As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

All good

So after my three hour fellrun everything was OK. The next evening I met up with Milly and ran about 5 or 6 miles I think. What a pleasant change to be just me and Milly - we had a right good craic and caught up on the latest goings on.

Tuesday was my appointment with the physio. To be honest I knew that my bone couldn't possibly still have the fracture open as four days in a row running would have made it hurt  A LOT. He agreed that it was nicely healed and suggested that the recent problems I had felt were probably a muscle in the same region of my leg which had taken unkindly to the work asked of them after having had 8 weeks of doing very little.

I didn't run on Tuesday but on Wednesday I set off to do my now standard 3 miles at decent pace. I felt blummin great knowing I was over the injury and the ground felt like it was whizzing by under my feet like never before. It was quite astonishing therefore to see my watch recording the splits at nearly 7 minutes per mile!! The run took me longer than the first time I tried it a couple of weeks earlier in that appalling weather. I didn't up the effort level though as I don't want to get into competitions with myself to run it at race effort.

The next night the same route took 19.30 - six and half minute miling - better but still strange to be so slow.

Friday was a day off and Saturday would have been training but when I woke up the world had turned white around me. Keen not miss the first snow since getting seriously into photography I spent the next two hours wandering round the citys parks and streets until it was time to go to the Cross Country meeting where I was event photographer.
Penrith Stu braved the snow in the hope of a win but was 2nd
So what I am saying here is that I didn't train until today, Sunday. Trouble is the place is so snowy the only place to run is either main roads IN the road, or offroad. I ran about 6 miles with Scamp and not very hard effort.
Sunrise captured against the Castle wall
Got to the park before the paths were spoiled by footprints
Check out my photography blog for more photos of snow and an in depth report of my early morning shift

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10 days later

Its been 10 days since I posted owt and complaints have been coming my way so here's the craic.

All was going very well with my return to running. I had been on the road a bit and upped the distance gradually over the first two weeks back. But last Saturday after an hours run in Gelt woods I felt a familiar sharp pain in my leg. Reaching down to press the area I felt physically sick as I realised that the fracture must have opened up again. This was the worst possible news as surely it would mean ANOTHER 8 weeks out of action?

The following day I was event photographer at a duathlon race in Whinlatter Forest. After taking all my photos I had a couple of miles downhill to get back to the van. Wearing wellies and carrying all my gear I jogged along the soft forest track.  Strangely there was no hint of a sore leg.

Next day I met up with Milly who was running 36minutes at 6 pace. I knew I couldn't possibly keep up with him so ran just 2 miles at this pace then jogged around while  he carried on to the turnpoint. Then I ran another 2 miles with him to the finish. This felt hard (obviously because I have lost fitness). Again no trouble from my leg though.

Then on the Wednesday and again on the Friday I ran my 3 mile test. 19:30 and 19:09 were my times (6:30  and 6:23 pace). I knew I would soon knock chunks off the time I first tried this the previous week (19:46)

My leg was still aching a lot and if I poked about at it I could pinpoint the sore bit. I made an appointment with the physio for next Tuesday for his expert opinion. In the meantime though I had to decide whether or not to run the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile road race. Clearly, 10 miles on road should be avoided if only just coming back from injury and whilst unsure if its properly healed - so I ran it anyway (wouldn't we all?)

It was nice to see so many familiar faces at the start in Brampton, and not from behind my camera lens for a change. Soon we were lined up at the top of the hill and the gun went off. I had thought about running a mile with Milly and Penrith Stu but in reality it seemed too fast to do this even from the start.
I settled into a very unfamiliar position in the middle of the pack  and ran with a steady effort.

At halfway  the clock said 31.30 but I knew the tough uphill at 8 miles and fatigue would prevent a 63 minute result. I finished inside 65 minutes though which I suppose isn't bad for my first 'proper' road run in more than 10 weeks.

Plucky used my camera and insists the results are fantastic. I would go so far as to say they are not rubbish photos and some are usable.
Also running were Milly, and Penrith Stu

Who both ran Pbs. If you want to hear about Penrith Stu's race click here.

Afterwards I had no problems from leg, so as if I wanted to force it to crack open as wide as  chocolate egg at Easter I went for a three hour fellrun today. My legs hurt right now - but it's that good hurt that you get from training.

