Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

We have a fantastic Christmas Day and the boys got spoilt once again. I hope everyone had a great day and has a happy new year.

I have had a fantastic year which started with my 32nd birthday and 14st 7lb of laziness, then came the Olympics and the start of my running life. And now at the years end I have completed a personal best run of 13.1km and now weigh 13st 2lb.

With lots planned for 2013 I'm sure it's gonna be just as brilliant as this past year. I hope all your New Years are just as good, and don't forget to keep running everyone.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Muscle memory good or bad?

It had been a week since my last run and it will probably be my last before Xmas.

Christmas is always busy and it throws you out of your routine but the look on the boys faces will be priceless. It will be worth the added weight and the missed runs to see their smiles as they tear open present after present. Clark met Santa for the first time the other day and after a split second of confusion his face lit up. I think this Christmas is going to be great.


So the run yesterday was essential, and it was tougher than expected too. After a week off I was expecting it to be harder but not as hard as it was. I planned to run for an hour and just see how far I went. About half way round lap 1 I changed the route slightly which added about 1.2k, I was only doing this so I could hopefully finish my hour at the end of 1 of the laps and doing 12km in the process. My previous best 12k is 1hr03mins so I was gonna have to work for it if I was to finish in an hour. After the extra 1.2k plus my normal lap I had done 4k and was feel ok. It was at this point that my muscle memory kicked in unexpectedly. At this stage of my normal run I would be on a nice flat if not slightly down hill stretch but because of the added 1.2k I was on an uphill. My legs suddenly got heavier and my calfs felt like bags of sand at the bottom of my legs. As I powered through to 5k I was very close to quitting but managed to keep going and complete lap 2. I was still contemplating on just finishing there but I kept telling myself to do 1 more lap, especially as I won't get another run for a while. My muscle memory was completely throwing me off my rhythm at times when I should be finding it steady I was struggling and vice-versa. I even managed after 8km to pick up the pace uphill too, I'm not saying I was able to do a quick sub 5min km but it was quicker than the km around it. My times were getting slower as my legs were getting heavier and heavier at the start of lap 4 and I reached my 1 Hour limit just before I reached 11km. As I had add the extra bit to lap 1, I was just coming up to the Farmers Boy at 11km so I had to run through my 1 hour limit and I pumped myself up for the final km back home. I finished off my 12km run with a 5.26km and managed to judge it so I finished a couple of 100 metres from home.

Muscle memory good or bad? Well I would have said it was a bad thing if you had asked me halfway through my run. I also would have said a good thing if you had asked me on my normal run. So I think it depends on how much you want to push yourself, or how varied you want your fitness to be. If all you do is 1 run week in week out then muscles memory is good but if you want to do different things and different runs then its a bad thing.
It also depends on the sport you take part in, for instance in Golf muscle memory is very important but Football not so much.

I have started to hand out a couple of the Flyers for the Fun Run to people I know I won't see for a bit and the rest are getting sent out after Christmas in the Children's book bags.

Well have a happy Christmas everyone and don't forget that after Christmas to Keep running everyone.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Huddersfield Santa Dash and a PB distance!!!

This past Sunday Dexter and I had our first proper run together, it was the annual Huddersfield Santa Dash. We were running for Kirkwood hospice, I was in a Santa suit and Dexter got antlers and a red nose. We knew this prior to the run so we dug out an old reindeer outfit, which was for 2-3 year olds not 4 year olds. It still fit him sort of, he could get in it comfortably but his arms and legs were sticking out by about 6 inches. So to keep him warm we put his thermals on underneath and being white they actually added to the outfit. There was a really good turn out and atmosphere at the start as we waited to be set off, there were lots of photos taken by various people and lots of smiles too. Sarah-Jane and Clark were there to watch and to cheer us on, but Clarks Nemesis was there so the cheers turned to screams of fear. The Kirkwood Hospice mascot (Kirk Wood) is gonna haunt Clarks nightmares for a few years I think, he has never been so scared of anything as he is of Kirk Wood.

The Santa Dash was only a mile long round some of the street in the town centre but I was gonna be the furthest that Dexter had ever run before. He did really well he kept going all the way round didn't winge once and at 1 point even let go of my hand and ran off ahead, so I had to speed up to catch him. He was totally focused and even the shouts of come on Rudolph didn't make him take his eyes of the run. We had great fun and at the finish we met up with Sarah-Jane and Clark and Grandma and Peter turned up too. We collected our certificates and then went for a bite to eat, before going home for a sit down.

