Saturday, 1 February 2014

the day it all went wrong

In the words of the song by Nazareth ... "woke up this morning ... "

Yes, that's how I'm feeling right now - just waiting for shit to happen [sorry about that].

Let's start at the beginning:  woke up this morning ... and their was no warmth in the house.  The heaters have stopped working.  Not sure why, no matter what I try nothing seems to help in the slightest.  Guess I'll have to call an engineer - but it's Sunday tomorrow.

At least the cooker works and when I'm using that it does provide some heat in the kitchen.  So ... I set to and began chopping onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, etc to make a large quantity of tomato sauce - but - accidentally sliced my left thumb whilst chopping an onion [ouch].  As I was doing the onions first it made everything else more difficult than necessary.

So .. I'll be in the kitchen for 100 minutes instead of 60, at least it's warm, sort of.

All the prep done and then start the actual cooking.  Onions softened, garlic and tomato puree added and cooked, white wine, tomatoes and tomato juice added, herbs and spices added.  All going well so far, but then, instead of 30g sugar ... I added 30g salt.

Why, I hear you ask.  Don't ask me, how should I know.  A simple lapse of concentration.  But I've never ever done that before.

It's not finished cooking yet but at the moment it seems to taste OK.  Rest assured it won't be wasted.  And neither was the remainder of the wine ...

And the left over whisky is welcome too.  Forgot to mention that I also made a large Tipsy Laird !!!  No, don't titter, ... it's a Scottish trifle.  There's a recipe on the BBC website, here.  Keir's girlfriend first brought it to my attention although I expect one or two of my Scottish followers/readers could suggest improvements.

At the moment I'm well aware there are still many hours to go before the day is through and many other things could go wrong ...  I could fall down the stairs, the washing machine could fail [got to go for a while ... need to put another load in], England could lose at rugby, I could spill that whisky ...

What was that - you want to know about training.  Why ?  Well, since the last post running has gone very well indeed.  I'm now up to three hill reps and the pace was much quicker but the effort felt the same.  The tempo run is now up to 4k at the same pace - but the very windy conditions meant I had improved a bit.  Long runs are now up to 14 or 15k and although they seem good at the time (event the fartlek one) they do leave my calves a bit sore - I'm sure that will improve as time goes by though.

Monday, 20 January 2014

First few day's training

Well, after the first week [and a bit ...] of training I can report that I feel fitter and healthier than at any time since early September 2012.

Let me briefly run through my recent running exploits -

MONDAY 13 JANUARY - in late afternoon it was 13 km fartlek,
TUESDAY 14 JANUARY - left home at 7.00am for a steady 14 km

as expected my calf muscles were a bit sore for a few days after this.  Nothing major so I took things easy on

WEDNESDAY 15 JANUARY - ran 3 km slowly but followed this with some core and upper body strength work.
THURSDAY 16 JANUARY - my first tempo run.  I had absolutely no idea what time I should be aiming for so I simply used the times from 6 months ago as a guide (but I was prepared to slow down if necessary).  So, I planned for 3 km at about 4:15 per km.  The splits turned out to 4:09, 4:11 and 4:14 which I was pleased with although it was very hard work and I did slow down as the run progressed.  Glad to have a running free day after this.
FRIDAY 17 JANUARY - only cycling and strength work.  The training week ended on
SATURDAY 18 JANUARY - hill reps.  Only two but a good start.  I use Farnley Lane in my home town of Otley and hill is just over 700m long and climbs 35m.  The climbs took 4:19 and 3:56.  Not very consistent but again I had no idea what to expect.  Enjoyed that and the added bonus was that my legs were no longer aching at all.

Many of you know that I designate every fourth week as an 'easy week' and aim to do only about 50% of my usual training.  Working back from the Tooting Bec 24 hr race shows that my first easy week began on

SUNDAY 19 JANUARY - planned to cycle and lift weights but skipped the cycling after I felt nauseous and light headed whilst doing some minor plumbing repairs.  Felt fine after laying down for a couple of hours ... very strange.
MONDAY 20 JANUARY - my first very long run (by my standards anyway).  During these easy weeks I increase the length of my long run by 50% and only do one instead of the usual two.  So, early this morning I went out and ran 22 km.  It was exceptionally cold and icy in places but again I enjoyed the experience of just running for 2 whole hours.

Apart from the running listed above I also did a fair amount of cycling, strength work and stretching and - as mentioned earlier - I feel good.

Now I've begun the search for a warm up race in May, June or July to help get my ultra racing head in gear and try out the nutrition and other plans.

Friday, 10 January 2014

first post of 2014

Well ... here I go again ...

Unfortunately I'm not going to do the traditional thing and write about my running in the previous year.  I wish I could but in reality it would be just a single sentence ... hardly any running and no races.

But, for the past five or six weeks I've slowly arrived at the point at which I am able to run on four consecutive days - not very far, but four days nonetheless.  My weekly total has climbed to an amazing 38 km and I think I'm now ready to start proper training on Sunday.

Obviously slowly and gently at first.  Long runs will be 12.5 to 13.75 km ... hill reps will be 2 ... tempo runs will be less than 4 km.

And the pace ... I've absolutely no idea but if I can manage a short race in the next couple of months that will help and be good for morale too.

So, a new year and a new start ... and I plan to enjoy it.