All 18 entries tagged Running
December 09, 2006
Still not heard about the marathon, but my dad is the latest person not to get a place. I suspect my very own rejection letter is waiting for me up in Yorkshire, but unfortunately have no way of checking this fact as my mum and Stephen have gone away for the weekend.
So I’m still keeping my fingers crossed…
Got a bit lost on my weekend run today, which meant that yet again it was slightly longer than anticipated (7.5 miles according to mapmyrun, which took me an hour and 15 – not bad considering the number of times I had to pause to cross roads). If I carry on with this urban running malarkey, pretty soon I’m going to have a knowledge of London’s streets to rival that of any black cab driver. Today’s discovery was Battersea Park, which I have run through once before, but hadn’t appreciated what a truly lovely park it is.
When I came home I made spinach and potato soup (developing quite a thing for homemade soup), cleaned the bathroom, and now I’m about to reread next week’s bookclub book for the second time.
December 03, 2006
Running is going very well atm – am keeping fingers crossed that I get a place in the London marathon. The chances of getting a place are slim, but then surely the fact I’ve been rejected 3 times already should boost the probability of getting a place (or not… it doesn’t work like that does it?)
Back in Yorkshire this weekend and had a wonderful, blustery run along the ridge on the opposite side of the valley to my mum’s house. Sunshine, great views, and cold crisp clean air. Even the hills didn’t phase me! I later realised this was because I was being pushed up them by the gale that was blustering away behind me, and the part of the run that should have been easiest (the flat run along the valley bottom back to Denby Dale) felt like running into a very violent wind tunnel. I had to walk the last mile into the village because I felt so worn down by the wind in my face.
Anyway, considering this, I’m pleased with my time. MapMyRun.com reckons it was 7 miles, and I managed to get home in an hour and thirteen (just over 10 minute miles but I did walk for the last 13 minutes). And incidentally, for runners who haven’t heard of it, Map My Run is great stuff – clicking on the thumbnail on the right shows my route today (and it calculates speed / average time taken to cover a mile and calories expended).
Fingers crossed for the marathon…. I really want a place this time because the training is actually going really well at the moment!
November 26, 2006
It’s that time of year and I’m determined not to get ill despite the best efforts of my fellow commuters to infect me with their lurgies. All the pretty autumnal leaves are turning to mulch on the commons and in the parks and everything is going earthy and heavy and saturated with squelchiness. I haven’t been for my weekend run yet and it’s going to get dark soon, plus I’m meeting a friend for coffee in 40 minutes so unless I want to power run at double my normal speed…
Tired, so tired, feel like I’m on a conveyer belt and I have to keep running. Trying to be more positive (no more black clothes, I’m only 25) and do some voluntary work and make an effort to do things that scare me (like meeting new people).
Dreamed I was back in Taiwan the other night; I felt free.
I’m going back to Yorkshire next weekend. I want to breathe clean air and run in open spaces (not looping round and round the same circuits on Clapham Common stopping for traffic whenever I hit a road), and sleep in a quiet dark room where I don’t wake up the moment the neighbours upstairs slam a door.
I’ll just have to run with the gym bunnies this evening. Hop, hop, hop along bunnies. I’ll run into work on Wednesday morning too. 5 and a half miles. I hope I get a place in the London marathon this year…
September 24, 2006
Writing about web page http://www.runwindsor.com/
Made it to Windsor, made it to the end of the 13.1 mile course without stopping, made a time of 2:10:42 which I am very pleased with given my lack of training / the heat / the hills (no one warned me about hills!!!)
Am content – and it was nice to run alongside my dad for the first 7 miles before he dashed off into the distance.
Apparently my dad is planning to enter the next London marathon (after swearing never again at the end of the last one) having learned that he will be in a new age category (60+) next year and therefore might make a “good for age” time. This means that I have got to enter myself now. Arrrrgh!
So. The Windsor half marathon. The beginning of my London marathon training?
September 23, 2006
So. This time tomorrow I will be girding my loins (nasty expression) before setting off on 13.1 miles of hell for the third time this year. The difference this time round is that I am completely ill-prepared, and really should not be going anywhere near a half marathon course, were it not for the fact that my dad was extremely persuasive and talked me into treating it as “a little training run”. His idea of a training run is 9 minute miles though, so I don’t think I will be able to keep up with him for long.
