Archives for July, 2012

Running From the shadows… Gentle Evening Jog, 5.1km 33:43

Posted on Jul 30, 2012 under 5-10k, 5k, Easy Runs, Jogs | No Comment

Not been having too good of a time lately, quite a few plans have fallen through, a few people have let me down, and my financial security is buggered, to put it mildly, so I have not been feeling myself. I was supposed to go to the Sweatshop club today but didn’t feel upto it, after having about half an hour’s sleep last night and feeling shattered, so instead I went to my sister’s for a bit and was cheered up my my great nephew’s antics – and when I got home it was a pleasant sunny evening so just did a very gentle 5k jog, which even though it was nice and easy paced at around 6:30 per km, did have a nice little mood improving effect proving that even mild exercise can have positive effects on mental health and outlook.

I think for the time being I need to keep running in my mental health toolkit, I’d rather be able to jog a gentle 5k every day than start pushing for times etc. I might go to Weds sweatshop group, reserving the right to pull out if the pace is too fast, though I think that first time was just a bad run, we all have them – in life and in running 🙂

15.1km – or 9.38 miles – Hilly Long Slow Run in 1 Hour 49 minutes in lovely evening sunshine

Posted on Jul 27, 2012 under above 15k, Long Runs, Milestones, Season's Best, Slow Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

After the hill reps on Monday, an easy/recovery run midweek, and another session with the club looming on Monday (wonder what the demon coach will have in store this time?!), I wanted to try get a long run in, as that’s the kind of run I’ve been missing lately, not having done anything over 10k really since my 13.5km run before the City of Manchester 10k, which was a while ago now.

So, after what turned out to be quite a stressful day with one thing and another, I decided to leave it all behind and headed out into the early evening sunshine. It felt warm, but the sun was dropping (about half six when I set out) and I was determined not to make the mistake of long runs in the past – set out slow and end up running faster and faster, defeating the object of a long slow run!

I certainly did set off slow, my calves felt tight which was a bit worrying at first, especially as the 2nd and 3rd kms involved ascents towards the Transpennine trail I found near Hyde which is old railway lines converted into a path. I had walked this on Monday, so knew my way around a little, but took the odd detour to see where I would end up on the way! It was nice once I got to the railway lines – flat, and in the shade. I went to the far end, then on running back ran round what seemed to be a cul de sac before going back over this little bridge and heading up a dirt track which went on for quite a time and was quite an ascent. Once I got to the end of it and a main road, I noted it was called Green Lane. I didn’t have a clue where I was by that point so I figured the safest bet was to go back the way I had planned to begin with, along the railway tracks through to Haughton Dale.

Going back down this lane I realised what an ascent it had been, as it looked much steeper going down than it had felt going up! I kept my pace down and started toying with the idea of doing 10 miles, as I was already up to 9k by that point, but was aware my knees were starting to feel a bit sore with the uneven ground. I got back to the railway tracks and maintained a slow pace, sometimes very slow, though I didn’t feel I was going as slow as the Garmin said at times!

I reached Haughton Dale and almost went the long way round through the woods, but my knees were warning me now, so I took a little shortcut which still involved a steep climb which I powered up, and then it was a gentle jog back into Denton, with a few detours around random streets to make up my revised target of 15k. Was still a little far from my front door so jogged an extra hundred meters before gliding to a gentle stop. Didn’t make the 10 miles but there’s always next time, and this was a pretty hilly route in places so didn’t want to risk overuse injuries – again!

Made it my highest mileage week for as long as I can remember (almost 18 miles) and my longest run of the season.

I just hope that coach goes easy on Monday, lol!!!!

4k Easy Recovery Run

Posted on Jul 25, 2012 under Easy Runs, Jogs, Recovery Runs | No Comment

Just a gentle trot but very humid.

Hill Reps with the Hyde Sweatshop Running Community Torturemaster General!

Posted on Jul 23, 2012 under 10k, Club Runs, Hill Work | No Comment

Another Monday night with the Hyde Sweatshop Running Community, next run I will have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt, ha ha!!!!

I knew it was going to be hill reps tonight, was slightly in two minds about I felt about this, given the oddly warm July weather for the last couple of days. Anyway, I arrived and saw some familiar faces, and then we set off for a warmup jog, I kept my pace nice and sedate, and had my Garmin going, but forgot that I had the fast pace alert set, so it started annoyingly bleeping at me, I tried to fiddle with it on the move but it kept flashing lap times at me so I elected to just switch the damn thing off!

Then we arrived at The Hill, and did the first reps with a sort of relay, I didn’t find the hill too bad and just took it easy on the recoveries. Then we started the hard work, doing walk then sprint between lamposts for 5 minutes, followed by jog then sprint (I think) and then we had to run to the first post, then back down, then the second, and so on! And then finally we had to kind of run as fast as we could to the top. Overseeing this ordeal was Tony H, who offered gentle encouragement and the odd admonishment to those who took the hills too fast early on!

