We have had a lovely weekend. Paul visited this weekend and we decided to have a quiet weekend. Luckily the weather has been dry this weekend which meant we could get out and about.
Saturday we took a drive to Dunwich Heath where we enjoyed a stroll along the beach and the coastal path. It was cloudy but the sea was like a mill-pond. I don’t think we have ever seen it so still up there. We wrapped up well but to be honest it was much milder than usual for November.
Following our walk we drove to Saxmundham where we enjoyed a very welcome lunch before heading home.
We spent our time catching, chilling out and generally enjoying one another’s company. Richard cooked a lovely dinner Saturday evening and we enjoyed some lovely aperitif, sherry and wine which made for a very relaxed evening.
This morning the sky was clear and sunny, Paul had escaped for an early run (it was about 3 degrees outside) and returned in time for a full English. As it was nice we decided to make the most of the day before Paul had to leave and headed over to Frinton on Sea. After observing the 2 minute silence at 11 am we left the car then headed down to the beach to watch people walking their dogs and riding their horses along the shore.
As it was chilly the beach was pretty much deserted which was lovely as it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
After returning home for tea and biscuits it was time for Paul to head back to London, and as usual a weekend with friends comes to an end far too quickly.
We said our goodbyes than I ensured I made the most of the weather and got my New Balance trainers out of the cupboard and went for a run.
Following our run on Friday I noticed that the leaves on the ground made the terrain a little slippery so I decided to switch to the New Balance trainers as they have much more grip.
It was chilly but I wore my long sleeve running Run Breeze top which was more than enough protection and got into my stride.
I enjoyed the run and my pace was good so I mentally set myself a route and decided to keep going until I reached 5K. This is the first 5K I have run in a while and it felt good to reach that virtual goal.
All in all I am feeling much better and am glad I am back into the running. It’s also nice not to be training for anything as it ensures there is no pressure or plan. I will get some races booked so I have goals to work to but for now I am happy to go out, run, switch off the head, switch on my legs and enjoy the me time out on the road.
All in all a lovely autumnal weekend.
The forecast in London was to top 31 degrees today and I had planned to run with Paul at mid-day. Thinking of Mad Dogs and Englishmen… I decided it would be a nice idea to try and move the run to a cooler time. I looked at the weather and there was only a degree in it between 8 am and pretty much until tonight. We did move our run to 11:30 in an attempt to miss some of the heat and some of the tourists but we failed on both counts.
We ran from the office (after stocking up on liquid), along the river Thames towards Tower Bridge, at Tower Bridge we caught some congestion cause of the tail end of a carnival (which was very odd mid week), from there we crossed to the South Bank and ran back to wards the office.
We had a surprising amount of shade during the run and thankfully Paul stopped a couple times to get a drink and this enabled me to get my breath back.
Todays plan was 40 minutes at an easy ace but I ended up running 37 minutes at a faster pace – possibly at my threshold for this heat. I was sweating buckets but enjoyed the run when we were moving.
I didn’t enjoy stopping but it was unavoidable in this heat and as Paul said its best clock the time out then to worry about the mileage.
Paul did manage to go at a blistering pace though but I am happy I kept up with him most of the run (he had already been to the gym and turned up topless and sweaty as he had run from home to meet me (and he ran back)). The guy certainly has some stamina!
There was an awful lot of tourists around today and when we ran around the South Bank it was very very congested. I haven’t seen London quite so busy but it’s good to see and of course the weather is making all the difference.
It’s interesting to see how many people were out running today especially in this heat.
I can’t log my run until later as I left my Garmin cable at home but it’s another run in the log
If you have not done so already please be so kind as to reward all this effort and sponsor me British Heart Foundation. I am training to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. Thanks.
Updated with stats from Garmin Connect:
I met Paul today for a lunch time run (although a bit later than planned due to an overrunning meeting).
We headed out into London and made our way along the Thames to Tower Bridge, across and back.
It was very humid out and I ended up drinking a bit mid run to keep me going.
The WalkJogRun plan was for 4 miles tomorrow but I ran 3.22 at lunch (just over 5K) and am happy with that.
The run as mentioned was very humid and it was quote tricky in places as there were so many tourists out and about.
I enjoy running this route around the Thames but you do have to hop and dodge around the crowds to get where you need to go. Thankfully most people hear or see us coming and get out of our way (most).
I have to learn how to run up and down narrow stairs though. Paul does it like a pro but I’m convinced I’m going to go ass over tip so I slow down (which I believe is wise).
We were both amused when we reached the bottom of one flight of stairs and some woman tried to hand is fliers!
This was my first run with my new Garmin Forerunner 210 and it was interesting to not use anything other than the watch to guide me.
