Friday, 24 October 2014
As my youngest daughter, Hannah, has taken up kayaking on Saturday mornings, it means that it's an ideal time for my long run. She has joined the club at Linslade in Bedfordshire and this means relatively easy access to the Grand Union Canal. I drive her over there for about 9:00am and then I run for anything up to 90 minutes.
So far this is working well and I am enjoying the scenery. It is pleasant running along the tow path and there always seems to be things of interest going on. Quite a few people actually live on the Canal in narrow boats and these seem to fall into different groups with, at one end of the scale, wealthy boater types with gleaming palaces. These are complete with smart boats, lots of solar panels and luxuriously furnished. Others are more modest, looking a bit ramshackle, cluttered and showing signs of a hard life. Wood smoke emerges from some chimneys and drifts around on these quiet autumn days.
I head from Linslade to Three Locks and then to the first bridge and then back again. This adds up to a little over 10 miles and nicely fits into the time Hannah is paddling her kayak. As my run is on the towpath, it's completely flat but at least it is fast.
Yep I've had a few of these too, normally two or three each week, bringing my weekly mileage to around 18-22 miles. I would like to think they're faster than my long runs but in reality there's little difference in the pace. Part of the reason is that it takes me about 20-30 minutes to get proper;y warmed up and running well. So by the time I'm properly warmed up, it's time to finish. Hmmmmm.
Nevertheless these runs have a good role in helping me leave behind the stresses and strains of work. They also help keep me 'ticking' over during the week ahead of a longer run.
Training? Yes but not my training! A couple of friends, Nettie and John, who are non-runners have bother signed up for one of those army-style obstacle races. These are the kind of race where you can't really race at all; you might have to wait before you can climb over somethings or deal with an obstacle. Plus they're only over 5 or 10k.
Well the thing is, they've asked me to train them! I agreed but only as far as the running is concerned as I don't know anything about dealing with the obstacles and besides, I think they're a recipe for a broken arm for myself but they are more confident than I am to have a go at this challenge.
So far we've had a training run / brisk walk in the rain. And it was dark but we did it! We did 5km and John asked me to repeat it again, which we did earlier this week and it was fine. Nettie will come along as time allows.
I am really looking forward to being able to encourage John and Nettie. It will be a pleasure to see them become fitter and fitter and running well. I have a strong testimony as to the joys and real benefits of running as it means so much to me. To share that with friends is something I take seriously and consider an honour. I wouldn't push myself onto them at all, that wouldn't be right.
An after work run
So after spending so much time concentrating on cycling earlier this year, having a rest to put on 5lbs in weight, I am enjoying running again. A few days ago I had a run around some of Stevenage (where my office is) and quite enjoyed it, although there was a sad tinge to it. Part of the route included running through Fairlands Valley Park, just after dusk and although the conditions were perfect, there was a sense of the fading daylight, the fading sunny days, the changing seasons and winter coming.
As the park isn't really suitable for running through at night I knew it was probably the last time before 2015 unless I storm out of work for a lunch time blast sometime - and I might just do that one day!
Running in winter
When is the best time to run?
Running after work