Last Run Before the Big One

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I was going to get out mid-week this week and do a little run, but it rained for pretty much five days solid, and especially heavily on Wednesday, which was otherwise my best running option.

Luckily the weather seems to have cleared up a bit for the Bank Holiday weekend, so I nipped out to Leigh Woods this morning and did about 9km. Or pretty much exactly 9km, in fact; that seemed a reasonable enough point to stop running and walk the rest of the way back to the Suspension Bridge. Don’t want to overdo it!

Today’s photo was taken from the northern ridge of Leigh Woods, looking towards Clifton and the modern spire of Clifton Cathedral.

Anyway. This time next Sunday, hopefully, I’ll have finished my first half-marathon. I guess the main thing to do this week is to get lots of sleep, eat healthily, and give my legs a bit of a rest…

Back On The Jog

Just back from a jog, for the first time since the Wednesday before last. Giving my hip a bit of a rest seems to have helped. Today I ran pretty much all the way around the entire green bit on the map — must make sure I include that last little triangle next time, just for completeness’ sake — for a total of 8.88km.

While bits of me still ache a little, I’m not feeling as bad as I felt last weekend. Cycling is clearly a good enough “rest” for when I’ve overdone the jogging or walking, which is good to know.

So, two weeks to go to the half marathon, and I can definitely run almost halfway 🙂 I think, assuming the weather is neither blazing hot sunshine or a complete downpour, that I should probably be able to get through 21K the Sunday after next, if I take it steady.

Which is a good opportunity to plug my JustGiving page again, where the donations to Cancer Research currently stand at £100, thanks to you, dear reader, and some of the lovely people on Twitter.

I think I can raid the generous pockets of people at work with an actual paper sponsor form as well, to help me get to my target of £250 (because my company will match donations up to £250, it seemed like a good target.)

I think I’ll go out for a couple of short runs in the next seven days, then give myself a complete week’s rest before the half marathon…

Cycling Up The Road

IMG_0735 2.JPGCycling up Bridge Valley Road, to be precise. Steep.

Although it’s clearly not all the same muscles that get used by cycling and running, at least the aerobic fitness from running is transferable. I could never have cycled up Bridge Valley Road this time last year. Today, on a nearly 9K-cycle ride that took me up and around the Downs, I managed it without stopping. Albeit slowly. Maybe I’ve learned to pace myself a bit, too…

It didn’t feel like as much exercise as running even 5K, but at least it was some exercise, and it doesn’t seem to be aggravating my hip.

I’m going to give myself a couple of days’ rest and probably try a little jog at the weekend, just see how things are feeling.

On Wheels

IMG_0678 2.JPGMy left hip’s been playing up a bit recently. It’s been quite achey the last couple of days, possibly because of the amount of walking I’ve done, heading to Ashton Court and back for various bits of the Balloon Fiesta.

So, I figure I need a bit of a time-out, especially as I don’t want to aggravate it too much before the half marathon, which is three weeks today.

But, I don’t want to cut out on exercising, so when my friend Dave returned the bike I’d lent him — to tide him over after his got nicked a couple of weeks ago — it seemed like a bit of a sign. I’ve not been out on my bike for ages, at least a year, and it had just been languishing in the back yard gathering dust. Dave returned it sparkling and shiny and, importantly, having tested the brakes for me 🙂

Today’s RunKeeper log, therefore, isn’t actually a running log, but a cycling log. I did 10K, but that included a few pauses here and there. Not least of which was the first, caused by Bristol’s maritime side — there’s not a lot you can do if they’re going to slide the road to one side to let a boat go first.

It also included a bit of walking here and there — I don’t know Ashton Court very well, for example, so I managed to end up on one track that was really only passable by mountain bike; the tyres on my hybrid were just slipping around. Plus I took a wrong turn every now and again. Still, it’s all good exercise.

And it doesn’t seem to have aggravated my hip like walking there yesterday did.

Don’t know if I’m going to keep cycling swapped for running until the half marathon, but it might be sensible. Whatever I do, I’m going to have a look through the nice book on stretching my dad bought for me and see what it says about hips, because it could just be that it needs a good bit of regular stretching…

A New Path to Ashton Court

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Tonight’s run was a very interrupted, stop-start affair. But for good reason.

