Rain rain, go away…

And so ends another week where I only managed two runs. My lack of time this week was somewhat exacerbated by the current UK weather situation.

The UK media have been having a (waterlogged) field day recently, because if there’s one thing that the British love talking about more than weather, it’s ironic weather, and we’re currently in the middle of severe rain and flooding. During a declared drought. With hosepipe bans in place. The news reporters are loving it, when they’ve got time to spare from asking awkward questions about Jeremy Hunt, anyway.

This morning, I checked the weather (using the rather swish WeatherSpark) and found that today would be fairly representative of April so far:

Screen Shot 2012 04 29 at 10 12 40

So. I decided to wait until later to get out of the door. In the end I headed out during the promised gap at about 8pm, which — surprise! — materialised exactly as promised.

As I’d been feeling guilty about not getting out for a second mid-week run, I decided to put in some decent distance today, and actually managed a whole 10K, which I was pretty pleased with. 1:14:27 is only five minutes away from my best 10K race time (almost to the second), so I think that was pretty good for running alone on a wet Sunday night…

This week is looking like more of the same, so I may try the same pattern again, fitting in a couple of longer runs rather than three shorter ones. Not too long until the Bristol 10K, so it’s good to be getting some decent distances in!

On A Whim

IMG 6666The television coverage of the London Marathon should have been a great inspiration to go jogging on Sunday. Unfortunately I was watching it from behind a hangover, on a sofa quite a long way from home.

I did, in the end, struggle out for a run on Sunday, but it was just a desultory jog around the local area, more so that I could say I’d been out than for any other purpose.

This evening, feeling a bit guilty, I headed out down the Portway to get in one of my midweek 5Ks, and passed this sign. On a whim, I thought, “well, five miles isn’t that much further than five kilometres…”

So, I ran to Sea Mills station and back. It was a good run. The rain stayed away and I got to jog along the river at twilight, which is always nice.

I also put some music on, instead of the podcasts I’ve generally been listening to while running recently. Back when I started running, I listened to music all the time. Speech Debelle’s first album, Speech Therapy, got me through a lot of my early runs. 

Tonight I headed for harder territory and spun up the shiny new Fields of the Nephilim live album, Ceromonies. It was excellent running music. The power of Psychonaut pushed me through an uphill stretch, the (not-usually-to-my-taste) more metallic Shine had me sprinting between lamp posts, and it turns out my standard longer-distance lope is pretty much in time with Trees Come Down

So, a bit of a wobble last week, missing a run and being too hungover for any distance on Sunday, but this week is off to a good start 😀 I’ll try to get out again on Thursday, I reckon.

Work Life Balance

I lost momentum a bit this week. I didn’t get out for two mid-week jogs, mostly because as well as being back in the office 9 to 5, I’m also working hard outside the office, and had a couple of evenings taken up with social stuff, too.

Still, I managed to head out last night, at least, for a simple 5K down the Portway, my default “haven’t time for anything else and want to avoid puddles on the towpath” route. And, with luck — and hopefully not *too* much of a hangover after a friend’s birthday party this afternoon — I’ll get out again tomorrow, so at least I’ll have run twice.

This month is already my best month of the year so far in terms of distance, so I’m heading in the right direction.

Incidentally, the work I’m doing outside the office is at least relevant to running! I’ve been working on the Android version of Get Running, my friend Benjohn’s iPhone app.

So, if you’d like to help us test the Android version of Get Running, and you have an Android phone (or other device) with Android 2.2 or above, you can find a details of the Get Running Android Beta Programme here!

Third Time’s A Charm

I’m managing to keep up the momentum, it seems. Just came back from today’s 7.5K around Leigh Woods. I’m still not back up to the level of fitness that lets me get up that hill in one uninterrupted jog, but it didn’t take long to get my breath back at the picnic table after the steepest section. Another few attempts and I’m sure I’ll be doing it in one again.

And the good news is that this is the third jog this week, so my plan to get back into the habit seems to be working out. Hopefully my return to 9‑to‑5 employment this week won’t hurt that. I used to do the very same job, in the very same office, full time, and still jog three times a week, so at least I know I can do it! I just need to make sure my momentum isn’t derailed by the change in working patterns.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the cold, cloudy/sunny day I was jogging through today, snapped with my phone during my walking warm-up.

Bridge Clouds

Some Run By Night

One of the problems I’ve faced while trying to get back into the habit of running three times a week is a lack of that mental itch that says “you’ve not been running recently, you know.” It hasn’t helped that this is a busy week, as I prepare for a return to an office job on a ten-week contract, starting on Monday.

Today I remembered I should have been for a run while my dinner was cooking. That, plus some heavy rain, and some annoying problems with some Android programming I’ve been doing, meant it was about 10pm by the time I thought, “Oh, yeah. I should have been for a run.”

