62@62 Just 9 weeks to go

So race day is 9 weeks today and how time flies.

It has been a long time since I have posted anything here. There are several reasons and being too busy is not one of them. First off, some statistics. I have run 2040 miles since starting on this particular challenge and apart from during a couple of races all of them have been solo running. Most of the time I like solo running, with no headphones and music of course. I like to be out there with nature and thinking about ‘stuff’ whilst I am running. As so many runners will attest to, running is a great time to think through your problems and worries and quite often the answer will come to you, sometimes you are in so much pain you forget what the problem was in the first place. Saying that, it is a lot of miles to be running on your own, especially as at the moment it is just a case of ‘getting the miles in’ just nothing too exciting. It is so nice though when something out of the ordinary happens and just such a thing happened when a young buzzard hopped on to a post next to one of the paths I run on. It was almost tame, I stopped and took photos and talked to it and it just looked at me. It was just awesome and made so many of the runs along that path just so worth while.
So, back to why I have not blogged anything for quite a while. I can only put it down to I have lost my ego. What do I mean. Well, when I started on this particular challenge I got a bit carried away with thinking that because of my age and the level of challenge, that lots and lots of people would be really interested in what I am doing and that I would get sponsors (not charity but sports equipment/advice/gym etc.) because there are not that many people in the country doing what I am doing. The truth is, nobody wants to sponsor me and only a handful of people are really interested. Now I do not consider this a problem and I am not looking for sympathy or feeling down about it or anything. It is just the reality of it. Now I have represented GB in the past and so I know what it is like to ‘be up there’. These days I still manage to win my age group or in the top three and in the top third or quarter of all ages, which I am quite proud of. But it puts you in that area where you are not at the front or you are not at the back and you just fade into the crowd. This isn’t just me by the way it is an observation over 40 years of running. Look at the London Marathon for instance. The front runners or the back walkers get all the media. The thousands of runners that put effort in, week in and week out, run good times but just get lost in the mire. I have always run for me and never ‘looked’ for glory and never will but some days/weeks I just think it would be nice to get some credit for what I do. No problem though, please don’t think I am being negative, I am not, but again as any runner will attest to, running is so much in the head and the more happy you are the better you run. Of course is also works the other way round. Running well makes you really happy.

I have competed in a couple of events in the last few weeks as well. The first one saw me become an ultra runner. It was the Imber 33. Thirty three miles of mud, rain, wind and a little bit of sun around the Imber ranges on Salisbury Plain. I have to say as tough as it was I really enjoyed it and learnt so much about ultra running, the experience was invaluable. The second was The Malvern Hills Trail Half. As the name implies it was a trail half over and around the Malvern Hills including up and over the Worcester Beacon. Although it was only a half, it was quite tough, the mud was several inches deep and quite a few runners ended up falling. I am pleased to say I managed to stay upright, but then again I wasn’t racing as such, it was a training run/learning event for me.

So with 9 weeks to go what am I doing. Well apart from trying to sell my house I have got the Neolithic Marathon in a couple of weeks and the Ridgeway Revenge 1/2 in June. Both being used as hard training runs rather than races. Long runs at the weekends and a easy midweek 14 over to Avebury. Keeping the mileage up to between 70 and 80 a week. I have and will be taking protein shakes after most runs as well. I realised that I was not eating enough protein and being the lazy cook and not knowing where the kitchen is in my house I decided to get a protein supplement. And I have to say I do feel better after taking it after every run. So there is another lesson learnt. Eat properly when you are running 70 – 80 miles a week.
Well, if you are still reading this, thank you and I will update you all a bit nearer the time.

Pete

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62@62 Race To The Stones

Well week 23 of my Race To The Stones challenge and all is well. I think.

Last weekend I raced in the Exeter Half Marathon. First of several races this year. I said to myself I wasn’t going to race hard but just gauge what my fitness level was. Of course all that changed when I was on the start line and I ended up ‘racing’ it. I managed to hold a conversation during most of it, completed it in 1.48 and won my age group. So was fairly happy with that, especially as I was in a certain amount of pain for most of the run. I think I have a long standing injury with my piriformis (my bottom) and I think I over did it on the run, in fact I could hardly walk the next day. And so I took a couple of days off from running, bought a roller and have managed to book an appointment at Swindon Sport Injury Clinic to get it checked out. I have started running again and it does not seem to give me too much of a problem if I just run at normal training pace, but still going to get it checked out as don’t want any problems when I start going over the marathon distance.

21 miles done yesterday and felt ok for saying I had not done a long run for a few weeks. So as the Imber 33 is in only 3 weeks I am going to try to get a couple of long runs in per week for the next 2 weeks. I am getting both nervous and excited about my first event over the marathon distance. It will be a new experience for me. I know I am going to do it. I just want to do it well in a respectable time.

So back to long distance training for me.

62@62 Week 4

 

 

Week 4 and all is well.

 My total for this week is 60 miles, which I am quite pleased with. Six days of 8 mile runs and one run of 12 miles. The 12 mile run felt a bit slow but based on my time it was pretty much the same pace as every other run, so it may have felt a bit of a struggle on the hills it wasn’t actually any slower. Next week (5) I am going to have an easy week. When I was in my twenties I used to average 90 plus miles a week. I even went over the 100 a couple of times but I really don’t think it is wise for me to aim for that sort of mileage again. It would be nice and I have the time to do it as well but I just think my body would not cope with it anymore. It will be interesting to see what I do average a week over the next few months though. I am old school in that I want to ‘get the miles in’ but realistically I am not sure if that is the best thing to do anymore. My runs this week were lovely. All done in that lovely autumnal weather that is warm enough and sunny enough to really enjoy just being out there. And on Wednesday I was just cooling down on my drive after my run and my lovely 85 year old Italian lady from next door brought me a Espresso out. It was absolutely delicious a real Italian Espresso, it went down a dream.

 What has also been nice this week is that a few people have stopped me and wished me luck. They had seen my article in the Adver and were ‘well impressed’. One guy an (an ex runner) even offered to take me up on to The Ridgeway and pick me up after when I am doing my long long training runs.

 I also bought myself a new Garmin watch. I could not resist treating myself and so I bought the Garmin 235 which is probably far to good for what I need, but the more I read the instruction book the more I am impressed with it and I am sure it will improve my performance. At worst it will tell me I am having a heart attack 🙂

 I think I am starting to get a handle on the nutrition as well, With the help of a good friend from Malvern. Apart from I fell off the wagon on one of the days and ate a packet of custard creams it seems to be working. I have not eaten processed food or meat for a month now and I feel like I have more energy than I have for a long long time. I do believe I am starting to eat the right things but what I am not doing yet is making a delicious balanced meal. I just eat the healthy food as and when rather than cooking up a meal. Hopefully by the end of this challenge I might be able to put a proper meal together !!!!!

So that is it for week 4 lets see what week 5 brings.

 Many thanks for reading my blog post.

 Pete