Tomorrow sees the start of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, held at the Ashton Court Estate, not a million miles from my usual towpath route. Not only that, but today someone mentioned the new Festival Way cycle route, the first phase of which recently opened, and links my bit of town with Ashton Court. All the details, and a sped-up video of someone riding the route — a really good way of showing how to get places, especially as the signs are a bit rubbish at the moment — are here on Better By Bike.

So, I checked it out. It does make Ashton Court seem even closer to me than the previous pedestrian route I’d used, over a footbridge by the allotments and down a tiny footpath. And avoids both stairs and stinging nettles, definite minuses of that way of getting there.

On the other hand, it’s very clearly a route that wouldn’t really exist purely for the pleasure of an amble, having a relatively claustrophobic and industrial feel, much of both sides being sealed off by fencing of the cheap-and-fierce variety, including sections with that nasty rotating blade stuff. Still, makes for an interesting silhouette.

Once that bit’s over, you emerge slightly surprised at a nice-looking cricket pitch, two sides of which you walk around before the cycle path finally ends. It spits you out directly opposite the Kennel Lodge Road entrance to Ashton Court, on the blind bend on Clanage Road. Nasty.

Still, I took my earbuds out, took my life in my hands, and jogged successfully across the danger zone. After that it was, really, a walk in the park, jogging up the hill to the mansion house and then trotting around the fairground attractions, many still being bolted together and stocked with stuffed animals. Really must get up there with a proper camera on the same day next year — the preparations make for good photography.

Anyway. So, turning around at the top of the balloon arena, and punctuating my running with stopping to look at stuff, and the odd bit of iPhone photography, I slowly made my way back home. I think I probably did technically jog 5K, but not all at once… Still, it was a good way of scoping out this new route, which should open up Ashton Court for me for some longer runs, which should be a pleasant alternative to the Downs.

I’m taking Friday off work to go hang out at the Balloon Fiesta some. I may even head up for one of the 6am launches — they’re really magical times, when not so many people are about and the balloons sometimes lift off the field at about the same time as the morning mist. If I do, I’ll probably throw some photos on Flickr, and pop a link in here, running-related or not 🙂

Quick Weekend Jaunt

I was thinking of heading out for quite a long run this weekend, but it didn’t really work out like that. I’ve taken on some sudden spare-time work, and that’s eaten a lot of my weekend time. Still, I did manage to get out for 7K out along the towpath, up through Leigh Woods, and back to the Suspension Bridge. No problems at all, really, it felt fine, which hopefully bodes well for the half marathon.

Today’s interesting sights were people zip-wiring across the Avon Gorge, and an urban fox. No photos, sadly — I didn’t want to stop to wait for the next person down the zipwire, and the fox was too fast for me!

This month, I’ll mostly be reminding you that you can sponsor me to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Hit the link in the sidebar if you’d like to contribute 🙂

Orrible.

Bleh. That was one of those runs where I just knew I didn’t want to be running as soon as I started. It didn’t get much better, either, as I struggled fairly slowly through 5K. Still, at least I did struggle through. Sometimes just getting through it is enough.

I think it’s because I’m tired. Getting back to work this week has been a bit of a shock to the system after my break up in Windermere, plus I’m reading Iain Banks’s latest, Transition, and it’s difficult to put down of an evening, which isn’t helping!

Also, I’m getting a bit of pain from the arch of my left foot. Not sure what’s going on there. Nothing severe, just enough to make me worry a bit, as it’s been going on for a couple of weeks now. Hmm.

Anyway. I will probably take a break until the weekend, as there’s a Flickr meet tomorrow night and I hardly ever have the motivation to go running on a Friday evening…

Half Marathon Countdown

So, I reckon it’s about five weeks until the Bristol Half Marathon.

*Gulp*.

So, please help motivate me to keep on running, no matter what the weather (and in the UK on the 5th September, let’s face it, it could be anything from a heatwave to a hailstorm) by sponsoring me to run for my chosen charity, Cancer Research UK:

All donations, big or small, gratefully appreciated. Thanks!

Back From Holiday

I’ve just been in the Lake District for a week. I took my running gear, but didn’t actually get around to any running. Such is the way of holidays!

Just been out for my normal Sunday outing, though, a simple 7‑ishK around the Downs. From here on in, I guess I’m training for the Bristol Half Marathon. I reckon I’ve got five weeks to go. I’m going to train two or three times a week for the next four weeks, then have a week off before the half marathon. Should be a decent combination of training and resting, I think.

Anyway. I’ve got lots of post-holiday stuff to do, so I’m off to sort my laundry before it actually takes over the house. Catch you later in the week!