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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life is good - then it went and got even better

What a ball!
What a caper!!
What a time to be fit and well and out there in the big (not so) bad world.

I love this time of year!!!

Actually, I love all the times of the year. If it is cold and dark I dress for the weather and enjoy the lack of flies intent on committing suicide in my mouth and eyes. If its too hot to train comfortably I endure it best I can then enjoy a stretch in the garden with the sun on my back.

The light mornings are the best thing about May/June/July. I can't wait until I 'camp out' in the van halfway up a deserted dead end road somewhere in the Lake District. Come down off the fell after sunset then climb it again a few hours later for the sunrise. Then into the nearest town as the shops open up for coffee and toast - good times.

It would be easy to think about 'wasted time' spent training for London Marathon but where would that get me? - Nowhere! Better to enjoy the fitness gains that training issued me and enter a few races to see how fast I can run.

It's not just races though, training is something I enjoy immensely. When fit and running well, the harder the session the more I enjoy it. Sub 60 minutes over a 10 mile route is a good time for a race, but seeing 59minutes something on my watch when I have been out there alone, of an evening, after work, - it goes a long way to make me feel Im doing something right.

After my awful attempt at running a fast 13 the other week when I blew and struggled in the final 2 miles to record 1:23:30 - On saturday I set off on the exact same route with an intention to...... run 13 miles. No target time.

It was quite windy and I deliberately held back a little despite the early miles tailwind telling me I should capitalise to make gains for the headwind to come later. I was cruising along, really enjoying the training and I think that is key to running well - force the pace beyond what feels right and it will be a chore you will struggle to complete.

At the 10 mile stage I was feeling fantastic and probably ran faster than the early tailwind section. At 13 miles the clock showed 1:24:45.  I had taken just 1min 15 sec more than the previous week but had felt it was no more than an brisk jog which I could have lengthened for another 2 or 3 miles if necessary.

Sunday I was in the fells for a couple of hours - not the high fells - just the tourist path from Ambleside to Skelwith Bridge. The Lakes 50 in July takes this route and I am keen to recce all the way to Coniston in advance of the race proper at the end of July.

Monday I ran my usual 5 mile route. It was ridiculously windy - storm force so I saw no point in timing it.
Tueasday I was enjoying walking Scamp along the river, surveying the damage from the previous 24 hours weather, and I didnt run!!

Wednesday I intended to run my 5 route VERY HARD. I did, but was a bit disappointed not to beat 30 mins. Nevertheless I ran my fastest time of the year with 30:17. Despite a 1 mile warm up I actually ran faster 2nd half which was mildly headwind.

From memory I think I used to be able to run 10-20 secs/mile faster in races than I could in a similar length HARD training run. So to beat 35 mins at 10k I need to run nearer 29:45 in training. This will come - I'm sure of it.

Running aside - Photography is going very well too - I'm still learning new aspects about shooting in differing locations, using wide lens for sports instead of the 'zoom in and pick em off' easy option. Even my erstwhile nemesis  Penrith 'cowboy' Stu admitted my Foo Fighters photograph was a stunning capture.

Charles Dicken wrote...

IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Not really clued up on my Eng' Lit', and I'd love to know what the 'epoch of incredulity' means, as its a quite superb phrase, but this is certainly the best, the best, the very best, of times.


  1. Thought you only got this excited at Xmas !!!

  2. Hey Steve , I just had an amazing race at the Harrock Hill fell race, running my best race for many years!
    I think that marathon training will pay off for you 2!
    Remember; the brain controls the body!
    So If you think positive anything is POSSIBLE!

  3. The age of disbelief - you are flying at the moment at that's with marathon training I wonder how fast you will get with 10K and 10 mile training can't wait to see your dust!