Saturday, 24 November 2012

Winter running and added enthusiasm

I had my meeting this past Wednesday with The Friends of Shepley First School (FOSFS) about my fund raising 10k run idea. They wanted to hear what I had in mind and they had some concerns about the organisation and safety involved. I reassured them about the safety of the run and told them there wasn't too much to organise and that I would handle that side of it. After a bit more discussion we came to the conclusion that we needed to offer different distances to attract more interest and not to put people off if they think 10k is too far for them. We would also include the option to do a 10km bike ride as well, so the Shepley First School Fun Run to Cannon Hall Farm was born. We set a date for the Fun Run of Sunday 17th of March 2013 and lets just hope it's as warm as it was last year. Everyone at the end seemed happy with the idea and some were already planning their training. I left the meeting and as giddy as a school kid and had to stop myself from running home and actually caught myself skipping now and again. I got home and as soon as the boys were in bed started designing the sponsor forms and flyers.

I was still buzzing and excited about the meeting when I came to do my run yesterday. Which helped as I was on my own as Rob has a slight knee injury, I hope it gets better soon as I can tell that he's missing the running. It also helped me get through the first 5 mins as the winter temperatures are upon us. I went on the usual Monday route but with a slight twist which added a couple of hundred metres to each lap. I was running at a good low 5 min/km pace and the added twist on the route helped with my cardio, and even when I hit 8k when i normally start to struggle I was still full of energy. I was close to the end of lap 4 and was still feeling great so much so that I picked up the pace and finished off with a fast last km. I finished lap 4 in 59.35 and a distance of 11km and was delighted to have equaled my distance PB.

It was good to get that run in, with the winter temperatures and cold winds getting worse the enthusiasm to get out running will drop. You just have to get out and do it, but it helps to have something to run for and the Fun Run is one of those things. I have also just signed Dexter and I up for the Santa Dash around Huddersfield centre on December 9th. He is looking forward to it and the practice run we will have to do in the next 2 weeks. The Sponsor forms came in the post today, so the excitement just got notched up a bit.

I'll keep you informed about the Santa dash and the fun run, and thank you for reading. Don't forget to follow me on twitter by clicking here.

Keep running everyone

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

After a bad run I had to comeback stronger

On Friday I had a BAD run if there is such a thing when you don't get injured. I set off from stables and was running home and it was getting dark very quickly. I was feeling good and was on a steady pace around the 5 minute mark and I managed to get to roads lit by streetlights before it got too dark. I hit the 5k mark in just under 25 mins which is a good time but that doesn't explain what happen next. I ran past the farmers boy and I knew I had a km to go before i was home but I also thought I could go a bit further and do 8km instead of the 6.5km to home. I was planning which route to take to add on the extra distance, when my legs just gave out. I don't mean they buckled they just had nothing left in the tank and I struggled to get them home. I was only a couple of hundred metres from home and then I got pins and needles in my feet which was weird. I'm being a bit over dramatic as I still could dig deep and run the last 50m up hill to home, but when I stopped they felt like jelly and after only 6.5km it was slightly disheartening.

But that was Friday and yesterday I ran again and I came back stronger and more determined than ever. It was our usual Monday run but Rob was unavailable and Luke bailed at the last minute so I had to do it alone. Whenever I run on my own I always set off to quickly and that hinders me later on in the run, so I tried to keep it slow this time at the beginning.
FAIL or maybe that low 5mins or later 4mins is just my pace and I have to work with it to improve my cardio. So after a couple of laps around that pace I was in a rhythm and halfway round the third I was still ok, the second half was a different story. My legs started to feel heavy and my right knee was getting really warm, bizarrely because I was thinking about my legs my breathing settled down and I caught my breath. This set me up for another lap, with 3 down (7.5km) all I had to do was push through the wall and make my legs do the last lap. The ninth km was my slowest but it was all about getting my legs up the last climb to the farmers boy. From there they started to feel less tired but sore instead but my knee was feeling ok now which I was more happy about as a knee injury would be awful. I still pushed forward as I knew I was about 1.5km from home now and I knew I had to keep going I had to push that little bit more and that if I did I would feel so much better for it too. I passed 10km and had a little over 100 metres to go, passing 10km really cheered me up and do much that I went for it on the last 100 and sprinted and up hill as well. Hitting the top of the hill I stopped my Endomondo app and just smiled, I was so pleased I had pushed through the mild pain and even finished with a sprint.

