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Can't complain...

So, first evening run after the clocks going forward, so I set off secure in the knowledge that I had plenty of time to do my run and not have to worry about losing daylight. Actually, in all honesty, that's been true the last couple of weeks, but the clock change gave me an extra hour of buffer.  So, with that in mind, did I go for a long, leisurely plod (which is kind of what I had in mind when I left the house)?  No, for some reason my legs had other ideas. Long story short, a new 10k of 56:04, knocking 2:15 off my previous time. I've been averaging around 6:15-6:30/km recently, so no idea where this burst of pace suddenly came from, but it would definitely be churlish of me to complain about it.  Anyway, hope you are all staying safe. Happy running...
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Kilomathon of sorts

Last year's Edinburgh Kilomathon (13.1km run) was cancelled, strangely enough, and this year's one is due to be a virtual one on 11 April, which I was scheduled to take part in. Today my big blue envelope dropped through the letterbox telling me that I get my first dose of the Covid vaccine on 9 April. Great news on the vax front, on the run side of things, possibly not so much. Granted, I can actually do it any time in the next 12 months if necessary but I decided that I would get a "contingency one" under my belt today, just so I have it to fall back on if necessary. Hopefully, by the time next year's one rolls around, we'll be able to do more than just virtual events.   
Two years ago, having finally shaken of the tendonitis that had put paid to my first attempt at the Couch to 5k plan, I finally put all the excuses behind me, laced up my shoes that had been gathering dust since I unboxed them at Christmas, and started my running journey in earnest. There were a couple of "training runs" along the way, but I completed the programme in May 2019 and quickly moved on to JuJu's 10k plan which got me to 10k on 1 July that year. Before 2019 was finished, I'd get to 10 miles in October and my first HM in November and, by the time the bells rang in 2020, I'd clocked up over 500 miles. Then, 2020... Well, actually, from a running perspective, it turned out better than anticipated. Yes, OK, so the final parkrun was a year ago this weekend just past, and all the organised events I'd entered were cancelled or postponed until some indeterminate point in the future, but running, it seemed, was an escape and helped my cope with the whole

1 Year, 1,001 Miles

I realise that there are still a few days left, and I need to squeeze in a 30 minute challenge run before the year is out, so my total will probably edge up a little further, but yesterday I hit the 1,000 mile mark for running in 2020. It has, for all of us, been a very different year from the one we were probably looking forward to at this point last year. For me, I suspect running is one of the things that has helped most in getting me through it. Back at the start of 2020, I set myself some goals: See how much lower I could take my 5k PB below 28:38 Get my 10k PB below one hour from 1:03:49 Get my 10 mile PB below 1:45:00 from 1:49:29 Get my Half Marathon PB below 2:30:00 from 2:30:23 Complete the equivalent of John o' Groats to Land's End (874 miles) by the end of the year. As the year passed, my runs increased in length and duration, and I ticked the goals off one by one so that they now stand at: 5k - 26:36 10k - 58:19 10 miles - 1:34:29 HM - 2:05:46 John o' Groats -

The Boxing Day burn off

Was I feeling in the mood to head out today? No. Did I head out and run anyway? Yes. Safe to say, was feeling a little flat and could have safely stayed on the sofa watching Boxing Day films all day, but that would almost certainly have added to the flatness of my mood. So, instead, I got myself up, changed and headed out with no expectations other than the knowledge that anything was better than nothing. 67 minutes (so pretty average time) and 10k later and I'm definitely feeling better for it and it made a nice change to be running in daylight again for once. Anyway, to anyone reading this, I hope you had a good Christmas. Still time to get a couple of runs in before 2019 becomes history...

End To End

I opened my 2020 running account on 2 January with a fairly leisurely 10k. It was only 10 months after I'd started my Couch to 5k Journey but, having already completed my first Half Marathon distance  and getting my 5k PB below 30 minutes in November, I was pretty chuffed with the progress I'd made so far. My plans for 2020 didn't really come to much at that point. This was before many of us would discover just how important running would become over the course of the year, but I had some vague goals; keep chipping away at my 5k time, get my 10k under an hour, bring my Half Marathon time under 2 hours 15 and, in addition to Parkrun, take part in a number of the organised events locally. The  distance/time goals would be achieved, but sadly every event (including Parkrun) would be cancelled. The one thing that was becoming obvious was that both my pace and stamina were definitely increasing. I had set a very vague goal of averaging around 100k per month, but I was exceeding

The 100 mile month #LeaveNothingButFootprints

Like a lot of people, back in May, I signed up for Miles For Mind , organised by runr , and managed to push myself to 75 miles for the month. I had actually run slightly further than that in both March and April this year, but this was the first time I had set a target for the month that I was essentially accountable to anyone other than myself for achieving and I did it with a little over a mile and a quarter to spare. The team at runr  decided that this year they would organise their first autumn challenge, #LeaveNothingButFootprints . Yet again, this would be in aid of the charity, Mind UK . Now, while Mind  are a fantastic charity, they don't currently operate in Scotland but, because mental health is a cause that's important to me, I wanted to get behind this so, instead, I dedicated my fundraising efforts on behalf of the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) . October 10th was World Mental Health Day and, by a spooky coincidence, October was the month where I clo

Journey's end...

They've been through a lot. Since I first laced them up on 11 March 2019 and set out on my Couch to 5k adventure, to their final 10k tonight; covering every distance from that first one minute "jog" all the way through to a half-marathon. In total we've shared a shade over 500 miles/800km together, but now their race is run. We've had a lot of good times up to this point, and a few not so good ones, but they've always got me safely to the end of whatever run I've been on with them. The cushioning may be a distant memory and my big toe has rather assertively made its presence known through the top of the tight toe-box but I think it's fair to say that they owe me absolutely nothing and can now enjoy what time they have left as those trainers I use for pottering around in the garden. Enjoy your retirement...

Ticking along...

Tonight's run was one of those unremarkable in every way runs. It wasn't especially fast, or slow, the weather wasn't in any way notable, good or bad; everything about it screamed average in every way (obviously it didn't actually scream as that would have been notable, it was more of polite volume, but you get my drift). Runs like this are sort of bread and butter. Not every run needs to be, or even can be a personal best; the majority of runs are just about getting out there and enjoying (if that's the right word) the feeling of just getting out there and putting some time and distance into the legs. Trouble is, I am a bit of a stat fiend. So when I logged tonight's effort I couldn't help notice that this otherwise unremarkable run was the run that took my 2020 distance to date over 1,000km. Given my average monthly distance, I knew I was likely to get there at some point, but I was pleasantly surprised that I did it tonight. So, it turns out that tonight&

Negative splits

Sometimes this running thing throws up occasional pleasant surprises; the unexpected additional distance or the unintended PB. Today's surprise was discovering that I'd managed the "holy grail" of negative splits. I wasn't aiming for a fast time; I'd already done a 7k+ session with my Sunday morning running group and this was simply a solo after-group session that has become my traditional "scenic route" home from the park where the sessions are held. The route is one that I have run many times (although usually in the other direction); a mixture of roughish forest path and hard packed dirt former railway foot/cycle/bridle path. I wasn't putting any real effort into it; just simply zoning out, plodding along enjoying my surroundings. I wasn't paying any attention to the timings when each kilometre split buzzed on my wrist. The was no "pressure" on me to achieve a particular time, pace or distance. The thing with doing a route that i