Monday, 22 January 2018

Look Who's Back.... And A Bit Of Running Stuff Too.


I've been waiting for them since I looked back through my notes and realised they appeared on January 18th last year. Yesterday, it rained and was cold all morning (we were marshalling at a cross country race in the forest, miserable but fun at the same time!), and then, in the afternoon, the sky cleared and the temperature began to climb.

It's now ten degrees outside and the sun has been shining intermittently, sending messages of spring, and look who's woken up in response......


The Honey Bees! Complete with full pollen baskets. There are lots of them on the Daphne, buzzing about, feeding. Gosh, I've missed that sound. It makes your heart glad just to hear it. I am so glad to see them. If that isn't a sign of spring I don't know what is. And here's another one, just to prove the point :o)


And two dog pictures, because they make me smile too....



In Running News it continues (cautiously) well. I'm back up to a steady three miles three times a week (although at the moment I've had to promise not to go off on any interesting trails and to stick to the roads and the flat- I sneaked a very small hill in yesterday in the rain and am none the worse for it today, so that's encouraging). I'm easing the mileage back up one mile a week at a time on my longer run as we've a couple of competitions coming up (yay! it's been far too long). One is a five miler and one is a six miler, both on the roads, so I need to be back up to those distances at least. I did close to 5 miles last week at a steady pace and that was fine so I'm not anticipating any major problems as long as I go slowly.

Marathon plans have been shelved until next year as I don't want to rush and risk upsetting my knee again. Getting marathon ready for the end of May constitutes rushing in my book, so I shall defer my entry till 2019 and pootle about building strength and enjoying parkrun and my longer runs instead. I've got a place in the Grizzly again this year. I was hoping to do the 20 mile version but will settle for the 9 mile (which you may remember was my first big competition last year and had huge excitement around it). That's in March so I'll see how that goes, and if all is well I'll get some more half marathons in from April onwards. If not, I'll happily stick to 5 and 10ks this year.

Instead of the marathon as my main focus for 2018, I am toying with picking up the parkrun PB theme again. I got it down to 23:09 last year and although I'm way off that at the moment (running around 27:37), I reckon in a few weeks' time I could pick up the pace and start to work towards chipping off the time. I have promised to help my friend Neil get his PB to under 25 mins before his 70th birthday (which is creeping up), so that would be a good initial target, then I'm thinking I can work towards sub 22 mins by the end of the year. 

To give you some idea of pace, at the moment I'm running about 5:30 mins/km which takes me to 27.30 mins over 5k (which is 3 miles) and represents hardish work at the moment. To run a 25 min 5k time with Neil we'll need to be running 5 minute kms, and to get to a 22 minute parkrun I'll need to do 4.24 min/ kms. I realise if you're not a runner that all this talk of seconds must sound rather feeble, but believe me, it is not easy to knock seconds off your km times when you're running at your limit. To do it, I'll need to follow a training plan which incorporates three things: 
1) endurance runs at a steady pace over longer distance (I'm quite comfy about these, they're my favourite kind of running)
2) Intervals, which involves repeated short runs at a very fast pace with short recovery times between (these are ok)
3) tempo runs, which involve running 10-30 minutes at a pace where you can say a three word sentence but no more ie it's quite tough (not so keen on these!).

The theory behind this is that if you train for endurance and speed your body learns how to sustain a faster pace over a shorter or target distance. I'm naturally not a fast runner, I can put on a good sprint and turn in a reasonably tidy time, but I much prefer a pootle along a half marathon distance, so training to run faster over shorter distances will be an interesting challenge, but if you've been reading for a while you'll know I relish a challenge so I'm up for it. It will also be good for my running and put me in a good place for when I start marathon training next spring.

I've managed to infect M's cousin with the running competition bug and persuaded him to sign up for a race with us in June, which should be great fun. It's part of the Cheltenham Challenge marathon weekend and I'm already looking forward to it.

Plenty to be getting on with, eh?

