A beach of a run

By the time I had got up, got my nose together (my hayfever started with a vengeance subsequent to that gorgeous morning I took off Wednesday) and changed all the clocks this morning, I could have happily skipped my run.  But skip it I did not.

I ran from my folks and once again wore shorts despite a slight chill in the air, uncharacteristically complaining about the temperature to a couple of runners I overtook before I warmed up.  It was slow going and I felt that I had to work hard even going downhill to Rottingdean, let alone the drag along to the Palace Pier.  Several times I thought about turning round, but I wanted to do at least ten miles & couldn’t remember where the 5 miles marker was.

Strangely, despite the snail pace, I managed to get to the pier in 55 minutes, quicker than last week and an average of 6.8mph.  This changed my perspective a bit and wishing to do more than simply retrace my steps, I set off along the beach for a little additional work.  I paused to chat to Andy, Paula & Martina at the Martlet Kayak Club (for about ten minutes, in fact, though I didn’t make a note) before resuming my beach run to the groyne by the Marina.

From here I rejoined the top road, turning left at Roedean School to take the track that skirts the back of Ovingdean and climbs steadily to the racecourse.  From here it was a simple case of running down the Warren Road back to base.

Excluding the estimated ten minute chat time, I ran for about 1.55 and covered 11.1 miles, averaging 5.8mph or 10.36 minutes per mile.  I had thought that the 1.25 mile beach run would leave me legless, but it was okay… maybe it would have been different if Cliff had been forcing a little more speed into proceedings!  Overall a very pleasant & sunny run… and with no hayfever effects until I got back north of the Downs!


Alpacam ahoy!

It is a BEAUTIFUL day outside and I am in the process of taking the morning off, if for no other reason than to allow Kim to enjoy it vicariously when she gets back from work!

Bearing in mind that I had to scrape the ice of my windscreen this morning, meeting Daren at Jack & Jill at 8am wearing shorts may have seemed a little crazy… I certainly felt that way as I was putting my runners on.

But the run and the sun soon put paid to any chilly feelings, whilst the company would have put paid to some serious blues had I not already been feeling great!  I don’t know why it is, but I always end up laughing, whooping and generally celebrating life when I run with the BIG man.  He’s amazing!

We took our normal route (as if the last time we ran wasn’t a couple of months ago!) down to Pyecombe and up to Wolstonbury and as we neared the top we came upon a strange thing indeed.  A flock of sheep with one token Alpaca riding shotgun, following a Freelander and followed by a couple of strange shepherd types, including a lady with a sheepdog on a lead… that was clearly scared of the sheep!  I’m surely making it all up?

We paused on the top to admire the view before ambling down past the flock and down, up, down to Clayton… via a very muddy stretch of track!

After a nano-moment of indecision at Clayton (involving a very small collision) we made for the tank tracks and despite neither of us feeling on brilliant form, ran bottom to top without stopping… although I did collect a fascinating, convoluted flint stone on the way up that is now sunning itself in the garden!

We ambled back to the cars completing 6.38 miles in 1.12, an average of 5.3mph or 11.29 minutes per mile… although before we ascended the tank tracks we had averaged more than 6mph despite the route up Wolstonbury.  Not so very unfit for a pair of occasional runners!

And now I just have time to grab a sandwich in the garden (where the temperature in the shade is currently 20 degrees, yay!), before I get on with my work!  Happy Foster!

Bright’n sunny

It had been my intention to get up and out this morning, but a broken night’s sleep finally yielded to the day shortly after 9am and it then took me two hours to get to the start of my run… physically, yes but particularly mentally.

I ran from my folks place down to Rottingdean and then along to the Palace Pier… and back again.  It was the first day that I felt like taking a chance on the weather so it was shorts on, 2011.  The chilly wind blasting up the valley into my face caused me to ponder my decision, but once I warmed up there was no question that it was a good call.

The runners of Brighton were out in force and some of them were even friendly enough to return my greeting… the rest either being focused intently on their running, having a policy of not acknowledging strange looking men, or just being miserable gits.

Between Rottingdean and the Marina I ran along the grass rather than the road, so the views were great.

And it was presumably the day of the London to Brighton ‘old bikes’ ride, as Brighton was heaving with people and motorbikes… most of them contemporary!

It wasn’t the fastest run, to be fair.  Going out I averaged 6.6mph, but with the gradient against me coming back I managed only 5.85mph.  Overall a nice comfortable run of 12.5 miles in 2.01, 6.2mph, 9.68 minutes per mile.

After the hubris

After the hubris in the reporting of last week’s fast run, it seems only fair that I am forced to eat humble pie.  I got it wrong.

One of the downsides of not having the latest satellite technology is that I have to measure the distances I run on an OS map, with the aid of a piece of paper.  And then remember where the mile markers are.

It had previously not mattered exactly where the mile markers were, as I knew the overall distance to the turn point was correct.  Last week however, I used one of the intermediate markers as a turn point and thus turned too early, by 200m, netting a quarter mile deficit.

I found this out today by running the same distance and coming up with a disappointingly different result… especially the two (lengthened) miles that I ran at 10 minutes per mile!

So, same idea as last week except that I ran to the woodland burial ground just shy of Clayton and back again.

I’ve jumbled all the intermediate numbers in my head, so all I’m sure about is that I returned in 87 minutes and that I didn’t steam the last mile up the hill.  Thus 10 miles at an average of 8.7 minutes per mile, 6.9mph.  A good result, but still slower than last week.

I took no photos’s so I thought you might like to see the flint that I found buried in the sole of my shoe, thankfully before I left… although from the damage to the innersole, it’s clearly been there a while!

I am already overdue new splodge so I can sense an imminent visit to Kurt at Run!

I also thought that you might like to see what I was doing yesterday… helping the garden into its summer clothes.  This should in no way be seen as a performance excuse… although in addition to scarifying and cutting the grass, lifting the garden furniture and myriad pots into place and cleaning out the tea-house, I also washed both cars.

Focus Faster Foster

I’m sure I sound like a broken record when I go on about the power of focus, but here’s a good example.

We were going to London for lunch and I had done my usual thing of sitting comfortably, reading and supping quadspressos.  This meant that I left myself limited time to run so I decided I would run only eight miles but up the pace.  I used the same route as the last couple of weeks but ran out only to Hassocks, ensuring that I keep my mind on the running rather than let it rove around as per normal.

I should highlight that allowing my mind to rove when running is deliberate… I enjoy the whole experience as a result and have interesting thoughts to boot.

Keeping my mind on the running today was merely a case of keeping the pace going, meaning that I ran pretty consistent 8 minute miles and reached the turning point at 32 minutes.

I’ve done so well recently at keeping the distance of my Sunday runs in double figures and this, allied to a curiousity about whether I could keep the pace for another couple of miles led to me turning around at the seven mile marker and heading back a mile before running for home.  I passed 8 miles at 1.03, 9 miles at 1.10 and reached home at 1.17.

First 4 miles at 8 minutes per mile (7.5mph), second four at 7.88 (7.74mph) and final two miles at 7 minutes per mile (8.57mph).  10 miles at an average of 7.7 minutes per mile (7.79mph)

I’m pretty pleased with that, especially as I came back, rushed around to get ready, went to London and am now back, all with no discomfort in the leg department!

Potent stuff this focus!

STOP PRESS 13th March

A measurement error has been detected, which means that this run was only 9.75 miles, averages 7.6mph and 7.9 minutes per mile.  It transpires that the first turn point was 200m short of 4 miles, so some of the interval figures above are also inaccurate.