I say it was torture/an ordeal with tongue firmly in cheek as I really enjoyed it, there have been plenty of runs where I’ve struggled and sworn and got frustrated in the past, but I felt at home on this hill and felt good and strong, though breathing hard of course! A picture was taken with a genuine grin on my face which was a nice thing because I had not really had the best day before the run!

Sweatshop running community hyde hill reps july 23rd 2012

Demented, Delirious victims released from their torment!!!

We went a longer way back to the shop and I once again experienced the other runners stretching ahead in front of me before I found my 5th gear again and cruised to the front with some of the more experienced runners. It started getting tougher in the last mile or so but I stayed with the pace and felt I could have gone on for a while yet.

So all in all a great outing, felt strong on the hill reps and was able to maintain form afterwards. It will be interesting to see how these harder sessions with other runners affect my pace, as I it would be good to get closer to 50 minutes for 10k again, on this evidence it may just be a possibility, who knows!

Next time I run I should get my 5-week bonus prize of a Sweatshop Running Community Technical top, like the yellow ones in the picture – I will no longer feel like the new boy, lol!!!!

Nice and easy 5k Recovery Run on a warm summer’s evening – 35 mins

Posted on Jul 21, 2012 under 5k, Easy Runs, Jogs, Recovery Runs | No Comment

Just a nice easy 5k run, first km in 7 minutes and ran as slowly as humanly possible, even had to obey the Garmin a few times when I strayed under 6:20 per km, got quite hot and sweaty but the weather has been warm for a change and the sun was out!

A Soaking, Squelching 10.6km through streets more akin to Venice…

Posted on Jul 19, 2012 under 10-15k, All Weather Running, Regular Runs | No Comment

Had a few things on so had to somehow fit in a run – would have liked to do 8 miles or more but only had about an hour, so I set off just aiming to run for about that time, at an easyish pace, with no real goal in mind other than time on feet.

It was drizzling as I set off, and I was careful to keep my pace slow to begin with, I head off on one of my usual routes then changed my mind and headed in a different direction, at which point the rain began to get harder. At 2km I was finding the 6:30 kms eminently manageable, and started to warm up and feel good. I did a bit of a sprint up the hill at Guide Bridge, then reminded myself to slow down and carried on at a more sedate pace. The rain was coming down a little harder by this time, but was quite refreshing. I ran past the Pearl restaurant, where I was due to go for a meal later in the evening!

On the way back I chose a longer way round to make sure I would get over an hour’s running, and it looked like the distance was going to be about 10k. At this point I was feeling very good, and it was now that the rain really started lashing down. I was a few miles from home so there was nothing I could really do except enjoy it, and it was not unpleasant at all. There were lots of deep puddles which I splashed through, and in the last few km I was very giddy, and my pace increased without any extra effort, and I was almost gliding along, splashing through deep puddles, and soaked to the skin as the rain came down harder and harder. I even got splashed by traffic going through those big kerbside puddles, which was great fun, and finished with 10.6km in 1 hr 8 minutes.

When I got in the house I wrung about a pint of water out of my shorts and top, it’s probably the wettest I have ever been without actually swimming. Thankfully my trusty old Garmin was up to the task as well as my body, which seems to be enjoying a new lease of life, and really finding itself “in the zone” on runs lately.

Just plan a very easy run if possible on a busy Saturday, then apparently it’s hill reps with the Sweatshop club on Monday!

My Introduction to Apple Street with Sweatshop Running Community

Posted on Jul 16, 2012 under 5-10k, All Weather Running, Club Runs, Hill Work | No Comment

I had been warned last week that this Monday’s outing would be along Apple Street, which I had vaguely looked up but wasn’t too sure about. I decided to give it a go, despite my love/hate relationship with hills!

Chatted with a few people in the shop and it started raining just as we set off. I settled into conversation with someone as we started climbing gently towards Werneth Low, and at times I seemed to be going quite fast and it was a struggle to keep up the conversation.

Then we got to Apple Street, and I became a little worried when the group leader set us off in waves, so challenging was this crazy hill! I wondered what I had let myself in for! A group was sent up and then I was sent up next, with the leader imploring me to take it slowly. I made the first incline, it was steep and quite long, but I felt fine, and caught up with the first wave of runners, then the hill zigzagged and there was another long incline. I thought that might be it but then we reach a snaking bit that seemed to get progressively vertical, and I started going really slow. I was breathing very hard and my heart was working overtime – it was a tough hill, but I was up for it, and enjoyed it in a weird kind of way, managing not to curse in the slightest but just keep going and then even powered up the last little slope. Taking it slowly early on helped, and the heavens opened at the top. In actual fact, we were in the heavens – the hill had taken us up so far that we were actually in the clouds, and the next bit of running was over Werneth Low, where we ended up running through the hill-kissing clouds.

