The Crew

Saturday Crew

I count myself very lucky to have a number of mates who also happen to run. They understand the obsession with lycra, the constant worry over every niggle in your knees pre race, they actually want to hear the mile by mile account of your last triumph and understand how crazy it makes you when injury flares up and you’re stuck wearing flats with your beloved trainers gathering dust.

But strangely I have never been into running with other people if I can help it, even the fellow obsessives. I like the fact I don’t have to make conversation. I can change my pace without the worry of being too slow or too fast and I get to occasionally fall in a heap post massive hill climb or muck about with the dog and turn off the GPS. But even I, the solo running purist, had to admit, it can get a tad dull.

That all changed recently when I started running with a colleague from work who has similar running experience to me and doesn’t mind mixing up the chat with a good dose of iPod time too. Now with the Royal Parks training underway and both of us registered and hitting up the training schedules, I’m counting myself even luckier to have a bit of company on those long runs which can get very tedious when you’re clocking up 10+ miles!

Our first Saturday session this morning was a scorcher, first sight of the sun we’ve had in weeks and we managed six miles before 10am (this is early for me on the weekend!). Stella the Dog avoided an altercation with a mastiff puppy in Holland Park and we all managed not to pass out. Not a bad result for our first meet!

The Pack Run

Sunshine happy people even at 3 degrees in January!

I’m trying out a few different ways to incorporate running training into my routine, so commuting in my trainers is becoming a more frequent occurrence. This morning I tested out 5 miles with a backpack and I felt every single gram in the 3kg backpack I was hauling!

Thankfully I had some great company, a friend of mine, Pamela, has also caught the running bug so the two of us managed the 5 miles with a few breathers on the way.

Hoping the next time I run without the pack it will feel like I’m literally flying down the streets! But I do need to invest in some new kit to make it work, so any suggestions on a light weight, commuting backpack would be greatly appreciated!  Any excuse to go shopping really.

5 weeks to go to the Brighton half marathon!

If you can’t beat ’em…

R has finally given up trying to resist the running bug that has me totally obsessed and I’ve persuaded him to register for the Brighton Half Marathon in February 2012. That gives us 5 months to get both ourselves back into shape and up to speed (13.1 miles worth).

This could be more of a challenge than I thought. But having braved Runner’s Need to get R kitted out with the right shoes and mapped a few decent 5K runs to start off with – we should be ok! That is if R ever recovers from having his running gait analysed.  Quote of the day ‘oh my god – is that how I run? Will these shoes help me run in a straight line?’ They’re bright enough you can probably see them from space. That has to count for something

And I need to start up slowly again.  Having taken nearly a whole month off the streets after the Great Scottish Run I’m finding it tough to get back into the swing of things. Two weeks in SA and general unhealthy eating (biltong, braais and cake galore!) also means I’m struggling to fit into my lycra! Mmmm indeed.

So I’ve looked up a few training schedules and we’re off. Should be an interesting 5 months!

Rutland Water: Sunday Session in the Country – 13 miles Run/Walk

Note to self: When planning a 13 mile training run on the sunday, do not complete a 60 minute hard core boxing session on the Saturday. Not big, not clever. Just painful.

Waking up at 7am on Sunday morning, every muscle in my shoulders and back were crying out for another two hours in bed and a sports massage. Hot shower did very little, but got my trainers on regardless and hauled myself to King’s Cross to catch my train to Peterborough.

A friend of mine was kind enough to source a great route around Rutland Water (near Peterborough) for us to attempt 13 miles ahead of my half marathon up in Glasgow. Check out our route here Rutland Water 13 miler – Ahhh fresh air and countryside!

Which also includes stinging nettles, flocks of sheep, bugs and hoards of families on rented bikes. Almost more dangerous than the maniac cyclists infesting West London. So besides a few stung up calves, rather a lot of sheep dung and a few close shaves with rogue 5 year olds without training wheels – amazing run over looking the water and not a police siren, bendy bus or traffic light in sight.

And with with signs like this – I could do with more trips out to the country

Beautiful weather meant it was hot hot hot, and I caught a ridiculous sun burn – but managed 10k run and took the additional 21km at a much slower pace (ahem) I’m blaming the boxing!

Scrumptious italian lunch over looking the lake after the 3.55hour run/walk/gossip, Sunday session success!