After a couple of different runs over the weekend it was nice to get back to my usual route yesterday. I was debating weather to go yesterday or tonight but as it was only gonna get colder I was glad I went when I did. It was still cold and the floor was covered in frost so I had to watch my step as I ran, more than usual anyway. Even thou I was taking it steady on the slippery roads and pavements I still managed to keep a low 5 min pace. I could only put this down to eating a big meal an hour before and having extra energy. The cold wasn't getting to me either as there wasn't any wind to chill my bits. I did get a few more looks of "what are you crazy running in this weather in SHORTS!!!" but I was nice and warm and was flying round the route. I knew I was doing well when I reached lap 3 and hadn't slowed much and was still running within the 5 min/km where as I would be into the 6 minutes by now. I even managed to dip under 5 minutes on a couple of km, and when I started lap 4 was considering lap 5. At the end of lap 4 I was nearly at 11km in 58 mins so I decided to do 1 more km and reach 12km and a new PB distance in 1hr03mins. I did the 12km in less time than it took me and Feebee to run 11.2km on Saturday. I was 'not to sound like a teenager but' buzzing and if it wasn't so late and nearly Clarks bedtime I would have done more and maybe even completed 5 laps. I hope to do another few of these before Christmas Day, as I won't get time for running over the holiday and visiting family.

On the fun run front we are at last ready to put out the flyers and next week will give a few out to people I know are up for it. Then after Christmas and new year when the kids are back at school we will give out the rest to take home to their parents etc. This way the fun run could be part of their New Years resolutions and shedding the extra Christmas pounds.

Things are going well but remember keep running everyone.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Plan B route and icy conditions

It's Saturday morning and what to do, I know lets go for a run. I had organised to drop the boys off with Grandma at 9.15am but the boys decided that today would be the day they slept in. Dexter came in to wake us at 9.05am and Clark was still asleep and I had to wake HIM up for a change. I'm not complaining about this at all it was a pleasant change and as I write this I can still feel the benefits. This meant that I didn't get to my mums with the boys till 10.45am and then didn't meet up with Sarah-Jane till 11.20am at stables.

We were finally ready to run, testing the Plan B route for the Shepley First School Fun Run. It was pretty chilly up on the tops and with the added wind chill I had to wear jogging bottoms and my hoody. We set off down the road towards Broadstone Rd to join up with the Plan B route and it was at this point that I had a Rocky moment. I was running down the road in my jogging bottoms and my hoody with the hood up in the cold, boxing the air and running with Sarah-Jane and her horse FeeBee. Hold on a minute go back a bit, HORSE that's not Rocky, that's when the Rocky moment finished. It was replaced with a very surreal moment I was running with a horse and FeeBee was running with me, side by side. We turned onto Broadstone Rd and headed south on the Plan B route, we were running at a steady late 5 minute pace and I was happy with that considering the conditions. As we progressed it came apparent that FeeBee was actually running with me and I mean at my pace, she could have gone faster but decided to stay with me. This became more interesting when Sarah had to hold her back because we were on a downhill, I could carry on at my own pace. By the time Sarah-Jane and FeeBee were at the bottom of the downhill I had pulled away from them a bit and as the road levelled out again and started to rise again they could speed up again. This is where FeeBee really showed that she was running with me, she started trotting faster and was catching me quite quickly. Then instead of trotting past me she drew level with me and slowed to keep pace with me, Sarah-Jane wasn't making her slow at all.
As we hit 3km we also hit the turn at the most southern part of the run, here there is a short but steep downhill and then quite quickly again we were on our way back northwards and uphill again. This part of the route is almost completely lined with windmills, and FeeBee did well not to shy away from them as they were surprisingly noisy in the wind. We were still on uphills and it wasn't until we hit 5 k that they levelled out a bit and at 5.5k they completely level out. The first downhill in a while came at 6k and was a welcomed feeling as i could catch my breath, which as quickly as I caught i lost it again. I was on auto-pilot and admiring the windmills as FeeBee pulled up along side me and snorted the loudest snort you've ever heard and made me jump out of my skin. We had a little giggle then we hit another downhill so I pulled away again, until we rejoined at the junction of Browns edge Rd. This is also where the Plan B 10k route meets back up with the Plan B 5k route from here the 2 routes are the same as they turn up Upper Maythorne lane and past the Pig Farm. This part of the route today was very icy and at 1 point Sarah had to get off FeeBee and walk her across it as it was safer than ending up underneath her after a fall. I pulled out a lead again because of that and was soon at the junction onto Windmill lane and the downhill to the finish line, or at least where the finish line would be on the Fun Run. I waited here for Sarah-Jane and FeeBee to catch up so we could run the last stretch back to stables together, when they arrived we set off back down Broadstone Rd towards stables and FeeBee was again running by my side. We hit a downhill again so once again I pulled away from them and was only a couple of hundred metres away from the gate to stables when I heard FeeBee almost cantering to catch up with me and then slowed as she reached me. We arrived at the gate and I opened it and FeeBee ran up the track back to stables leaving me behind, I think she wanted to win the race. As we reached stables I stopped my Endomondo App and we had run just under 11.25km in 1hr05mins and considering the conditions I was very pleased. Sarah-Jane was happy too as FeeBee had done really well and they don't get out on rides much in winter.

