Sunshine after the Rain

26 02 2010

Decided to stay away from my normal routes after another 48 hours of intermittent rain, would have been a complete mudfest. So ran from home instead. Down the hill into and through Charmouth, up Stonebarrow Lane and then back along the same route. 7km with 300m of climbing in 46m 23s. Hard work, especially on the shins going down and the calves going up.

Not much else to report. Although I did see a seal off Charmouth beach yesterday.

Only one more run before Southbourne and my assault on a new PB. About 250 entrants so far with a week and a half to go. Late entries are accepted.


On the nature of mud

24 02 2010

There’s a rumour that the eskimos have a whole collection of words to describe the different types of snow, here in West Dorset I think we should be developing an equivalent lexicon for mud.

I went out for my scheduled short run around Langdon Hill yesterday morning earlier than normal. With a weather front closing in, and light rain already starting I decided to get my gear on, drop the kids at school and head straight off. With a temperature around four degrees and rain increasing decided to wear my Brookes waterproof jacket for the first time and cap too. It was an unpleasant, but necessary run. By the end it was a mixture of rain, sleet and snow.

At the southern end of the loop there’s a wet patch, and the rain of the last few days has just made it worse. The track must have a fairly hard base somewhere, so the mud is not too deep but it holds the water and is very sloppy. It starts off brown and gritty, dark water standing in the footholes. The sort of mud that splashes half-way up your legs as you jog through it. Then it starts to get stickier, the clay base starting to turn the water yellow. The sort of mud that would be at home on The Somme. This is a bit thicker, it grabs at your trainers threatening to yank them off at any moment. The only recourse is to walk through it, step by sucking step, or try to edge along the side of the path scraping past the brambles. You have no idea how much I’m looking forward to the summer.

I’ll be out again on Friday. I’m hoping that the weather dries out a bit but not holding out much hope. The muddy chute awaits . . .

12 days to Southbourne 10

13 days until we move (consider this official notice Sis)

19 days to the first grand prix

Four and a half months to Charmouth Challenge 2010

Now that’s better . . .

20 02 2010

First off, did do a short run on Wednesday. But it was short, hilly, muddy and boring, so couldn’t be bothered to inflict it on you.

Today however, was glorious. So consider yourselves well and truly inflicted. Did the usual winter 9km loop in a fairly average time. But the sun was out, blue skies, no wind and fantastically clear air. From the top of Golden Cap I could easily see 20 miles or more west along the coast to Portland, and the same to the east past Lyme Regis and along round the bay. After a couple of months of cold grey days it was a real revelation. I reminder of what I really enjoy about running. Running on the coast paths is just the best thing ever. Yes, it was still muddy and a bit chilly to start, but in the sheltered spots with the sun on my back it could have been summer.

Started off a bit quick, set new records for the first three kilometers, and that’s despite five hours of sleep as I was up watching Amy Williams in the skeleton bob. Only really lost time on the muddy bits. So a good run. The sort that leaves you smiling.

So long run today, short one probably Tuesday, medium run next Friday, then a short run midweek before the Southbourne 10k the following Sunday. Really looking forward to that as I’ve said before, and really hope to run as close to 50 mins as possible.

Saturday Medium Run

13 02 2010

Nothing very exciting, just another one of those runs you do to keep the fitness up. Grey day, about five or six degrees, fairly brisk easterly wind so long sleeves and gloves today.

Did a loop of about 7km starting on Stonebarrow, along to Chardown, down the hill past the farm along the lane cutting back to St Gabriel’s, then back along the coast and up Stonebarrow again. 45m 16s which compare well with the 47m 50s I did on the same route a month ago. Probably less muddy this time as it’s been dry for a week and the mud has finally started to turn a bit more solid.

Three weeks to Southbourne 10k (and house move the following week). No idea on how I should adjust my runs to prepare for it, so I’ll just carry on as usual I guess. Make sure I just to a short run mid-week before the race. Really looking forward to it now.

On an ornithological note. Was amused to see a man in Stonebarrow car park hand-feeding a robin. The bird was stood on a tree branch, and he allowed the guy to slowly walk up and hold his hand right up to it so that the robin could peck seed out of his hand.

Mid-week short run

10 02 2010

As promised did a shorter but quicker run this morning. Pretty cold as usual, mainly due to the brisk northerly(?) breeze. Just did a couple of laps round the Langdon Hill loop which has some up and down, but not too much. Enough flat stuff to maintain a quicker pace at times which is what I was after.

Only did 4.5km, but at an average of 5m 22 per km pace, with a quick last km of 4m 53s. I’m really hoping that when I do the Southbourne 10k race in three and a half weeks, I’ll be able to maintain a pace somewhere around 5m to 5m 10s per km. First intention is to beat the 51m 29s from Boscombe 10k, but I really want to get down as close to 50m as I can. I’m hoping they don’t call it ‘flat and fast’ for nothing.

Now according to the gadget, there was actually 205m of ascent in total over the two laps this morning. I’m starting to have some doubts about how accurate this figure is. I’ve noticed that my 9km weekend run that I have done three times recently had 499m, 528m or 537m of ascent depending on which week you choose. Go figure.

Please make the mud go away

6 02 2010

Didn’t run mid-week, wanted to give my right calf a bit of extra time to recover. Seems ok for now.

Usual 9km loop today, but after the heavy rain of the last few days, and what with the warmer weather thawing out the last of the ice, it was a tad muddy out there. There’s a narrow bit that heads downhill between two fields on the way back along the coast. No idea how I stayed on my feet, it was like a muddy chute.

For what it’s worth I did it in just over 1hr 6m, but when conditions are so sticky there’s not much point in trying to time it. I lose time trying to walk round the mud or through the least deep bit, but also running through the mud must sap my energy too. On the plus side it means I have to work harder, so maybe there’s a benefit somewhere in the long run. I’m still enjoying it, I like the hills, but I also need to find somewhere nearby that’s relatively flat and dry to get some speedwork in before Southbourne, otherwise I’ll never be able to run at the pace I need.

Did come across a good samaritan today! I was running round the lanes heading toward Langdon Hill car-park, when I turned a corner to find the lane flooded. No way round it and about eight inches deep. Now I don’t mind a bit of mud, but there’s no way I want water in my trainers thank you very much even if that makes me a wuss. (I try to avoid races with names like Grim, Grizzly and Full Death Experience) Anyway, so I’m stood there thinking ok how far do I back-track, when the hourly car that you get on this lane just happens by. Very kind lady offered to drive me across the lake. Result. Run resumed. So thank you lady wherever you are.

Should manage a short run mid-week.