Sunday, 28 November 2010

Snow & ice!! Pah I laugh in its face........

Well its certainly been a week were the Winter has certainly shown its nastier side.

This weekend  was always going to be a tough week to fit in my running as my 2 youngest sons had their respective birthday parties on Saturday and on Sunday. Saturday was the turn of Lewis's (whose birthday is this Wednesday) after a frantic morning sorting out swimming lessons and baby sitters, we were off with Lewis and 4 of his friends to the cinema. To be fair I was dreading the experience 5  six year olds is a recipe for a mass riot in my opinion, but I was pleasantly surprised. A great time was had by all and i even got to watch the film which was a bonus. Then it was off to the food mecca for all 6 year old's MacDonald's.
For our son who has been on a really healthy diet for the last 6 weeks it was like being let loose in a sweet shop, Mind you he had his happy meal and afterwards he drank half his coke and then said he felt sick. Which just goes to show how he has moved on.

Then it was on to Sunday and Matthew's birthday, this was a full on day. The morning was spent opening and playing with Matthews presents. Then he had his party with his friends from nursery which went very well for a 4year olds party. Then the afternoon was spent with family, then it was crash time in the evening.

I must say I was very impressed with Anna as there was quite a bit off party food going on all weekend and she did not get tempted with any of it. You go girl!!!

Oh and we bought a Treadmill on Thursday, mind you this is for Anna. I will not be tempted...!!

ANYWAY on to the running this week. As I said earlier this was always going to be tough fitting the running in this week- but then every week its a juggling act.

This week I wanted to do 2 long back to back runs, so I decided to bin my hill rep run this week and cut the runs from 6 runs to 4 runs this week.

So I ran home from work on Mon 8ish miles. Then I ran into work wed morn which was fairly cold, my hands were like blocks of ice when I got to work. I knew I had to sort it out for my up and coming runs as the forecast was cold cold cold...

So Friday morning came and the alarm rose at 4.20am. I got myself sorted after trying to convince my self that this was a really stupid idea and my bed was the place to be.
I was out the door at 4.45am and it was colder than I was expecting but crucially I had 2 pairs of gloves on. This was going to be the tougher run as it was hilly hilly hilly. I must admit after about 3 miles I had got used to the cold and just knuckled down and ground out the miles. I had a glitch at around 14 miles in when my water pipe on my pack froze up so I had no water for the rest of the run. So 22 miles later I had finished and was at work ready for whatever they threw at me.,

Friday night my legs were a bit achy so to bed with nuerofen I went.

TO be rudely awaken at 3.20am which seemed ridiculous to me, but I mechanically got up and sorted my self out. I was out the door at 3.40am and was on my merry way, it was foggy frosty and I was not in the mood for it but again after about 3 miles I was in the zone banging the miles out. After about 2 hours THE SNOW came and it snowed and snowed. I then realised I had a problem I had set out with road shoes and now I was in some fairly thick snow underfoot. Still you soldier on whatever is thrown at you, I carried on and found a running stance that seemed to work well in slippery snowy conditions.
By this time I was The abominable snow man and must have looked a sight.

I carried on and 30miles later then end was in sight and a warm kitchen, coffee and a bowl of Kellogg's finest All - Bran.

So as I bask in the self satisfaction of 68.5miles done this week, of which 52 miles was back to back. I know I have done these in adverse conditions and I reckon this gives you the confidence that you can complete anything you set your mind to......

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Time to fit it all in!!!!

Well it's been a real struggle to fit everything in this week!!!

Our youngest boy had a stint in hospital  which included an over night stop over, he had a very ulcerated mouth. There was a fear he had Hand foot & mouth, it transpired that the powers that be have diagnosed stomatitis which to us layman is a form of Herpies Yuck. I know he is my son but I draw the line at good night kisses at the moment..........!!!!!!!!!!!!

As a consequence things have had to slip such as household chores as we try and pick up the pieces and try and get back to normality.

At times like this any exercise regime or training plan goes out the window. Fortunately though I have got used to this with having 4 kids and my training plan can become fairly fluid.

What I did not and could not plan for was how tired I would feel after we had got little man home from hospital.

I decided I was going to embark on a bit of a catch up over the weekend.
The plan was:-

Fri eve - 8.5M
Sat Morn - 13.5M
Sun Morn - 26M

This should give me a total of 68miles for the week, which would mean I was only down 7 miles for the week.

Fri Eve 8.5M Done at Tempo rate, done no probs.
Sat Morn 13.65M Done at a fairly reasonable rate.
Sun Morn - No show was dog tired, I think it all caught up on me after the last few days!!

So as I write this I am planning to go out once the kids are tucked up in bed & Anna is watching X-Factor & I'm a celebrity.

So with tonight's excursion of 12miles
my weekly mileage will 54Miles.

I must say I am a bit disappointed with this total, but given the circumstances I guess its ok.

Here is to a big week next week!!!!!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

5 weeks on.....

Wow Its been 5 weeks since we embarked on this healthy  lifestyle adventure....!!!!

Time has gone very quickly, very quickly indeed.

As a result of certain changes in food habits and a healthy dollop of exercise on top, I am pleased to announce that my family has had a total weight loss of 25lbs

Let me say that again 25lbs lighter than 5 weeks ago.

