Power in the Blood, Justice in the Sword…

20091101-20091101-P1000813.jpg…when the call it comes I will be ready for war.”

Today’s title is from Alabama 3’s fantastic track Power In the Blood, from the album of the same name. It helped me get off to a nice start on the Downs after I’d clambered up Bridge Valley Road.

I woke up to the sound of fairly heavy rain on a dull morning in Bristol. By the time I’d dragged myself into a fully awake state, though, it had dried off a bit, so I got out running.

I kept up with my plan to go around the Downs, but this time by a slightly longer route, still starting off by climbing from the Portway along Bridge Valley Road and along Ladies’ Mile, but then turning left at the top of the Downs, rather than right, to go around Circular Road and past the Sea Wall, before curving back towards Clifton Village.

That’s where today’s photo is from, by the way; I stopped for a minute or two in the howling gale at the Sea Wall to take a quick picture. It’s amazing how small in the distance the Suspension Bridge looks, bearing in mind I started off on the far side, on the road below it!

Anyway. I was going for distance, rather than speed, today, so it was a fairly gentle plod, especially at the beginning; I didn’t want to knacker myself on the eighty-metre climb at the start.

And it was successful, being my longest run to date. Looking at the RunKeeper log, I did about 6.5km (you have to take off about 300m for the 5‑minute warm up, which I walked) in about 54 minutes. I don’t think that’s bad, considering the hill. My pace looks pretty even, too, although the graph is a bit skew-whiff at the end; I had to edit the route manually after the GPS got a bit confused on the last bit of the run, probably because I went through some trees.

So, basically, things are going fine 🙂 I’m going to take a couple of days off now, and probably run on Wednesday and Friday this week.

Ups and the Downs

Fantastic run today. I got an extra hour in bed because of the end of British Summer Time, which was a good start. Then I headed out to jog up Bridge Valley Road and around the Downs.

I kept to a nice, steady pace — as you can see from the RunKeeper map/log/stats — and did the first half of the Downs, up to the Water Tower, as usual.

On the way back, though, I decided not to let the normal path force me back onto the street at a pedestrian crossing, but instead went hunting on the Downs for a path that keeps you on the grass a bit longer.

I figured this was safe enough, navigationally — I’d just keep going until there was a huge cliff, then turn left. As it turned out, this is pretty much exactly what happened, hence the photo above. I took this from next to a bunch of guys with telescopes and binoculars who were looking out for peregrine falcons, who apparently nest around there. Cool!

This way back was a lot nicer than my previous road path, so when I’ve got enough daylight to do it, it’s the way I’m going to go. It also added a bit to the distance, so today I managed 6K, not bad for a route that starts with an 80 metre climb. And it felt just fine, all the way around!

Right. Time for a shower! Catch you later in the week 🙂


Literally a quickie. I don’t normally run two days in a row, but I’ve got a deep tissue massage booked tomorrow to try to sort my back out, and I know it’s not easy to run for a day or so after that.

So to minimise the gap, I figured I’d go out tonight. I just did a nice simple 5K down the Portway. It was okay, and my new running top kept me warm without completely overheating me, even though it wasn’t as chilly as yesterday morning.

Looking at the log, I think I’ve shaved another few seconds off my 5K time, coming in at 33:26 for the 5K (you have to subtract the 5‑minute warm up and cool down at either end.) And my pace was more consistent today, too.

At some point, I’m going to stop pushing myself a bit further for a while, and just go jog 5K at a nice easy pace, and see how pleasant it feels…

Oh, and that photo I took during yesterday morning’s jog? It made the Explore front page on Flickr, and 75 people have tagged it as a favourite already. I’m quite chuffed; it was definitely worth stopping for 30 seconds to take it!

Misty Morning

I did something unusual today: got out first thing in the morning for a run.

I managed it — just a standard 5K along my old towpath route — but I wasn’t really feeling the love. I don’t know whether that’s because I’m not used to jogging at 9am, or whether it’s just because I was cold and not watching my pace too well at the beginning. Certainly the RunKeeper log shows that my pace was a complete mess.

Apart from the actual running itself, though, everything went well. That sounds weird, but I felt pretty good when I’d finished, I got an awesome photo with the new camera just past the halfway point, and I’ve felt pretty energetic and cheerful all day. Also, it looks like the run, while it felt crap, may have been my fastest 5K yet, at under 34 minutes.

So, hoping it was just because it was bloody freezing when I set off, I’ve now bought myself a couple of winter running tops from TK Maxx. That’s a good tip for the fat runner, by the way: running shops only seem to stock stuff for skinny, fit people. TK Maxx has plenty of good stuff in lardy sizes, too!

Anyway. I’ll leave you today with a photo of the Clifton Suspension Bridge an hour or so after sunrise. This one was definitely worth the jogging.



Just a quick update today. This evening was very much like the last run — up Bridge Valley Road, along Ladies Mile to take me to the far side of the Downs, where the water tower is, then the final bit of the loop back to Clifton Village.

Where I stopped off in a chip shop to get dinner 🙂 Well, I didn’t have anything in, and as I observed on Twitter, it’s better than not running to the chip shop!

Music today was Speech Debelle’s Speech Therapy again. I’m still impressed by it, and perhaps it’s got more to offer just because it’s not normally a genre I’d listen to. Thanks to the Mercury Prize committee for stretching my boundaries a bit…

Incidentally, the camera I ordered as my reward for finishing the C25K was despatched the other day, so assuming it actually arrives, there may be some better pictures gracing this blog soon!