an effort like that? Mine always take several days after a big half marathon effort.

      Delete
    8. I gave them a test on Monday - they were surprisingly OK. The last couple of days I've found it a bit tougher, this morning's long run was a bit of a struggle. I think maybe 3 years ago I found a hard run HM took a lot out of me - I dropped straight back into marathon training, but didn't really feel properly recovered for a week. Since then I've taken the week's training following a HM fairly carefully, avoiding really fast stuff. There's no point getting injured or coming down with a cold or similar. My goal this week is to get back up to my normal mileage volume - hitting paces is not on my timetable this week.

      Delete
  8. One week before I run the Kempton Park half marathon (I liked the idea of pretending to be a horse although I hope there aren't any jumps) I was concentrating on speed. I did 7x 200 metres with the track group followed by some circuit training. I could still feel the sprints in my legs on Sunday morning as I set off for an easy nine mile run with three miles at half marathon pace towards the end. I have to say it felt really hard at race pace and I'm hoping that with fresh legs next Sunday it will be easier, although my experience is that the adrenaline of race day adds a little bounce to my legs. The weather was beautiful down by the Thames - more like late May than late February, but I wouldn't be surprised to find myself running through a blizzard before March is out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had a solid weekend of training. My first triathlon, which although it's billed as a sprint is definitely an endurance event for me, is booked for May 12. I've moved from base fitness to a specific plan as we're already 11 weeks out, and I definitely wouldn't have the oomph to do this much without the plan so I'm glad I'm following one! Saturday was a nice easy 6 miles at conversational pace with *actual conversation* provided by a friend, which was new to me. A nice long bike ride in exceptional weather on Sunday and I'm itching to get out of the office early to run while the weather's still gorgeous this afternoon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where are you doing your triathlon violet?

      I notice you did a 6 mile run and a long bike ride, how about the swimming and are you doing any brick sessions?

      Your triathlon is a week before mine, I'm doing the Outlaw 70.3 at Nottingham.

      Delete
    2. Just north of Doncaster breezehillpete, it's the Evolve Sprint Tri, so slightly unusual distances but it's the only sprint distance that fit in my schedule. Swimming is usually Monday/Wednesday/Saturday on running days, but I skipped Saturday's swim to go dancing in the evening instead :D Bike plan is Tuesday/Thursday/Sunday and the first brick happens this sunday! Slightly apprehensive tbh. I'm in total awe of your 70.3

      Delete
    3. That all sounds very positive! I've just looked at the Evolve website and a slightly shorter swim and slightly longer bike leg aren't a big difference. Many of the companies that organise triathlons and up having distances that vary from the norm just down to logistics.

      Good luck with your first brick session, it's always interesting to hear how the very first one went for someone. The first time I did a brick session, when I tried to run I didn't feel as if I had control of my legs! In fact the felt like someone else's! The good news is that your lungs will have opened up really well on the bike and whilst the run will likely feel slower than you would normally run you are probably running faster! So the trick is not to push too hard when you first start running, give it about 0.5 mile for your breathing to settle before working out how hard to push. Funnily enough, I did a sprint triathlon about 18 months ago and recorded my fastest 5k ever because my body was so warmed up.

      This will be my first 70.3, having done many sprint and standard distance tris in the past. The big difference is the discipline needed for the training. After a recovery week I'm into a block of 3 heavy weeks of training starting today and at the moment all I want to do is eat or sleep!

      Delete
    4. I absolutely hear that last part - I have been in bed at 9.30 every night this week and can't seem to get enough calories down me. Got any good book recommendations for proper nutrition while training? I'm aware I need to make sure I'm getting enough protein in the recovery window and should be focusing on slow release carbs and balance, but I absolutely went to town on a chickpea and chicken curry the other night and seem to be eating double lunch.... I'll report on the first brick Monday! It's only a 100 minute ride followed by 10 minute run, so I doubt I'm going to get to the stage that my legs feel normal this time round!

      Delete
  10. Hello all, last week's highlight was Mrs GJ asking me if I wanted to go for a run with her. That has never happened before. It was her 3rd run of week 7 of c25k which meant a 5 minute walk, 25 minutes run and a 5 minute walk at the end. I have to say that the programme is brilliant. Karen (she has a real name) has not missed a run since starting and is now gearing up for Parkrun in a couple of week's time. We covered 4.2k in 25 minutes so I reckon the 30 minute 5k is possible.

    I am in the last week of preparation for next weekend's Anglesey HM. As I have said on this blog before, I am doing this with a friend who has taken up running in the past year and shed nearly 4 stone. For the last 2 weeks he has had flu so our first target is to make the start line and the second is to get to 10 miles before the cut off. Hopefully we'll make it to the end and if we do it'll be a major achievement. I'll let you know how we got on next Monday. In the meantime, happy running, everyone.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  11. Hello all! I had a week of skiing - first holiday after many weeks of travel and it started with vomiting kids in the back of the car down to the Alps. Joy! Had to abandon a 20 mile run the day I left after no more than 1k as I wasn't feeling too hot myself.

    But I managed to fit in a few good runs while I was in the Alps - some hill sprints and some 10k efforts in the fresh mountain air. Returned on Saturday and got up bright and early on Sunday morning to tackle the 37k longest run effort (2:55 on feet) ahead of Manchester. I felt quite good early on, but the dreaded Radcliffe effect (Paula, not Daniel) had me rather losing concentration from kms 24-28 as I desperately looked for a toilet. There really ought to be more public facilities! Thank goodness for PureGym which saved me.

