Monthly Archives: June 2013
The Half Marathon training continues and even though I did not do all the easy short runs in the week I was determined to do the prescribed 5 miles today.
I thought it would be a breeze as it’s 8K and I ran 10K ok at Richmond. The weather has been lovely and I decided to wait until later afternoon to head out. Sadly this was not the best plan as it got hotter and I found the run hard as a result of this.
I do believe the 25 degree heat (I didn’t realise it was that hot) had got to me and even though I ran with a cap on, put on sun cream (thankfully) and ran in my running vest, I was simply too uncomfortable. That and I seem to be plagued by my new Heart Rate Monitor.
I was supposed to run at 70 – 75% of my heart rate and most of the run – where I thought I was taking it steady, kept beeping at me constantly that my heart rate was too high.
What is going on? Is the weather a factor? Is my heart off the scale? Is my monitor not working? I wish I could work it out.
This constant beeping started to annoy me and then I started to get annoyed by the strap on my chest (I wore it lower down this time), my wedding ring sweating on my finger, my glasses digging into my ears and my hat sitting tightly on my head… Shall I go on?
Both mentally and physically todays run was a challenge and I was determined not to stop the Garmin though as each time I stopped to walk and take on water I wanted to be sure I could/would continue.
After 6K I felt really tired and hot but kept going. I was put off that I had almost run out of drink and knew I had a couple kilometers to go. Thankfully I was on my return loop as just as I hit 7K i was outside the house so I paused the run, filled up my water bottle then headed back out to complete the final kilometer.
I honestly do not know what to do regards the HRM and ask if any of you have any advice running with them as I am not enjoying the experience so far.
On the bright (very bright) side, it is still a lovely day, I am now fully stretched and showered and am typing this out in the garden – the first time we have sat out here all year.
If the weather (hopefully) continues like this I will need to address how and when I run in such conditions and what provisions I put in place as the runs are only going to get longer and longer.
I did discover a new route though as I headed out along the road then onto the country trail I found a couple weeks ago. I kept going straight along the trail today and found myself running across farm land through fields of wheat and piles of manure.
I also discovered that when I reach the end of the farm I arrive at the entrance to the wood opposite the house. I could have run through there and home but it would have cut miles off the run so decided to loop back around the field and back the way I came.
I am constantly amazed by the wealth of routes I have on my doorstep and was thinking about a conversation I had with Enda (who runs in central London) – I really must invite him up in the summer to run with me so he can experience the lovely countryside around us
It was tough today but I am still immensely proud and happy that I completed the 5 Miles/8K I was due to.
Now to relax and enjoy the rest of this glorious Sunday.
Actually reading that back I should be more than happy with my efforts today given the 25 degree heat and the beeping!
Saturday was Pride in London (and Dublin, New York, San Francisco and many other places) and even though we didn't really plan to participate we were going to be in London.
It's Richards birthday on Tuesday and I bought him tickets for the Pompeii exhibition at The British Museum so we headed into town in the morning and went to Shoreditch where Richard had his hair cut.
Following this we found a lovely coffee warehouse off Old Street called Ozone where we had a delicious (if a little pricey) brunch.
Ozone was really nice. It had a great atmosphere and it was cool to sit and watch the chefs prepare your food in front of you. We managed to arrive at a good time and didn't have to queue. There was quite a queue when we left however.
A complete circuit led us back to Liverpool Street where we jumped on the bus to the Strand and Covent Garden. Due to the road closures caused by the parade it was very busy on the roads so we gave up on the bus and walked the remainder of the route.
After a brief look around the shops we headed over to Russell Square and The British Museum where we saw the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition. We both are fascinated by what happened to the towns that were engulfed by Visouvious and this exhibition captures it wonderfully.
It's very moving and amazing to see the corpses set in volcanic ash, the possessions, the furniture and the frescos that adorned the houses of these two villages. In many ways they were a lot like us. They sadly met a very hot and stick end.
I am surprised at how well preserved so many of the artefacts were and there's still lots more to unearth in both locations.
The casts of a family trying to escape the volcanic flow by hiding under their stairs is particularly harrowing and moving.
It was only a short walk from the museum to the pub in Soho but it was a bit of a mindfield trying to get through all the rainbow coloured semi naked bodies that crowded the streets.
We arrived in once piece though and made the most of happy hour, inbibing many a cocktail in the latter part of the afternoon.
It was a great spot to people watch, especially on such a vibrant day.
