Saturday, 13 December 2014

Today's run and did I tell you.....?

Ivinghoe Lock: frosty December morning
Not the best selfie, granted.  You will have to take my word for it - this is me having reached the first Ivinghoe Lock on the Grand Union canal as it runs through Bedfordshire.

As usual on Saturday mornings, I take the opportunity to run while Hannah is having her dose of kayaking with the local club (LBCC).  Today's run was frustratingly just under the 10 mile mark and alas I didn't have enough time to go any further.  Drat.  Drat but never mind.

It was a truly inspirational run.  Right throughout the day I have felt really great - such a wonderful feeling of all round "well being" and happiness.  This was partly because of the amazing conditions (clear skies, frost, -2 etc) but mostly because of my "mood".  I wanted a good run and although that's what I got, it wasn't quite how I expected it to be....

Yes I know, it was cold and this wasn't really any big deal.  Except that it took me "ages" to warm up - probably 25-30 minutes before my fingers were feeling nice and warm (normally this is where I hit a "wall" for a few minutes).

And next was that I was having to put some effort in!  I expected an easier run that it turned out to be!  I averaged an 8:30 minute/mile over what was a flat course.  I realised while I was running, feeling a little tired, I didn't have a run with my friend John.  Although John and I don't run hard/far it does nevertheless make a difference in not having had our run.

LBCC training!
I might have mentioned before, the Leighton Buzzard Canoe Club is actually the kayak club at nearby Linslade.  Note to self: ask about that sometime.

Well I thought I'd say that it's been really good training so far.  So much so, I have decided to join as a non-paddling member.  Also, while I'm at it I figured it would make sense for Rachel and Becky to join as well.  Before you ask, I did "mention" this to them and thankfully they were okay about it; just as well really.

So far I have been on two Thursday evening runs.  This lasts about an hour and has involved a bit of interval running.  Good for the ol' ticker etc.  No problems in holding my own, although I know I'd be easily outclassed by some of the other members on sprints.

The third training was altogether different.  This time it was led by Jim, who it has to be said, has already shown he has excellent all-round fitness, which is exactly what I DON'T have.  There were about 10 different exercises to do, all just outside the warmth of the Club House.  Push ups, pull ups, press ups, V sits and all kinds of other exercises, each working a different muscle group.  The idea was that everyone did 100 of each of the 10 exercises.

This showed up my many weaknesses.  While the "leg" based exercises were easy on the surface, some were quite testing and these included jumping up onto a step about 4 inches high and doing this 100 times.  Not easy and I got nowhere near the target.  "Not helped by doing it in the dark" was my pre-prepaed excuse for my pathetic performance with this.

Some of the other exercises were designed to build up your core muscles i.e. six packs in the making.  Flip this was hard going, as I knew it would be!  My daughter Hannah, breezed through!

Common with runners?
This lack of core strength is hardly surprising for myself and it is quite common with runners.  Runners are renowned for being stiff and not very flexible or supple.  Gradually I am addressing that but I do recognise that I don't have the all-round fitness I have had when I've been to the gym 2 or 3 times a week.

I suppose the beauty of these exercises is their simplicity i.e. you don't need expensive gym equipment to do them.  Often the weight of your own body and knowing what to do with it is all that is needed.  Food for thought.

Food for thought also is what my next challenge could be.  As you might know, my main goal during 2014 was the Coast to Coast in a Day cycle ride (150 miles across a hilly northern route).

Possibilities for my next challenge in 2015 could be:

  • Improve my swimming! Should include learning front crawl which could then open up some possibilities
  • Tackling some TdF climbs in France (yay!)
  • Two marathons, target time for each is well under 4 hours
  • Running 1000 miles in 2015
  • Chiltern 100 in a decent time
  • Still thinking of other options and open to suggestions.....

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