I was very happy with the Plan B route it was a great challenge it was a tough first 5k and a nice steady slightly easier second 5k. The roads were in good condition despite the ice and the views were spectacular at times and the windmills added something else. I think I may have to push this route to FOSFS a bit more now and see what they think as the only down side is we won't finish at Cannon Hall Farm. It still would be a shame not finish at Cannon Hall Farm as they have been very helpful whenever I've been in touch, but this new route makes more sense.

As ever I will keep you all informed of any updates

Keep running everyone.

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Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Finding time to run is always difficult in winter

As the days get shorter and the temperatures getting lower it is hard to find a good time to go running. Rob and I try to get out Mondays and Thursdays but we don't always manage both days, sometimes it's Monday and sometimes it's Thursday. There is also the odd time when we don't even manage that and it turns into a get out when you can. When the temperature drops it becomes very difficult to drag yourself out. Yesterday was quite cold but the wind was like jumping in an ice bath and back out every time a gust caught me. I was running my usual laps and after 3 laps I was ready for quitting, the wind was a drain on my energy. So it was a pleasant surprise that my 8th km was sub 5 mins and my fastest km of the run. I finished my 11km in under 1hr so I was really happy, but it wasn't long before my legs were knackered.

I not sure when I'll get another run in before the Santa Dash with Dexter on Sunday. I might be running Saturday morning but its not set in stone yet, it depends if there is anyone to look after the boys. Because Sarah wants to go for a ride on her horse FeeBee and I hope to run along with her. We are going to try a route for a 10km run, it might be a plan B route for the Shepley First School Fun Run. We may have to change because of things beyond our means to comply with council and police rules and regulations. If we do have to change, this route we are hoping to test look really good and could mean that organising the Fun Run on the day would be easier. I'll let you all know what's gonna happen when I know and I'll also let you know how the plan B route is if we end up running it on Saturday.

Keep running everyone.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Fun Run interest and a couple of runs

This last week has been interesting and in a good way at that.

Monday Sarah-Jane and I went to see Lenny Henry for her birthday, which was really good and nice to get out. Then on Tuesday Rob and I went for a quick run and it was quick for 2 reasons. 1 because Rob has just recovered from a slight knee injury and this was his first run in a couple of weeks. And 2 because it was Sarah-Janes birthday and I wanted to spend a bit of time with her.
We did 2 laps of our usual route and managed to do 5.5km before we gave in. Whilst on the run I told Rob about how the Fun Run meeting went and how much interest it got.

Then on Wednesday the fun run really start to take shape, and started to grow. I had emailed Shepley Spring the night before about supplying some water for the run and being slightly cheeky asked for some sponsorship money. The reply I got was not what I expected, I had though that I would get a haha nice try lad or maybe a we will give you some water but that's it. Instead I got a very helpful answer, they said of course we will supply you with some water and would you like some T-Shirts too we could get some for you in school colours and with logos on.
This also gave me the idea of medals for each participant too so I looked into it and you can get all sorts of different colours shape and size. Later that day I was introduced to Nigel who is also a parent from School and a runner as well, and he runs for Denby Dale running club too. They set up races all the time so Nigel gave me some good advice, we had a chat about the run and he told me I would have to inform the council and police. He also convinced me that we need to have a registration fee on the run to cover cost etc, and said that it should be a minimum of £5. I don't think we will need all that but if we don't us all the money it can go to a Charity that the school supports. I got some good ideas from Nigel so was glad to meet him.

Thursday came and it was basically full of emailing and ringing people, I had emailed Kirklees and West Yorkshire police. As the Fun Run ends at Cannon Hall which is under Barnsley Council I had to email them too. I got some replies from Kirklees but was still waiting on the rest, but with the reply from Kirklees they gave me some numbers to ring on case they don't reply to my emails.

Friday was different to rest of the week, it was Dexters first class assembly and Grandma, Clark and I went to watch. Dexter did really well and so did the rest of the class. I also managed another run braving the cold and frost. I went on my own and on my new favourite route round Shepley pushing myself through the cold air that felt like ice for the first couple of km. After 3 laps the cold wasn't a problem it even helped, but because of the cold my times were slightly slower than usual and finished lap 4 and 11km in 1hr00. I did feel like doing more but an hour out in the cold is enough, maybe if it warms up a bit I'll try and go further.

I keep updating you all on the Fun Run I hope that in the next couple of weeks we should be ready to sign people up.

Keep running everyone........