Hope all are well. Have you got bees out with you yet?

CT x

22 comments:

  1. Hey CT,
    Bees here! Saw a few last week, and one today. Honey bees and a big fat bumble. Training for the Plymouth half continues, although this week is busy work wise, so less time for distance. Glad you're pootling along. I pootle too.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Excellent on all counts! No bumbles here yet but it can only be a matter of time and warmer days. Pootling is very underrated, I reckon 😆😘 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️👏 x

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  2. Glad to have some spring like news. No bees of any variety here yet but I’m sure it won’t be long. I feel they may have all been blown your way thanks to so many gales. At least the sun shone today :). I think you’re sensible to take it easy this year, I’m sure you’ll get a good few half marathons before the year's end. Thanks for the running advice on your last post. I’m going to take it slowly. I’ve plenty of time :). B x

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    1. Thanks, B. I shall await updates on your training eagerly! x

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  3. You are to be commended on your running restraint. It would be so easy to try and rush back into your long distances but you are absolutely doing the right thing by regaining your strength slowly. The running club has had to be cancelled the last two weeks because of the weather conditions but I've been along the lanes this morning and it felt good to get out. I have no idea when it comes to pace and timings. X

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    1. Pace and timings only really matter if you get into racing and want to be at a certain speed. For most of my runs I just enjoy getting out there (and for some races too!) x

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  4. Hurray for bees. Haven't seen any here yet, but I did spot some daphne the other day so I shall keep an eye out. Glad you are happy with your running at the moment, it sounds as though you are in good shape knee-wise and doing all the right things. Adorable pup photos, how sweet they are. CJ xx

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    1. Raining here today so no bees. But it's good to know they are around x

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  5. We are just starting winter and had two cold days (for us) but then warmer days. Hopefully we will start the two rain days and then several warm days. Plus we need more snow in the mountains
    Happy to hear your feeling OK so far.

    Thank you for the gud dug Poppy and Ted photos !
    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

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    1. We've had no snow here :o( I'd like a sprinkling, just for a day or two, to make the world magical :o)

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  6. I haven't spotted any bees here yet, but have spent most of the last week inside decorating. A wise decision to defer the marathon until next year to let your knee fully recover. Love the doggy pictures. I nearly kidnapped a Ted look alike last week - I had to go into town to renew my library books, it was pouring down and a gorgeous little Westie had been tied up outside a shop. Poor thing was trying to shelter under a bench, but the rain was dripping through the slats and he was soaking wet and very miserable. I could be tempted by a Westie but I'm not sure that Hamish would approve! xx

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    1. They might be best friends- Hamish would probably end up being in charge. Chief Rabbit :o) x

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  7. Good news on the bees, they are still asleep over here. x

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  8. Lovely to see the bees. I saw two yellow crocuses just coming through in the village where I was working. It cheered me up no end!
    Arilx

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    1. I saw some on the roundabout into Southampton this morning. Splashes of spring colour :o)

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  9. How wonderful to see the honey bees, I always used to avoid anything flying and buzzing, I was afraid. but now I have grown to love the bees now and I am perfectly happy to have them land on me or buzz around me. Isn't it lovely to see the bulbs coming up. Your dogs are absolutely gorgeous.

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    1. Most flying and buzzing things are harmless, and even those that sting don't tend to unless sorely provoked. Glad you are more comfortable around them these days.

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  10. Gosh that's early, never seen one before February here, will keep my eyes open

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  11. No bees here but the daffy and crocus are shooting up which makes my heart sing. I'm quite envious of all your plans as no running here since before Crimbo! I'm suffering from an energy sapping virus which just won't shift. I have been resting and slowly pootleing but missing running so much I think I will have to run myself better. Thinking of a 10K in April! 😬

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    1. I've got to that stage post-virus before- sometimes a run can shift the final malaise. A 10k in April would be great! Go for it! I was talking to a running friend the other day and he says most folks have the capacity to run 6 miles without masses of training if they are already running three quite happily. xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x