Sunday, 29 May 2011

UltraMarathon....Not for me thanks!

Thanks, but no thanks!
I'm nearly back to normal now as I sit and write this latest post.

I've had something to eat, had my recovery shake, lanced my blister on my big toe (It was that big, it looked like I had six toes!) and I've had an hours nap.

This morning I set out for my 18 mile long run in preparation for the Farnham Pilgrim's Marathon in September. I know this is only my second time I've been out at this distance but I'm hitting 'The Wall' at mile 16 making the last 2 miles hell! I'm being hard on myself. This is quite an undulating course with the first half mainly climbing, and it's 18 miles which is not to be sniffed at. You tell non runners that you've been out for that kind of distance at the weekend and they hail you as some kind of super athlete...or idiot!

I felt quite nauseous after the run, just to add to today's 'Joys of being a Runner',although I think this is down to the fact that I filled my Camelbak with Lucozade rather than water. I guess you have to try these things out, but in the end it was too sickly and I was craving water at the end of the run but having to quash my thirst with the syrup Sports drink.

It was on those last two miles today that I thought, I've still got to do another 8 miles after I finish so why the hell have I been flirting with the idea in my head of actually doing an Ultra race. It stems from the daft brain of my running partner Brian and until today we were trying to finalise a day in July to do this. Talk about 'Run before you can walk' we have not even done a bloody Marathon yet, so why am I even contemplating running 35 miles (this is what we planned). I know Brian has the capabilities to go on to this and beyond, so good luck to him on his journey.

I must admit the subject fascinates me and I am currently reading Ultra Marathon Man for the second time. I know of a couple of people on Twitter who I regularly talk with tweet with who have tackled anything from 50 miles to 100 miles. I also follow a couple of blogs on the subject too. I really cannot fathom how people can physically and mentally run this sort of distance.

So I'm staying in awe of these people, why I concentrate on the Marathon distance. I'm sticking to what Pheidippides set out to do back in the day (490BC to be exact!). This to me is the ultimate distance to first complete and then master and I have decided this to be my goal in my running life.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Story So Far...

This is a picture of me running in my first ever race at the age of 15 in 1986. The race was the Ash Vale Half Marathon, I ran this race two years in a row, I can't remember my times but I have always had a time in my head of 2h:08mins. I don't know why I ran the race, one reason I think was for charity, the other because a couple of friends were running too. I can't even remember liking running that much back then, but I must of partly enjoyed it to run the following year. I think a big part of it was the Rocky Films. I distinctly remember having the Rocky IV soundtrack that I used to play on my training runs on my Cassette Walkman (I don't know how I used to run with that great lump attached to me!) I ran a 10K back then too, but I can't remember a lot about that race. I guess this was the time in my life when a seed was planted, which would go on to blossom some twenty years later.I don't know why I decided to take up the sport again, it was 2004, I certainly could not even think of running a Half Marathon like I did when I was 15. I was playing football regularly but that was about the extent of my fitness activities.
It was by chance that I joined in a conversation with two work colleagues one day, one of which was Brian, who still to this day I run with. The two of them were planning to start running at lunchtimes, I wanted to get fit again so joined them. I remember going on my first 3 mile run and feeling so chuffed that I had got round without stopping. From then on the distances have grown and my love with the sport has followed. It's a massive part of my life now. I constantly read about it, blog about it, talk about it,Tweet about it, and between all that with working and bringing up a young family I get to do it as well. Like all runners I've kept my finishers medals and amazingly have found the badges given out from those first races. Below are my races to date to share and just as much to serve as a scrap book to me.

Ash Vale Half Marathon 1986
Details Unknown

Ash Vale Half Marathon 1987
Details Unknown

Cranleigh 10K 2005
Race Number 62
Time: 57:50
Position 169 out of 220


Julian Farrell Memorial 10K 2005
Race Number 220
Time 52:53
Position 88 out of 145


Frimley Park Hospital 10K 2008
Race Number 72
Time 54:29
Position 206 out of 391

Cranleigh 10K 2008
Race Number 118
Time: 52:20
Position 123 out of 215

Peter Driver Memorial, Fleet 10K 2008
Race Number 192
Time: 49:41
Position 234 out of 425

Cardiff Half Marathon 2009
Race Number 8715
Time: 1:58:44
Position 4682 out of 8768