A very good friend of mine was part of the organising committee and worked tirelessly on the day. We did see him go past the pub and he looked very busy. It's cause of these volunteer efforts that make Pride the success it is. Sadly we didn't get to catch up with him but I'm sure he's either resting well or still partying hard!
An impromptu street party had broken out on the road outside and we stopped for a bit to enjoy the atmosphere before heading out to dinner.
On the way to the restaurant we got up to some mischief and Wayne managed to blag a cheeky photo with a cute cooper!
Note the PC gave Wayne his hat, it's an offense to take a hat of a policeman in the UK.
This pic sums up Pride though because even with all the controversy and in amongst all the crowds, everyone was out to simply have a good, fun day and to celebrate.
Dinner was the usual riotous affair but we had a lovely meal before heading home.
The train journey home was spent homo spotting As predicted most got off the train at Chelmsford.
We didn't plan to go to Pride (we've both participated at various levels many times before) but it was great to be in London whilst it was going on. Following lasts years debacle it was great to see this year was much better organised and a hit with everyone who took part.
The organisers were very lucky with the weather too. Changing the date paid off as it was a beautiful day in London.
I've seen loads of photos of the parade online but this is one of my favourites by Keith Houghton (instagram.com/eurokeith). I think it sums the day up perfectly.
Maybe next year we may join the parade…
We're enjoying a quiet post Pride day, Richards done the garden. The housework is complete. We are now enjoying some peace and quiet in the sun. I shall head out for my run when it cools down.
What a lovely weekend.
The hit of the summer. I found a way to break out…
I haven’t been running since my lunch time run in London last Friday due to the pain I have been having in my neck and shoulders.
I tried Ibuprofen, heat pads and Voltarol (not all together!) and all had little or no affect. I decided that as I feel better when I move rather than stay still that I would attempt a run and that’s what I did tonight.
I altered my Half Marathon schedule and decided to run an easy 30 minutes.
I used this as an opportunity to try the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) for the first time and am not sure I got on with it or have set it up correctly. I was supposed to run at 65 - 75% of my heart rate today but after I got going the HRM kept beeping that my heart rate was too high. I slowed down (actually stopped twice) but it kept beeping.
Apparently my physical maximum heart rate is 181 so I made 90.5 as my 50%, 117 as my 65% (my high rate today), 135 as my 75% and 153 as my 85% high end target. Apparently I was running at 90% of my heart rate today – it didn’t feel particularly hard or strenuous - I have felt much worse on a run doing speed work etc.
I wonder if is this because I am pushing myself too far or is it because I have set it up incorrectly? I honestly don’t know.
It felt like a normal run to me but the HRM was telling me otherwise. I have a 5 mile run planned for Sunday so will take it out and see if it continues to do the same thing. That said it may annoy me too much as the constant beeping was putting me off my stride. Maybe I will switch the beep off and simply monitor when I get home for now, listening to my body as I go.
I also wonder if I was wearing it too far up my chest – where is the optimum place to have a HRM? Does anyone know?
Considering I have not been out and have been in pain the past week I didn’t really notice any major neck or shoulder pain as I ran. My calves were a little tight but I am feeling okay I type this post run. I guess I will see how I go when I sleep and get up tomorrow – that will be the real test. Fingers crossed.
I didn’t have the best test of a complete run as I stopped a couple times as I received a few texts during the training. I normally would ignore them (or read them at least and carry on) but Richard was out shopping so I stopped to respond en route. Not to matter as it helped me get used to the watch and how I use it with pauses etc.
It’s been a wet and muggy run tonight as the weather is overcast today but I enjoyed the run in the rain as it was somewhat refreshing.
I am enjoying the Garmin Forerunner 210 although it seemed to take a while to find the satellite signal tonight. I wonder if it’s best to stand still and let it get the signal before moving off. I thought I would let it trace them as I did my warm up walk but that was nearly over by the time it had locked on (and we live in a rural open area). Maybe it’s something else I need to get used to – I don’t know.
The screen is very clear and you see everything really well when running. It’s simple to switch between functions and the beeps can be heard over traffic etc.
I’m not missing the music either – I am enjoying hearing all the new sounds, the sounds of people’s music and TVs in their homes, the traffic, my feet tramping over tarmac and grass in the rain… I have gotten used to having no music much quicker than I expected.
Anyway it was a good running considering and there was no music, no straining, no stress and no worry. Given how I have not been out for a while I am pleased with tonight.
