Blog Great Eastern Run

It was a tad wet…..

Last Sunday, the wettest since records began*, saw the annual Great Eastern Run. A half-marathon set in the picturesque** surroundings of Peterborough city centre.

Now to say the morning was wet and windy would be an understatement: it was frickin' very wet and frickin' very windy***. I'm not a great fan of running in the rain, so my first thought when I drew back the curtains was: f###ing hell. In fact it was probably not even I thought, I may have actually said it out loud, and probably loud enough it wake up most of my neighbours.

But, having said all that, I'd put in quite a few miles in training for the sodding event so I gathered my stuff**** together and set off for the proxy place. Initially I was planning to post a new half-marathon PB, but after arriving at the start I quickly decided today was not a day for PBs….

This race has been a mainstay on my race calendar for the last five or six years, so I knew exactly what to expect. Although I didn't expect to have to clamber over a fence, which a marshall wasn't amazingly impressed with*****, just to get somewhere near the start. I must admit it seemed a particularly disorganised start, although the weather and everyone rushing to the start at the last minute probably didn't help.

Now plodding the streets of Peterborough on a wet and windy Sunday morning isn't everybody's cup of tea, although I did spot some slightly amusing happenings:

  • Before we had even crossed the start line a fella, too busy waving to friends in the crowd, ran through a MASSISVE puddle.
  • Overtook a particularly knackered looking Batfink, his sponge 'wings of steel' probably not helping, they seemed to have soaked up quite a bit of water.
  • I ran most of the way in the vincinity of a bloke called 'Simon'. Not entirely sure who he was, but he was getting a lot of support along the way from the crowds. He must have been some sort of local superstar. 13.1 miles is along way to run wondering if Peterborough has any famous Simons. One did come to mind, Simon Bamford, him of Hellraiser fame, although I quickly dismissed this possibility…have you seen Butterball******?
  • Darren Ferguson, Peterborough FC's manager started the event, it was quite amusing to see how many people were avoiding the high-five.

Well suffice to say, I completed the race in a time of 1.37, a minute or so off a PB, pretty pleased with that. My reward:

* this is a lie

** this is also a lie

*** this is another understatement

**** flippers, snorkel, etc.

***** sorry Marshall, needs must and all that

****** obscure film reference


Blog Great Eastern Run

Running and stuff….

Just an 8-miler this morning, according to my training plan it should have been 13! Doh!

Although I ran 13 miles last Sunday and 12 miles a couple of weeks before so I thought with just two weeks until the Peterborough Half I'd take it easy a bit. It was a lovely morning and didn't really want to spoil it by going hell for leather* chasing a particular pace. I'm confident of completing the race, just need to decide whether or not I'm going to try to beat my PB. I'm going to crack on with the training schedule, throw in a couple of fast 6-milers and see where we're at.

This morning's run did throw up some interesting observations:

  • The amazingly fast walking man – he was walking his dog and going at such a pace I had trouble overtaking him.
  • I nearly killed off an elderly couple – it would seem that didn't hear me approaching and my cheery 'morning' nearly brought on a heart attack.
  • Caused a bit of commotion at the ponds – some fishermen didn't appreciate the dog jumping in the pond and scaring off the fish.

In other news…..

Currently reading 'The Cry' by Helen Fitzgerald, great book about a baby that goes missing in Australia. A dark psychological thriller with a gripping moral dilemma at its heart. Well worth a read!

And finally….

Off to see the fantastic Frank Hamilton in Cambridge tonight….lovely jubbly….

* This is not a phrase I use very often and just wanted to point out that I do actually run in running shoes not some great pair of leather clad boots.


Great Eastern Run

I move slow and steady…

Four weeks ago I decided to enter the Peterborough Half Marathon and attempt to beat my PB, currently standing at….

Since then I have been following a training plan, tweaking it in places, running a few races in between, but pretty much sticking to exactly what I am supposed to be doing. It seems to be going ok, except that my target pace of 7.22 min/mile seems REALLY fast. Now I will say at this point that I knew this would be the case; I set my PB a few years ago when I was younger, running more and entering more races. I knew it would be difficult: it is a 'proper' challenge. But recently I'm beginning to think that it might be a bit of a struggle to actually beat the time.

