Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Juneathon cometh!

Juneathon starts in 2 hours (I'm writing this at 10pm) and I'll be on my first run of said Juneathon in 8 or less hours.
I did run this evening, but only home from work. I have also logged it on the running free website, and I am blogging about it, so I guess I've already started!

It wasn't a magical run, but I did enjoy running to the new Prodigy album. Damn thing made me speed up when I was hurting, by I still loved it! I defy anyone not to pick up the pace at least a little bit while listening to the live version of Run with the Wolves!

Here is the link to today's run - - I'm writing this on my phone so normally the link won't appear like it has there. I will put the link to my runs in each day of my blog, as well the run being linked to fb and twitter directly. If you happen to see the tweet telling you I'm running, click the wee linky thing and stalk me, in a subtle way that is of course.

Anyway, that's enough drivel from me, got to get up jolly early on the morrow.
Good night each and all, I look forward to reading your blogs n stuff.


Ninjabread man.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Time to get the finger out boi!

Here we are again, almost anyway, that there running challenge that got me blogging in the first place.
It's almost time for the Juneathon, and do you know what, I'm quite excited about it.
I love having targets to beat, my particular targets for this challenge are to actually complete the thing this time. The Janathon beat me on day 22, 4/5 short of the 100 mile mark.
Also, it is the lead up to my training for the Abingdon Marathon in October, the training is planned to start on June 26th.
By all accounts, this should be a shite site easier than the Janathon what with there being no snow and ice and all that, will it be as much fun though, I can only hope. (I like the snow and ice!).

As with the Janathon, if you followed my blog (link is up on the right there if you want a shufftee) back then, I will post a link to my RunKeeper account for each run I do every day, in my blog, as well as logging each run on the Running Free website.
Any new kit I get, I shall try and review for your interest, as well as any races I take part in, though none are planned at the moment.

Here's to the Juneathon and everyone taking part. If you're new to it, prepare yourself, it sounds easy - jog, log & blog every day - but believe me it really isn't, it is however one beast of a challenge.
Good luck everyone, hope to see you at the picnic in July.

Roll on June the oneth.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Lazy training and the Oxford Town & Gown.

I'm baaaack!

Sorry, I've been lazy everywhere.
I'm sitting here in front of the computer in mild pain due to having had 2 teeth out earlier today, listening to the football (Forest v Swansea Champ play-off semi 2nd leg), which I probably shouldn't be doing as it may start off the bleeding in my gum.

Anyway, as mentioned in my previous post I was undertaking training to break the 45 min barrier at the up and coming Oxford Town & Gown 10k run. I was using the Adidas micoach training app/website thing, which I now know was quite a silly thing to do with only 4 weeks to go before the race. At around the halfway mark I had a shocker of a session and really struggled to get the mojo back. I tried to do a session or 2 on the treadmill at the gym I have recently joined, I now know I hate treadmills. Not because they're boring, I just didn't like the feel of it, it seemed to suck the life out of my legs. Bah!
With just over a week to go I decided to bin the micoach and just went for a nice couple of runs during the week and a couple of core and leg sessions in the gym. These went quite well, nothing broke and I felt fit, this was enough for me.

Race day.

Sunday morning arrived with a slightly dicky tummy after going to a TT presentation evening (a couple or 3 beers) and picking up some losers medals the night before.
The boys were fed, watered, dressed and sent off to the in-laws for the morning. I was all kitted up in my new racing vest with the shoes in the bag and my race number tucked safely away in there along with wifey's.
We got picked up by Chell's friend Claire - who was also racing - and off we toddled into Oxford.
We managed to find a nice secret spot to park thanks to Claire having trained as a teacher and one of the colleges in town. This was a pretty spanking place to park as it was only a 10 minute walk to the finish/baggage area.
The weather turned out to be pretty jolly too, nice a sunny but with a bit of a breeze coming through the parks, but we found a tidy little patch grass and plonked ourselves down and proceeded to pin things on and attach timing chips before we handed our bags in and made our way to the start line.
Because we all had different time goals, we all said good luck and gave the appropriate partner a smooch.

The start area was absolutely rammed, lots of pushing and shoving with a serious lack of room to do even the smallest of stretching exercises. I started talking to the chap next to me who asked if I minded if he used me as a pacer for him, being a nice chap I said of course, even though my target was 5 mins faster than his!