Sunday is my next run and I am looking forward to it.
Now I just have to try to work out all these stats!
Spotted this on The Running Bug. Had to post it… Not sure I’m any of these runners although I have encountered many of those on the list.
1. The Poser
Fake tan/ make-up, super-styled hair, colour-coordinated matching running gear, I give you — The Poser.
2. The Singer
Probably the happiest of all the runners, The Singer bounces along roads and trails, belting out their favourite tunes which are blaring through their headphones, completely oblivious that to everyone else they sound like a very loud, out of breath cat.
3. Running Dad
This isn’t dads who run. Lots of dads run. This is the guy you see running and you think: “He LOOKS like my dad.” You know what we mean.
4. The Sweater
It’s a mystery why The Sweater chooses to wear a grey cotton T-shirt when he (let’s be honest The Sweater is normally a he – sorry guys) goes running. Watch out for The Sweater on narrow pathways where brushing bodies becomes unavoidable.
5. All The Gear No Idea
Decked head to toe in the most expensive shoes, shorts, and sunglasses, covered in sweatbands, carrying a protein shake, and hooked up to all the latest gadgets. The ‘all the gear no idea’ runner paints a pretty picture. But can they run? … not really.
6. The Hater
The Hater knows they should run to keep fit, lose weight, and generally be healthy. But The Hater HATES running. Look out for the tell-tale grimace, slumped shoulders, and longing look in their eyes for someone or something, anything, to put them out of their misery.
7. The Chatterbox
The chatterbox sees every run as an opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip, has a ridiculously large lung capacity, and can maintain a conversation even at high speeds, often to the infuriation of all their friends.
8. Mr/ Miss Competitive
Found lurking largely in public parks looking for unsuspecting runners to race up behind, overtake, and demonstrate their running superiority.
9. Lycra King/Queen
The Lycra King/ Queen loves wearing the tightest, stretchiest, lycra and little else. Is it for streamlining, compression, to show off, or a little bit of all three?
10. Forest Gump
Regular runners all know a ‘Forest Gump’. You may not have spoken to them – they rarely stop – but you’ll have seen them running, and running, and running…
11. The Older Runner
You think you’re doing really well, you’re on course for a personal best…. and then an 80-something-year-old sails effortlessly past you, smiling.
At least the dentist corrected his mishap and fixed my tooth. I can smile again
Well it's not been the best of days to be honest.
My neck/shoulder were playing up yesterday and they inevitably kept me awake most of last night. Every time I went to turn or to move to get comfy I'd have a stabbing pain down my shoulder-blade and would struggle to move or get up off the bed to get comfy.
This didn't get any better this morning and I was in agony when I travelled into work.
I was greeted with 7 bells of shit this morning which didn't help my already dark mood.
To make matters worse I had a dentist appointment today to have a filling replaced as it was expanding and endangering my tooth. I hate fillings and have not had one since I was a kid. I thought this was enough torture for the day but he also cleaned my teeth with ultrasound and I arrived home tonight to realise he's chipped one of my front teeth – grrr.
Still there is a light – a big, camp, wacky, weird disco light to brighten my day. It comes (finally) in the shape of Empire of the Suns new album Ice on the Dune.
First listen came and went quickly this morning – this was due to me being tired, sore and full of Brufen but then the second play whizzed by. And the third and the fourth.
Don't get me wrong this isn't a bad thing – this album moves at a blistering pace.
It's lively, loud, fast paced, has thumping drums and huge HUGE choral sections throughout the entire album. It's only when it reaches the final track that the pace decides to relent.
I love this album – this is a true summer album and I hope it does these Aussies proud.
I loved Standing on the Shore but I see this being a much bigger commercial hit. Alive (the first single release) is a real crowd pleaser and I don't think the rest will disappoint.
There's simply so much great stuff to choose from. I love it.
If you have never heard an Empire of the Sun album then start here. Open your mind, turn up your dial and immerse yourself in the colourful, avant garde world that is EotS!
Oh and yes the neck pain etc means I am taking a day or two off from running – I want it to get better, I don't want to make it any worse. I am happy with this decision and know it makes sense. I'll soon get back into it.
For those who didn't get to see the Pet Shop Boys live or who want to relive the experience, this live broadcast from El Luna Park in Argentina is a great taster.
It's not the whole concert and its cut to ribbons it you get the idea. The quality is great and the Argentinians seemed to enjoy it more than the crowd in London.
It's in the music…