Monday, 1 July 2013

June 2013: A Month In Review

(Look, you really don’t have to read this. Worse still, what with June being end of quarter and end of half year –can you tell I work in software, on the Sales and Marketing side?–, there’s a little more to waffle about this time)

Right then – June numbers:

Count:                    38 Activities
Distance:               209.68 mi (6.99mi/day)
Time:                      31h02’29”
Elevation Gain:     10,863 ft (51.8ft/mi)
Avg Speed:            6.8 mph

2013 Cumulative (Jan-Jun > 1st Half):

Count:                    203 Activities

Distance:               1,350.51 mi (7.46mi/day)

Time:                      190h01’10”

Elevation Gain:     56,043 ft (41.50ft/mi)

Avg Speed:            7.1 mph

So what?!?

Well, the hillage is satisfying, boosted by my two HM-length runs in the Ligurian countryside early on in the month. I have been trying to bring more hillage into the equation back home but not sure it’s cutting much mustard. These surroundings now feel so much flatter than I’d ever thought… my living on top of a hill kind of screwed my perception, by running standards it’s actually not that bad/good! I can but try and see what happens in July.

The disappointing stat is clearly speed. Granted, it’s generally inversely proportionate to elevation, so in simplistic terms it’s not a statistical anomaly. But the frustration stems from niggles that have been holding me back from running at the pace to which I have grown accustomed. I was particularly frustrated on Friday 28, when I came home from a 10-miler. Whatever one’s level, one should always be pleased about running ten miles. However, it took me 1h34’41”, and I’m becoming such a spoilt little brat that I find that unacceptable. No matter that the side of my right foot hurts because of wearing an old pair of ‘proper’  shoes (i.e. smartish – very ish) for eleven hours on Tuesday, that my right leg is not 100% or, indeed, that I’d run 63 miles over the six days prior, including my 26.2mi Longest Day Run and 13.5mi on Tuesday 25. If I were an outsider, looking in with logic and balance, I’d have harsh words with such a moaning twerrap. But it’s always harder to see the bleedin’ obvious when staring in the mirror.

Looking at the first half of the year, however, the picture isn’t too gloomy. I began in January treating #2013in2013 as an achievable target, but did not expect to be this far ahead of the game. Halfway through the year and I’m at two-thirds of the way towards hitting target – I don’t think it’s pretentious to suggest that I’d now be disappointed if I were to miss that goal. Maybe even hit it during the Chester Marathon? Hmmm… let’s just wait and see. Or run and see, anyway.
Mind you, it’s only when I come to do this monthly waffling that I track miles in year-to-date: what actually drives me, as a goal, is hitting 200mi/month. That in turn drives my 50mi/wk target, which I generally hit unless pre- or post-races considerations enter the equation. Six months in, and I’ve hit 200mi/month every time. Although I did panic a little last night, when only once I’d set off did I realise I’d been checking my minimum distance required on the basis of hitting 50 for the week… in my mind that’s because I’d looked into this earlier in the week and established I’d hit 200 for June before I’d hit 50 for the week… which turned out to be correct, but I did have to rush up to the laptop as soon as I got back from a 4-miler to check whether I had to go back out!

What will July bring? Hopefully 200mi, for starters: every other month so far has, so it would be rude if it didn’t. And, hopefully, a little more speed without hillage reverting back to pre-Italy levels. Can I blame the heat if I fail to pick up the pace? Hmmm… now there’s a thought!
Oh hang on… says here “He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else”… darn!

Chester Marathon is now twelve weeks away, with the Bristol and Weston-super-Mare (Grand Pier
) halves nine and eleven weeks off respectively and the Portishead half a fortnight after Chester. All training will be geared towards Chester, mind – and a sub-3h30’ finish. So maybe two long runs in July, say on Thursday 11 and 25 or weekends thereafter? Sounds like a plan. Frightfully so…

Last but not least, hopefully July won’t bring any niggles or, indeed, injuries. I have finally satisfied myself that my niggle was that: occasional yet successful use of a newly-purchased ice pack, combined with not-too-shabby mileage, has proven that. Phew! Although that
s not to say I have fully figured out how to make it disappear for good Ill get back to you on that one.

Chester, Chester
what is this Chester I speak of?
I’ve referenced a few time the Chester Marathon over recent weeks. What I’ve never done is announced that I’ll be running it. So there you go, folk:

I’ll be running the 2013 Chester Marathon!

And if that doesn’t bring down the Internet under a flurry of social media activity..!

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