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.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

But who is Base Don?

Runner 467 was certainly surprised
Based on last years times for mile reps I now know exactly where I am in fitness terms.
A loooooonnnnnnngggggg way down the track - that's where.
(I'm not counting those daft hill reps I did twice with Border Harriers in December so) tonight was my first proper session of reps in many many months. 3 times one mile.

To warm up I ran the mile circuit at a slightly elevated pace to the pace I had ran there from home. This took me 6:20 and felt pretty easy. Based on my experience of many years I then shed a layer or two and a hat in preparation for some hard work.

Mile one - 5:56 - no huge effort involved. Relieved to see it was under 6
Mile two - 5:50 - put a real effort in  for the final one third of a mile straight headwind finish
Mile three - 5:45 - Concentrated on putting in a continuous hard effort all the way round including the tricky downhill twisty bit

So, even if I counted the soft mile warm up I ran under 6 pace for 4 miles (and 5:51 for the 3 real reps).
Whilst this seems a gulf from the 5:30 average I was verging on last summer, it's probably quite acceptable for my first time. And in the crappy winter weather cold and dark, and on a (ok not very hilly but certainly not as flat as a track circuit), and on my own (training companions ALWAYS eek out more speed)

Next time I will run four times a mile and I see no reason at all that I will not average inside 5:50. Based on 10 years experience I reckon whatever pace I can run 5 by one mile at, I can run a 10K race at the same pace. And based on that I reckon I could run a 35 minute 10k right now. (it's easy to make bold claims when there are no races ahead to fail in)

There is a race looming large - the Four Villages Half Marathon. It is under two weeks away and I have been wondering what time I might realistically run. Now then, based on Martin Andrew (former teammate in another life) running 6:05 pace for a flat half marathon in early January, I reckon I can do the same in the more hilly event I have entered. This supposition is based on the fact that after initially pulling away from me in last weekends 8k cross country event - I then reeled him in as he struggled from lack of long training runs.

Before we get to that race though we need to go back just one day to Wednesday evening. Very little to report really - 5 miles steady effort. 32:27

Before that was a day off due to being a bit worried about my dodgy left leg. It had ached a bit after Mondays run (5 miles in 32:30)

Before that was a ridiculously easy half hour jog with Scamp on Sunday, and before that was the Cross Country race. I went through nice and early so I could take photos of the first three races. This went very well with good sales considering how few runners there were. I had put myself in for the last group. The supposed greyhounds. I didnt feel very greyhound-like as I started plum last of about 15 seniors. Within a couple of hundred metres I was into my stride mid pack and trying to get people to chat. Within 400 metres we went up the first small hill and my CV system was experiencing long forgotten depths and my legs were hurting very much please thankyou.

This moment of struggle allowed a couple of lads I was hoping to beat to pull away from me a little. The leaders were already forging a big gap to us 'midpackers' but I knew they were irrelevant to me at this stage of my comeback (and probably will remain irrelevant forever if I am honest).

As we passed the start/finish area for the first time I realised I didnt have a clue how far the race was. We had done about a lap and a half when I asked a lad just ahead of me how many laps the race was. I was hoping he'd say two and a bit. He said 'four' and I had a mild panic. Could I press on this hard for four laps?

Ahead was Penrith Stu and my old mucker Martin A. But they weren't far ahead and weren't really  pulling away any more.  I caught Penrith Stu with about half a lap to go. I was amazed how easily I passed him on a tiny rise. Some people say you should run uphills with at the same intensity as flat so you don't tire too quickly. I don't say that though - I say this -

Run hard along the flat then when you get to a hill increase the effort a little to avoid a drop in speed (and maybe pass some people) Presuming a downhill follows then even the best runners will struggle not to take a tiny bit of 'rest' as gravity takes over. Then once flat again you feel able to get back to the original speed due to the wee rest you just had. I can see the reasoning behind running same effort up and down but if the race is less than 10 miles then I say eyeballs out, go for it. Road racing on a bike features such ups and downs in effort. One minute cruising along comfortably in the slipstream of the pack, the next minute your lungs are searing as you more or less sprint to remain within the bunch as it reacts to an attack. Or a climb is encountered and the non-natural climbers have to go to 100% to avoid being dropped.

I caught Martin with a minute left to run and we chatted briefly about how knackered he was and I wasn't. Then he outsprinted me. The bastard - he was always better at cycling than me but I'm not happy while he remains  apparently a better runner.

Oh I nearly forgot to say who Base Don is. Well, based on my extensive knowledge of organised crime I can reveal that the top boss of a crime ring is known as the Top Don.  Some well known examples of Top Dons are Don Quixote, Don Attello and Don Perrignon. The top Dons give out orders (for example to give somebody a horse or part of one for a surprise). The Middle Dons carry out the orders but they don't like to get their hands dirty so they have a group of lads they can call upon to help out with the messy bits. And these lads are known as the Base Dons.

Yes I know it's DoM Perrignon but I couldn't think of any more well known Dons - Oh I just though of one - Don Keykong


  1. Where do the Top Dons do their running?

    Don Valley?

    And where does Monty Don fit in?

  2. Yeah, and what about Donald Duck.....

    ....I'll get my coat.

  3. 5 x 1 mile on a slightly hill loop with 2 mins rec use to = 27 min 5 miles races times for me.
    I'll be interested to see how you do in the 4 villages, I'll put money on 1.20

  4. In your haste Rick, you appear to have forgotten to put in a Don joke !!!

  5. Hi Steve, thanks for the friendly nudges.. have been struggling to download from my new D5 baby! Has been driving me nuts but realised the raw file format is too new for my version of CS. Anyway, I'm hoping to get to play a bit more in the coming weeks and will tantalise you with my fine glass and huge sensor...

    Glad to hear you're back to running after the achingly long break. You must be encouraged by the pace you've managed to hold...Also slightly spooky post as have been lolling and revisiting the Godfather trilogy this week. Ace films and fine material for the post long run slob.

    Take care and good luck with the building back up. RB ;]

  6. Why's nobody else doing Don jokes?

    Steve only does this blog to do his jokes...

    He doesn't even run! To see how poor a runner he really is, turn up at Haweswater, 6th March. Although he'll be running under his real name; David Harrison.

  7. Because RB and Rick are actually my own aliases
    By setting up multiple accounts it's very easy to make myself seem popular.
    But see how cleverly I stick to the same style for each persona?
    Rick, never straying into photography territory
    RB, always with the broad Yorkshire accent