Janathon Day 1 – St Albans Parkrun

First up – Happy New Year everyone.

Being sensible* I didn’t drink last night. I was hoping that would result in my being wide eyed awake but in actual facts I struggled out of bed. But for the 1st time in ages I got up in time for a Parkrun.

St Albans ParkRun were holding a special New Years Day ParkRun, albeit on their cross country route. I’ve been wanting to go the St Albans for a while as its been tipped off as being one of the faster local 5k courses. However that wasn’t going to be the case with the cross country setting. Discarding times, I only held out a tiny hope to continuing being faster than my recent standalone 5k times in the past 8 weeks or so (fastest being 25min 24s).

A pretty good turn-out of 100 or so runners this morning, some looking more tired than others, I didn’t really understand the course description, but worked on the notion I’d probably not be leading the way. It turned out to be 3 laps of more or less a 1 mile loop, with the start being on a tarmac path and the rest being across cut-grass / parkland. Felt myself twist my right ankle within seconds of starting and by the time I thought to myself ‘that didn’t feel good’, I went over on my left ankle. Fortunately no long term damage done it seems. By halfway round the first lap positions seemed to get settled and the rest of the run was just a procession, get gradually slower on each lap as lack of fitness and energy zapping wind and mud took its toll. Getting round in 25m 21s gave a 3 sec improvement on my last outing on my local course, and a final position of 41st. An excellent start to the year but also a realisation of the work coming up in the next few months getting ready for Liverpool Marathon.

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The only other report was the deterioration of my laminated ParkRun barcode due to the rain. Need to find someone at work who knows where the laminator is.

Later tonight sees 30 press ups, 10 sit ups and a 90 second plank as I start to work on my core strength.

* Old and boring

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#Janathon Meet-up, Outlaw Week 9 Reviewed and Week 10 Planned

First Saturday of The Month 5k

In keeping with 100% attendance this year, Saturday saw me line up in Norton Common in Letchworth with 44 other hardy souls (or mentalists?) for the local running clubs 1st Saturday of the Month 5k. With a starting temperature of –7 the pre-race talk was primarily about the cold, and us being stupid enough to be there.

After talking to Soggous and _ed_h at the start we compared our race strategies and with me not really feeling the love for todays race, thought I’d try and use Soggous as a pace setter. Within seconds of the start though Soggous disappeared into the distance.

2 really good laps of the common followed, and the cold disappeared from my body. An unofficial time of 23 mins and 26 seconds, and a 13th place finish, I thought I’d set a new PB – but after checking turns out I need to run some 30 seconds faster to achieve that.

Another really good run, and there seems to be quite a community starting to form now. Looking forward to the next one in February.

Some photos are here.

Janathon Meetup

After finishing the 5k a very quick trip to Hyde Park to meet up with some fellow #Janathon participants. Whilst some of the others did a 5k ran, I stood with trainersintherox and jogblog minding the bags and getting cold.

Afterwards it was a trip to a nearby pub, and then Prezzo to enjoy pizza and cheesecake. Really good to meet the others and finally put some faces to the names of the blogs I’ve been following for a while.

Outlaw Week 9 Reviewed

Not the greatest week of training. Think my Masters starting again has had more impact than I really first considered. Fortunately I managed to get my long bike ride in before the snow came along, and strangely a club run turned into exceeding the planned long run distance for this week.

Another major success for this week was my longest swim ever, covering 2.5km in under an hour.

Due to the snow, todays long ride was going to be a session on the spinning bike at the gym, but (un)fortunately due to the promise of a Sunday roast this isn’t going to happen. Think today will be an enforced race day and I’ll hit the gym tomorrow (or take advantage of the clubs turbo session on a Monday for the 1st time ever).

Swim: 2.55m, 1hr 49m 
Bike: 27.75m, 1hr 50m
Run: 21m, 3hr 45m

Outlaw Week 10 Planned

  AM LUNCH PM
Mon     Turbo
Tue Cycle to Work   Run
Wed Swim   Run (Long – 9M)
Thur Cycle to Work   Run + Swim
Fri   Swim  
Sat Brick Session    
Sun Long Ride (2 hrs)    

#Janathon DONE!

And not a day to soon. Thankfully, #janathon is over (well, for another year at least).

The final day of #janathon saw my cycling commute to work start again. The cold snap, or rather icy conditions, didn’t really materialise and whilst it was bitterly cold I set off to work and arrived some 1hr 20 mins later. Nothing terribly exciting to report.