I will run with my phone on my arm when running along – purely for safety. I will however track and plan everything now on the watch.
I am amazed how easy it is to use and how clear the display/tones are when running.
I missed the 2nd km marker but that may have been me thinking Paul’s watch beeped when it was mine.
Uploading content to the site it easy and there is a lot of facts and figures to read to help me train better.
I have managed to extract all my old runs from iSmoothRun too. Rather handily they allow you to export into your Garmin Connect account. It’s so easy I did it in the train this morning.
Now all of my training is in one place and I can compare runs, save courses and dissect all the information easily.
I’m connected as trunkguy, if you have a Garmin Connect account why not connect accounts?
There are a few quirks to the Garmin site I have to get used to but to be honest it’s far better than the likes of Nike etc!
I have managed to sync my Garmin runs into Runkeeper although I note this is a little buggy. Today’s run however went in with no problems.
I’ll keep iSmoothRun on my iPhone as its a great alternative to the Garmin. I’ll also keep Run Keeper as I like its social features. Nike Running, Gipis and Daily Miles (Electric Miles app) have all been removed.
All apps serve a purpose and all have helped me get where I am and have given me a record of nearly a hundred runs which is great. I am how ere simplifying and going to leverage the power of Garmin.
I am keeping WalkJogRun too as it includes my plan for the half marathon. I could add this to the Garmin site but I’ve already invested time doing this in my iCloud account so for now it can stay as is.
I tried the heart rate monitor last night and was amazed how quickly the two sync up. As soon as I snapped the monitor on the belt the watch beeped and I was ready to go.
I need to find a way of working out all my heart rates. If you have any ideas please email or leave a comment.
It’s safe to say we were both a hot sweaty mess when we finished the run.
I pushed myself fairly hard today and although I didn’t do the prescribed distance I did run faster so am happy with this progress.
Paul (who ran a 10k in 41:32 minutes last weekend!) did have to pause for me a few times but he’s great at pacing and encouraging me. In fact even though I pushed myself and struggled with the humid conditions I did manage to have some short conversations with him mid run.
So that’s this weeks runs. Monday I aim to try and see how I get on with the HRM. I’m sure it’ll all be fine.
And yes once again no music, no distractions (except the odd thousand tourist!) and I finished feeling happy with a sense of achievement.
I realise I was at Tower Bridge with Paul (and Enda) on Tuesday as we caught the Thames Clipper there to the Millennium Dome.
We were very lucky to see an original Thames Clipper sail under the bridge. This was the first time Enda had seen the bridge raised.
As you can see it was a lovely evening to be on the river.
Update: I’ve actually had a second run this evening as I got caught in a torrential storm. I got soaked through (I was wearing my Adidas running rain coat) but decided to run to simply get home. Not the best idea in flay canvas trainers etc but I am happy I can simply turn it on and run like the clappers when I need to.
Now I simply need to dry off!
Tonight I started the main phase of training for my 10k which is at the beginning of June and this means speed work to get more oxygen into my system.
Today also marks a year since I started running. I cannot honestly believe it has been a year already and I cannot believe just how much I have enjoyed, hated, struggled, gained, grown, learnt and built as a runner.
I remember mulling the idea of running in my head, conversing with friends about a plan of attack. Harassing them for advice and support. Promising Richard I wouldn't spend a fortune on running gear or talking about running all the time (I think I've managed both rather well – the blog is the perfect outlet).
A year ago I started this on a whim and never considered I would achieve what I have, my first 10k, raising £1,600 for Alzheimer's, running a 5k for the local hospital raising £500 etc.
I've since learnt what a friendly and supportive community runners are, I've run in various places, seen and experienced things I wouldn't have done had I stayed at home. I'm probably the fittest I have ever been in my life and have an outlay for stress. I also have a nice toned body which I am proud of and I know Richard enjoys too
For tonights run Gipis suggested I run just over 3k with a split of fast and normal sections (ala Fartlek) to exhaust my body to reach maximum oxygen limits. I am not sure if I was exhausted but it was hard work.
I spent the run dreading the beeps that signified the start of each fast session but soon got into my stride and got on with it.
I did stupidly decide to continue running until I broke through 5k as this is a mental target I like to hit. At the time (at the end) that seemed like a foolish mistake but since the run I have made and ate dinner and although I am a little sore I feel ok considering…
The next run is scheduled to be similar with a long fast section. I'll see how I get on but I am sure I will be fine.
It's difficult running two apps at once though. I do like to track my complete runs on iSmoothRun but need to start Gipis mid way for the coaching and this proves tricky. Getting the iPhone in and out of the Y-fumble mid run isn't easy.
I could program iSmoothRun and may try that but I am not sure I like the coaching within that app.
