Monday, 2 April 2012

Update - 02/04/12

Again, it's been a few months since my last post. What news? Well, I decided to enter the Fling. It's insane when I think about after last years race...driving back home in the car saying that I would not do it again...then a few months ago suddenly thinking "I really, really want to do this". Is that an addiction?? Whatever it is, it got me sending off my application form. My friend who I ran with last year is planning on doing it again too which is fantastic, as I don't think I could have gotten through it last year without him.

So in my training for the Fling I have done a few long runs where and when I can. I have found some long distance paths south of Cambridge - the Harcamlow Way and the Icknield way. These are drivable and are quite undulating, which is good. Plus they have some really nice scenery. This is the Icknield Way:

This website gives a nice review of parts of the Harcamlow Way, the areas where I run being from photos 1-18. The mounds are very interesting!
Harcamlow Way
The added advantage is that this route goes past Wimpole hall, which is a lovely place with cafes and shops:

My long runs then have been:
11/2/12: 15 miles, 2h10mins
20/2/12: 7.9miles, 55mins - easy but fast, just to get a run in.
25/2/12: 20miles, 3h20mins (in the snow so very tough!)
1/3/12: 8.1miles, ~1h (trying to do a fast 10miler but path wasn't long enough!)
6/3/12: 8.2miles, 1h 5mins - fast, hilly run.
10/3/12: 27.1miles, 4h 50mins - really hurt my shin half way through this, so finished strong but was terrified it was shin splints. Cleared up within a week though doing no running, was soooooo pleased!
24/3/12: 11.5miles, 1h35mins - lovely run in the sunshine.
1/4/12: ~32miles, ~6hours (incl. breaks) - run home to Balmaha and back to Beech Tree.

In between these runs I've been doing lots of spin and a few cycles. The spin classes last 1 hour and are soo hard. I do them once, sometimes twice a week and I hurt after the first few. I think I've got better as time has gone on though. It's tricky as there is a technique involved...keeping your upper body still whilst in 3 positions - sitting, "hovering" and standing is harder than you might think!! It's also a nice break from the impact of running. The wee scare with the shin made me terrified. I've done the anatomy of the whole body and it's crazy how fragile we actually are. I want to keep running for as long as I can, and I think at this stage I will be building my muscles well, which works in my favour...but I will also be doing my joints in. So taking a day or two a week doing low impact work is a nice peace of mind.

I also have a regular 6.75mile run which, though completely flat, is a really good test of how I'm feeling. On my "slow" days I do it in about 1hour. On my faster days I do it in 50 or so mins. It's a nice challenge as I don't really do 10k runs or anything.

Coming back to Scotland has been great too, as I've been getting used to the hills again. Even if I do do hilly routes down there, they just aren't the same as what it's like running here. My run on Sunday on Conic Hill was really great. Despite feeling a bit rubbish at the start, I kept well fuelled (egg sarnies and flapjacks!) and I actually felt a lot better towards the end. I had meant to go a bit farther but had arranged to be picked up from the Beech Tree and didn't want to keep anyone waiting for me. So I actually finished this run in about 6 hours which I thought was a good time considering I went up and down Conic Hill twice (although technically not the whole way into Balmaha)...the profile looked a bit like this:

I also met Silke on the route as I was running past Drymen, she was on her way back. I have never met her before, only spoken to her on the blog a few times so that was lovely. I was running part of the route with Derek and Alistair cycling. It's funny the number of comments we get from passers by...along the lines of "you chose the hard way!" with reference to me running.

I also meant to say about the run/cycle we all did at New Year. We ran across Rannoch Moor which was just fantastic. At one point a wee Robin came onto my hand to eat some seeds! And then on the way back at Inveroran there were so many deer...just at twilight they all came out and were trying to eat from our hands! It was amazing. I have photos but haven't been able to get them off my phone yet but will try and do so soon.

Anyway I have been typing this post for about 3 hours intermittently whilst watching a it probably makes no sense. I am trying to construct a spreadsheet of my runs as it's a lot easier to update (and keep safe!) than my written diary....

As usual, watch this space!


Silke said...

Hello Xtine,
it was great to finally meet you in person! And 32M in 6hrs that is fast! I took 6hrs on Sunday but that was for 27M! So see you at the Fling. Hope your training goes well with no injury scares.

John Kynaston said...

Great to see you've entered the Fling again!

We'll see you there. I'm running with Katrina.