Sunday, 1 March 2015

Where did February go?

February has just rushed by so quickly and I'm sorry I haven't been updating my blog so much.  Plenty has been happening, including a trip to the London Bike Show and quite a few runs to savour.

Life outside staying fit and healthy has been happening too; might be an idea to get these out of the way first.  My work life is as busy and varied as ever but also has some future uncertainties mixed in these days (the effects of Ministry of Justice reforms).  We are well as a family.

Jury service
I have hardly stopped during January and February.  In fact the only time off from work I had was during jury service which you might think is hardly an activity away from my work.  It was actually, almost to the point of enjoying being in a slightly different role and seeing the whole Court scene from the general public's perspective.  What made it even more interesting was that it wasn't a criminal court but instead a Coroner's court; something I have had no experience of.  It was a sad case, about a middle aged man who took his own life while in prison.  Quite a sad tale.  However it was a poignant opportunity for the general public to become involved in the whole question of justice; there were eight of us, all local people selected at random and there to have an input into the wheels of justice.  The inquest itself was listed for three days but in effect only lasted two days, so I took some flexi time to enjoy having a day off and I can tell you, that seemed so weird.

Interestingly I have another Coroner's Court jury to sit on later in March.  Again the case is listed for three days and I wonder if it will actually take the whole three days, not that these important things should be rushed.  We must take it seriously and return the correct verdict, according to the oath we all take at the start of the proceedings.

A new venture
To make a short story even shorter, I have found myself becoming a school Governor and will attend my first meeting soon.  I am actually looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into doing this and I like the idea of doing a few more things in my community as a volunteer.  Having the time has always been a factor, as well as finding something that I would be able to do.  I can tell you, I would be hopeless as a volunteer in helping local groups take care of the Downs (lopping trees, fencing etc).  

Kayaking and the running
I am still a non-paddling member at the club and this is fine for me.  Has to be said people there often encourage me to join properly and put my name down for the next introductory course on the water.  Instead I occasionally go to the Thursday evening training which is different each week.  Sometimes we go running (yay! Something I'm not bad at) other times it is more "gym" focussed and involves building up core muscle strength (not so good in my case).  My daughter, Hannah, seriously outperforms me with these things!

Actually the last training session was running, a kind of fast-slow interval training.  We, as a group of about 15, ran from the Boat House to Golden Riddy, Linslade which was a little under a mile away.  We then raced each other around the block, as shown in the map below.  Then the fastest was paired with the slowest, second fastest with second slowest etc.

Once we were paired up we ran in opposite directions with the faster runners sprinting until they met the slower runners who were jogging.  When we met each other, we 'high fives' each other and then turn around to run back the other way, alternating the fast run for the jogging.

This then is the interval training i.e. taking your heart rate right up for a few minutes and then jogging to allow recovery and bringing the heart rate back down.  Don't ask me what the heart rate is as I don't have a monitor but I dare say I push it to the limit, but only for a short burst each time.  Felt great afterwards!

As you can see this then adds up to be 5.7 miles; all good fun and it never seems that much when you do it with others.

With Hannah doing her kayaking on the water each Saturday morning allows me to have a 10 mile run along the canal tow path.  It seems to be working pretty well like this but having said that I need to get things organised so I could have increasingly longer runs in preparation for.....

The MK Marathon
Yes I have again entered this race, having enjoyed it so much before and especially as I ran a sub 4:00 hour time before (but only just).  This is in early May and ordinarily I would be happily trained by then without too much difficulty.

The issue is that I seem to have picked up an injury which is incredibly rare for me.  In fact the only injuries I have had to date have been short lived and minor.  This time one of my left calf muscles is complaining little when I run and more so on the following day.  I am fairly sure this is due to my running form changing a little and the shoes not compensating.

So my solution is to have a gait analysis done with a view to new shoes as being the most likely solution.

The probably cause is indeed how I have outlined it but digging a little deeper I think it has been exasperated by the increased miles I have been running - so far I have run 158 miles since 1st January and in the last 10 days of 2014 I ran consecutively every day.  So I might have over-done it and now I'm paying the price.  I must surely view this as a temporary set back as I cannot face the thought of backing off from running.

Other things
So much to tell you about and I hope to get myself a little more disciplined and blog more regularly.  Talking of being disciplined, I heard today about my friend Andrew who is truing for the Wales In A Day bike ride in September (this is a hilly 190 miles).  While he is already fit and a strong rider, he apparently has been getting up at 5:00am for a turbo training session in his garage.  Something I must surely be doing!

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