I will continue with my three mile steady effort runs this week, possibly moving up to four miles and hopefully much nearer to six minute miling. Then, all I have to do is keep upping the distance without dropping the pace and I will run London Marathon in 2:37. Maybe not though eh?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Its harder in real life

When you are forced to sit at home for 8 weeks without running a step you cant help thinking about what it will be like when you resume running. Knowing you are losing fitness every day that passes....

You vow to yourself that you will train so intensely hard when you can run again.
You see yourself pounding the streets at night after work.
You long for that hurt in your legs and lungs and pledge that you will endure the pain like never before.
You picture yourself running fast and long and hard.
You relish the idea of running 20 miles and more
You plan the races you will enter and times you will achieve


I've been back running for about a week and half now.
I've gone through the run-walk-run-walk stage.
I've ran over a lot of grass and stepped in a lot of cow poo
I've tentatively ran on tarmac
I've managed to run for 45 minutes without stopping
I though it time to begin living out my 8 week daydream and do something a bit more difficult

So tonight (Matthew) I put myself through a little fitness test to see where I'm at pace-wise.
I have a 5 mile circuit I like to complete most nights at this time of year. I like to try to run it as close to 30 minutes as I can without flogging myself in the process. I decided 5 miles was a bit far for the first time so after a mile warmup jog I ran 3 miles and timed it at 19:45 (yes fact fans its the return of posts full of statistics).

Now I know what you are thinking - you're thinking 19:45 isnt very good for 3 miles (or if your name is Penrith Stu you are thinking 'blimey thats fast - did he mean 2 miles?'. But I must stress that this wasnt me running 3 miles flat out to see how fast I could do it. This was me running 3 miles at a decent pace, a steady effort, but well within myself. The weather was terrible tonight, storm force wind and driving rain which I reckon might have knocked a few seconds per mile from my pace. I also think that my first effort run in over 9 weeks was bound suffer from a lack of recent similar workouts and surely the next time I do the same I will be faster?

The distance felt fine and I have no qualms about increasing this to 4 miles probably next Tuesday. I may also do some mile reps on the track on Thursday. But I wont be risking any road based long ones for a while yet. Stick to the fells for Nov and Dec.
Ill be honest with you here and say I wasn't gonna include a photo. But Reeds Runners would only complain so here's Cumbrias answer to Chubby Brown on a recent field trip

Friday, November 5, 2010

Everything's running smoothly

Last weekends fell outing resulted in this highly acclaimed photo

After Mondays brief tour of the local grassy areas my leg was a bit achey for a few days. Nothing to worry about - it wasn't the injury that had failed to heal - just a bit of grumbling I think.
Tuesday I didn't run (on purpose) .Wednesday I covered four miles, again with walking breaks, but some of the running I did was very fast - as fartlek session I suppose if you want to be Swedish about these things.

On Thursday it was raining so ridiculously hard all day and night that I allowed myself a day off when I should have ran (as if 8 weeks of days off wasn't enough recently). So tonight I ran the same four miles as Wednesday - no fast stuff but no walking either.

Not sure what I'll do over the weekend. Up the fells tomorrow - maybe a bit or running involved - depends on weather and who comes with me. Sunday I'm  event photographer at a local 10 miler - may have chance for a half hour run.

Next week I will try road running for the first time, and also up the mileage to about 6 and also try three days in a row.

Oh yes, nearly forgot to say,  I won a lottery today too. Which was nice.

I'm so pleased with it I thought I'd include it again

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's been a long time coming for a short time running

"I went for a run today"

I haven't said that for 8 weeks

I was in such a good mood all day. Relishing the prospect of going for a run after work.....

Scamp was a bit miffed at getting a very curtailed walk. But little did he know that once we were home, put out the recycling for collection next morning, lit the fire, sent a couple of emails etc etc we were heading back out the door wearing not-yet-seen-this-autumn long sleeved top and shorts and back over  to the park and riverside trail.

I felt I could have ran constantly without incident but I took it sensible and interrupted the two miles  we covered with several walking breaks. It was spitting with rain, windy and damn cold when I was just walking but that didn't matter one jot. It was just good to be back into the normal routine.

Cow poo on my running shoes and sweat on my fave running  cap - great