Showing posts from March, 2019

Portland Oregon, London Landmarks Half and finally a decent run

The London Landmarks Half marathon: Finally! No howling gale! Sunshine! Hooray!  Well, it's been quite a week since my last post. On Monday I headed to Portland, Oregon, to visit the home of Nike. Portland (unofficial motto: "Keep Portland weird!") is set in the most beautiful valley, surrounded by unfeasibly tall trees and rolling hills. We visited the Nike campus - and it really is a campus. It's a mystery to me how anyone gets any actual work done what with the football fields, gyms, running track in the woods, full size swimming pool, multiple restaurants, lake to relax by, and so on. We also did a glorious hour of trail running up and down the hills in NW Portland and - in my case at least - drank a lot of delicious coffee. There will be more on this trip anon. The coffee, though, was definitely needed - two long haul flights in four days probably isn't the ideal prep for a half marathon. However, it did mean my mileage dropped a bit for the week

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow ...

Time is an illusion, said a great sage and writer of our times . Lunchtime doubly so.  It is also, if I recall my half-listened to science lessons at school, relative to the observers movement in space. Well, when the observer is running around Battersea Park over and over again, the observer perceives three hours as lasting approximately the same amount of time as the Byzantine Empire. Acorns grew to oaks, matured, died. Glaciers tutted impatiently. I'm pretty sure a  Pinus longaeva looked pointedly at its watch. Yes, it felt like a very long run . I wish that I could find out who the girl was who was doing the same thing, in the opposite direction. Passing her twice a lap, on a LOT of laps, she started by smilling - by a few laps in we were giving each other little cheery waves. It really boosted me. You know how it is on a very long run, when you start looking forward to the smallest things? (I distinctly remember the point during one marathon when I thought "Oh ho

No, windy! The Big Half, big weather and big miles

The last stretch of the Big Half, towards the Cutty Sark. Copyright: The Vitality Big Half When my eldest daughter was a toddler, there was an inclement week or so much like we are having now - lots of strong winds blustering and gusting. Despite being tucked up nice and warm in her buggy on the way to nursery, she took this weather as a personal affront and starting shouting "Noooo windy! NOOOO WINDY!" as if only a stern enough word would make it stop. It's become one of those phrases that stays with you as a family. Yesterday, doing the Big Half, it went round and round my head. Though possibly not as much as it did for this brave chap . I did the race as part of a longer run, so had no time goals beyond trying to run it at marathon pace. I really struggled to get anywhere near that, so certainly not a vintage day for me. Massive kudos to anyone who PB-ed or ran a good time, because it wasn't easy to get into any kind of rhythm. There was a comedy moment g

The art of knowing when not to run

Photo by  Emma Simpson  on  Unsplash Well that was a damp squib of a weekend. Me and the kids went to Cambridge, to race the Saucony half marathon (not them - I'm not that evil a parent ... yet ...) and ended up coming home on Sunday feeling rubbish, having not run so much as a stride. I have a weird virus that seems to involve all the secondary side effects - achy, heavy legs, lack of energy - but no primary ones. A real shame as I loved this race when I did it two years ago - even got a PB at the time - and was looking forward to a bit of a test of where my fitness is at. The answer to that test was apparently "gone on holiday without you". Bloody hope it's somewhere sunny and it's going to send me a postcard ... Sometimes, though, it's harder to know when not to run, than when to pull on the trainers. Are you really ill, or just tired? Will running make you feel better, or worse? I'm now using an HRV app every morning and actually find it reall