Monday, 19 December 2011

I'm a dreamer

Since I started running I've always fancied the idea of running a proper 'adventure race', like I say I do like a dream.  I've been following the Jungfrau marathon (Switzerland) on facebook for ages and occasionally I have a bit of a peek at at the information and decide, nope I'm not quite ready for that.  The course profile alone makes my legs want fill with lactic acid!  I also found this virtual course today after the organisers sent me a FB message enticing me to sign up.

Two generations of my family have been to Interlaken on school trips that involved a train ride up the Jungfrau at some point and for that reason alone the idea of this race just tugs at the heart strings.  But then a bit of realism kicks in and I remember that I live in one of the flattest parts of the country and let's be honest I'm a bit lazy.

So for now at least, I shall just continue to dream and look at these pictures.  I think awesome is word that is a bit overused by 30 somethings like me in describing various 'extreme pursuits' but that word is apt for these.  And this race is going on the list of stuff to do before I'm 40.

The highest point on the course 2205

 Hopefully this will serve as a distraction from the fact that I had a CBA day on Sunday and didnt run my planned 15... Hmm

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Second Blind Mouse

When trail racing, knowing your left from your right is very handy, reading the instructions helps too.  These are lessons that I learnt (or didn't learn) last night on the second stage of the 'Three blind mice'.  A series of navigational errors or school boy blunders meant I ended up running 6.97 miles, according to my Garmin, as opposed to the planned 5.5 miles.  It didn't help that I sped off up the road from the Queen Victoria past the footpath that was the start of the 'trail'.  It really didn't help that I didn't turn back for about 3 minutes. Being 6 mins down before the first trail is not a great way to begin.  The next few miles were okay, I was either focused on the instructions or following someone, Roy, that I knew could read the instructions.  My 5th mile was a spiral of decline.  I'd lost Roy to the darkness but was quite a way in front of another group.  I entered a field the instructions said SA which translates to straight ahead. This confused me.  Straight ahead from where? I went straight ahead from the gate, then straight ahead to the field corner, then straight ahead to another gate..... My Garmin trail shows the confusion.  Eventually someone that could read instructions caught up, so I followed them for a bit.  We then got on a road section so I decided to try and recapture some lost time, a great idea if I turned left at the junction as instructed instead of right... Eventually I got back to the pub in 1:14 and as it turns out 35 place. Roy won (again) - well done to him.  For me it was a longer run than expected but really great fun. Helped by the sense of humour of the Striders who delighted in putting a clipper point in the middle of a stream.  

I'm sure there's some scientific reason why trail running is great training, but for me its just a fun way of getting miles under the belt with bursts of speed and bursts of going round in circles.  Alternative intervals almost!  Next time out - I AM going to read the instructions.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another 8

Quick run around town this evening after work. 8 miles and 7:51min mile average which aint too bad given the 16miles on saturday.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

16 miler - TICK

Okay so it wasn't that pretty in terms of performance but it wasn't about speed it was about miles.  In the end I stayed on the roads for all but about 3 miles in the middle which was the bit along the sea wall to the Chapel, and it was definitely a nice run.  Sea walls in the middle of nowhere are always feel strange to me. On one side you have the natural bleak beauty of the Essex salt marshes and on the other side manicured mono-culture.  I suppose in its own way, that's quite nice to look at too.

So my first attempt at a long run for a while and I'm really pleased with my pacing from Miles 7 to 14 which (interesting to me) include the off road sections.  I really struggle holding a pace and seem to fluctuate randomly unless I'm running fairly hard.  So for anyone interested (?) here's my split times.

1) - 1m - 8:55(8:55/m) - 123cal 
2) - 1m - 9:21(9:21/m) - 119cal 
3) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 119cal 
4) - 1m - 9:17(9:17/m) - 118cal 
5) - 1m - 9:33(9:33/m) - 120cal 
6) - 1m - 9:18(9:18/m) - 118cal 
7) - 1m - 8:47(8:47/m) - 116cal 
8) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 115cal 
9) - 1m - 8:54(8:54/m) - 119cal 
10) - 1m - 8:54(8:54/m) - 119cal 
11) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 115cal 
12) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 119cal 
13) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 118cal 
14) - 1m - 9:27(9:27/m) - 119cal 
15) - 1m - 10:35(10:35/m) - 113cal (I stopped to look at the view here although that was an excuse really). 
16) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 115cal 
17) - 0.29m - 3:53(13:16/m) - 32cal

Apparently I burnt up 1917 calories in total which explains how I demolished a massive bowl of couscous half hour after returning.  
Looking forward to next week, Im aim for a 8miler on monday, I have the second of the 'Three Blind Mice' trail runs on Wed, and then another long one on Sunday. Im sure I'll try and get in a 4-5 miler on either Thursday or Friday too.

Friday, 9 December 2011


Over the last few weeks I haven't quite managed to get my mileage up as much as I had hoped but tomorrow I'm going to attempt a nice gentle 16-17 (ish) miler out on the marshes.  What better way then to spend a Friday evening than mapping various potential routes?
At 7.40pm this evening the favourite option is a run along St Peter's Way to St Peter on the Wall, an ancient church right on the waters edge. Its a pretty bleak place but if the weather turns out as expected it could be a pretty special run - I may even remember to take the camera.  The only thing thats worrying me a bit is how much Essex clay will be attached to my shoes by the time I get there.  The plan is to just go out and run gently at about 9-9:30 min mile pace. We'll see how that goes.

Whilst I was typing this I noticed that I have been linked from the Milton Keynes Marathon training page.  As a new comer to blogging it's really exciting to get a proper external link - so thanks MK marathon people.  I better keep writing now.