Now that I've push my self back upto 10k I feel more positive and can take that into the meeting this Wednesday at Dexters school. This is the meeting that will decide weather or not we will be fund raising for his school on our next run to Cannon Hall Farm. They have concerns about how much organising it will take to do, but me and Rob don't think it will take much. So come Thursday we will either be running it and fund raising or just running it on our own. Either way we are running it so I hope tomorrow goes well.

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Thank you and keep running everyone

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Winter fitness regime starts now

It had been 8 days since the 10k run and I had only just got over the PRD (post run depression). It was only a small case of PRD mainly focused on the fact I burnt out my cardio and had to walk for a bit. I had done the same distances before but the pace of the run and the late climbs hurt my stamina hard. Now that I was past all that I knew it was time to get back on the training regime. Even thou it was only a week since my last run I could feel myself getting heavier and sluggish. So Rob and I organised a run to dust off the cobwebs, and get moving again.

We met up at my house and slowly set off on our usual Monday route. Rob was only planning on doing 5k because his legs were a bit worn from a bike ride he did on Friday to Blackpool. 75 miles in Friday and then on Sunday he also did another 30 mile bike ride. I think you can forgive him for only wanting to do 5k you could've forgiven him if he didn't want to run at all.
It was fairly obvious early on that for both of us it was harder than we expected. Rob did his 5k in 29.13 and I carried on to do 5 miles in 46 minutes, it was difficult and I was quite tired by the end but I had definitely got rid of the cobwebs and rust.

It was good to get back into the swing of it and we needed to sort out what we were doing running wise over the winter months. I suggested that we set Mondays and Thursdays as our running days and if one us can't run one of them that's fine the others can still meet up and run. Luke didn't join us yesterday but he said he'll run Thursday. If we can keep this routine going through the winter then come March we will be ready for the big training push ready for the Yorkshire warrior run and other early spring runs.

Next week I'm going to the FOSFS meeting to talk about the planned fund raising run for Dexters school. Hopefully it will go well and we will be able to get things rolling i.e. sponsorship forms and sign up sheets and posters. Plus getting people signed up and training for it.

Don't let the cold get to you keep running everyone.

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Monday, 5 November 2012

10k run to Cannon hall Farm harder than expected

All the training, all the sweat, all the excitement, it was now time to just run.

We all met at my house and when I say we I mean Rob, Matty, and me. As well as my wife obviously, my sister Jess, Robs girlfriend Steph, and my dad and Janice and my mum and Peter. Once we had all said our hellos and introduce Steph to everyone she gave Rob, Matty and me a lift up to the Sovereign. It was very foggy and cold so it took us about a minute or two to get moving and for the GPS on my Endomondo app to find us.

All smiling and ready for the run

Matty is a good runner and has done a few marathons before so this was gonna be easy for him, but he would have to run at our pace as he had no idea where we were going as he is from Liverpool. But the fog was that bad that even Rob and I had no clue as to where we were going. We started off at a good pace of low 5 minutes per km but as we got further into the run and the more the fog eased the faster our pace got. Our estimated finish time was getting quicker and quicker and a one point dipped under 50 mins. We had passed halfway and were on the main Barnsley rd now, and at this point the road does narrow a bit and the footpath had disappeared. I couldn't help but evaluate the route for the springtime when I hope to get parents from Dexters school to join in and raise funds for the school. This part of the run would be the only bit I would worry about and would need sign warning drivers about runners.
We were steadily moving now and as we reached 7k we arrived at the first of 3 uphills that I was dreading. We climbed the first with ease which gave me a boost and then we hit 8k and had done that past km in 4.39 mins. My boost was short lived as the second uphill came and it drained my cardio and 20 metres from the top I had to walk for about 10-15 seconds. Matty and Rob slowed down and gave me some encouragement to get me going again, it helped and I was going again but I was annoyed that I had walked. I couldn't belive how fast my energy drained on that uphill, up till that point i had felt good and in control of my pace and breathing.  Before we knew it we were on the  downhill that led to the turn off for cannon hall, I could see the sign post. As we passed it I jumped up and gave it a high five, which made Rob laugh.
Just before we came to the car park for Cawthorne Park we passed the 10k mark woo hoo, but we still had the last uphill to tackle. The private Drive upto Cannon Hall Farm which via a tweet or 2 we had been give permission to use. I did feel quite special crossing the boundary but the drive just kept getting steeper and steeper so quite quickly I didn't feel very special at all. I actually had to walk again which really annoyed me but Rob and Matty kept pushing me and as we turned the corner we could see the top which spurred me on to catch up with the boys. We started to come backdown the hill and I could feel my legs going but pushed on to the bottom and as we got there we hit 11km in 56.57 mins a PB distance and time for me and Rob. Matty was pleased with the run too as he hadn't done any for about 6 months and to do 11km on your first run in 6 months is good whatever your used to running. We were all pleased with our run and the time but there was 1 problem, we had run such a quick time that all our friends and family weren't there ready for us. Bless them they had some rope to use as a finish line and whilst at home they had got Dexter to make a gold medal for each of us. So the finish line photos are staged but you can tell and the medal ceremony was rushed, but it was really nice of them to come in the first place.
When we all arrived we stopped at the cafe for a drink and a quick bite to eat before departing off home. Whilst in the cafe we were talking with one of the staff who invited us to join the running club she goes to at Denby Dale, which was really nice. It was a really good morning and all 3 of us are up for it again just not too soon.