Off we went. The usual shoving and stop-start-stop-start happened but we were running, if a little slower than I'd have liked, by the time I had crossed the start line. Chappie that asked if I would pace him had scuttled off a bit sharpish, but him being quite tall and wearing a bright red top, I was able to use him as a marker and follow him.
The wind that was blowing through the park was non-existent in the streets so wherever there was sun it was actually quite hot, this didn't bother me, I like running in the hot weather. We'd stretched out a bit now and settled into a nice pace, the first km was done in 4:51, I tried catch up with my pacer bloke to tell him he was bang on time at the moment but due to the nature of the course and the amount of people around, I couldn't get up to him. I kept him in view though in case I got a chance to catch him up and let him know. From now on I won't be able to give the split times as my watch does not have that capability, bit pants I know, may have to shop for another new watch, yaaay. Anyway, km 2 came and went and I think my watch said 9:40 or so, tall redvest bloke had vanished, he was nowhere to be seen either in front or behind of me, I think he must have blown up already or stopped in the pub near the 2km mark. I was left to just stomp along at what I thought was my target pace on my own, although I was surrounded by people no one stayed around me long enough for me to hang onto them, they had either started to far forward and were dropping back or started to far back and were tearing off towards the front. Or maybe I was just a stinky git!
On the way round I looked for family and friends that said they would be there to cheer me on, the first one I saw was my brother at around 3.5k and I had to shout to him and wave back behind me. There was a small loop through the 4km mark and back out onto the section we'd just come through which gave us a chance to see the faster runners one way and the slower runners t'other way. Going past the halfway mark I saw my chum from work who'd made her way out just to cheer me on, bless her Spanish cotton sockies. Just after this, I saw wifey coming through, I gave her a shout and we high-fived as we passed.

This last 3km is almost exclusively on a compacted gravel path, so it's not to unpleasant to run on.
It was at this point I decided to turn it up a bit, only a bit mind, as I didn't want to blow and end up falling over the finish line. I started to overtake more runners at this point and even spotted a couple of chaps dressed as Spartans off in the distance, I thought I'd use these 2 chaps as a target.
I kept that new slightly faster pace going for 2km until the 9km point and checked my watch, it said 41 mins - didn't catch the seconds - so I knew I had less than 4 mins to hit my sub 45 target. Foot down then Walker, only 1000 meters to go, COME ON! I stepped on the go juice again and went for it. Before I knew it there was the 600m to go mark and turned it up a notch, now the legs and lungs started to hurt, saw my dad at 400 "Come on Stu, sub 45, you're nearly there", legs still going, lungs still hurting, breathing still steady though. 200 meters to go, 1 long bend then up onto the grass for the final 150 meters and really hammering it now, eyeballs out, teeth clenched spit flying and over the finish line.
I waited a few seconds after crossing the line before stopping my watch. Then I checked said watch.
It is a strange feeling being disappointed and happy at the same time. My A target was sub 45, but failing that a new pb would have been lovely.
45 mins 47 seconds. BOLLOCKS! just outside, shitter. But hang on, YAAAY, a new pb by 4 minutes! WOO WOO.

Goodie bag time. Last year's was a bit pants, I was expecting a bit more from this one, it being the 30th anniversary and the entry fee being £20 (£15 last year).
Disappointed again, it was worse than last years. Just a cheap plastic shiny medal, exactly the same as last year, and the same crappy t-shirt but with 30th written on the back. Not happy with this at all.
Still, I enjoyed the race, got a cracking time, and also, I won a £50 voucher through fb to fritter away at my nearest Up & Running store, so I'm looking forward to that.

Wifey, bless her loveliness made it all the way round in her first EVER race having only started running in March in the highly respectable time of 1:15:47, so I was even happier for her than for myself.

We made our way back home and chilled for a bit before I nipped up the shop to get myself a white choc Magnum and a tin of Monster for me, and a packet of Monster Munch for wifey. Extra supah double bonus, found a tenner in the grass on the way back. Yaaay.

My official chip time turned out to be 45:44 by the way. WOOT, even faster.
When the official pics come out, I shall chuck a couple on here for your titillation.

Thanks for reading this, if you still are of course, speak again soon,

Ninjabread Man.