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100 Runs

My run today was my 100 th run of 2021. It brought my total distance for the year to date to 1,192.9km (741.25 miles), making my average running distance this year 11.9km (7.4 miles).  My pace today was nothing especially noteworthy at 6:46/km, but that is pretty standard for my long, easy paced runs. The point for me being that, as a rule, I don't pay any attention to my pace until after I'm finished. Unless I'm taking part in an event or actually pushing myself for a PB, mostly I'm running on the basis of what just "feels right" In the current temperatures, the pace I set felt OK and allowed me to get a good distance in my legs. It is strange, in a way that, while I can (and sometimes do) run faster than I could this time last year, by and large, a lot of the time I'm actually running at around the same pace. The difference is that it running at that pace means I'm left with much more in the tank at the end of a run and I am averaging 2.5 - 3km/run
Recent posts

Miles For Mind - 200km

  Yesterday, I completed my third "Miles For Mind" challenge. My first, in 2019, was the month that I completed Couch to 5K and my total of 66.75 km/41.5 miles, while modest by the distances I cover today was, not surprisingly, the most I had ever run cumulatively in a single month at that point. It was a month that, not only did I graduate the C25K programme, I also ran my first 5k and my first Parkrun. Skip forward to 2020. Lockdown was upon us and the distances I was covering during my 3/4 weekly runs was increasing. My target was an achievable 50 miles for the month. I started strongly, bringing my half-marathon time under 2 hours 15 and, over the course of the month, I totaled 122.75 km/76.25 miles. In October, runr also set the "Leave Nothing But Footprints" challenge. That month was also the month that I turned 50, so I had a fairly obvious target to aim at. Another half-marathon brought my time below 2 hours 10. A 10 mile run later in the month took my time

Getting (too) close to nature

  Or, possibly more accurately, nature getting too close to me...  As runners, we're used to picking up minor injuries: strains, pulls, twists, scratches and stings; they are pretty much an occupational hazard. Getting strafed by an pissed off buzzard, and being left with a light talon scratch on your scalp is, however, possibly one of the more exotic and "you really had to be there" injuries that can befall us.  The buzzard in question is rather specacular and has a reputation for providing close encounters with unwary ramblers and runners in the vicinity. There are quite a few buzzards around where I live and I often encounter them flying quite low through the woods when I'm out on the paths around Pencaitland and the surrounding area. I can't deny, having one fly at eye-level just a few feet in front of you is an amazing experience. I could, however, have done without the insight into how its prey must feel when it's hunting.  

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...

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