The detritus of a Button Monkey

11 Sep

Home stretch…

Getting close to my first half marathon. Tried the get a decent run in last Sunday and again failed. Confidence for this weekend was low. Club night on Thursday was looking like a chance for redemption. But would it fit in with tapering? Discussed the proposed plan for the run with two guys from the club and they suggested come and just take it easy. So I came and had a gentle plod. Really glad I went as it gave me a real confidence boost for Sunday. Going to do a really Parkrun and then all of my preparation is down.

29 Aug

Downs and ups

Been doing a lot of walking this last week. Have tried to do a good distance run in the evening and have died on my legs. I suspect my energy reserves were exhausted by the walking and I couldn’t replenish by the time of the run. Strangely, these runs told me a lot about myself as I kept trying to drag myself around. I certainly have a lot more drive now then when I started running.

Headed towards Parkrun today with some uncertainty. Will it be another bad run or a crack at a PB? Have got a rough timeline for my Parkrun PB’s so I know what kind of time for each km. Tried to follow someone running at my  pace and found a few candidates. On the last lap, it seemed I was slipping back so I took my foot off a bit. Looked at the timings and felt a decent time was still possible. Got my sums wrong but also underestimated how long it would take to finish. Sprint finish to the line and got another PB.

It seems strange to get a PB after such a bad week of running. But is also felt a bit weird getting the PB knowing I still had something left in the tank. Does mean I am making some progress though not sure if it will be beneficial progress for a half marathon.

05 Aug

Ant Man

This film was originally being developed by Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish. For what ever reason, they left the project. I was intrigued what would be left in the final film from their initial work. After seeing the film, I think there is significant elements that remain.

Without doubt, this is the funniest Marvel released yet. Maybe it is due to the talent of Paul Rudd or the script. It just fits together and works.

The story is fairly simple but origin stories rarely stray into complex plots. Unusually for a Marvel film, it feels almost outside of the Marvel universe. The references to the other elements of the universe don’t play an integral part of the plot so could easily be removed. for instance, there is a line about contacting the Avengers. In the scene, this line is serious but could easily have been changed to contacting the Power Rangers for comic effect.

The effects used to capture the small scale world are effective. You do get the feel that Ant man has shrunk to the size of an ant.

Can’t wait to buy this film and watch again. And again. And again.

05 Aug

Sunday in the sun

On Sunday, I planned to go for a long out and back on a cycle track to try and hit 10 miles. I have a half marathon plan on my Garmin Forerunner 220 and planned to use the session for a long run to go further than the plan suggested. As I started, it became apparent that the heart rate for the session was far lower than my comfortable rate so the watch kept warning me. This became annoying so I stopped the session and started again. And carried on. Found a comfortable rate at a decent speed. Kept my eye on the distance but the lap count was out. I got the wrong end of the stick and thought I made the turn at 8km. Turns out it was far less. Ultimately this was a blessing in disguise as I really struggled towards the end due to the temperature. Have to be happy with 12km on a very warm day at a nice pace.

01 Aug

Good week at Parkrun

Spent this morning doing some stretches in preparation for Parkrun. And avoided the chippie tea the night before! There is a guy at my local Parkrun who consistently runs sub 25 so my plan was to follow him as close as I could. Was getting worried at the start line as I couldn’t see him. He arrived just before we started so Project PB was on! Managed to keep up with him for most of the first two laps and then suffered up the second climb of Pomphrey. On the last lap, my pacer was off in the distance. I tried to manage a pace as best as I could. On the third climb of Pomphrey Hill, I had to walk a little. On the top of the hill, I checked my time and a PB was still on. It took a lot of effort to haul myself over the line for a new PB. In the end, managed to knock 16 seconds off. As I know the last lap wasn’t particularly good, I think another PB could be in the mix for next week too.

01 Aug

Bad week at the Parkrun

Did the Cardiff Parkrun last week. I looked at the course and it was flat so was hoping for a PB. The sheer number of people doing the run was amazing. Made it difficult to get going at a steady pace at the start. When I finally managed to get some clear space, I started to run at a PB pace. And then blew up!. Considering that the course was flat, I was amazed at how much I suffered. I spent the last part of course in survival mode. In the end, my time was about the same as my very first Parkrun on a hilly course. Maybe the chippie tea the night before wasn’t the best prep!!

26 Jul

Good weekend

Last wekkend was good. The Friday started with the purchase of some new shoes from easy runner. Later that day, did the GWR Towpath 10Km. I was thinking about test driving the new shoes but decided to use my old ones in the towpath was really muddy. Run went really well. Made a small mistake in trying to keep up with two people from my running club. Their pace was a little quicker than I could cope with and I REALLY suffered on the last 3km. But took over 4 minutes from my 10Km PB so pretty chuffed.

Following day, I did my local Parkrun with my son and he broke 40 minutes for the first time. Felt so proud as we crossed the line! Overall, a very fine weekend.

06 Jul

Cross training

Instead of an easy run today, I chose to take the bike out for a session climbing hills. There is something else pleasant about getting on my Kona cyclocross bike compared to my Cannondale mountain bike. The cyclocross bike is still much more responsive. It is a really pleasant riding experience on the road.

Wanted a hills session to see how far I have come with regards to my base fitness. Did four laps of my local hill and went for it on last lap. Last climb was only 8 seconds off my Strava PB.  Didn’t feel I really pushed myself so good to know the PB is there for the taking. Also doing more laps than I have ever done is a good sign, especially when I felt I could have done a further lap or two.

05 Jul

At last!!!!

I have been trying to run with a back pack. I have bought a Camelback Octane for use when running. I already own a larger camelbak for cycling but is seems to large for running.  This bag has several pockets to store things but not enough space to store too many things which would make the bag too heavy.

Up until now. Every attempt to use the pack so far has been disastrous. I must stress that it is nothing to do with the bag, I have had to give up running and walk home.  Have had various theories as to the cause of the problem. Current theory is that I was overheating either as a result of the ambient temperature or pushed myself too hard too quick.

Tonight, I aimed to just go at a steady pace. Temperature had dropped so should be able to complete the run. Ended up running slower than I hoped but basically kept running till I reached home. Glad I have finally got a good run with the back pack under my belt. The bag felt good though I may need to have another look at the straps to make sure it fits like a glove. Not sure if the flow from the reservoir when it is getting low is ideal, seemed to get a lot of air even though I felt I still had enough drink left. Will keep trying now I know I can run with it.

04 Jul

Strangely disappointed…..

Went for a run last night, aiming for a 10km route. Started well so kept my pace high as I felt good and looked to beat my 10km PB. After about 4km, was dead on my legs. In the end, I walked home with some shaky legs.

When I woke up this morning for Parkrun, I was concerned about whether I could do it or not after last night. Started off at a steady pace. Felt good so continued at the same pace as it would put me in PB territory.  Felt good until the last km when my body said enough is enough. So I just cruised to the finish straight before I gave it a final kick. Last km was 40 seconds off my average. If I had maintained my pace, would probably have ducked into sub 25 minutes. As it stands, finished with my second fastest time. But it still felt disappointing. Which is strange considering it was a great result. 

Think my problem lies in the heat as all of my recent troubles were in raised temperatures.

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