My dad is down in London for a meeting today, so our training last night consisted of half a bottle of red wine each and a double vodka and tonic (me) in the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury, which alarmingly has left me with an aching fuzzy head this morning.
I found a little wiggly worm in my salad over dinner, which caused great consternation amongst my dad’s colleagues and the hotel restaurant staff, who all started shrieking excitably and threatening to kill it and boil my salad alive to sterilise it (or something).
I calmly picked the little worm up, carried him through reception past a coachload of Japanese tourists who’d just arrived, and put him in a pot plant outside the door to let nature decide his fate. I’ve now realised that the pot plant was probably fake though. Poor thing.
The other night after work I walked across the river to Waterloo tube station, where I took part in play.orchestra, an interactive sound installation on the South Bank. I love the interactive stuff that has appeared here over the past year or so, but this is my favourite yet. It’s made up of 56 plastic cubes and 3 “hotspots”, and when you sit or stand on one of these, a musical instrument will sound. If you get enough people to join in, you hear a complete orchestral piece, but even if you don’t manage to find 59 willing tourists / commuters / children / couples to join in it still creates some interesting effects with snatches of melody and rhythmic bursts of sound. I sat in one of the violin seats, but it was giving me a headache so I moved to the triangle hotspot instead. I think I would make a good triangle player!
Today I am going to be very lazy – I might go for a little stroll – but then I’m going to Thomas and Helen’s for tea this afternoon, followed by dinner at my aunt’s this evening. Trying not to worry about tomorrow and Windsor.
August 31, 2006
There’s no getting round it – I’ve turned into one of those people who pays too much money for gym membership and then doesn’t go, enters long distance runs and then doesn’t train, flobs around eating stuff pretending that it’s just “carb loading”, and still thinks she’s an “athlete”.
In short, I am Jade Goody.
Or rather, I haven’t trained enough to do the Windsor half-marathon on 24th September, so I’m going to pull out despite the waste of £24, and accept that two half marathons will have to suffice for one year.
I will be there to support Anna, Leonie, Jamie (?) and my dad though – all of whom are more committed to the practice of gazelle imitation than I am.
May 10, 2006
Woohoo! – 51 seconds off my PB(personal best) time in my second "Shakespeare" half marathon in Stratford… 1:54:54… not sure the saving of those precious few seconds were worth the energy expended to achieve this! Still, after 8 miles I got into a good pace, lengthening my strides and feeling in control of my breathing, so I really enjoyed the last 5 miles (except the last 400 yards which I accidentally sprinted) and was most grateful for the lovely support from my lovely support team!!
Anyway, taking a break from half marathons until September, but need some other events to keep my interest levels high. And also need to get FASTER! How is this to be achieved? (without becoming boringly obsessed with split times, km:mile ratios and "PB"s). And why do I look like a hopping, cross version of Jade Goody in these pics?
April 30, 2006
I have now well and truly caught the running bug, and after a surprisingly fast time (at least for me) of 1:55:45 in the Reading half marathon on the 9th April, I have started to enter half marathons left right and centre. Next one is Stratford next weekend, where I hope to continue with another sub–2–hour time, hopefully even speeding up a bit (though the split times for getting 1:45 or even 1:50 sound fiendishly quick to a tortoise like myself). Also entered the Windsor half marathon for the end of September so it's all go on the running front.
Here is a really manky picture of me towards the end of the Reading half marathon (around the point where I accidentally ripped off my race number by too much flamboyant arm thrashing – how do normal people manage not to do this?). I appear to be doing step aerobics in the middle of a dual carriage way, but I can assure you that I was in fact moving forward and may even have been running!
Far more impressively, my dad completed his third London marathon last weekend with a fantastic time of 3:45:19, two days after his 59th birthday. Very proud of him!
He also raised an absolute bloody fortune for Sue Ryder. I was there supporting in Deptford, outside the old family shop- my nana and grandpa's pharmacy. As well as my dad, I also saw the bride and groom run past, the crazy 20–person millipede, and lots of other excellent costumes, and hurt my calf muscles in sympathy by dancing around like a loon to the band in the pub opposite.