Last weekend I ran the Grimsthorpe 10K, it was a warm morning, it's a tough course, multi terrain: concrete, grass, gravel, track, in fact at one stage, as we approached the lake, I was half expecting to have to run on water. I completed it in 46.12…

But the important stat is the average pace: 7.26 min/mile. Actually slower than the pace I need to run for the half-marathon, and this was only 6ish miles, and I was absolutely knackered at the finish. I have to run double that distance! Now, as I said earlier, it is a tough course, but all the same it's got me thinking. Is this challenge achievable?

So we eventaully get to the part why I called this post 'I move slow and steady'…..

It seems that whenever I go for a run I always seem to be chasing a target time or target pace. Club training sessions are really hard work, even 'steady' paced runs are done with the idea that I should be running pretty close to my target race pace. I haven't really had much chance to 'enjoy' the running. So you can imagine my delight when I looked at the training plan and had a couple of days running at an 'easy' pace. Now I'm not entirely sure what my 'easy' pace should be, I think I read somewhere that I can run them at a minute slower? So what I did was run them at a lovely 9 min/mile pace (probably far too slow) and really enjoyed them. It was great to just run. If I wanted to run fast downhill, I did! If I wanted to drop the pace for an uphill section, I did! If I wanted to jog slowly, I did! If I wanted to pick up the pace for a bit, I did! I just really enjoyed it. So from here on in I'll be running a few more 'easy' runs. I'm not giving up on achieving a PB in the half-marathon, just going to try to do it with a few more 'enjoyable' runs thrown in.


Blog Great Eastern Run

Running shoes….

I have been thinking about getting some new running shoes for a while. My last pair of running shoes, Adidas Litestrike EVA, have done me well. Bought them over a year ago and in that time they have covered a fair few miles. I'm not entirely sure how often you should replace your running shoes…300 miles….500 miles? Then I remembered seeing this in Runner's World magazine asking how long your trainers usually last….

So a couple of weeks ago I began checking out new trainers. I looked online, browsed sports shops and generally faffed about. I am very good at faffing. The problem is I don't particularly like to spend a lot of money on trainers. I know trainers are the only real expense when it comes to running, but even so, over £100 for a pair??

Another thing about hunting for new running shoes are the names. It is amazing what the manufacturers are calling their shoes, a quick browse through the first dozen pages of a running magazine: New Balance 880v3; Mizuno U4ic; Brooks Ghost 6; and Nike Lunareclipse+ 3. I'm not fussed what they are called, although I would be very happy with a pair of trainers called Lunareclipse+ 3! How cool would that be?

So what was I looking for?

  • Price – around £40-45
  • Colour – wasn't particularly bothered, apart from black, I think black trainers look ridiculous
  • Weight – well I'd like a pair of the really cool very light trainers that cost £100s – but I knew I'd probably settle for something reasonably light, yet supportive.

So when out shopping yesterday, in Ely of all places, I popped into Paul Day's Sports. It was only a small, independent shop so wasn't expecting too much. In fact, they only had half a dozen running shoes to choose from. I began the long process of looking, picking up, turning over, weighing up, trying on, etc. After a fruitless ten minutes, and as I was about to leave, I looked down on the bottom shelf. There in front of me was the most perfect looking pair of trainers: Nike Flex 2012 Run iD Men's Running Shoes in Red. I looked at the price: £40. I weighed them up: reasonably light. I tried them on: perfect.

I bought them!

This morning was an easy 4 mile run… issues with trainers….in fact I ran like the wind!



Great Eastern Run

A lovely bright morning welcomed all runners of the Great Eastern Run to Peterborough. The course has changed slightly to last year, it now starts on the Embankment rather than in the city centre, but more importantly, it is still 13.1 miles long.

The past three weeks training has been pretty non-existent due to various niggling injuries. Therefore today's plan was a nice steady pace. Got to halfway in 52 mins, and feeling pretty good, ran the second half in 50 mins. Finishing in a pretty respectable time of 1.42 which I was happy with considering the last month. You can probably tell that the race was pretty uneventful, Peterborough is not known for its fantastic scenery, although I did spot what I think was a tree at one point. But I was given a goody bag, medal and a ridiculously bright t-shirt for my efforts.

