Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2020

The running jump

Given that they don't come around very often (the next occurrence being until 2048), I suspect, like many people, I was quite glad that Jorge hadn't decided to turn up yet and gatecrash this very rare parkrunning event. Dunbar has a reputation for being the sunniest place in Scotland (and that's not really the low bar that many of you might think) but today it was overcast and grey and quite chilly. It was, however, dry with only the lightest of breezes. Conditions underfoot were decidedly muddy and slippery in places, so it was never going to be an especially fast run, but that didn't matter. Looking at the split times, it is almost possible to pick out the muddier stretches from those sections that were firmer. Today's time of 31:11 was my second best for the Lochend Wood's course , but for once I actually managed to get my pacing right and was able to get through the dreaded 3.5-4k stretch, where it frequently all goes wrong, without mishap. My cust

5k before nightfall

The evenings are definitely drawing out again... After Tuesday evening's effort where I did my best 10k of the year so far, and second best 10k ever, tonight I went out and did exactly the same thing for 5k. Completed in a time of 29:09, which is my first sub-30 minute 5k of 2020. Decided to redo the Week 1 podcast of Couch to 5k but with jog/sprint alternations instead of walk/jog; and jogging the five minute warm-up/cool-down sections after having done a warm-up and before doing an actual cool down. It sounds more complicated than it actually was and I may have been a little quicker if I hadn't stopped briefly to explain to one of my neighbours that I wasn't actually training for the London Marathon... Anyway, it definitely felt good to get a "fast" one under my belt; and a pleasant surprise to be back indoors before the streetlights came on. The only down side is that I have to run even further to complete my 30 minutes of activity, but I guess that

Getting back out there

Last week was not a great week. Partially down to the weather, but also in large part due to a serious bout of CBA, I only managed two runs totalling just over 11k. Having also failed to get out last night, I decided I just had to do something tonight, even if just to the end of the street and back, to get me off my backside. As it turned out, I managed considerably further than that. It was still daylight, the streetlights hadn't yet come on, it was dry and, while no one could possibly say it was warm, the absence of wind meant that, compared with the past week or so, it felt relatively mild. Started with my usual warm-up section but when I got to the end of my street, I decided to hang a right instead of the usual left and went off in the opposite direction. It did feel slightly strange running up hills I usually run down, and down hills I usually run up, but it was a change of scenery and a change of focus and, possibly most important, it wasn't cold, wet and dark an

A change of pace

Monday night was supposed to be long run night, but I cut it short to 5k on account of the weather deciding it was going to take a turn for the bloody awful while I was out. So, last night I decided to try again, and off I duly set. Something wasn't quite right, and as I ground to a halt at around the 2k mark, I figured out what it was; I was bored. Not bored of running, but just bored in general, with the weather, with my choice of route; the knowing that in 5 minutes I'd be at the fork in the path, five minutes after that I'd be into the woods, another ten minutes ad I'd be at the far end of the village, fifteen minutes later I'd be cresting the hill about to start the long downhill section towards the church. I've done it so many times, I could probably do it blindfolded. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt. I may not have been feeling actually contemptuous, but I definitely wasn't feeling like continuing the run. I was faced with the cho

One of "THOSE" runs...

We all have them; those runs where they only good thing we can say about them is that they're done and we can put them behind us. It was still light, dry and, by the standards of the last week, reasonably pleasant when I left the house this evening. 45 minutes later, it was dark, I was soaked to the skin and chilled to the bone. Monday night may be my "long run" night, but I wasn't staying out in that for one second longer than I absolutely had to, so when the 5k mark brought me to the end of my street, one very quick cool-down walk (not that I really needed any further cooling later), and I was happy to call it quits for the evening. I think I can safely say I have never been so happy to get out of my running stuff and into the shower as I was tonight (and I say that as someone who got caught outside in a thunderstorm back in August). Generally, I don't mind a bit of rain when I'm running, but when it's being driven horizontally into your face b

Trying something a bit different

So, with Storm Dennis heading in my general direction, but not yet making a menace of himself, I decided to head out along the coast to Dunbar to make Lochend Woods the venue for parkrun #15. It was grey, it was a bit damp, but the winds had still to pick up and, all in all, it wasn't too bad a morning for me and the 55 other runners who headed out. I decided, today, to do something a bit different. Usually, I just go out and run, and see how it goes, but today I thought I'd try and work a little on my speed. The Lochend Woods route is one of the flatter routes near me, so it fitted with my experiment. I'd taken the various weekly programmes of W1 - W4 of the Couch to 5k programme and turned them into workouts.  Instead of walking and running, the idea was that I would comfortably jog what had been the walking elements, and then pick up the tempo for the running sections. I'm not actually all that bothered about my pace, but I thought it might be interesting to

Feel a little love

Well, it is St. Valentine's Day and Garmin gave me this nice little badge to celebrate me getting out there. A simple 5k run around the village in a shade over 33 minutes; not especially fast, but not my slowest either. Just the way to shake off the cobwebs at the end of the working week and get set for the weekend. Tomorrow, weather permitting, it's parkrun #15; although I haven't quite decided which one to go to. Decisions, decisions...

Life after Ciara

So, thanks to Storm Ciara, my traditional Monday evening long run had to be postponed. I'm fairly immune to temperature; snow and wind don't really bother me, but I do draw the line at trying to dodge low-flying wheelie-bins, so with that thought firmly in mind, I'd decided to stay indoors. Sadly, Tuesday wasn't that much better and there was the added obstacle of untreated icy pavements to contend with. While I was keen to get out, the idea of a sprained or possible broken ankle wasn't all that appealing so, reluctantly I decided to sit out another night. Tonight there was a break in the weather; so I took full advantage. I had no set idea as to how far I would go; I was simply glad to be back on the trails and content to see where my legs took me. In the end, it was a fairly pleasant, easy paced 10k lollop around the village. At a shade over 1:10, it wasn't my fastest 10k, but given the conditions and the need to watch my footing in places, it was never

Parkrun #14

Only my second parkrun of the year, and my first back at Vogrie . Warmed up with a a bit of 1 minute walk/1 minute run intervals, made my way to the start, half listened to the briefings and then we were off. As usual, there was the inevitable need to not get caught up and head off too fast, but as I bounded gracelessly down the opening hill, I settled into my stride. First lap, nothing really to write home about. Kept a fairly even pace despite it being muddier than usual in some places, and pretty much before I know it, I'm at "Pam's corner" and heading into the home straight, ready to start lap 2. At about 3.5k in, I hit my nemesis. There is a long, slow, gradual climb. It's not steep. If you were walking you'd almost never be aware of it, but recently, for some reason, on my last couple of visits, I've ended up walking about 100-200m of this stretch. There are steeper climbs on the route that cause me no problem, but this bit seems to have got