Goody bags and bad legs



If only there were some direct relationship between the quality of a goody bag and the outcome of a race, eh? The above haul is from yesterday's excellently organised Kingston Spring Raceday. With 8.2 and 16 mile options, the hardest part of this race is always the bit where the 8 milers peel off for the finish and you have to go right past that oh-so-tempting finish line and slog another lap.

Unfortunately for me, my legs and my head were all over the place. At five miles I felt great, at 10 miles I pretty much wanted to give up running forever, at 14 I was feeling - well, I suppose not so much better as just relieved the end was nearly in sight.  Still, the caramel wafer tasted really nice last night.

I also definitely feel I need to get a better handle on Mother's Day. What with the clocks going back, setting an alarm for 6am and creeping out of the house before anyone else even woke up doesn't feel entirely right. Lying in bed and demanding breakfast on a tray is more the spirit I shall aim for next year.

Anyway, with apologies for brevity, I've got to dash off for some Running Channel filming (hint: may involve panda costume) so please as always share your weekend triumphs and lows below the line. And if anyone has seen my running mojo, tell it go get a bloody move on and return to me, I miss it.

Comments

  1. Will there be a Panda parkrun ahead of London?

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  2. I look forward to you making your screen debut as a running panda, Kate!

    After some left knee and hip problems a week ago, I decided to give my leg a bit of a rest, which amazingly coincided with a change in my training plan to 3 long swims per week, one run, one bike and one big brick session. I dropped the run only session midweek and reduced the bike only session by 10 minutes so as not to put too much strain on any problematic joints. Then on Saturday the brick session was supposed to be 2.5 hours bike followed by 1 hour running. Again, I cut the bike part down to 1 hour 40 minutes and tried not to push too hard but just be aware of my knee and hip. There was some discomfort but nothing that said there was an issue that meant I should worry. That said, I had expected my speed to be about 16-17mph but it was 18, something was going right. So, into the run of 1 hour. As always, I need to start slowly just to let my body get used to running, it's my back that always feels a bit wobbly after being on the bike! Up to 3 miles everything was working well but then I started to get a bit of tightness in my left hip and I found myself trying to analyse what was going on and what I needed to do. I slowed down slightly and tried to let the hip relax, which worked and somehow doing myself increasing the speed again. For the rest of the run I just concentrated on telling myself my hip was comfortable, though it kept giving me signals that it wasn't really! Nevertheless, 7miles done in the hour, faster than I would be expecting to move (my target for the hm at the end of the tri is to be sub 2 hours) left me in a happy place.

    The exercises for the hip and knee as well as quality rest periods continue. I really like the rest periods, now that's proper training!!!

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  3. Major alert - I have woken up with a snotty nose with only 6 days to go until Manchester. Given my job and having three young children I’m never far aware from viruses so not overly surprising. I had a busy weekend - amazing how the taper allows you to be sociable again - and time stole an hour of my sleep so hoping it’s just a tried snotty nose. Going to eat the rainbow and sleep ++ and cross my fingers.

    Good luck to all of those running Manchester (and everyone else racing at the weekend/going mad in taper time). We’ve got this.

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    Replies
    1. Quality rest is ideal R&B. Fingers crossed that it's disappeared by Wednesday at the latest.

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    2. Fingers crossed a wee cold a week in advance works well - keeps you taking it easy and gone by the big day!

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    3. As you say, lots of sleep and good fuelling will do the trick. Best of luck for Manchester.

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    4. Damn this logging in thing. The "unknown" was me. Good luck R&B.

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    5. Rest... Rest... Rest. And then have a ball on the day. Manchester is fab.

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  4. Well, brevity for my running last few days at any rate.

    Tuesday at the GP, Wednesday chest X-ray, and Thursday to Sunday in bed with D&V. I have got up this morning and tried an easy 9k run (lightheaded) but very hard to tell what shape I am going to be in on Sunday for Manchester.

    One feels the fitness should be there having run back-to-back 1:26 and 1:24 HMs in Big Half and Bath, but will I be recovered in time? Think I'm going to have to take it a day at a time but I think probably if I am feeling normal-ish by Thursday or Friday then I should take a shot at it. Perhaps the PB is no longer on the cards though...

    Anyone else run a marathon on an, ahem, "extended taper"?

    (PS - I've lost 2 kilos! Could be lightest race weight ever!!)

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    Replies
    1. Fuel well during this coming week Jack and get as much quality rest as possible. Hopefully by the end of the week you'll be feeling good enough to go, even if a PB might not be the "A" target.

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    2. Get those electrolytes balanced, Jack and you'll be right for Manchester. Best of luck to you.

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    3. Jeez, that's not what you'd want. Take it as easy as possible this week so you're well enough for Sunday.

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    4. Ugh. Don't run it if you're not over it in the next couple of days. Rest a lot and eat and drink well.

