One last PB for the year?

Did I mention I’ve PB’ed at every distance this year …. apart from 10K? Might have mentioned it, because I’m incredibly proud of this achievement. I really wanted to manage to PB at EVERY distance this year, no exceptions, but this was going to be difficult as my 10K PB was set last year in perfect conditions.

The race was the ‘Castle Combe Chilly 10K’ which is run around a racing circuit and so is pancake flat. If its windy the course can be windswept and desolate, but the weather behaved itself and was calm but cool. No traffic, wide flat ‘road’ so no weaving around other runners, and plenty of people running at about the same pace as me so lots of people to chase down. Oh, and my children were able to stick bags of chips through the gaps in the Pit Lane wall whilst shouting encouragement like “Hurry up or we’ll eat yours!” A surefire way to make a Northern lass speed up!

Nnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeooooooowwwww and other F1 noises

This year’s Castle Combe Chilly 10k was set for Sunday November 25th 2012, so I’ve had my eye on this date for weeks, trying my best to run my intervals and do my tempo runs. I had even reached the point of working out what pace I should aim for. And then …. disaster struck, in the form of a snotty son needing cuddles. By Friday I was full of cold and feeling dreadful. By Saturday night I had abandoned plans to run unless a miracle happened overnight, and by Sunday morning I acknowledged a miracle hadn’t happened, and went back to bed.

So no PB, not even an attempt at a PB, just a pile of germ-y tissues and a feeling of disappointment.

Ah well – next race is the Dorothy House ‘Santa Dash’ in aid of our local hospice. I’ve never done a Santa Run* before, and its a 6K run which I never done before, so I guess that’ll be a new PB then, won’t it!

*I did overtake Santa in the Chippenham Half Marathon a few years ago – the jingle bells on his trousers were driving me mad!

Long Slow Run vs Total Wipeout

After a good week’s running, managing all of my runs with no mix-ups of weeks or distances or pace, I set off for the last run of the week -mmy LSR. I’d planned 8 miles to the canal, along the towpath to a beautiful little town, and back again. Sorted!Weather was cool, which was a good start. Parked up no problem, and set off.

You know its going to be a good run when you pass a bench with this inscription

The disused canal is lovely, as I’ve run along it over the last few years I can see the work they’ve done to renovate it, and I see a change each time I go. No cars, just runners, dog walkers and a few cyclists. Lots of wildlife, especially squirrels (they even have their own bench). Lovely!

They’re still working on this bit of the canal lock system

Two miles into my run, and I spot this ahead of me.

Hmmm – not what you want to see

Towpath closed. I ran up and down a couple of times, then decided to run back up into the big town instead. This route is alongside the river, and is a 2 mile ‘extra’ I tack onto my canal run when I need to make the miles up.

Unfortunately I’d forgotten about the torrential rain, and flooding we had the previous weekend. Parts of the path along the river bank were incredibly muddy, but I met my nemesis on the concrete slope that takes the path down under the road bridge.If you’ve ever seen ‘Total Wipeout’ (essential Saturday night viewing in our house – we have very sophisticated television taste) you’ll know that at the start of the qualifier the contestants have to run down a steep slippery slope with water running down it. They often simply slip and go straight down onto their backsides, legs still spinning (cartoon style-e). The trick seems to be to run as fast as you can whilst keeping your balance. Well, this is exactly what running down this slope was like. Desperate not to fall over I sprinted wildly down, with windmilling arms whilst inadvertently shouting “WWWAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!”  It was only as I reached the bottom (still on two feet) I noticed a poor dog walker waiting to climb up the slope, looking absolutely terrified at this wailing writhing banshee descending at speed towards her.

One day I will learn to trip, fall and slip silently. One day.

On the plus side, I did manage to complete my 8 miles, and it was most definitely slow, so mission accomplished!

P.S. Just realised, the canal is part of the Wilts and Berks Canal, which is peculiarly apt as I often ‘Wilt’ on long runs round here, and I did feel like a total ‘Berk’ on this run!


Sometimes it goes wrong, but sometimes it goes well!

Last week’s runs went wrong. I have a very simple schedule but still managed to mess it up.

My LSR on Monday wasn’t long or slow enough. Wednesday’s intervals with 6 repeats somehow became 7. Saturday I set off for a quick 30 minute tempo run in the half hour before it got dark. Got back, saw I didn’t have a tempo run on my schedule for that week. Doh!

This week – a fresh start! I will read my schedule properly before I set out. I will believe my Garmin when it says its time to go home. I will stick to the paces I’m supposed to be running at.

Full of resolve I set out this morning for a MP run. My schedule says “Up to 1 hour. 10:44 pace”. Actually ran just over an hour, but average moving pace was ….. 10:45.

I’m not going to beat myself up over an extra 6 minutes run, nor my pace being off by 1 second a mile. I’m claiming this as a Successful Run To Schedule!

However, still no success in trying to photograph myself running.

Oh what a beautiful morning!

Wiltshire Sun on a Frosty Morning

Snow on Sunday, heavy frost this morning, but determined to get out for a run as the children have finally gone back to school after half term, and just realised its less than 3 weeks to my next race (more on that another time!)

The view above was surely enough to entice anyone out into the sunshine this morning, however I only saw one dog walker so maybe no one else was brave (stupid) out.

After the snow and floods of the weekend, I planned my route carefully as I really didn’t want to wade through muddy fields, and wasn’t anxious to see the bullocks again either.

I obviously had a problem with my planning though – this freezing puddle was within half a mile of home which meant my feet got soaked and frozen as I set off, and then re-soaked and re-frozen as I was nearly home.

Uh oh!

Still had a smile on my face though – Roll on the Winter training!