Why can't all the apps be the same and excel at everything rather than one feature over another? If only I could build my perfect running app…
Tonight was possibly the warmest run I have completed in the UK this year and although windy I enjoyed pounding the streets and leaving the worries of work behind me.
I did sweat more than normal, probably due to the speed work. I had to remove my sunglasses mid run as the sweat on my lenses meant I could not see where I was going. Rubbing my eyes just put sweat in them which made them sting and again impaired my vision. Next time I'll take the baseball cap I bought in Spain!
Fastest track tonight was Axis by Pet Shop Boys which conveniently kicked in at the start of my first fast session.
I captured this short Vine video of tonight's run. Seems fitting to share it on my running anniversary! Why not take a look and join me on my run?
Be warned, it's not a pretty sight!
I'd like to say special thanks to Richard, Paul, Enda, Janice, Em, Sean, Dave, Ivan, Milly and countless others who have helped and supported me on this new adventure.
Long may the running continue and here's to the next challenge
And so another week in the sun draws to a close but it’s safe to say that Richard and I had a thoroughly relaxing week away.
Of course we have all the photos we captured to remind us of fun week in the sun, I have my sunburnt shoulders and we also have this compilation of short Vine videos which I shot whilst away.
I am feeling remarkably well considering all the running etc I have completed whilst away. Ironically Paul (see below) has been on some major runs in Colchester and has found some routes and venues I was not aware of. I will be sure to get his map details so that I can check out his recommendations (although to be fair he is a lot fitter than me so I won’t be running all of his distances just yet!)We arrived back home at 2am and are a bit tired as it was a long day of travelling. Our friend Paul house/Brandy sat for us and it seems like he has had a mini holiday in Colchester It also looks like Brandy has had lots of fuss and company whilst we have been away.
Until the next time Torrox…
Besos de la playa!
Another run in the sun and a great feeling this morning.
Little wind, cooler temperature but clear and sunny.
The locals I have been passing this week have gotten used to the skinny idiot running down the beach front and have started to wave and smile as I pass.
I purchased a baseball cap yesterday to try and stop the sweat getting in my eyes. It worked for the most part but my glasses still got wet due to the sweat coming off my grandads eyebrows (I didn’t steal them I inherited them).
I cannot convey just how much I enjoyed the morning. In fact when Empire of the Suns Alive (hence the title of this post), came on I wanted to sing the chorus at the top of my lungs. I was happy. Running well. Enjoying the sun and smiling as I went.
I am also really pleased I’ve managed 3 5ks 3 days in a row. This is a first for me and I feel great. I’ll probably do the same tomorrow and that will be it for this week.
Fastest track today was a classic, Powerstripe by Tigercity.
Yesterday was really relaxed and chilled. We both had a lovely relaxing day and a lovely meal out last night.
I was sat watching the locals running along the prom and used to ogle the fit young Spanish men. Of course I am still doing this (we both do), but now I check their running form too. I find myself checking how they run, land, lean and breath.
Probably helps that I reread The art of Chi-Running yesterday and tried to practice some of this again today.
We got up to 23 degrees yesterday and I caught some sun when I feel asleep on the balcony.
Today promises much of the same
Did I mention I nearly left the apartment without my trainers on!!! Not sure I am awake enough for morning runs – or maybe I am really relaxed!
I followed a similar route and a similar routine to yesterday. The difference today was that it was much warmer and the wind had dropped.
I felt fine on the run but stopped to take on water near the lighthouse and that’s when the sweat started to poor and I couldn’t see due to it running in my eyes.
I ran all the way back and was determined to get another 5k under my belt but today I ran out of promenade. I ran on across the dunes until I hit my target. It’s certainly different running on sand.
I was a hot sweaty mess on my return and I had to jump straight in the shower as the field full of garlic which was in lasts nights starter was oozing from every pour. I am now shower fresh and ready to enjoy this lovely day in the sun.
Fastest track today was Doesn’t really matter by Janet Jackson.
Gipis did a good job of keeping me on track again but I selected a workout shorter than I run so it stopped mid way. I must try and figure it out.
I’m planning 5k again tomorrow and that’ll be me for the week
I was checking out my running record yesterday as I was curious as to when I started running (it’s nearly a year). I noticed I haven’t got my quicker.
I consulted my running buddy and good friend about this and he reminded me that I can run longer and have lost weight and am much fitter as a result of my running. This is key to remember as I simply started running to get fit and not win races. It’s good to have my sensei around to guide me (you know who you are – thank you).
Yesterday was very relaxing, we walked to the lighthouse and back, did a bit of shopping, had some lunch, a siesta and out for dinner in our favourite restaurant in Nerja before checking out el gatos on Balćon de Europa.