It has been an amazing start to this adventure, and we are all looking forward to the next 5 weeks, with some slight trepidation I must add with Christmas looming large on the horizon.

But the goals have been set and the determination is there to see it through and come out the other side smiling, and healthier.

The last 5 weeks has been a steep learning curve not only for my family but for me as well.

I must admit I started this adventure thinking I am not going to get much out of this, how wrong I was.

Although I don't have much if any weight to loose myself I have come to realise that my diet consisted of far to much fat.
Now I am eating lots more protein and have come to realise that for me carbo loading does not work for my runs. All it did was make me feel bloated and I struggled with the initial part of the run.

Now I can honestly say I have not had a bad run in the last 5 weeks, if anything I am getting faster and stronger.

Mind you I am going to need it in the new year as I have a fair bit already planned & some booked

It goes like this:-

Jan 2011 - Ultra run 90 - 45 miles from Northampton - Tring and back over 2 days.
Mar 2011 - Wiggle Lightning 12 hr run  - As many laps as you can do on a 6.2m course
May2011 - GUCR - 145miles along the Grand Union Canal
June2011  - Cotswold Ultra race- 100/50miles in the Cotswold (ran it last year  my report is at the bottom of the official race report)
Aug 2011 - Ulter peak race - 40 miles
Oct2011 - Ceasers Camp - 100miles multi lap

Well done to Anna, Kieran and Lewis for there dedication.

And well done for Matthew and Mia for tagging along as there a bit young to understand but they will still benefit.

Lets hope we don't get to much chocolate and biscuits given to us for Christmas. Mind you the Helping hands charity might be pleased......

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday Reflection

Well this is the first week of my new training schedule complete.

First weeks plan was 6 runs totaling 65 miles.

Actual completed 5 runs totaling 58 miles.

On the whole I was happy with the effort.

The run missed was an early morning run to work, but in my defence our youngest daughter did have us up a lot of the night with a high temperature.

I did try and make up for it a little bit by adding about 3 miles to my long run on Sat.
The long run went well nearly knocking 10 mins off my previuos time for this run about 6 weeks ago. The runs has some good hills in it with 2 hills of around the 11% gradient, one around 2 miles long and the other around 3 miles long.
The other hills are still fairly steep but they are shorter affairs.

This was followed by what was going to be a recovery run on the sun of around 8.5 miles.
As it turned out it was a tempo run ending in a sprint finish as my legs were feeling in fine shape.

Bring on next week where the  plan is 6 runs totaling around 75 miles.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Tue 9th nov runs

Having been successful in the GUCR 2011 draw, the name of the game today was to start my hastily re arranged training plan.

This will hopefully put me at a great level of fitness and endurance ready for the end of May 2011.

Today’s runs consisted of: -      8 miles (including hill reps) run to work.
                                                8 mile run home from work.

I was up at 6 which is a relative lie in for Tue’s morning as I have been doing between 15 – 20 mile runs to work.

After donning my gear including my new Head Torch, I headed out at around 6.20am.

The first 3 miles started as a nice gentle pace gradually building up the tempo. At 3 miles I got to the hill I was using for my hill reps, its 0.35 miles in length so just about right for hill reps. I then proceeded to bang out 4 reps culminating in and out and out sprint for the last rep.

I then continued on my merry way running into Evesham ready for work.

When I got to the outskirts I checked my watch and realised I still had half an hour left so I made a detour and ran a few more miles around Evesham before arriving at work.

On reflection I felt great after the run, I defiantly could have done more reps, but I am going to stick to the plan and build them up slowly.

Total mileage for the morning run 11.3 miles

I will see what I am like after the run home tonight!!!

Run home from work stated at 4.40pm

I ran in this morning in the dark and now due to the lovely winter time I am now running home in the dark.

The route home was pretty much the route in this morning in reverse.

Once I was out of evesham I found the unlit paths and roads very dark there was no moon to light the way.

The run home was going to be a nice steady pace but it soon degenerated into a fairly quick pace.

So just past the hour I had finished 8.5miles in the bag with no real affects from my exersions this morning

Total for the day : 19.8 miles

The GUCR dream has started

I have learnt this weekend that I have overcome the first obstacle in fulfilling my dream of getting to the finish line of the Grand Union Canal Race.

What is the Grand Union Canal Race I hear you say well....

It is a non stop 145mile foot race running along the tow paths of the grand union canal.

It starts at Gas street Birmingham and finishes at Little Venice London, starting at 6.00AM on 28th May 2011.

I am in !!!!!!!

Let the hard work start.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The long Wait

I pre entered the Grand Union Canal Race on Mon 1st November.

This is a non stop race Starting at Gas St in Birmingham running along the side of the grand union canal and finishing 145 miles later at Little Venice in London.

I said I had pre entered that is because there is going to be a public draw for the final places on Fri 5th at 8.30pm.

There are around 270 possible entry's with only a 100 places up for grabs.

This forms the backbone of my Ultra races for next year.

If I don't get in then its on to plan B in terms of races.

This is one thing I have learnt when pursuing my chosen sport along with juggling family life, there always has to be a Plan B and C and D.....

In other words I have learnt to be fairly flexible with my training so its no different with my racing there are always plenty of ultras to choose from, this one just happens to have the prestige of being one of the longer ones in this country.

Any way talking of plans I need to structure my training into some form of plan so I am off to look at that now!!!!