This week’s running – 13th to 19th of October 2014

Great Birmingham Run

It was that time of year again for Birmingham to get running

This week was all about getting ready for a different kind of race experience. Oh and apologies for the late entry – life got in the way!

Tuesday two

After a thoroughly good summer of training outdoors, I wasn’t ready to head back indoors again for treadmill training. I didn’t want a full-on run, so I opted for a simple two mile effort at my recent half marathon pace at Edgbaston Reservoir.

It was incredible how much less light there was compared to even just two weeks ago. Most of the two miles were ran in near-darkness (and I was foolishly wearing all black); there were a few hairy moments when I had to second-guess where the holes and dips in the ground were to avoid turning my ankles in ahead of Sunday’s Great Birmingham Run. Thankfully, I finished unscathed and lived to tell the tale.

I think I’m going to seriously look at head torch options out there – anyone got any recommendations?

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

5k from work

As per usual, I had the run-commute bag ready for my weekly 5k from work. We’d just had the mother of all down-pours and expectedly, I received a few strange stares from colleagues as I was about to head out on to the canal for home.

Somebody up above must like me, because the rain miraculously stopped during the walk from my office to the front of the building!

Out on the canal, it was good to see a few other hardy souls out, wringing the last few ounces of training from their bodies ahead of Sunday’s race.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

6 miles along Hagley Road

I’d not completed this route for a few weeks and almost grew nostalgic about it… Until I started to hit every single traffic light. I hate being interrupted during a run and recall one time years ago in Cannon Hill Park when a random park-goer next to the MAC stopped me to ask for the time. It was during the height of summer and there were dozens of people around, but he stopped me as if there was some pressing urgency, only to ask for the sodding time! Another occasion whilst I was at Fox Hollies track, some lads had kicked their ball out of the AstroTurf cage and asked me to go retrieve it for them whilst I was completing 800m reps…

Anywho, the run wasn’t bad and I started paying attention to what other runners were wearing. Some, like me, were wearing t-shirt and shorts. Others were dressed like they were on an arctic expedition and had hats, gloves, tights and jackets on-board.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Great Birmingham Run 2014 review

For the full lowdown, please click here to read my Great Birmingham Run 2014 review.

And as ever, here’s this week’s entry from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:

Never underestimate the value of a trite slogan

Don’t ask me why, but the sappiest, most maudlin dime-store platitude – when used in the context of running – can be genuinely inspirational. It’s a kind of alchemy.

I’m talking here about such phrases as, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.” Or “Adverisity causes some men to break, and others to break records.” Heard anywhere else, such corny aphorisms might inspire eye rolling. But, for whatever reason, seen or heard in or around a race, they work.

I distinctly recall running a half-marathon near my home in eastern Pennsylvania. It was somewhere between miles 10 and 11, and I was starting to hurt, running nearly alone at that point and fighting the urge to ease up and just coast to the finish. Who would know? And what difference would it make?

That’s when I looked up and noticed the back of another runner’s shirt. On it was a quote from Steve Prefontaine: “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”

I nearly cried. Seriously.

Oh, and if you want a slogan that’s not trite, try this one, attributed to Benjamin Franklin:

“Things that hurt, instruct.”

I’m pretty sure Ben wasn’t a runner. But that quote makes you wonder.


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