    I finished the run off feeling lighter of head and foot at an average split of 4:45/km - about what I was aiming for, though actually in retrospect I should probably have pushed it a little harder. Next weekend I have to do my 30km MP effort and that will tell me whether I'm in PB shape or not. Then it's the Big Half before I start the last four weeks before Manchester.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm just glad that I'm either close to home or in the back of beyond with no one around when I have to make like a bear!

      Delete
    2. The Rt.hon Chalfen's 20 miler at MP is a real beast. I've never seen it elsewhere, 18 at the most!

      Delete
    3. well, ok, 30km's ... it was 32 the first time I did it, with 1km warm up!

      Delete
    4. Ah yes - it's 2km warm up plus 30k MP. Long and hard, at any rate...!

      Delete
    5. Was impressed to see you still hard at it while on holiday.

      Delete
  12. Klaxons this way please...

    ...for my parkrun debut!

    Yes, it's true, parkrun and I finally crossed paths on Saturday and I found myself in the starting gaggle on the dyke in Richmond, BC. It was sort of cold and sort of wintry but we didn't bother with much in the way of kit. I wore a t-shirt and my fellow debutante - one of the pentathletes that I coach and with whom I was doing a training weekend - was in shorts. I learned this winter not to overheat in a cold race; she's from Calgary where it's probably -25C as I type this.

    The parkrun people were really nice and welcoming although they commented on our lack of clothing. Everyone else was quite bundled up with rain jackets and hats. 'This is warm for us,' we said.

    And then we were off on the out-and-back out-and-back course (which is actually how they described it to us). I wanted my athlete - who's been on a steady diet of distance (80-90km/week) - to run around 20 minutes. I decided I was going to shoot for an easy, steady 23:00. I've done only aerobic running (70km/week) for several months with the occasional 10k treacherous trail race in between. I don't feel particularly fast at the moment but I do feel pretty solid in terms of condition.

    The race went by very quickly. 5k on the flat is not a long proposition when you're used to trudging along soggy trails and grabbing trees to brake yourself on icy slopes. When I turned for the last 500m, I was thinking 'Wait, what?' The finish flag just seemed so close.

    I ran 23:06, pretty damn close to what I'd planned (and I don't own a watch). I wasn't tired at all, my legs felt fine, no issues with breathing, plenty of run left. I was really happy with this. Training is working, I'm at the right point to begin adding speed and harder work. My athlete was fourth overall and somewhere in the 20 min. She also felt good and we thanked everyone for a fun morning out and then ran for another half hour back to our friend's house.

    After that, we had fencing, more running, shooting, shooting and running, and then swimming. Everything in pentathlon but the horse but this athlete is actually a professional equestrian so we don't need to work on that.

    Sunday started with an easy run along the river. The sun was out, the mountains were bright and covered in snow and it was a most enjoyable time to be back in Vancouver.

    [If anyone wants to see photos of my Vancouver penta-weekend, you can see them on my Instagram @jersporthorse or on my athlete's Insta (she's amazing - an international pentathlete and mum of a toddler) @5haunab.]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you had a good and full weekend.

      Delete
    2. Oh yes, we did! We do tend to do very full days.

      Delete
  13. Really lovely run on Sunday in fabulous weather: Dalston to Stamford Hill to the River Lea to Springfield Park and 5 hill repeats - I'm being good. 7.5k and a gasping heap so took a break in the caff in the sun and had Earl Grey and chocolate cake before running 3.5k home. That's a massive 11k for me AND I felt fine afterwards too. Cake must be the answer. Having a crack at the Shrewsbury 10k next month. Bet it's snowing by then....

    ReplyDelete
  14. Glorious weather in the far north too - Aberdeenshire was positively balmy, though it was cool enough when I set out on my easy 8 miler on Sunday morning. By mile 3 however, I was seriously over-layered in the clothing department. There was nothing for it however but to keep going. The sun shone, the birds sang, the daffodils were in bud, yet I couldn't help myself thinking that there will be a sting in the tail, and I'll probably be doing the year's first half at the end of March in a blizzard.

    Anyway, I did 9 miles at a steady pace and then walked half a mile (which seems to help my old legs) to meet Mr R&R at our local garden centre which makes proper, seriously good scones. One large fruit scone, a big mug of milky coffee and all was right with the world. An afternoon of tempi changes on my super-clever dressage horsey rounded off a throughly good day.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm signed up for a vertical marathon in 10 days' time, up 65 storeys I believe. The winner last year did it in sub 7 minutes, I am expecting to be nearer double that! I haven't seen the stairs in question, my preferred technique is two at a time but I don't know if the steps will be too shallow/high to allow that comfortably, in addition to the fact that these will be non-airconditioned indoors stairs in Bangkok, I do hope they will have some fans! It's a long-standing event so hopefully they've figured out the logistics!

    In preparation, Saturday morning was a stairs session, on a pedestrian crossing bridge near Lumpini park. I wasn't the only one using those stairs for training! Sunday evening I went back out with the intention of running for 60 minutes - leaving around 4.30pm as I was eating everything in sight at home. However, it may have been still too early - very hot in parts of the park, and as I ran around I revised my plan from 60 mins to 10km, then 7.5km, as I was ready to give up after one 2.5km lap! I forced myself round to 7km at least, and decided to blame the heat/my cold/stair legs from the previous day... at least I made myself walk home rather than wimp out with a public transport option. Even the gigantic monitor lizard (a good 2 metres long) ambling across the path couldn't distract me much.

    It's starting to be that time of year here where evening runs leave me wishing there was such a thing as airconditioned shoes, as the tarmac radiates the heat of the day.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to the brave new world

Right on Hereford, left on Boylston ...

Why do I need a coach?