Spring running in a foot of snow (week 12 review)

Total completed 671km

Total remaining 2329km

Total raised £1385

I have started to feel over the last couple of weeks that I am getting a little bored with my runs, pounding km after km of pavement alongside a main road is not the best for inspiring me to get out of my nice warm bed at 5am is it. The problem with this is that it has started to affect my run schedule, as on a couple of occasions I have just not had the desire to get up and get out on my morning runs, and so have had to do them in the evening thus impacting on my following morning run.

I put the source of this problem down to three points. Firstly the weather has just been horrible for the last couple of weeks and when you hear rain and wind pounding against the window first thing it is so easy to think sod it I am sure it will be dry this evening (it never is). Secondly I am at the core not a morning person and so if a half decent excuse comes my way to not get out of bed at 5am then I am going to grab with both hands and third and finally I am just bored with the routes I am running. Yes they are nice easy flat routes and they are enabling me to get the mileage done, but they are boring boring runs. So I made the decision to find some new routes that are easily accessible for me and hopefully freshen things up a bit. So these are what I have found:

Mill Lakes

Mill Lakes

Mill Lakes

This is a pretty solid 10km run which I have done many times before and it is always good. I know what you are all saying, “well why don’t you do it more often then”? Well pretty simple really it is not that easy. I am not going to sit here and say it has monster climbs because it hasn’t but it is hardish work and when you are having to get up and do another 5, 8, or 10km the following day anything other than nice easy flat is not very appealing but I am bored and so I would rather work a little harder for some variety and plus it is such a nice run. You can pick the trail or the pavement and it runs all the way to Mill Lakes (there’s a surprise) where I can do a single .75km or multiple laps of the lake depending on how fresh I’m feeling and then head home.

Bestwood Park

Climb to the top of bestwood park

Climb to the top of bestwood park

The Bestwood Park run follows the same route as the Mill Lakes run but splits at 4km and heads through a really nice wood and then up a pretty hefty climb to the park you then head back along the country roads through Bestwood, hooking back up with the Mill Lakes Trail this is a really great run if you are feeling a little more spritely but for that extra 2km there is   killer of a climb at about 6km in.

Highfields / Vernon Park

Highfields and Vernon parks

Highfields and Vernon parks

These are two small parks which are really nice for breaking my runs up Highfields is a boating lake near Nottingham University and is regularly used on the Robin Hood Marathon route, and now regularly used by myself on my run home from work and Vernon Park which was recently visited by the Queen (how posh are we in Notts) is just round the corner from my house and I have added it to my mundane morning ring road run and so far it has done the trick. So these runs have really helped freshen things up, what has also helped to freshen me up is the freezing temperatures and snow.

So I knew it was coming but still when I woke up on the official first day of spring and I was greeted with a blizzard it still came as something of a surprise. Friday was just horrible it snowed all day, the only saving grace is that at least it didn’t settle. Even so I headed out into it and managed to get a lively 5km in at something like a decent pace. As I got ready for bed I looked out of the window and saw no snow on the ground phew we had gotten away with it, how wrong I was. I woke on the Saturday to a good covering of snow (probably a good 3inches) but it was still pelting down and it didn’t stop for the next two days.

Nice 11km snow run

Nice 11km snow run

Now time for an observation/moan/gripe whatever you want to call it, and no it is not really about snow in spring. The snow was a bit of a pain yes but once I was out in it, it was such great fun up on the Mill lakes trail and then up to Bestwood Park on the Sunday ploughing through sometimes nearly a foot of fresh snow it was great fun, and I would recommend everyone getting out in it rather than boring yourself half to death on a ‘Dreadmill’. No my moan is not about running in the snow, my moan is this and yes I know this is going to make me sound really old.