Frimley Park Hospital 10K 2009
Race Number 15
Time -:-
Position - out of -

Frimley Park Hospital 10K 2010
Race Number 196
Time 49:02
Position - out of -

The Grim 2010/11
Race Number 4343
Time: 1:22:07
Position 654 out of 1826

Fleet Half Marathon 2011
Race Number 2440
Time: 1:44:50
Position 768 out of 2309

Random Running Photo's

Cardiff Half Marathon 2009


Pre Fleet Half Marathon 2011

Frimley Park Hospital 10K 2010

After The Grim 2010/11

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Minor Set Back

Since my last Post I had a minor set back with my training (The clue is in the title!). Yes, I managed to put my back out. Now I wish I could tell you it was while completing 200 sit ups or maybe running 50 miles, but sadly no. I managed it while getting out the car! The actual day I done it, the agony was unbearable I was getting cramping pains that according to my wife were probably no where near as painful as labour pains! To this day I don't actually no what I'd done, but on day one I believed I was going to die (Well I'm a man, I would think this!). The pain improved daily and within four days I was back to running. I figured I'd probably missed out on about 20 miles, a long and short run.

I bounced back though and after running a gentle 4 miler to check I was back to normal, I followed this up with my new longest run, an 18 miler. I was really chuffed with the run not only for the distance but also the quality. The first half of the run was progressively rising and entailed some challenging hills. The run also took me on part of the Marathon course that I am training for, on the North Downs, so this gave me a chance to get a feel of the terrain. I still have till September to train so to be at 18 miles on a long run already is ahead of schedule, but I want to be prepared for this challenging Marathon.

I suppose what you could class as another set back was losing my Running Log from the last 4 years. I was signed up to the Training Site 'Buckeye Outdoors' which due to the recent severe weather in parts of the US has lost all information stored on their server. I was gutted when I learned of the news, I realise this site is a one man band and appreciate all the effort it must have taken to set up and maintain the site but to lose my log from so far back is so disheartening, and I feel for everyone else in the same boat. I would have thought that there would have been or at least should have been a better back up system for a site responsible for holding thousands of people's treasured logs......There, I've got that of my chest!

On the flip side I now have a new site that I have joined, recommended to me by Dan from 4 feet running which is Running Ahead. I have managed to upload some runs that were still stored on my Garmin, but it looks like I've got to start over. I will learn from the experience though and back up my information.

That's it for another running week, but lastly I will share a video that Marathon runner Ryan Hall 'tweeted' the link to on Twitter. There is a series of short interviews from the RunnersWorld website with legendary Coach Jack Daniels with some great advice on several aspects of running. I recommend taking the time out to take a look.


Sunday, 1 May 2011

Training Partners

I probably at the moment spend 50% running solo and the other 50% with my friend and work colleague Brian. I've known Brian since I was 18, so over half my life, we used to work together back then, but for many years worked for different companies until about 8 years ago we ended up at the same company again. (Jeese! I can't seem to shake him!!).

In the time we worked at different places we still used to play 5 aside football together every week, but it was about 5 years ago that we both embarked on our new love of running.

Brian when younger used to do a lot of Cross Country running and I myself had run half marathon's at an earlier age, but like most people over the years the toll of Beer, Women and Football (in no particular order!) take there toll.

So 5 years ago, although still playing football, we were both compared to where we are today, pretty out of shape. Brian, and he won't hate me for saying this had put on a few pounds, and I was feeling pretty unfit.

We started running a 3 mile route at lunchtime from work. I can this day remember my first run with Brian and another colleague and being so chuffed and surprised that I had got around without stopping.

We progressed slowly, and the thought of doing our first 10K seemed a daunting proposition. I remember embarking on a training run that took us twice around our 3 mile course and that would be a huge achievement and step forward.

10K's then became more regular events and in October 2009 we completed the Cardiff Half Marathon. Since then I probably plateaued a little but Brian really used this as a point to losing a lot of weight and improving his time's remarkably.

To start with I would be finishing 10K races quicker than Brian, but now, and it pain's me to say it......Brian is the stronger and quicker runner now (Note to Brian - I'll be back!)

We both have young families but as they get older the chances to get out for more serious training is becoming easier.

We are both training for The Farnham Pilgrim's Marathon, our first Marathon, and looking back we have come a long way in our running together.

If you get the chance to find a training partner I would recommend it. The sport of running can be quite a lonely existence (Although that sometimes is why we all run). With Brian, we spur each other on, mostly wind each other up (See our Dailymile comments!) and pretty much talk non stop about running. Our colleagues at work must be really fed up as they listen to us babble on all day about New training routes, Injuries, Running Web sites etc. etc. and is probably why they wear headphones for most of the day.

We are always challenging and pushing each other, we're even talking about doing Ultras now which is a long way from them two unfit boys struggling to run 3 miles!