Sunday, 25 January 2009

Sunday Run

Yesterday I raced the third leg of the Devil's Burden with Amanda and then we ran the 4th leg just for some extra miles. My ultra training "schedule" (very loose!) demanded that I do a long run today so I set off on the airport run with the remit of running more than 20 miles at any old pace I liked. I took my camera and ipod for entertainment as I expected it to be grim but the weather was unexpectedly mellow and my legs must be getting stronger as I was not as sore as I thought I would be. I had a dry mouth from an impromptu Burns Supper last night with Scott and Amanda incorporating Scotmid Whisky! During the run I developed a craving for fried eggs and chicken so I had a chicken and egg sandwich when I got home without running into any philosophic problems. I kind of thought I might take a photo of it but I forgot and ate it first. 20.2 miles at 9min21sec pace. Given some of the mud I ran through this isn't so bad.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

More night running

Last Tuesday night, recovering from working nightshifts over the weekend, I didn't get up until 1pm. It was soon to be dark yet I needed a long run, preferably off road. The solution? Night run in the Pentlands.
We set off from the car park at Flotterstone at about 3.30pm and set off up Turnhouse with the light in the west dimming and going pink. It was near dark and I put my head torch on at South Black Hill. By the time we came off West Kip we needed the torches and were glad the most difficult terrain was behind us. We ran down to the carpark near the foot of the hill, disturbing a flock of geese. Initially both of us thought there was a helicopter landing nearby until we realised it was the sound of big wings beating and recognised the goose voices calling! No more wild life incidents, almost disappointingly, but the time went very fast even though our pace was slow, with the novelty of running in the dark. We ran round a reservoir and then back through the hills and back down to Flotterstone. Overall a very nice experience and we were pleased with ourselves, clocking up 13.6 hilly miles in 2hrs and 51 mins on a school night. I see from their website that Carnethy went out as a club on Wednesday night and had blizzards so we were lucky. It was cold but still and you could hear for miles.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Last night's run

Not much in the way of visuals for this one, so I've included a google map. In many ways an uninteresting run but I'm quite proud of it... Realising that I haven't properly started doing any ultra training and with a 35 miler on Feb 22nd and a 53 miler on April 25th I thought I better make a start. From what I've managed to find on the web about ultra training it seems its generally recommended to have two longish days in a row with rest either side. Wednesday night I went to running club and got my heart rate racing with 10 X 3 min hard intervals with 2 minute jogs in between. (It was meant to be 12 but I had to pull out, that's another story.) Anyway, the night's running was 12 miles altogether including the 3 mile each way run to club. Normally I'd avoid running the day after a club session as I'm just too sore but I thought it was about time to get ultra in my attitude. I couldn't run during the day so it had to be at night. I thought it would be a good start if I went and ran 16 miles at a steady pace, taking into account my muscles were already a bit trashed from the night before. I set off under the moonlight armed with my ipod and ran 8 miles down the coast and 8 miles back. It was cold and icy so the pavement was a bit slippy underfoot, but it didn't cause a problem. I thought I'd leave it to "feel" what pace I should go as this is all rather unknown - and found I immediately slipped into a steady 9 min/mile pace.
And so it went! Peter was rather scornful saying it was a boring boring run and he was off to do something else which made running off into the darkness a bit more daunting but on the other hand it probably made it easier to slip into a steady pace.
Job done in 2hrs 25 mins, 16.14 miles, pace 9.01 min/miles. Its good to have made a start and to not have to run today also. I'm starting a run of nightshifts tonight and long running and nightshifts don't mix very well as your feet swell up! I don't think you get the recovery you need if you don't sleep.
I thought I'd do a bit of a review of the year (2008) as everyone else has, but I can't be bothered going into much depth.
I realised belatedly that I missed the 2000 mile mark in 2008 by 15 miles! But hey its arbitrary, what does it mean?
I ran 23 races which is 2 less than the year before and 5 less than 2006. Going soft? Its just I have a course on a Saturday once a month and I missed a few races I would otherwise really have liked to do because of that.
3 new pbs, discounting new races when obviously you're going to get a pb.
Most proud of; Marathon; 3:28:38. At last! Have been trying to get under 3hrs 30 mins for years. 2007 I missed it by 2 mins.
Half Marathon; I should be proud of cos it was into a headwind (as was the marathon). I can do better though; 1:38:18.
And rather laughably 5k; 22m25secs - a pb by 5 seconds and still slower than half my 10k pbs in fact not just slower than half my pbs but slower than half the time of the hilly 10k I ran earlier in the year on no speed training. How can that be? It must be the 1st mile that kills me off.
Most intriguing races? Lairig Ghru left me wanting to go back and do it better. Its a possibility this year but it clashes with a long Scottish Hill Runners Race so we'll see.
7 Hills of Edinburgh - I know I can do better at this race. Maybe this year.

Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year's Day Run

NYD run with Scott and Amanda. We went over to Scotlandwell in Fife to take a look at some of the Devil's Burden Relay course in the Lomond Hills. On our way we up the hill we met Jocelyn Scott of Fife ac and another unidentified runner. It was a really nice day, much sunnier than predicted by the weather men. We ran some of the third leg of the DB as far as West Lomond and then decided to stay high as down the hill was in the shade so we took the path to East Lomond and from there did the 1st and 2nd leg. Lots of Fifers out in the hills, some having a nip at the top of East Lomond but we thought we better not. It was really a longer run than we'd thought we would do and we had nothing to eat and very little to drink so we were having to keep Scott out the cattle troughs by the end and were pretty knackered. Made up for the lack of food first of all in the carpark. (Scott and Amanda had pizza and chocolate!) and then later. (Ate and drank pretty much everything.)
We ran 14.31 miles in 3hrs 05 mins. Hopefully have a better overview of the Lomonds of Fife as a result...

Cairn William Run

30th December we were up at mum's and ran up Pitfichie and then over and back over Cairn William. Very nice mountain bike trails making for excellent running. Nice sunny cold day.
Started off sluggish because a bit hungover.
11.50miles in 2hrs 06 mins.