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    5. Ran today and managed 12' and 2x5' of faster running (~5k pace) - felt much harder work than it should have done but I think the illness is behind me and I'm getting stronger day by day. So fingers crossed....

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  5. Running mojo is a funny thing. Sometimes it just buggers off and only when it returns do you realise it was other things in life that were causing it to go and hide. That may just be me though. I hope it comes back to you soon, Kate.

    Although I have no race event in the immediate future I am enjoying my running at the moment with spring conditions last week contributing to faster cruising pace and longer weekly distances. March totalled 130km which for me is a lot. I am determined to keep above 100km per month this year and so far have done that. The big birthday in July is quite an incentive, not that I'm obsessing! Good luck for Manchester all those taking part and happy running, everyone.

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  6. No running for me this week. Giving my feet a rest after advice from Grumpy Jim and Runners and Riders. I think R&R was right with diagnosis of metatarsilitis - my first proper running injury: I am very proud.....
    Instead I have been trying to eat my body-weight in sugar including my buy-9-get-one-free ice cream with chocolate sauce from the sexy Italian shop in Covent Garden. This has to stop now. Going out in a minute though - lovely day for it.

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    Replies
    1. Hope your foot is improving, Rachel191r. I find that really well padded shoes help, and I'm careful not to tie my laces too tightly. My tendency to metatarsalitis is due to having really dodgy feet - a genetic inheritance from my late and beloved father. He gave his children so much, but I really wish he'd kept his feet to himself,

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  7. We're heading into autumn in Auckland, which means lower humidity and pleasant running temperatures. Saturday was my normal 8km loop followed by my other normal 10km loop on Sunday. Somehow I knocked 6 minutes off my normal time for the former and 2 minutes for the latter. It looks like I'm peaking micely for the HM I ran 3 weeks ago :-)

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  8. I'd like to borrow the PB klaxon - I ran around my home parkrun on Saturday morning in 16:42 - 8s quicker than any other parkrun I've run. I jogged to the park planning to run a hard effort and was lucky to have company for the whole run. I didn't rinse myself in the last kilometre (it was very busy a combination of many people to lap and the kid I was running with had very gangly legs that I was terrified of catching/tripping) so I think there's a bit more to come in the summer.

    On Sunday I pushed my long run to the evening so that all the Mothers' Day activities could be done. The plan just said run 18 miles. I wanted to make it more interesting, so eventually settled on a quicker long run, including a 6 mile block of even-paced running, which settled around 6m/m pace. Finished the month with a total of 450 miles run - by some way my largest month. One more week then the taper for London kicks in - I can't wait :-)

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    Replies
    1. You've had an epic training block...do you have public goal for London or keeping quiet?

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    2. If I get to the start line in good shape and the weather is OK, then I'll probably adopt the approach I've taken in the past, though my anchor point (10k/HM PB pace) has moved. I'll firm up the A, B and C goals in the final week. I don't tend to worry too much about the overall time, more about getting comfortable at a quick pace and then executing it. One of the challenges I have is getting far enough forward in the Championship start so I can get into a pace group early on. Last year it wasn't until mile 8 that I joined a group running 2:40 pace - it's not a good way to start.

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  9. Morning all.

    I spent the weekend in Aarhus at the World Cross Country Championships. What an amazing event, amazing hospitality, craft beer on tap and a course clearly designed by some evil b’stards who knew that they did not have to run it!

    I was only running a leg of the relay (4x2k) but it was the first leg with the extra 150 metres of mountain to climb with sandpits to run through and some pretty uneven terrain. The ground was so hard that the 12 and 15mm spikes I’d brought with me were useless - i ended up using 6mm and they finished the race worn down to little nubs!

    I’m glad I did it and we had a good result (6th place but a long way behind the winners from Oxford Uni) but its absolutely wrecked my back, foot and ankle and it will take some time to get over those 2 kilometres.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely worth an extended recovery, some things just have to be done when the chance is there.

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    2. I'm pretty envious! What a cool experience to race on the world xc course. I missed the U20 women (sorting out, um, VPN issues) but got to watch the rest online. It was incredible. I don't think I've seen pro/elite runners so visibly struggling before! Australian teams seem to have done well, exciting that it will be in Bathurst in 2 years' time.

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  10. I'm intrigued by the panda costume, Kate. Have you trialled a long run in it? Spent ages sitting around in it at home for 'time in the suit'? And, eh, oh so politely, what are you planning to wear underneath - baselayer? It must be bloody hot and clammy so can't imagine you want much but I doubt going commando very pleasant either!

    I had another very cautious post-injury week, almost 30k and a parkrun a couple of minutes quicker than expected while not risking anything. Aiming for 35-40k this week and we'll take it from there.

    Highlight of the weekend was definitely the world cross in Aarhus, some sensational stuff there. Shame on (most of) Europe for their attitude and if you ignore such a fantastic worlds on your doorstep it definitely hurts your credibility when complaining about changes the big bad IAAF want to make.