At that point I got a bit worried as the rest of the group seemed to start going well out in front of me, I couldn’t tell if they had sped up or I was slowing down. On the descent I was careful not to go too fast, wary of damage to my knees, and just tried to stay in touch and conserve energy. Once we got back to familiar territory and I knew there was only about a mile to go, I got a second wind, and caught up with the back markers, and suddenly I was flying along at about 4 mins per km, faster than I have run in a long time. It was downhill, but suddenly I was stretching out and flying along and the rest of the group were left behind. I felt like I could carry on like that for miles, but it also felt great to come to a stop back outside the shop and wait for the others to finish. One of these days I will stop overcompensating for my ill-fated first run with the Wednesday group, ha ha!!!!

So all in all a great outing, I conquered an evil hill, ran through clouds, and flew for a mile – not bad for a rainy Monday night!

Need to take it easy, but if I could run like I did in the last mile in a 10k I’m sure I could smash 50 minutes again!

5k Time Trial – 26:55 Season’s Best!

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 under 5k, Season's Best, Tempo Runs, Time Trials | No Comment

Not done a 5k time trial as such for some time, with a proper warm up and going hard, so thought I would give it a go!

Managed to time it so I hit the school run, but it was entertaining. Did a couple of Km warm up, during which it stopped raining, then took a breather, turned off the fast pace alert on the Garmin, and set off hard downhill on the Town Lane circuit, which is pretty good for time trials, though not completely flat the slopes up and down cancel each other out, though I end up cursing the uphills by the end!

Did two laps and then took a detour so I could run the last couple of km flat. Was really hurting by 3km and had to dig deep, trying to maintain my running form even when my lungs were screaming at me that they couldn’t really give my legs any more oxygen. By the last km I was within the sub 27, only just, and went as fast as I could to make sure I didn’t get cheated by the Garmin missing a few metres!

Ended up with sub 27 in 26:55, hard work but a season’s best! splits were:


So fairly even paced, the slower ones were where I hit the uphills and the last one I was on the verge of collapse!

Did a very gentle 1km jog to cool down a little!

5k Recovery Run in the Evening Sun

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 under 5k, Easy Runs, Jogs, Recovery Runs | No Comment

Had a bit of DOMS after the longish trail run with the Sweatshop Running community group on Monday, and some stiffness in my ankles, so wanted to do a very easy recovery run just to shake out my legs and ease them out of their complaining attitude!

Also decided to start breaking in one of my new pair of Adidas Supernova Glide 3s as my pair from Monday were still rather wet! And decided to start a spreadsheet so I can keep track of my trainer use, as I am sure I have been making errors in the amount of running I have been doing in each pair, and need to make sure I get at least 4-500 miles out of my shoes if I can in a budget challenged situation!

Set off and could tell I had new shoes on, but at the easy pace it wasn’t a problem. I had the Garmin set to warn me if I went quicker than 6:20 per km, as I really didn’t want to do anything strenuous on this run, and run very easy, and in fact had to speed up a little early on just to make sure the warning was working! Thereafer I did speed up unconsciously a few times, the Garmin warned me, and I was obedient to the technology!

The hills got me a little bit puffy, but in general I felt fine and at this pace (average 6:50 per k) it really was a nice gently easy run. Finished in 34:08 and breathing was almost baseline, and hardly broke a sweat 🙂 Will try to factor in more of these easy runs!

Next stop a 5k time trial!

Second Run With Sweatshop Running Club – Much better outing! 10.6k on trails

Posted on Jul 09, 2012 under 10-15k, Club Runs, Trail Running | No Comment

Decided to brave the running club again, but this time the Monday group, which was supposed to be a little easier, though when I got there, I saw a few familiar faces from the faster Wednesday group so I got a bit of a sense of deja vu, though it was nice to chat to people.

Headed out onto exactly the same route as last time, the canal paths were very muddy and I held a silent funeral for my Supernovas as I hit the puddles and prayed my kneed wouldn’t bugger itself with a mistimed slip on some mud. Managed to hold some conversations and found myself right at the front, this time it was me waiting for the back markers and I felt good and strong, even as the run got well underway, and although I was running at tempo pace at times I felt good and just kept tucking into people in front of me.

Towards the end there was a series of hills as before, this time I didn’t need a short cut or an escort, and powered up a particularly nasty hill with no problems, and then on the last stretch the other Rob in the group powered ahead and I rolled up to the shop and we waited for the others to catch up.

Given that some of the people behind me had left me for dead on the last outing, I was quite pleased to have sort of redeemed myself, but the main thing was I felt good and strong and was never struggling, so it seems I have finally got rid of the rust and can look forward to some good running now.

Maybe one of these days I will brave the fast group again and surprise them with my new improved running!

Apparently next Monday we are doing a massive hill session. The hill is massive, that is. I’d better check my diary is clear! 🙂