#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

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 Day 7–Got Your Number

Today saw the first race of 2012. Sadly due to my on-going calf problem I took the the sensible option and decided not to race and rather help pace trainersintherox get round her first 5k for quite some time.

The decision was also helped the night before by listening to the JBST Training Podcast which was basically pointing to knowing what session you should be training for before starting – and todays session was meant to be a Zone 2 run. I made a common mistake yesterday by changing my session by reacting to my surroundings when the other runner overtook me.

Unfortunately I left my wig, moustache and 1980s vest and shorts at home as when registering I was given the number:


At the start line I thought I saw @Soggous. Thankfully I didn’t say hello, as I’d later find out that it wasn’t her.

Quite a muddy little run, definitely better than last time was some trail trainers on, and trainersintherox and myself crossed the line unofficially in 31 mins and 26 seconds – some 34 seconds faster than the training 5k run that Rox did on Thursday night.

It was then that I met @Soggous and @_ed_h_ from Stotfold Runners. Cracking to catch up with some tweeps in real-life and a great way to start the day.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning my bike in preparation for tomorrows ride, donig a bit of work and generally catching up with jobs around the house. #plankaday will come later!

Race Report–NHRR 1st Saturday of the Month 5k (December)

Having moved recently, and having joined a new running club, one big advantage is having a monthly, free 5k on my doorstep every month (£2 for non-members, just to be factually correct!). And when I say doorstep, I pretty much mean it – I ran to the race start.

Before leaving the house I tried to work out whether the course would be cross country or on trail paths / tarmac. I opted for the path / tarmac option and picked up my road shoes. 1st mistake of the day.

An excellent, but slightly challenging course, taking us across grass and mud in a local park in Letchworth. It consisted of 2 laps, and with me having no idea where I was going, meant at least I knew what was in store for the 2nd lap. The wet weather over the past week made it difficult to stay upright in places! Really wished I’d picked those trail shoes. And then the inclusion of a hill towards the end of each lap really was uncalled for.


The most pleasing aspect was my consistent pacing throughout – something that has been sorely lacking over my past couple of races.


So thank you very much NHRR for another wonderfully well organised event.

Race 1 of 12–Milton Keynes ParkRun (and Janathon Day 29)

Summary checkers – 5k run in 24mins 45 seconds

ParkRun Cherry

So today I popped it. I think I first looked at ParkRun about 18-24 months ago. There was 1 in Manchester and it seemed like a good idea. However it was pretty far so I never got round to it. Since moving back to Hertfordshire I seem to be in an area without any within a 25 mile radius. The nearest is probably Milton Keynes or Cambridge. Having previously worked in Milton Keynes, and knowing it better than Cambridge, I opted for MK to be the 1st run of the challenge.

Getting about half-way to MK, I then realised I had my Nike trainers on. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but as a way of raising some more sponsorship I’d promised @ChrisF2k that I’d run in the first race exclusively in Adidas stuff (He’s a bit obsessive about Adidas stuff – seriously, you really wouldn’t believe it). So, apologises Chris, I did try but made a school-boy error. Due to my Adidas trainers being trail trainers I don’t fancy doing more than 5k in them – so you’ll have to wait for that exclusive run.

Pulling up in the car and paying for parking, some guy came over to me. He then proceeded to ask me loads of questions about the run. Turned out he was a 1st timer as well. So we both went together to find a 3rd bloke. Turned out to be his 1st ParkRun as well! Finally we found someone to explain what was what. A short time later we were on the start line.

I’d been thinking over this race for the past couple of days and how to race it. I’m conscious I’ve got a tough marathon training session tomorrow and Watford Half Marathon next week. On the other hand I didn’t just want to coast round, as that would render the 12 races in 12 months challenge fairly pointless. I’d also spent the past couple of days using an application called Running Calculator on my phone to try and gauge some kind of time to aim for. It basically takes a time for a distance and then applies some formula to give an indication of what time you should expect for other distances. I decided to work on my Half Marathon PB of 1hr 57m 20s. Typing this in gave me a time for 5k as 25m 28s. I thought may as well aim for that.


Starting I decided another strategy would be just run to feel, ignore my Garmin, and just push myself a little out of my comfort zone. After passing the 2k marker I had a quick check on the watch, and I told me I’d done an 8m 13s 1st mile. Cracking stuff, get my breath back a little and then push on in Mile 3 for the finish. I was quite surprised to see the 2nd mile split starting with a number ‘7’. The 3rd split was another staring with ‘7’. Eh? I even managed a sprint finish and my ‘unofficial’ time is 24m 45s. I’ll pop the official time up when I get it, but would imagine its only a couple of seconds over this.


First race of the 12 done. Watford next weekend. First ParkRun also done. Will I be back? Hell yes.

Oh, and some dodgy photos to end on.