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  11. Good weekend of running extending out to today with a day off.

    Glorious weather on Speyside yesterday and a 16mile run with 12 at marathon pace. Expect i’m not 100% sure what MP is, either pace or heart rate. And there’s very little road or flat round here, so it had to be through the woods, uneven and undulating. My heart rat refused to go above about 136, which seemed really low, had thought low 140s would be about right from other MP runs. Then I made things even harder by not having my watch charger with me, so the last 4 MP miles I was totally blind to everything and just running on feel.

    Overall I think it went OK. But still a bit in the dark. I have a pace I’m going to start at (erring on the slow side) then see how it goes in the latter stages.

    Better chance to practice some more on the last really long one next weekend.

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  12. You wait ages for a PB and then two arrive within a fortnight of each other. After a half marathon PB at Bath, it was the Cardiff Bay 10K yesterday - a really well organised event which I'd thoroughly recommend - and for once everything fell into place with almost perfect pacing on an almost flat course in benign conditions (save for the stiff headwind for the km running back across the barrage). Finished in 46:16 finish with a 34 second PB and a smug grin.

    Now for two weeks of tapering until Paris. Just hoping I don't get overtaken by someone in a panda costume.

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    Replies
    1. Well done, congratulations and here's to your third at Paris! : )

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  13. The picture has just reminded me of a conversation we were having at the running club a couple weeks ago, about why is it always a t-shirt you get as a gift for a race? I have about 20 nipple shredding t-shirts (although that's another complaint for another time), and another 5/6 on the way this year. Can I not have shorts? or socks?

    Anyway, week 2 of taper done and I'm starting to really feel restless. Still an OK in terms of pace, but I really want Sunday to be here now.

    Thank you for pointing out the WXC on Saturday Kate, had a lovely hour in Starbucks watching it on my phone and wouldn't have had a clue otherwise. They don't seem to do a great job of advertising running when it's on TV.

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  14. One of the many, many things I miss about living in Spain is the quality of the goodie bags. During my time racing there I got a buff, compression shorts, cheese, cider, vacuum-packed chorizo and morcilla (a type of black pudding) as well as the expected T-shirts, medals, etc.

    Naff all running for me at the weekend. No injury or anything like that, but after 92 km in four midweek runs last week to top off a tough seven running weeks, I decided to have little break to freshen the legs before it all starts again tomorrow (plus the wife was away and I had the two kids to look after). In those seven weeks, I managed just over 700 km and about 15,000 metres of ups in only 30 runs. That works out at an average of 23 km with 500 metres of elevation gain per run.

    I finally pulled my finger out an entered Race to the Stones 100 km in July. This will be the third time I've done it. The first time I finished 30th with a time of 11:26. The second time I finished in roughly the same position (25th) but was 74 minutes faster with a time of 10:12. Funnily enough, that time would have seen me finish top 10 last year. The only reason I'm doing it again as I want to push on for a sub-10 hour 100 km to open potential doors. This is a qualifying standard time for many other, more famous and further, trail ultra marathons.

    Anyway, good luck with this week's running!

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    Replies
    1. That's an exciting target Mark! May your running open many doors.

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  15. My weekend running was a story of weather-related highs and lows. Euphoria on a warm, Spring-appropriate Saturday followed by the depths of despair in Sunday's almost freezing rain and wind. I've run in a lot of miserable weather, but somehow I was particularly unprepared and under dressed for this one. My biggest mistake was wearing only a thin pair of gloves. Luckily, I had a friend to run with the whole way, and the small group of us who ventured out recuperated together over extra-hot coffees afterwards.

    Other than that, I'm preoccupied with trying to work out what my race goals should be for the "fall". Do I go for a second marathon, and try to qualify for Boston? I think I want to, but as always, I'm paranoid of getting injured. I'm always tempted to throw myself into strength training as if it will make me injury-proof. But can that itself be a risky strategy? And am I really just looking for an excuse to skip my physio exercises, which while boring, are potentially more beneficial anyway? I'm over thinking this, aren't I....

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  16. I've been trying to get more miles in while also working towards that long term goal of doing 5k in under 30 mins. So last week I put in a bit more effort. It killed me. Park run on Sat was a massive slog and I was completely knackered after. I had to have a 2 hour kip. So this week I'm going to take it really easy and see if fresh legs go faster. I've only got 54 secs to snip off!

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  17. 11 miles on Sunday morning on gloriously sunny, if somewhat Baltic, Deeside. So, so beautiful. Green trees, blue skies, blue river, snow on the distant tops. And the relentless drumming of woodpeckers. They were hard at work.

    Slogging away at the hills, though my 1,000 feet of ascent felt like a breeze compared to last week's 1,400 on Mull. There's method in my madness - surely I'll be flying along on the flat??

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