When we arrived back at our house Sarah-Jane and I had to rush around and get a change of clothes for Clark and go straight back out to a friend of our little boys 3rd Birthday party. So no chance of a shower or drink for me and no rest for SJ it was a busy day but one I won't forget. Cheers everyone for taking part and for coming to see us, hope you do the same in the spring.

Thanks for reading and keep running everyone and if you want to follow me on twitter click here and click follow. Up next on my fitness regime is if my dates are right the yorkshire Vets charity cross country at wentworth castle near Barnsley then another run to cannon hall then finishing up the springtime with the big one the Yorkshire warrior run.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Preparations done now just the 10k Run to Cannon Hall Farm

After the 10k Rob and I did on Monday we didn't want to do too much the rest of the week so we didn't jinx ourselves and get injured. But the runner in me and the one in Rob I seemed to have grown knew we should do 1 more before Sunday.

As ever with runs midweek it is not easy to sync our spare time, Rob had his girls round from Thursday so the only time he had was Wednesday. I couldn't do Wednesday as I went to watch Skyfall at the cinema with Luke, so Rob said he would try and do a cardio workout on his rowing machine. I asked Luke if he wanted to run on Thurs but he was working away in York. So yesterday I did a run on my own, but as I didn't manage to get out til late I decide to try and do a quick 5km. Plus as it was dark I wouldn't be able to run round the Knowle, which is my usual 5k route. So I chose to do the normal Monday route and do 2 laps which is almost a perfect 5km. My aim was to do a 25 min 5k or under, so I set up my Endomondo App (which has just had an update with improved GPS) and set off. I always set off too quick and this was no different and as the first km is up hill I was pretty tired by the time I was halfway round lap 1. That tiredness soon turned into a warmed up steady pace and was doing a low 5 min pace. At the end of lap 1 I was feeling ok again just in time for the uphill to the farmers boy again, I hit 3km and was just about on target for 25 mins. At the bottom of marsh lane all the street lights were out as they were on lap 1 but all the traffic seemed to have disappeared too. So where as on lap 1 i had car headlights to show me the footpath and all its divets and level changes this lap I had nothing. I was running by memory but the worst thing was it was so dark for such a long stretch that I had no idea of my pace. I couldn't tell how fast I was going as i couldn't tell how fast things were going past me or me past them It was so strange. The footpath felt wider thou which help keep me confident enough to keep running. The lights were on at the farmers boy which I could see in the distance like at the end of a tunnel. I suppose it was practise for the 1km tunnel we will have to run twice on the Yorkshire warrior course in April (see photo). I finally reached the lights and was on my way to 4km, as I came to the end of Jenkins lane my App buzzed and told me I had done 4km in 20.50. So I knew if I wanted to do 5km in 25mins or less I was gonna have to push it on this last km and I did I was aiming for 4.10. I really tried to control my breathing so I could push harder but the cold air made that hard to do but I dug deep and kept going I was within sight of home when my App buzzed again and I had completed my 5km in...... 25.15min so close but I was still happy with the last km.

That was it all the prep was done and now it was just rest until 10am on Sunday Cannon hall farm here we come. I'm happy with the training that the lads and I have done so far and I know that the run will go smoothly. I'm also happy that so many of my family are driving over to meet us at the end of the run, should be a very welcoming sight coming down the finish straight.

My blog on Monday will surely be overloaded with photos from other peoples perspective and not just the boring stats from my apps.

Good luck to us all and keep running everyone.

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