When I was a kid at the first sight of a fleck of snow our parents would pretty much have to chain us down to try and stop us going out to play in it, whether that be sledging, snowball fights, building snowmen and pretty rubbish igloos whatever it was the bottom line was we could not wait to get out and have fun in it. On my Saturday and Sunday runs I saw the sum total of two children with sledges and that was it, I didn’t see a single snowman I didn’t see a single snowball being thrown and I only saw one family out for a walk, and all I could think to myself was are PlayStations and X box’s really that good???

Now I am not ancient I may sound it but I’m not, we had computer games and TV when we were kids but they were cast aside when the opportunity arose to go sledging or bury your little brother in the snow (sorry Gaz). So what has changed?? Yes the weather has been a bit rubbish over the last couple of months but it is not that often you have a good 7-8 inches of snow in Nottingham especially in the city, and it did make me feel a little sad that there was no one out enjoying it. Did anyone else who braved the conditions find this??

So that’s me for another week any feedback on the points raised would be great just really so I don’t feel like the only old fart out there 🙂

Run #82 Nice 11km snowy trail run

Nice 11km snow run

Nice 11km snow run

Snowy trail to Mill Lakes

Snowy trail to Mill Lakes

Really good fun 11km trail run in a good 4 inches of snow nice for number 82

Total completed 651km

Total remaining 2349km

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/287866411

Ouch I’ve just run into a week long wall (Week 10 review)

Total completed 559km

Total remaining 2441km

Total raised £1335

I have mentioned in my previous posts that I have started to add a long run to my schedule. The distance of this run has varied from 15km -21km but I have found that it has really taken the pressure off my weekday runs. Following these long runs I set aside Saturday and Sunday as my recovery days and therefore only look to run 5-6km on these sessions, this usually is enough to get me back ready for my 8km runs Mon through to Thursday, well not this week though and there was no real warning sign.

Friday’s 21km went really well, with no issues either during or after the run. My recovery runs on Saturday and Sunday went to plan and I was feeling pretty good as I looked to start my 10th week. I got up Monday morning all ready to tuck into a nice 8km for breakfast but I felt from the start of the run that things just weren’t right, I just had nothing in the tank. I had fuelled properly, I had done my pre run warm up to the letter but my body was just saying no not today. Conscious of previous problems caused by pushing it when I should have been a tad more sensible, I backed off and wrapped my run up at 6km, I had hit the wall big time.

Hitting the Wall

The next day though I made a big mistake I decided that because of the previous days run I would leave my Tuesday run until the evening giving me a big 36 hour break, great idea yeah. Well yeah it would have been if I had not then thought, hey why don’t I commute on the bike today and stretch the legs out a bit…… errrrr because yesterday you were running on fumes idiot!!!!!!!! And guess what when I ran that night after 6km I was dead and my legs were in bits (what a bloody idiot). So after giving myself a damn good talking to I decided to write this week off and just use it to recover, no runs over 6km no cycling and no swimming.

As I reached my Thursday and Friday runs my legs started to come back a little bit and for once I managed to resist the urge to push on and I forced myself home after the scheduled 6km. It is though so hard not to push for that 8km when you know that with every 6km run you are dropping a further 2km behind where you need to be. This is not usually an issue but when there is no way on earth that a 21km or anything near that distance is going to be run in the week it really is difficult to kkep the big picture at the front of your thoughts. But for once I was sensible and I got to the weekend feeling much stronger, I decided now was the time to give the legs a bit of a test so on my next run I dropped my pace right back and set off with the sole intention of hitting my 8km average and although not easy my legs were definitely starting to come back to me phew.

As mentioned last week I had the Clough and Taylor peoples run on Sunday at Donnington Park.

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This was a run that I had been looking forward to doing so much, it is not every day you get to run round a race track without a steward trying to drag you off, but as the week progressed I knew deep down that this run was going to be a week too early for me (GUTTED) and so I purposely sabotaged any chance of doing this 10am run by doing my Saturday run late in the evening giving me no chance to recover.

