This week’s running – 22nd of February to 1st of March 2015

Nicht running in Germany

A distinct lack of running in Germany

Another week of less than stellar running… Another shorter than usual entry from me…

Habe ich in Deutschland laufen? Nein!

Or for you non-German speakers, no I didn’t run whilst in Germany. Sunday through Wednesday, there simply weren’t any opportunities to lace up and get out there.

I did however sample copious amounts of the local tipple, which had the unfortunate side effect of 2lb weight gain…

10k fartlek

I had a feeling this session would sting like a mofo and boy did it deliver! I hadn’t completed any fast runs for over two weeks and easing myself in proved to be a real struggle, especially with the onslaught of fast stretches into an oncoming head wind.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

Andy Yu at Cannon Hill Parkrun

A lack of speed work revealed – photo by Geoff Hughes

Much like Thursday’s fartlek run, I knew I had lost some sharpness whilst on my way to Cannon Hill Parkrun. Like most, it takes much longer for me to lose endurance but sharpness comes and goes very quickly.

Like the last few weeks, I decided to set off with Gareth and see where fate would have taken us. We both wanted to get as close to the hallowed 19:00 finish as possible and we attacked the course as such with a target pace of 3:48 per km.

Things started to unravel for me after the opening split and I found myself running on my lonesome, as is so often at Cannon Hill. Whilst I faded, Gareth crept away and created a gap of nearly 200m that persisted until the very end for a well-deserved PB of 18:58. Me? I struggled through for 19:21, which in the grand scheme of things is not too bad considering the week leading up to Saturday morning’s exertions.

Speaking to Gareth after his colossal run, Nigel and I were shocked to learn that he smoked and his longest run of the week was Parkrun! A naturally talented runner stood before both of us, and he had no idea of how exciting his own potential was!

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

I’m planning a hard assault at next week’s run, ahead of the Silverstone Half, which leads us nicely on to…

Silverstone Half Marathon

Silverstone Half Marathon 2015 bib

Fourth appearance at the Silverstone Half Marathon

My race pack arrived for what will be my fourth appearance at the race over the years. I would like to be one minute up on my 87:27 finish from the Brass Monkey Half in January; hopefully there will be no ice to scupper my plans, however high winds often pose a problem on the extremely exposed course.

Expect the usual race report to follow at some point on the 15th of March.

14 miles of south Birmingham

Conscious of the 2lb souvenir that had returned with me from Germany, I had my sights firmly set on a fasted 14 mile long run on Sunday.

This would have been all well and good, except I was somewhat less nourished than usual from the previous day and strong head winds followed me almost the entire way around the course. Either in isolation and I could have soldiered through without much issue, but both in attendance and I found myself knocking on The Wall’s door.

The effects of lethargy hit me at around mile 10 and every subsequent mile became a run of attrition, slowly chipping away at the distance that remained. I wanted to jack the long run in a few times, but caught short without any money or my travel pass meant the fastest way to get back home was to continue putting one foot in front of the other. It also didn’t help that I had to be somewhere at 12:30pm and walking was not an option!

I was destroyed when I stepped through my front door, and rather disgustingly started scoffing cake and biscuits for some much needed sustenance. I can’t remember the last time I had a long run kick my arse so badly. The result was completely preventable and I really should have listened to that voice inside my head that begged me to at least take an energy gel with me.

Here’s the Garmin data for this run.

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

Line up where you belong

Want to witness a fascinating sociological experiment? Head for the starting line of any race large enough to have signs indicating “pace per mile.” Notice the large signs reading “5:00” (meaning 5 minutes per mile), “6:00” (6 minutes per mile), “7:00,” and so on.

Then have a look at the folks clustering around these signs. You never knew there were so many fast runners, did you?

Well, here’s a little secret: There aren’t.

Many of the runners lined up at such signs really are that fast and really do expect to run at or around that pace during the race. The rest are either delusional or just plain rude.

You know how fast you can expect to run on any given day, give or take. Be honest with yourself, and fair to your fellow runners. Line up where you belong.

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