Today’s Juneathon has got off to a good start with a short upper-body weights session then an hour of hill reps on the road bike. Unfortunately, this afternoon we have a rather tedious family commitment to attend, but hopefully I’ll be able to get out for a run this evening.
I know a lot of Juneathoners are also avid Park Run advocates. The closest Park Run to me is about 10 miles from home. I’ve not been tempted to this before, as it seems a bit daft to spend 20 miles driving for just 3 miles of running, particularly when my short runs are usually 4+ miles.
However I am beginning to wonder whether I could combine the run with a ride or maybe get a lift there & run home after. Anyway that’s a thought for the future, next weekend I have the Staplehurst 10K to look forward to.
All day at work today I had been looking forward to tonight’s session. I had a duathlon run/ride/run brick planned. When I got home, I should have skipped tea & loaded up with some porridge as planned, but there was chicken & rice in chilli sauce on offer. It would be a crime to skip that. A quick mental calculation suggested I could eat, allow half an hour for digestion & still get the ride section of the brick done before it got too dark.
Half an hour proved to be not long enough and as a result I was quite uncomfortable and a bit slower than I’d hoped on the 10K run. I felt fine by the time I got on the bike but it was going to be a bit close to get round before the light was lost. There was a glorious slow crimson sun set and I chased the last of the light home.
The temperature had cooled considerably during the 40K ride and I could feel a little cramp in both calves as I finished the cycle leg. This gave me some concern for the switch to running but I pushed ahead into the gathering gloom. As the blood started to pump in the running muscles the cramp eased away & the final 5K was uneventful.
2:43 for 10K/40K/5K – slower than expected but still very satisfying.
Thursday evening is becoming one of my favourite routines of the week. I meet up with Jim, a friend of long-standing, as he drops his daughters off for swim-club and we then drive up to Knole Park in Sevenoaks. We have sussed out a regular 4 mile trail circuit that has a mix of traffic-free estate roads and grassy paths.
This week was the 4th time, I think, that we’ve run this particular route together and we were both surprised tonight at the end to see that we had knocked a clear couple of minutes off our previous best time.
Knole is a great place to run. There are plenty of tracks & paths & some great scenery. The herds of deer that roam the park are very blasé about runners; they often continue grazing just a few feet from the path as we go gliding past…. Actually, Jim is gliding I’m mostly huffing & puffing
The other feature of Knole, which makes it ideal for training, is the absence of any ground that might be considered flat or even flat-ish. The middle section of our route includes a valley path that is a mile of continuous climbing, starting gently and finishing with a real sting. This part of the run is still giving me a kicking but that’s only spurring me on to get fitter. Each week I’m getting a little closer to smashing that climb.
Only on day 3 of Juneathon and I’m already slacking off on the blogging. In my defence, I did sit down to write last night, but I made the mistake of sitting on the settee. I woke up an hour later as my son said goodnight on his way to bed.
Anyway, yesterday I managed a brief (but not quick) swim on the way home from work. In the evening, I had a ride/run brick planned of 12 miles cycling & 5K running. The intention was to see if I could up the pace, particularly on the run leg. As soon as I started, I could tell that my body was still “carrying” the miles from the weekend. Instead of pushing hard, I settled in to complete the distance at an 80% effort.
Swim: 6 sets of 50 metres with full recovery between sets – slow
Ride: 12 miles at 18 mph
Run: 3.3 miles at 8.5 min/mile
I think I’m reaching a point where I have to decide to either: stop wasting time & money swimming; or bite the bullet & get some professional tuition.
Juneathon day 2 included the following, not necessarily in this order:
10 mile run, deliberately didn’t use any gels or sweets and as expected faded in last couple of miles
Changing my profile pic to 1 where I look like a deranged pirate
An hour on the bike, hitting a couple of big hills – still haven’t found my climbing legs
Being massively inspired by Non Stanford, Jonny Brownlee & Jodie Stimpson in Madrid
My son getting 3rd in the 800 metres & winning the 2K steeple chase at Chelmsford track meet
Making a fool of myself for the entertainment of the neighbours by practicing running bike mounts & dismounts for half an hour in front of the house
Watching Hawaii 5-0 on TV
30 minutes on the turbo trainer creating a small salty lake of sweat
Forgetting to submit my entry to Staplehurst 10K. Tsk, must do that in the morning
And that’s about it. Back to work tomorrow – another day, another dollar.
Day 1 of Juneathon got underway with probably my least favourite sporting activity: swimming. Or, as I think of it: the boring bit at the start of a triathlon before the racing starts. Anyway 400 very-boring-metres were completed in an embarrassingly slow time.
After a coffee back home I set off for a 10K run round my usual flat road circuit. It was a lovely morning and I was happy to clip round in under 50 minutes. Hopefully I can do a bit better than that in a couple of weeks time at the Staplehurst race.
In the afternoon I set out on the road bike with the intention of putting in a couple of hours at an easy pace. 32 miles ticked off in 1 hour 42, suggests I should have aimed for a longer route.
And with that, I feel I have earned my pizza tonight.