The only drama happened at work when I couldn’t remember the access code for the showers. Fortunately someone heard me struggling and let me in. Unfortunately Mr Helpful then turned the lights out on his way out whilst I was in the shower itself, leaving me to navigate the shower room in the pitch black, attempting to find the light switch.

This 20 mile cycle took me to 391 miles for the month, and 400 miles felt out of reach. I did consider doing a 9 mile run, but really didn’t have the motivation so stuck with the original plan of going to the running club. The session was 8x 1k repeats, but after learning last week I decided to be a bit more conservative with my pace for them. With the mile warm up and warm down, and the little extra running to and from the club, surprisingly a total of 9.5 miles were run.

Janathon 2012 – 401 miles swum, run and biked. Fairly impressed with that!

Well done to everyone that took part, and even more well done to the #janathon-widows out there. I’ve just spoken to the washing machine and its looking forward to the break from washing copious amounts of sport kit. Oh, and an extra well done to trainersintherox for losing her #janathon (and blogging) cherry.

#Janathon Day 30–The Quickest of Posts

Went swimming this evening with trainersintherox. More of a social swim for me, rather than a planned session – still think probably did a good 500 to 600m. Rox did well, reckoning covering pretty close to half a mile!

Rest of evening has been spent getting everything together for tomorrow mornings cycling commute. Fingers crossed that the cold snap doesn’t appear (or fingers crossed it does, maybe?).

#Janathon Day 29–Club Ride

This morning I drew back the curtains and saw nothing but fog. With the freezing cold weather of yesterday and not overly enjoying the ride due to cold hands, I semi thought this might cancel todays ride. Without a front light I decided it would be best not to ride the 10 miles to the start and opted to put my bike in the campervan and drive over.

Arriving at the father-in-laws, he was all set to go, banishing any hopes of an ‘enforced rest day’. Fortunately I’d pre-thought this could be the case and had 2 pairs of gloves with me and 3 pairs of socks on. Still didn’t completely prevent my feet from getting cold, but much, much better than yesterday. Anyway the ride went well, with the ride leader managing to find every hill possible between the start and the cafe stop. We covered 33 miles in just over 3 hours. A worrying average speed of 10.5 mph, but actual moving average speed was 13mph, taking into account forgetting to stop my watch at the cafe stop and the 2 punctures suffered by others on the ride about 5 miles from home. And a bonus was my average heart rate was well inside Zone 2.

Slightly disappointed by the total miles today, missing out on the additional 20 miles normally gained by cycling to and from the start. But good to get out there, and glad for the club as if I’d just be me today, well the temptation of going back to bed and blaming the fog would have been all too easy.

#Janathon Day 28–Bike Ride

Again, an early Janathon effort today. 1st time I’d been out on the tri clubs 8am Saturday morning rides. And today was freezing. I lost feeling in fingers for a good 10 miles, and my feet just about come and went out of numbness.

So 30 miles in about 2hr 30m, along some hilly routes. Unfortunately I little slower than I was expecting to the planned brick session had to be shelved.

#Janathon Day 27 – Over Before Breakfast

Having done an extra run session yesterday, strangely todays Janathon effort was finished at 7.45am with the end of a spinning session. Unfortunately our spin instructor is on holiday for the next few weeks, and she normally does an excellent session. The stand-in still did a good job, but nothing on our normal session. Now debating whether to keep the spinning up for the next couple of weeks or abandon it and wait for the normal instructor to return.

So rather than my usual run at lunchtime I spent some time working out next weeks training schedule, and I guess now would be a reasonable time to review the week just gone (and still progressing), along with making plans for next week.

Outlaw Week 8 Reviewed

Was meant to be a ‘down’ week in the plan, but it hasn’t really felt like that. It looks like I’ll be hitting every session again which is terrific stuff and my swimming really does feel good at the moment – long may it last – which it won’t. It feels a bit premature writing all this with a brick session to come tomorrow and a long bike ride on Sunday. Fingers crossed they’ll be fine.

Outlaw Week 9 Planning

The long runs in the schedule have been slowly creeping up and until this point I’ve been ignoring them. This week will see the return of them – a starting entry of 75 minute run, which if I’m aiming to stay in Zone 2 should see me cover about 7.5 miles. Thats been put in for Friday night as I can’t really see any other time to do it – although it could get moved to Wednesday if I can organise things around trainersintherox running schedule.

AM LUNCH PM
Mon Rest Rest Rest
Tue Cycle to Work (20 Miles) Running Club
Wed Swim #18
Thu Cycle to Work (20 Miles) Running Club & Tri Swim
Fri Spinning Long Run – 75 mins
Sat Brick Session
Sun Long Bike Ride