The real fun and games began at the finish….

Firstly, when I went to pick up bag from the storage point, they couldn't find it. I had to hang about watching some bloke desperately searching for it, at the annoyance to other runners. I had borrowed Amy's rucksack because mine had somehow disappeared. Therefore when asked what colour it was I said it was black, which I thought it was, it was in fact more of a grey. Doh!

Secondly, I had parked in the closest car park, not realising that the exit to the car park was actually on the race route. Therefore, it was not opened until most of the runners had finished. So in conclusion it took me an hour and forty minutes to run the race and the same amount of time to exit the car park!

And now for something completely different….

A crazy Austrian man jumped from 24 miles up in the air in an attempt to break the sound barrier….

And….he did it!

Blog unicycling

Failure. Blood. Running.

Failure. I hate to admit defeat, but for one reason or another I am officially announcing that September's challenge has been extended into October. I'm slightly disappointed that I've had to take such drastic action but with a two week half-term coming up, together with the fact that my body is finally starting to feel better, I feel it is the best option. The challenge of learning to ride a unicycle was always going to be difficult fully fit, but with various aches and pains appearing (none I think directly related to unicycling) completing the challenge in one month was near impossible.

Blood. It has been a busy week at school. Various assessments taking place and an ever increasing pile of marking that needs completing. Thursday saw the school's open evening, and the annual 'teach the parents' classes I put on. All was going well early on, I was doing the old descriptive writing session using sweets to encourage the use of senses in our writing. We had got through the sight, sound, touch, smell parts without any problems. At this stage I did the old comedy healthy and safety speech before tasting sweets, “please don't eat sweets if you are allergic to anything that could possibly be contained within the sweet”. I should also have mentioned loose teeth! Before I knew it I had a prospective student in front of me in tears, blood flowing down her chin and tissues being stuffed in her mouth by her mother. She was quickly whisked out of the room passed other prospective parents and students, leaving a trail of blood from the English classroom. Not the 'English is Fun' look I was going for. Needless to say that could be one less student joining us next September.

Running. Today I went for a run, the first for three weeks, and although my back was a tad sore it felt good to be finally running again. So I'll be partaking in the first Frostbite run tomorrow morning at St Neots. The Frostbite Races are a great little series of six races held throughout the winter (hence the name) for local club runners to enter. I'll use tomorrow's race as a nice training run and take it pretty steady. That should put me in good stead for next weekend's Great Eastern Run, a half-marathon run around the picturesque streets of Peterborough. Followed, of course, by the Zombie Run later in the month.



Unicycling on hold…

After what has been a disastrous monthly challenge so far, I felt a post was needed to explain to my fans followers exactly where we are.

It has been over ten days since I last sat on a unicycle, due to a touch of sciatica. I don't intend on boring you with the details, you only need to read Unicycle Day 15 to find out more. Needless to say the chances of successfully managing to learn to ride the unicycle has taken a battering. It may well be that September's Challenge moves into October *sharp intact of breath*.

I'm also very aware of the fact that the Zombie Evacuation run is getting closer. After bullying persuading various teachers to join me in running away from zombies whilst overcoming obstacles I need to ensure I'm fully fit. So I've done the sensible thing, stopped the unicycling and I haven't actually been running for the past 10 days. I have also penciled in running the Great Eastern Run in Peterborough next month, so depending on how the next fortnight goes will decide if I do that or not.

The drugs seemed to have worked, my leg is nowhere near as painful as it was last week, it feels more like a 'dead leg'. This weekend I have done next to nothing in an attempt to get back on track. Well actually to be more precise, I have done nothing interspersed with a whole lot of nothing.



Project365 #282 – Great Eastern Run

Today’s picture just had to be me (again), only this time I am proudly displaying medal AND t-shirt for completing the Perkins Great Eastern Run at Peterborough…

The Great Eastern Run also use Runpix which gives you a fantastic visualisation of your time/race, check out mine here.