Tuesday, 14 August 2012

That's Another Fine Mess Tha's Got Thisen Into, Squintani!!!

I’ve only gone and done it..!

No, I’ve not signed up for the Cheddar Gorge. Seems interesting enough, but it never really bowled me over. That and the fact that Mrs S didn’t enthusiastically embrace my suggestion, meaning I’d have to get to Cheddar on my own: doable, not ideal in a 10k run context. So back to Plan A: the Sheffield at the TenTenTen will be my first race. It’s just that now I’ll be running a half marathon the following week.

You still with me?

Yes, I’ve signed up for a Half Marathon. 21.0975km, as I’ve swiftly memorised (a series of decreasing odd numbers helps). To be precise, I’ve signed up for the Bristol Half Marathon. Given that I live near Bristol and I will have already made my debut in Sheffield, it seemed logical enough – that and the fact that its 30/09 schedule is fairly convenient, all things considered…

…and by “all things”, I primarily mean its timing in relation to the 10k. A single week later sounds close, not least because it is. But what would I be doing on September 23 if I weren’t running in Sheffield? I’d probably be running 18.5km in Portishead, that’s what. Balance the shorter distance with the unknowns of a race and there probably isn’t a lot of difference… or so I hope, anyway.
See? I'm not having you on!

So – for what am I training now? A 10k? A half marathon?

Good question, I’m glad you asked it. I guess… sorry, having given the matter considerable thought, I am of the viewpoint that I am training for a half marathon. In doing so, however, I need to review the amount of speed work I do. And by that I mean increase. I had just been getting into a routine: 12.27km on Tuesdays, 12.27km on Thursdays, 18.48km on Sundays. Across all those I’ve been targeting an average of sub 6’/km, but without singling out specific speed sessions. Now, one reason for that is, quite simply, that I’ve been running on hilly routes: and I am pleased with both my 6’09”/km over 18.5km on Sundays and today’s 5’58”/km over 12.5/km. You could even suggest that, having got to a stage where I can run 18.5km, stopping not because worn out but because of impending a) darkness and b) Olympic closing ceremony, I’ve actually built up the stamina to run 21.0975km. I obviously need to maintain that, but to spend some time and effort on my speed would not be the cop-out that my mind intuitively views it at. It’s not about running as much as possible… it’s not Squintani, it’s not…

…yes but hang on, I’m enjoying my morning 12.5k runs! They get me all happy and motivated! Hmmm… I may have to introduce a fourth session, a 5k’er which is as flat as they come round here, and see how quickly I can run that… Maybe on Friday mornings? Or maybe Friday evenings? Or even Wednesday mornings? Hmmm… actually, it could be any one of those. Not Mondays, because my post-long run rest day needs to stay a rest day; not Tuesdays or Thursdays, because I’ll be running 12.5km on those morning; not Saturdays, because I want another rest day on the eve of my long run; and not Sundays, because I think 18.5km should suffice. So… this here 5k ‘dash’ could fit in on either Wednesdays or Fridays, either in the morning or in the evenings. The TV schedule and/or Mrs S may influence that call, as will the fact that a Wednesday morning would equate to three consecutive early rises… yes, and I need to get the kids up on Wednesdays if Mrs S is doing so on Tuesdays and Thursdays… don’t really want to run Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, do I? again, if Mrs S is doing Thursday morning I need to do Fridays… hmmm… Friday evening is looking good, isn’t it? And why not - a good way to get some fresh air into the old brain! Moreover, a 30’ session shouldn’t be a problem with Mrs S! I think I might just high-five myself over that one!
In fact
… hey, I WFH* on Fridays! Could even be a lunchtime session! The opportunities are endless!!!

Oh, one last thing. When I went out running on Sunday, I saw a deer. And not in the far flung distance: no, right in front of me, on the road. It’s adjoining to a forest and their presence is well known, hence the presence nearby of a sign like this. Still, you rarely see them… unless, it seems to be, they stray out of the comfort of their forest and onto the road. I was about ten metres away so, against all training plans, I stopped, both to admire it and ensure I didn’t freak it out. It seemed fairly young to the untrained eye, but already had antlers, so I was most keen to not upset it. At the third attempt it found its way back into the forest. I hope to see it (or any of its relatives) again, but, most importantly, I hope it keeps safe. Unlike the pigeon I saw this morning in the middle of the road, which was serving as breakfast for a gleeful crow. Can’t win’em all.

I’ll try and delve a bit more into why I signed up for this here Half Marathon, and how I am going to get there, soon. For now… I’ve only gone and done it!!!

* "Work From Home". You knew that, right?


  1. I hope you've had a conversation about this with your consultant, when they removed that lump (technical term) of brain did they put something else in in its place that has turned you into a runner?

  2. They told me on several occasions that they were pretty confident they'd taken out the evil bit, Sir - maybe amongst its myriad of functions was one to install within me the hatred for the activity which, as you can see from this blog, survived said removal and is still an essential part of me?
    (Incidentally, on a somewhat more serious note -as serious as this blog gets-, I have advised my Neurosciences consultant of this activity. Well, I've not updated her about the Half Marathon, but I did tell her I'd taken up running and was aiming for a 10k. It was in the .pdf update I sent her which she has since commented on, albeit without touching upon my physical exertions - so they must clearly not be a concern. Just in case anybody's worried. Which I am genuinely not.)