Monday, 9 July 2012

Parisian Runways (and a cracking little run once home)

Right… quick update on the week just gone. To keep it short, I’m going to use my Facebook status:
“My week in one status: Breathtaking city (Paris), mind-blowing concerts (Springsteen - night 2 was the stuff of legends), the best of friends (can't tag you… but you know who you are!) and an awesome weekend with my wonderful family: the one and only Mrs S, my soul-mate and my lover and the incomparable, relentless, sweet, cheeky and adorable Big'Un & Littl'Un double-act. One very lucky man. Anyroad, work tomorrow!”

As an addendum to that, some running stats:
before flying out to Paris, I managed to run 15.5k. Took me 1h43’, but still an achievement for someone who can’t stand running and who, until April, couldn’t even run to the nearest post box (and we’re not that isolated!). I never stopped!
I did run in Paris. Such a sight, in my glo-yellow top and shorts! We were staying in Bagnolet, to the East of the city: I just headed out of the hotel and ran for around half an hour on Wednesday and Thursday morning. On the Wednesday, I got downstairs to find students clogging up the entrance – got some strange looks, to which the locals of Bagnolet soon added theirs… On the Thursday, having run along a park with views across the City, I actually stumbled across a running track and detoured onto it for a few laps. Now, when running near home I wear glo-yellow for safety on country roads. This felt somewhat redundant on the safety of a track, whose users included Asian women walking backwards and doing Tai-Chi… so again, some weird looks. And I’m sure that, en route back to the hotel, some young schoolchildren walking in the opposite direction pointed to me and asked their teacher what I was!
(n.b.: I flew back on Friday. But getting in from the concert at 3:30am and having no intention whatsoever of packing a sweaty, stinky shirt meant there was no danger of me running that morning!)

Now, for some real running stuff…
…last night (wearing a shirt in a more boring shade of brown/grey, but still in yellow shorts), I ran one of my more usual routes, three laps of an downhill/uphill route totalling 8.5k. I had last run it on June 18 in 58’56”. I’d not run it since in so far that I had added a flat detour in between laps to reach the 10k mark. I was going to run three laps on Saturday but just felt generally tired, more because of my trip to Paris than from a strictly running perspective, so cut it to two but really went for it on the second. Anyway, again yesterday I made an effort to “go for it” on the uphill sections, and ended up coming in at… 51’34”. That’s 7’22” less than sixteen days prior, with 77 days still to go before race day. There’s hope for this old codger yet…
…indeed, this old codger is now fully comfortable with the notion of a 10k run. Heck, he’s done 15.5k! What he needs to do is try and improve his speed. So I expect to run this particular 8.5k track in this fashion more regularly, really giving my legs a workout on the more brutal uphill section.

(As I’ve said before, I don’t really have a target time in mind for the 101010. I have no precedent, I’ve not sat down to look at my race tempo, splits or owt like that. But to finish in less than one hour would be cool. It just intuitively sounds good, right? But I have no research to back up my likelihood of doing so away from North Somerset and on the unknown route of the 101010. Still, can’t do any harm to work towards that… that’s what the scales suggested this morning, anyway! To have been away for three days last week and still manage to lose weight did make me smile a little, I must admit.)

Enough for now – expect another post later in the week about my trip to Paris. Some things, some experiences just demand to be written about.

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