Sunday 13 September 2015

Run Forest Run.

Monday: This week started well with an off-road 5k run. It had been a while since I had been over the fields in Studley. We had a kinda family re-union on the weekend gone and some of my family trekked these self-same fields. Today was my turn and the fields were as beautiful as ever.
Tuesday: Had wanted to open water swim but decided to give it a miss. Missed the swim because I worried about being tired for tomorrows planned 20 mile run. Plus the fact that I couldn't really be bothered...

Wednesday: Long run. My longest run ever in fact - a whopping 20 miles! Woo hoo!
 This run started at Tardebigge locks. SJ, (Lunar and Melody) took me to the start in the car. They dropped me off, and off I ran. Was nice running here, it reminded me of past walks with Cody Menace (my dawg). I remembered the time when a dog in the yard of a house on the tow path, barked as Cody and I ran past. Cody got freaked out and jumped right into the canal.
GPS track of my run
The running surface was good on the whole but changed a lot during my run. Sometimes single track, sometimes mud, often gravel, at times tarmac and cobbles here and there. The elevation was great, my route descended pretty much from start to finish. And the weather was great - about room temperature.
At about the 10k mark, the canal forked. Not sure where right went, but I figured left was the way to Worcester. After so many steps, a rock proved I was on the right track.
The next bit of confusion occurred when I reached a tunnel and ran out of tow path. A track led over the tunnel but then forked. I chose left again and after so long my track reached tow path once more. Left is a golden rule. (If you are ever in a maze, always choose left and a way out you will find - allegedly).
 I did a few things different on this run compared to all my others. For starters, I put a salt (electrolyte) tablet in my water. I was supposed to use 2 tablets for the litre I was carrying but I only had one. I think this tablet helped - I did not suffer any cramp. Food was another difference. At the 10k and 20k mark, I awarded myself with treats (dried fruit, nuts, biscuits, fudge and chocolate). At the 20 mark I also took an ibuprofen tablet and a pro plus. These new tricks all seemed to help.
Once I reached Lowesmoor, I got a 'kick' because I knew I had essentially reached Worcester. Much of my headspace was filled with thoughts of SJ. SJ used to live in Worcester and I ran past the back of her old apartment. SJ and i had a lot of good times in Worcester. I don't ever remember seeing the bridge above before but doesn't it look nice?!
Once in Worcester, with about 7k to go, I phoned SJ. Not to cry and moan like a big girl, but to report on my progress. I was heading to what we called 'the Space Bridge'. This bridge lights up like a spaceship at night and SJ and I ran across it a few times (well, at least once) when she was training for her marathon.
Such a lovely bridge. Nice view of the Malverns from here too. The bridge was my furthest point out before I started to head back the way I came (other side of the river now though).
The next bridge I crossed we call 'Josh's Bridge'. Josh is SJ's nephew and in the past he painted the tops of the bridge posts a wonderful blue colour. This story was printed in a local rag. Ha!
My run finished in Gheluvelt park. And what a finish too! There was my family chilling out in the park. How awesome!
To celebrate my achievement of running 20 miles, we all went for a post run eat. SJ and I had a carvery. Lunar had nasty burger and chips. Melody had all sorts. Food and fuel should never be under estimated!
Thursday: Rested my poor pins from all their running the day before. Wish I would recover faster than I do. The MadeGood folk had sent me a digital link to watch their wonderful LEL film, so, SJ and I spent a lovely evening watching that. Below is a still of SJ, Lunar and myself from said film.
Thursday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Flair, my work buddy, posted details of my up and coming Marathon on our work (NHS Trust) website to acknowledge this day - her headline was 'Run Forest Run' (see what she did there...). Flair and I are both working (along with 2 other nurses) on a suicide prevention project. I am participating in the Heart of England Forest Marathon to raise awareness of suicide and suicide prevention and raise monies for Papyrus. Papyrus is the national UK charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. Should you want to know more about my run or donate me a few coins please follow this link here.

Friday: Legs still a little achey. Well, that was my excuse to not do any exercise. Instead, I ate a big fat steak with the Mrs!

Saturday: Back on my feet. Ran 10.5k interval style. My run followed the formula 10 mins warm up; 5 x (2 mins fast with 2 mins recovery); cool down to finish. This was a nice run that took me around Edgbaston reservoir. I hadn't ran along this reservoir for some time and just because it's so lovely, I ran around it twice!
Today was the day that I found out that Jonny Mitchum had entered an IronMan event! He will be participating in the Zurich IronMan 2016. He said he wanted to enter an IronMan before he was 40 and I too share his philosophy. Did I mention I have signed up for Uk IronMan 2016?!
Saturday was also the day that my buddy Chris posted me out a new Tom Tom watch for testing purposes. This is a new product that hasn't been released as yet. They want me to test this watch in open water and to that effect, I hope to test it next Tuesday during my probable last open water swim of 2015. I have neglected my swimming over recent weeks and my swimming has always been quite poor. Must learn to swim before any pending triathlon events next year. Horrors!

Sunday: Spent time with the tri-club which felt kinda weird after abstaining for so long. Felt weird swimming in a pool too. The swim was hard - I swallowed lots of water and my technique sucked. I swam for 50 minutes but was not impressed with my performance. How on earth am I going to compete in this IronMan event I have entered?! So poor is my swimming, I will not allow myself to tell other tri-club members of my plans. 
4.9k track run
The running session that followed went much better. We essentially did some track running. The run got more interesting with patches of speed work thrown in and then some hill work too (essentially zigzagging up and down a mound that was next to the track). We ran about 5k and all. The session finished with some strange exercises where we walked like a giant bird and stretched some. Am still walking kinda funny now! I used my new Tom Tom for the tri-club sessions and it worked just fine. Have yet to use it for an open water swim. Hopefully next week I'll be able to blog about my Tom Tom testing. 'Tim Tom Taylor's Tom Tom Testing', now there's a title...


Happy New Year 2022

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