My dad has now decided that three marathons is quite enough thank you very much, and has passed the baton on to his daughter, which means I have just under a year to get my act together and turn into the next Paula Radcliffe, or at least some minor form of Super Athlete.
Which is a little daunting, to say the least.
April 08, 2006
Writing about web page http://racepayment.mirrorservers.co.uk/readinghalfmarathon/
I feel so unprepared for my half marathon tomorrow – I thought I was bad last year with the Stratford one, but this is ridiculous! Doesn’t help that I recently had 2 weeks away from the gym recovering from flu.
And the only training I’ve done this week is a 5 mile run on Wednesday night, though I did go for dinner at Zizzis last night and consume quite a lot of pasta! Surely that counts as part of official training (?!)
Going to stay at Leonie’s tonight for pre-race pasta party. Actually feeling quite nervous. Jamie and Leonie are going to get round the course in about 10 minutes, whereas for me it’s going to be more like 10 hours.
I’ll just follow the giant bear…
February 28, 2006
Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/rosalindhook/gallery/sausses_february_2006/
Mmm… what a perfect holiday. 4 days of fresh air, clean water that didn't make my hair manky (since obviously that is the most important thing – priorities, priorities), stunning mountain scenery, excellent food, and being outdoors in the sunshine and cool (read freezing, at least in the shade) mountain air.
Anna, Leonie, Laurence and I stayed in the pink house pictured in the bottom left corner of the photo on the right, cunningly named "la maison blanche" in a bizarre attempt to confuse hapless tourists who make it that far up the Vars valley (Alpes Maritimes / Alpes de Haute-Provence).
I am fast developing les fesses de fer, not to mention les cuisses "de la mort"tm, as a result of morning runs up and down various big montagnes around Sausses, not to mention our hike to Castellet-les-Sausses where we were almost benighted thanks to an evil boil-ridden local farmer who had put up an "Accès Interdit" sign across the one track leading back to Sausses.
On our first day we explored the medieval village of Entrevaux, where we were mistaken for French language students at Nice University by the restaurant owner (flattering both because we can still pass for students, and because our French must have sounded reasonably plausible). I tried the local speciality "secca de boeuf", which consisted of wafer-thin slices of delicious dried beef served with lemon juice, olive oil and puy lentils. Given I don't normally eat red meat, I was surprised at how bluddy amazing it tasted.
On Sunday we got swept up in a local lemon festival in Menton (a.k.a. Chin), involving various citrus sculptures and other lemon-related activity. Unfortunately we never actually experienced any of this since lemon-lovers far and wide had pilgramaged to the Côte d'Azur to converge upon Menton in a frenzy of pressées, pulp and peel. There was literally nowhere to park within a 6 mile radius of the town, so we popped across into Italy for a pizza.
As we explored the old town of Ventimiglia, we encountered a Divine Sign from the skies, seven freaky felines, and a chain of 21 furry caterpillars wending their way along the pathway. And we were told by a car parking attendant not to leave our dog in the car in the midday heat (would have made sense… except we didn't have a dog, we weren't parked in his carpark anyway, and there was actually quite a chilly nip in the air). All in all Ventimiglia was a bit surreal, not to mention difficult to escape from. Pizza was excellent though.
Besides these day trips, most of our time was spent preparing and eating some very delicious food (e.g. Leonie and Laurence's goats cheese and mushroom risotto), walking /running /scrambling up mountains in an attempt to burn off the vast quantity of pains au chocolat consumed (it was a losing battle, the pastries were always going to win…) and simply breathing BREATHABLE AIR.
Much as I like the pace of life in London, indeed need the buzz of city life to prevent myself dissolving into tears and lethargy and boredom, at the same time I love open spaces and running/hiking and just being in a place that nature has so obviously shaped, a place where you can't help but respect its power. If nothing else a place free from the jaded office workers and the filthy air and – most importantly – the twatting northern line.
Right now I am very happy to be living in London, but at the same time I need to make sure that I take time to eat properly, to exercise, to read, relax and just spend time being, whatever that means.
Not to mention escaping to small french villages and remote mountain locations given every available opportunity.