Friday, 19 June 2015

April is as April does

I started off April just putting in a few short regular runs during the week and some dog walking. There were no races booked, and nothing too drastic planned as I was hoping to work up to some longer stuff before the Ox Marathon in May.
However I did manage 3 decent medium/long runs of 23, 26, and 22km respectively.
The first one fell on Easter Sunday, a good base from which to consume chocolate without guilt i thought, I had planned to have another go at a half marathon route from Bere Regis but didn't fancy doing it on my own so asked if anyone was interested in accompanying me.
A parkrun friend Andy, who I hadn't run with before said he would be happy to join me as he was hoping to do back to back longish runs that weekend, in training for the Ox Ultra (same day as the Marathon that I was doing).
I knew Andy was a faster runner than me but he said he was happy doing around 7min/km as he was hoping for an easy run and was just interested in clocking up the miles, so as this was my average ish off road pace I was just pleased for the company.
We left Daisy behind as she wasn't up to 13 miles yet, and set off for Bere Regis with Max in the car.
Starting at the Scout hut as before we traced the same route up through Briantspuddle as I had done previously but upon reaching Culpeppers dish we traced a slightly different route out through the forestry section and I was planning to cross the main road (close to Clouds Hill where Lawrence of Arabia used to live), and run a quick loop in the woods beyond, but what I thought was a gate on the map, turned out to be just fence so we spent a little while going back and forth so in the end went along the road a short while to pick up the return track again.
Now I don't know about you but when I run with someone I know is faster than me, despite what they say that they are happy to do your pace, there is always the slight pressure to do a decent pace and so I probably pushed myself faster than i should have done (average of 6:40 a km) and so kind of ran out of a lot of oomph around 18-19km. But in the end it turned out to be a pretty good run, albeit a tough one (might have the makings of a good half here), and certainly worthy of a bit of Easter chocolate!

The following weekend I was hoping to try out Kev's new Ricoh action camera at Poole parkrun, just to see what it could do, so ran round recording the run and some of the behind the scenes stuff.
I ended up with quite a bit of footage but managed to edit it down to about 8 mins, I think it really shows what Poole parkrun is all about. 
If you would like a look, the you tube video is here, but for some reason, despite being uploaded in HD, the HD option remains stubbornly un-selectable, so you wont get the full experience! 

The following day I needed to fit in a 16 mile (26km) run and decided just to do a run around Canford Heath, which surprisingly you can get quite a few miles out of. My plan was to include both dogs but as Daisy was not up to that sort of distance, Kev was going to drop us off, i would do half the run with both of them, then he would pick up Daisy at a prearranged time and I would complete the 16 miles with Max, and run home. This went surprisingly well apart from Daisy not wanting to be picked up! Difficult to explain to a small dog why she cant carry on running, Oh and not to mention a spectacular faceplant by me at around 19km, nothing really hurt but pride luckily!

The next week was spent trying to keep my HR down as for some reason it had been a little high. So this led me to decide on a relatively un-hilly long run for the end of the week, in the hope that I had just been overdoing it a little, and an easier run would help. Mind you i couldn't help wondering if the low HR training was all it was cracked up to be.
13 miles/ 23km later I actually thought that the slightly easier run for a change had helped. This was done with only Max and so later in the day we had to take Daisy for a walk as well so another 7km or so of walking was added to the weeks total. Given that I had picked the route for the earlier run I thought I would let Max choose which way we went on the heath (he does so love to choose) and he couldn't believe his luck and took us on an epic tour of the heath on a few paths we hadn't been on for a while!

Well the slight rest seemed to have done some good as the following week, although not involving particularly fast running, felt stronger than before, and I had a few good runs, ending the week with another reasonable length run and my second in the company of a faster runner, Neil, who is a member of a local 'anti' running club called 'the rebel scum', although calling it a 'club' is a against the ethos of the group and so perhaps the correct term should be 'running alliance' :-).
Neil was due to be running the Ox Marathon as well, and as his first Marathon no less along with a few other 'Scum' members! we both really needed to fit in another 16-18 miles, as 16 was as far as Neil had been up to then, but in the end, we only managed to jog just over half that (well I think Neil was just jogging and I was trying to keep up!) 

Rather nicely to round off April, comes my birthday, and with it a family party tradition dubbed 'POTY' (party of the year!) by a friend, which is a joint party for me, Kev, and my two daughters Hazel & Steph, as we all have birthdays around March/April. This has been a Fancy Dress affair for the last few years, the first years theme being Film Characters, then Music Artists, followed by Animation, and this years was Science Fiction, which actually proved to be the most difficult I thought, a thought which obviously was echoed by a lot of people as we had a full Enterprise bridge-worth of Star Trek costumes!

So next time on to May, with support for the NDVM, my best run for ages, an experiment on Long Run fuelling that got me told off, a most excellent 10 miler, nearly a new 10k PB, and the Ox Marathon report.

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