I would never have imagined running here whilst out at the apartment in 2013 but here I am, day two, up early (ish) and pounding the pavement of the beach front.
I had a minor false start as I was about to finish my warm up walk when I realised I didn’t have my water bottle. I headed back and also put a compression top under my tee shirt as the wind was biting.
The promenade is approximately 2.5k end to end and dead straight with a minor incline.
Running into the headwind up the prom was a big challenge but I got on with it.
I reward myself with a drink break at the head of the promenade by the light house and used that as an opportunity to capture the photo above and a video on Vine.
It may not be obvious but the point in the left of the photo along the coast where the buildings stop is where the apartment is and where I started my run.
Running back seemed much easier as the wind was behind me and I knew I could complete 5k simply by heading back to the apartment.
There was plenty of old timers out walking, people walking their dogs, bar staff and beach workers setting up for the day. The odd passer by would say hello. I chose to smile and wave after a couple as I wasn’t sure whether to respond in Spanish, German or English!
Fastest track was Alive by Empire of the Sun but once again Gipis did a good job of keeping me on track. I found the instructions a little hard to follow running against the wind but I kept up with it. I didn’t run its forecast 7k but hey, in on my holidays!
I wasn’t going to run with music but decided it would help motivate me and cut out the whirl of the wind!
After stretching on the beach I stopped by the local panaderìa for some nibbles before joining my baby back at the apartment, on the balcony for breakfast.
I type as the sun gets warmer, the clouds are pushed away from us to reveal what looks like a lovely day.
I am sure we are both going to enjoy this holiday (we already had a lovely day chilling out yesterday).
I could not have planned this if I tried! Unknown to me I ran today’s run on the 13th (Jan), 2013 at 13:13. Until two minutes ago I didn’t even realise today was the 13th!
Anyway I got out there and ran the longest run so far this year.
As you can see my pace is increasing (as is my cadence) and although it looks slow on this chart (this includes the warm up and cool down), I did break 5 minutes today and ran at 4:58.
I covered 5.4k today which also makes me feel really happy as I want to get out for longer and run further.
Only problem is the weather… it was bitter out today. I wore running tights, compression top, half zip top, running socks, hat, gloves and shorts and yet the wind still cut through them all. It was 3 degrees out but felt like it was much much colder. My weather app states it feels like -2 out.
Not to worry though, I started to really find my stride again and enjoyed my running. I found myself smiling as I got two thirds of the way around, enjoying the running, happy I was breaking through the pain and pleased that I found myself back out on the road enjoying myself
Fastest track of this run was Silver Moon by Donkeyboy. I know, another Donkeyboy track but that is because I have swapped my running list to the Donkeyboy album at present. I have updated my running playlist on Spotify, pop by and have a listen!
Again there were a few people out running, or speed walking in some cases, which is encouraging to see. At least the weather isn’t putting them off either.
I listened to my body today and although I planned to run a solid 30 minutes, the combination of cold air and wind meant I had to stop to catch my breath a couple of times. Still I am very happy with todays run and I managed to beat the weather. The snow is forecast to come across the UK tonight so at least I have managed to get a run in before everything freezes over!
Post run sustenance is festive as we have Christmas goodies to finish off so I have refuelled with my mums home-made fruitcake with marzipan and chocolate coating Yummy!
First run out following returning to work and I needed it tonight as I have been quite tired since going back. My body clock is shot and my stomach demands food at random times. I've been good though and topped up with plenty of fruit.
This wasn't an issue so much today as I ate my lunch early as my stomach was growling and then was asked to attend an agency meeting with lunch. This was a 5 hour meeting so I had a second meal but was sat on my ass for the duration. I tried to be healthy but opting for Butternut Squash Risotto but it just made me feel quite bloated.
I took my water bottle to work and unknown to me the condensation on the bottle had part dissolved an Extra Strong Mint onto itself.
I filled the bottle up, got dressed and as I started my run realised I couldn't release my hand from the bottle. The combination of mint and water had acted like glue. It was very very sticky and very very sweet but thankfully I got most of it off in the warm up. Anyone passing by must had thought I was a bit mental as I was walking in my running gear licking my hands and my bottle.
I ran 25 minutes solid today and cleared 5k which I am more than happy with considering the extra exercise etc I am getting now I am commuting again.
My fastest song of this run was Love Sign by Prince.
I'm going to start adding more and more minutes to the run now as I know 5k is the norm for me. I want to get back to running further distances and not being inhibited by the time I have available to run or the activities of the day.
This run proved again how running helps me switch off and I was glad I got out there tonight.
There seems to be a lot more runners out at present which is surprising as it is the dead of winter (although much milder than normal). I guess this means people are fulfilling their New Years resolutions. I wonder how many will still be running in a couple of weeks?