Thursday, 13 August 2009

Thursday Tempo

I had been thinking about doing intervals today. However, Chris was keen on a tempo and I was happy to tag-along. Convinced I'd get dropped I argued for Thames over Wapping as I'd feel more motivated to keep going if there were interesting things to look at! Bit of a feeble argument I know, but it worked.

So Chris, Jozef and I headed over to the south side of the Wobbly for a 4-mile dash down to MI5 (shh top secret) and back. Chris led the way through the throng of tourists while I followed close behind. Pace wasn't too blistering - probably because Chris's super strength was being drained by the effort of navigating a stop-start, left-right safe passage through the mass of 'London in a day' tourists. The stretch between Westminster Bridge and MI5 was reasonably clear and I expected Chris to accelerate away. However, he kept the pace at around 6:55 so I had no problem keeping up.

On the return leg we decided to avoid the worst of the Aquarium/London Eye crowds by going round the back of Country Hall. A bit of luck on my part crossing the road gave me a few metres lead on Chris for the first time on the run. Chris caught me after a few minutes rather than the usual few seconds. I'd already figured he wasn't on top form and feeling OK I pressed on hard for the finish. Chris was toast as was Jozef. An easy and unexpected victory in the end. And all because I was less slow than the others!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Easy Tuesday

My body was crying out NO!. But it was a warm sunny day and with Wednesday looking to be off-limits thanks to a lunchtime meeting I decided to go out for a run anyway.

Rockets would be unthinkable in my current state so I opted for a gentle run down to Westminster Bridge and back via the Southbank. Not being in any great rush the hordes of aimlessly wandering tourists didn't bother me too much and there were a few bonus clear stretches where I was able to speed up.

Five odd miles later I was back outside the gym sweating buckets - I guess given the recent weather my body has forgotten what it's like to run on a hot day.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Club Handicap

It was Niall's idea.

David was missing, assumed sick, so it was just Harpenden Running Fource Three for the inaugural club 5-mile handicap. Down the Lea Valley Walk (watch out for the fallen tree), over the hill to Weathampstead and back via the relatively flat Lower Luton Road.

Kenny was given a 1:50 start with Niall and me starting together. Now based on Kenny's VO2 Max he should really have started after me but we'll let that pass for the time being. Niall's combination of injury/holiday meant he dropped back after the afore mentioned felled tree leaving me to chase down "yellow" Kenny (note - the only one of us correctly attired in club running vest) on my own. I finally caught him on Waveney Road, about 250 metres from the finish. I was able to pass on the flat but the old boy wasn't happy and once on Cross Way kicked for the finish. I briefly responded but thought better of it and let the Running Fource hare take the first win. Niall rolled up some time later no doubt cheered in the knowledge that assuming he is fit for the next running of the handicap his start time will make him untouchable.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Early Morning Wheathampstead

Another early morning start but wasn't as quick getting out of the door as Wednesday so only had time for a five-ish mile run. Decide on a trip down to Wheathampstead taking the Lea Valley Walk/Lower Luton Road out then looping anti-clockwise over the fields back.

The wind wasn't as strong as I had anticipated so was slower out and quicker back. The ground under foot was very wet/muddy from our 40 days of rain and there were plenty of times when I was more focused on staying upright than running at pace.

As I was heading down into Batford decided the workout hadn't been hard enough so threw in a bonus trip over Milford Hill.

Made it home for 7:05 which meant I was cutting it even finer than Wednesday - but worth it for the extra smug value.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Early Morning East Hyde Hill

Felt completely drained yesterday so brought forward the planned rest day and ran today instead. Fine except I'm on a training course for three days so had to get the miles in first thing in the morning. And when I say first thing I mean hitting the tarmac at a time that makes Sunday's 7:15 start seem positively sloth-like. 6:10 and I'm out and running in surprisingly warm and muggy conditions. Ever conscious of time and the need to be back by 7:00 decided to go for what I guessed would be a six-ish mile loop taking in East Hyde's big hill. Legs felt OK so was able to push on at a reasonable pace. And lucky I did as just made it back bang on time having covered what tuned out to be 6.6 miles in 49 minutes. Cutting it a bit to fine for my liking but at least it meant I could feel smug for the rest of the day.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Batch Wood & Heartwood Forest

For this week's Sunday long I decide to revisit Heartwood Forest. And while one day it may well indeed grow into a mighty forest, today it comprises but three small woods.

In order to keep the tree count high and to avoid short changing myself with an under-mileage run I added a loop through Childwickbury and Batch Wood before crossing the A1081 and heading for the afore mentioned 'forest'.

First on the menu was Langley Wood: the one with well-defined paths and so easiest on the feet. Next it was Pudler's Wood, which has a single path running through and plenty of nettles. Finally there was Well Wood, which is an overgrown no-go zone. However, thanks to the new gates I was at least able to get my feet wet running on the grass around the perimeter.

At 11.5 miles this was one of my longer runs of our so-called summer. Given all the extra cycling of late it was pleasing to see I can still bash out a respectable mileage when the fancy takes.