But what the heck. The rain had lightened up, the Portway has good street lights, and I still had a couple of hours before bedtime. I went anyway, for a quick 5K down the road and back, and it was fine. I even took time to stretch properly at the end.

Hopefully I’ll get out on Sunday to keep up my three-times-a-week momentum, though the weekend’s looking scarily busy so far.

Three Times a Week

So, after the ropey Bath Half, I’m trying to get back to a level of fitness where I won’t embarrass myself at the Bristol 10K. That means getting back out and running three times a week, like I used to.

So far, that seems to be going well. I headed out for 5Ks on Monday and Wednesday, and today I did a nice 8K up Bridge Valley Road and around the Downs.

Hopefully I’ll manage to keep this up, though it might be a little tricky next weekend, as I’m away for at least a day… We’ll see!


That First Kilometre

My plan to get back to running three times a week, to help me recover some fitness before the Bristol 10K, seems to be starting off okay. I followed up Monday’s run with another run today, so that’s my two weekday runs done. I’ll get something a bit longer in at the weekend.

Today’s run was a bit of a trial at the start. It was just a simple 5K down the Portway. But I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the first kilometre as I set out, mostly because the weather was horrible. Our brief burst of summer-like spring seems to be over, with a typically British cold snap.

It wasn’t snowing in Bristol, but my walking warm-up was done into a freezing cold wind that nearly sapped my strength before I started off. On the plus side, I couldn’t wait to get running, just to warm up…

Before the first kilometre was over, though, I was still freezing. The thought even crossed my mind to stop for shelter for a bit at the tunnel underneath the Suspension Bridge, and then decide whether I just wanted to run back home. Before bits of me started falling off.

I started to warm up eventually, though, and pushed on to the full 5K. The few other soaked and frozen joggers that I met all gave that slightly wry acknowledgement that says, “Oh, so you’re an idiot, too, are you? Well done, idiot.”

And the good news is that it was five whole minutes faster than Monday’s 5K, mostly because of my desire to get warm as quickly as I could by pushing harder than usual at the beginning. So, throwing myself out there into the freezing wind and rain turned out quite well. Even though, during the first kilometre, it seemed like a bloody silly idea…

Resolution Run 4: Time for Some New Shoes

My admiring hordes (hello, Margaret!) have been wondering whether I made it out for my fourth “resolution” run of January, and the answer is a resounding “yes”.

I didn’t enjoy the first kilometre of Friday’s run, despite it being a nice day. I hadn’t slept that well, and I wasn’t really in the mood for running. Nevertheless, I plugged away down the towpath, turned into Leigh Woods at the far end, climbed the steep hill without too much ado, albeit very slowly, and kept going until I was nearly back at the Suspension Bridge.

I stopped at 7km, making it my longest run of the year so far. Doesn’t seem bad for a day where I wasn’t really feeling it.

It’s been raining a bit recently, which tends to flood sections of the towpath. When I got back home, my shoes looked like this:

Towpath Mud

…and that made me consider buying a new pair. 

Sadly, these Mizuno Wave Inspire 7s have been, well, a bit rubbish. I had trouble buying a pair at all, then I had to send the first pair back because they gave me a blister, and I’ve never felt that great in the replacements. Which was a shame, after the Wave Inspire 5s and 6s were so good for me.

Then I did a bit of searching on the internet, and found that pretty much everyone who bought the Wave Inspire 7s seems to have disliked them, or at least those who’ve blogged and commented about the things. So it wasn’t just me.

The good news is that everyone who then took a punt on the new Wave Inspire 8s seems to think they’re a return to the good form of the earlier Wave Inspires. So, I will probably take my chances with Mizuno once again, though my faith is a bit shaken.

Hopefully a pair of new shoes will put a bit of bounce back in my step, even if it’s only psychologically-speaking…

Anyway. Enough rambling for now. I should be running later on this week, so I’ll see you then!

Resolution Run 2: A Bit Earlier in the Week!

I’ve been feeling better this week. It’s pleasant, when you wake up in the morning and think, “Wow! I don’t feel like utter crap!”

This week I decided in advance that I’d go out on Thursday, just because I wanted to pick a day and stick to it. And not wait until the last minute, like I did last week. So this morning, I put on my jogging clothes first thing, as a hint to myself, though I’m working from home and had a Skype meeting at 9am, so I couldn’t go out straight away.

But, with the morning’s work behind me, I finally grabbed my water bottle, got out the door and did a simple, slow 5K. Don’t pay too much attention to the awful time, not only does that include a lot of elevation but also ten minutes of warm up/cool down walking. So I’m not too unhappy.

And it got me out of the house, and into Clifton Village for some shopping and some lunch. Broke up the otherwise-insular home working nicely, anyway.

Next run? Maybe at the weekend. We’ll see.