Friday, 20 June 2008

Run Rabbit Run

It's been a while since I've done a posting about running - so I figured it was time I did a little catching up.

Firstly, can I say hello to the new readers that I know we have in Asia. One in India (that'll be my dad - "Hi dad, do you fancy taking up running next time we visit you?") and another in South Korea. The vast majority of our readers are, however, still from the USA, Canada and UK. Maybe the rest of the world has more sense? Having said that we've just got the details of the teams that are in this years TransRockies...I'm not impressed a) There's only 48 teams - for such a great event I think that's pretty sad (I know it's not cheap - but a one week "holiday" for just over $1000 each isn't that bad, is it!? It's a no-brainer, right!?!!!) and b) There are only 2 teams (that's right just TWO teams) from Britain (that'll be us and "Pheonix Runs" - Wendy MacFarland and Stu Gibson - well done fellow Brits)....Looks like Jo and I are going to have to learn to speak American ;)

A few weeks ago we embarked on a massive run - probably my longest run ever (just slightly over the marathon distance). It was another of these weekends where we combined running with socialising - this time spending the weekend with my sister (Kam) and her family. We caught the Tube to Putney Bridge, crossed the bridge and started running from Putney to, erm, Slough (!!) When I tell most of my friends they look at me as if I have grown a 2nd head...I do get a buzz out of doing stuff that other people think is insane. Which reminds me...I really am warming to the idea of doing the Marathon des Sables - in the next year or two!! Anyone fancy joining me?

Anyway - that run to Slough (about 28 miles West of central London) was hard - it was tedious and hot (around 28C, not quite what Judy and George have to face in California and Florida, respectively, but it's pretty much as hot as it gets here in the UK). I was glad I had given in to Jo's idea of cutting the run short by catching the Tube to Putney first, instead of doing the run from our doorstep (which would have made it about a 35 mile distance run!).

It was great running past my previous family home in (Old) Southall. I couldn't believe it hadn't changed a bit. It still had the garage and the extension that our dad built and the grape vine that my mum planted.

Happy memories

Anyway - the reason I am going back so many weeks is that ever since that weekend I have felt particularly good about my running. On the Sunday following the run, Hosh (Kam's husband) took us out for a 10km+ run around their neck of the wood (Farnham Common) - it's quite hilly but I loved it. I felt so strong I just wanted to sprint up every hill we encountered. Considering it was a day after a mammoth run it really was a big confidence booster. Jo's started to call me "rabbit" - it's her new nickname for me...I think it's after the duracell bunny. You just wind me up and let me does seem as if I have boundless energy at the moment.

Since that weekend we have also started our interval training. When we first started our training I was not looking forward to getting to this phase (Peak Interval Training aka PIT), but by the time this phase was upon us I was raring to go. It turned out that the 1st interval session wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped - the week leading up to it had been brilliant. Monday it rained buckets as I ran home along the Regents Canal. Tuesday I ran with my "running club" mates from work (Tim and Jeanette who are training for the British 10k at the end of June). By Thursday I was really really looking forward to the interval (PIT) session but the weather changed drastically - it got very hot. I struggled, but still did the 10 intervals of 1km - but they were a bit erratic.

The following weekend we ran on Saturday, along the of my most enjoyable (biggest-smile) runs ever - as I raced the boat on the Thames. Then on Sunday we did the Guildford to Dorking run that Jo talked about in her posting.

Dorking - at last!

Denbies vineyard - where's our complimentary wine?

I did feel strong and enjoy it, but I do worry about how much our pace drops whenever we hit a slope - I'm not just talking about Jo here, it's my pace that is a concern too. But we're doing something about it now - incline sessions on the treadmill, which I really really love (could it be sunstroke!?)

My week now involves doing a treadmill session on Mondays (slow walk but high, 10%, elevation for about an hour), "running club" run on Tuesdays (about 7-8km, usually with Tim - who doesn't seem to know how to run slowly, so that's fine as it is supposed to be a DPT, 80% HR, session), another treadmill session on Wednesday (close to 2 hours, mostly jogging slowly but with about 5% elevation) and then the aforementioned interval session on Thursdays (basically run as fast as you can for 1km, recover, and repeat 10 times - and go home and cry...if you still have the energy!). The weekend tends to consist of one 10-15km fast run and one long run (either a really long run - marathon distance - or somewhere there are hills).

I am really enjoying the whole week. I, especially, love the Tuesday runs with Tim, Jeanette and Simon from work - it just feels easier to be running at pace when you're just initially trying to keep up with someone (Tim starts fast, hence I struggle to keep up with him, and then I get going and he has to work at keeping up with me - it's a nice combination). I also really love the treadmill sessions - I love the fact that I really have to battle mentally to keep going. Just how boring is it running for 1.5 hours on a treadmill (with an incline of 5-10%) in a very hot and humid gym - very boring. To say I sweat quite a lot would be like saying the Sahara is a bit sandy - I hope the treadmill is waterproof! I still find the interval session very very difficult - and I struggle to get my heart rate up to the high 170s that I am aiming for (I highest I have managed to get to is 174); I suspect the legs are tired, lacking glycogen, hence there's no point in them asking the heart for more oxygen...guess it is to be expected after all, as Thursdays are the 7th day in a row of running (hence I love Fridays too - rest day, yippee!).

The weekends are, these days, always special so I look forward to them too. I really enjoyed last weekends run to Satpal and Parm's BBQ - not the run in itself, but how good Jo felt about it - and of course the great BBQ afterwards. Everyone commented on how much slimmer I look - which was obviously the excuse I needed to eat several kilos of meat, with a light scattering of salad :)

This week has been another great week of running - I'm feeling strong, whether strong enough to handle the Rockies I haven't a clue, but certainly strong enough to handle everything I'm throwing at myself at the moment. I think I am finally beginning to feel the benefits of my weight loss and the much enhanced weight-to-strength ratio. But ask me again after this weekend...I'm due to mountain bike (actually it's just flat off-road biking mostly - hence not dangerous enough to be banned under my current "no risky sports" ruling) with my brother, Satpal, and his gang - it will be about 45 miles (which, off-road and with my brother's bike mates, is going to be pretty tough). Jo's also expecting me home in good enough condition to do a long run on Sunday.

I'm feeling a little apprehensive about this coming weekend -lots and lots of (whole wheat) pasta tonight I think! ;)


Blogger martine said...

dont forget the team from the netherlands, is close by.
We see you in the states, Good luck with training!

23 June 2008 at 23:21  
Blogger Georgie B said...

Good post..... I wish I was feeling the same build of confidence that you appear to be experiencing. I think it must have something to do with the positive effects of running through a Vineyard.... Cheers !

30 June 2008 at 17:53  

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