This week’s running – 4th to 10th of April 2016


Finally ran up this mofo…

Another light week of running, I’m afraid…

9 miles from work

Due to the continued disruption from building furniture and impromptu meetings at work, Thursday was the first genuine opportunity I had to run. I decided to trial a medium-long run-commute from the office to home, trying to kill two birds with one stone.

The route was almost entirely along canal towpaths apart from the first 800m and the remaining mile or so. Up to that point, I’d never run with my commuter backpack for more than 4 miles, and that was only ever at recovery pace; here, I was asking myself to cover 9 miles with the backpack at around 8 minute mile pace to replicate my traditional Thursday 10 milers…

Almost from the get-go, I was running into a headwind and continued to face it for much of the route. Repaving work began along the stretch closest to the office, so it shouldn’t be long before I’ll be able to run entirely on paved towpaths whilst being hissed at by geese.

I was dog tired. All the hullaballoo with moving house and the trials and tribulations of planning an exhibition for work had taken its toll on me; if I were any less stubborn, I’d have simply put running on pause instead of trying to maintain some baseline mileage. Much like last week at Cannon Hill Parkrun, my legs felt incredibly fresh and elastic, but my cardiovascular system struggled; the effort to maintain 8 minute mile pace, whilst not through the roof, was noticeably harder than it should have been.

Exiting the canal at Bournville train station, I grew nervous of the looming 1km long climb on Cartland Road. I kept my line of sight low and fixated on a cyclist that was further ahead to try and close in on him. He eventually disappeared over the bridge to leave me to climb Cartland Road on my own. But I wasn’t alone; only moments later, I heard somebody behind me shout, “Race you up the hill, Andy!” It turned out to be Huw Jones from BRAT and Cannon Hill Parkrun, cycling alongside me before smiling and then pulling away. I was shagged by then and were Huw to be riding a tandem bike, I’d have gladly hopped on for a lift!

Reaching the end of Cartland Road, I knew it was just a little over a flat km until I reached home. I was a mess as I stepped through the front door. I immediately knew I had to somehow further lighten the load I carried in the backpack; the only thing left to strip down is my wallet, perhaps only taking a single debit card with me to work the next time I attempt this run again.

Remarkably, the distance forecasted by was 9.22 miles, whereas I actually ran 9.24 miles according to my Garmin.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Cannon Hill Parkrun

Whilst getting ready for Parkrun, it became painfully obvious that Lis and I had to begin putting things away from the house move; I was fed up of living from random boxes and suitcases where wanting to get dressed for a simple run required more effort than the actual running itself!

I completed my two lap warm-up with Paul Shackleton, who put me at ease about not feeling guilty for taking time away from running, especially as I have no immediate race goals. Paul’s one of the more experienced runners I’ve recently come into contact with via Parkrun – always be learning!

With very little training under my belt for several weeks, I opted to simply take things easy again. Once more, I found myself and the young’un from Sparkhill Harriers drifting together, and had a crack at dragging him closer to another PB performance. Sadly, things fell apart between the middle and final mile where he gradually faded; even my conscious slow-down to allow him to latch on wasn’t enough to reduce the pace rot for a 19:28 finish from him.

Here’s the Strava data for this run.

Sunday = no run day

Yep. With a house full of stuff and no idea where it all belonged, I decided to sack off my long run to focus on getting things into order. One constructed wardrobe later and several boxes and suitcases emptied, I now at least know where all of my running gear is!

The back of fag packet plan right now is to ease myself back into regular training this week, with a view to returning to normality next week.


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