This was a decision I was glad that I had made as I awoke on Sunday morning to see what can only be described as a blizzard outside my bedroom window. What the hell snow!!!!!! NO NO NO NO NO NO  I was getting myself all prepped for Spring this was SO not in my plan. So my last run of the week was in quite literally a blizzard it was so bad that I couldn’t see a thing, complete whiteout. I didn’t really care though, my legs felt pretty good, I had a spring back in my step and I had the Rocky Balboa soundtrack on my IPod does it get any more hard-core than that lol.

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Until next week and hopefully with NO MORE SNOW!!

Swift punishment for a lazy runner (week 7 review)

Total completed 384km

Total remaining 2616km

Total raised: £1295

Ok so my alarm goes off at 4:50 am and I have to get up for my morning run or do I ? Well my legs do seem to be aching a little I thought as I stretched them out under the warm duvet, and it does sound terribly windy and therefore cold out there, and I could do my run tonight and that would give me a nice long break between runs, and well you get the idea yep I stayed in bed (lazy lazy boy).

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So I eventually hauled myself out of my pit and headed off to work and I was right it was freezing ‘result’ bullet dodged there then. Very quickly though as the snow started to fall I began to wish I had got up and run. I had not seen the weather forecast for the day and soon realised that I was going to be punished for my lay in. Now snow, lovely fresh crunchy snow is great and I have mentioned before how much I love running in it but this was different it was weird it was just turning into slush on impact and I hate running in slush, your feet get freezing cold and wet and you can’t wear spikes so your foot just slips a tiny bit every time you land, and every single little movement on each foot strike really gets to my ankles and so midway through the run I was in some pretty serious pain and was not having much fun at all. I managed to some how dig out 6km and got home to try and fix myself.

And so the theme continues and yes I know it is all my fault for saying what a great uneventful week I had last week. But hey at least it gives me something to write about and you can hopefully either feel sorry for me or have a giggle (I would giggle). Well run #45 and yep I pretty much bounced out of bed at 4:50am (lesson learnt there). I crept over to the window to have a sneaky peek at the blanket of probably now black slush waiting for me but it had gone, I rubbed my eyes and looked again and yep there’s the grass and the road and the pavement hurrah, I have been rewarded for getting up……. Not quite, what gets rid of slush overnight in winter? Rain, lots of rain oh well I would rather get a little wet and it be safer under foot if I’m being honest, so time to stop moaning and get suited and booted. So stretches done and nicely warmed up off I went, and you know what it was not that bad, running in the rain is actually quite nice well that is until you are running next to a mahusive puddle and a double decker bus comes round the corner at speed.

Not a bus but you get the idea

Not a bus but you get the idea

I kid you not this puddle went over my head like a wave, in fairness the bus driver would not have seen me, but either way if this had happen 6 months ago I would not have been a very happy bunny, but instead of getting annoyed by it I just chuckled and thought well that’s something to write about (not quite right ehh) and I plodded the last km home.

Run #46 this was the day I had scheduled for my long run, I was looking to do at least 18km, and as planned would be running home from work at 5pm therefore giving me a solid 36 break since my Thursday drowning 🙂 . I must admit I was not feeling very confident about this run my ankle was still not 100% from the slush slip/slide/stumble/run and I had a slight pull in my calf from the previous week were my foot had come unclipped from my pedals. I decided I would monitor it through the day and make a decision come 5pm. At 4:45 I still had not decided what I was going to do so decided to sort of not really commit to either, I started out for my run home but made sure I had enough cash to get me back should I blow up. I made sure I held a steady and very slow pace of 10 min miles and very quickly got myself into a really nice rhythm that enabled me to extend my run to 21km, by far the furthest run I have done this year and a massive boost to the moral. But boy could I feel every single one of those km’s on the next couple of runs.

Anyway to sign off, I am really looking forward to next weekend as I have a club social with absolute tri and we are doing a group run as part of it. The run will be along the bank of the river Trent and around Holme Pierepont (the run route for the Outlaw Triathlon) it should be a right good laugh (it always is) speak next week guys 🙂

holme pierrepont

holme pierrepont