Archive for May, 2013

Porthkerry 5

Posted: May 27, 2013 in Running
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The Porthkerry 5 is described as a 5 mile scenic race with some hills.  I decided to have a go last minute and to register on the day. On arrival,  there was a lot of activity at the car park and the cafe was doing a roaring trade too. There was a exhibition stand by the TA and the also entered a team of runners. Medical cover was supplied by St.  John Ambulance and Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association.

After registering, I made my way to the start which was a few minutes walk chatting with a some runners from Bridgend. The start line was the usual herding together of runners with the usual smells of deep-heat.

The claxon signaled the start of the race and I made off at a reasonable pace over a flat grass pasture. I figured that I would be having a rest walking up hill soon enough.

We turned and ran across the sea front and hit the first uphill section. I ran up as far as I could at the same pace. The path entered a wooded area and quickly became a single track and the whole column slowed to a walk. We emerged from the woods onto a blustery hill top before joining a paved area beside a main airport approach road. An aircraft roared overhead as we turned down hill along a steep lane. I accelerated, leaning forward as my legs tried to keep pace with my upper body. I overtook several runners before hitting a narrow trail. I ended up behind a girl who was setting a good pace along the flat track. As we headed under a rail viaduct, we hit a water hazard which was featured on the safety briefing. The runner I was following faltered and took evaisive action while I ploughed straight ahead, overtaking with mud splatering everywhere! We then made a left turn and there was a brief respite as we headed down a flat road before again ascending up a steep wooded section. Again, we all slowed another “hiked” up the steepest part. Again we emerged onto a windy hilltop and made a zig-zag course marked by tape and marshals. I got snagged on a thorny branch, picking up a Minor flesh wound.

Soon we were headed back down again back on to the home stretch over the same flat grass pasture we had started from. The finish was at the far (seaward) end. I felt pretty good and felt I had put in a reasonable effort. Nearing the finish an older female runner drew up beside me and commented on how well she thought the race had gone. I agreed between gasps, to which she replied “see you at the finish then!” Before giving a cheerful wave and accelerating toward the finish line. Somewhat taken aback, I pushed a bit harder but couldn’t catch up. I crossed the finish line but forgot to switch off the Garmin so had to wait for the official results for my actual time. I collected my T-shirt and had a chat with the TA squaddies before heading home. My first multi-terrain race complete!

My children have just joined their friends in attending swimming lessons on Saturday mornings. While this has prevented my attendance at Park Runs, I have started going swimming too. While they have their lesson, I can do a few lengths and afterward they can continue to practise and we can play a few games.

Generally, I do about 500 – 600 meters with a rest between each 50m or 40m set. I use the Garmin 300xt to track these laps. I am not too worried about the time taken to complete the laps, but do whatever I can in 30 minutes.

In my last post, I tracked down a copy of Total Immersion, but found it a bit too complicated. I spent a lot of my workout time trying to get the drills right.. Instead of following that plan, I decided to build my efforts and, like the beginners running series, I found a build up plan on about.com.

I only get chance to swim once a week, so I’ll see how it goes.

Swimming Workouts – Build to 1500 Meters or Yards

Born to Run

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Running
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Never would have believed it.  But running makes me feel better.  I can turn off from everything, focus on something or drift away.

I had a hectic day at work, finished around seven in the evening and the last thing I felt motivated to do was go for a run.

I made this remark and a colleague and get said:  “go on,  you know you’ll feel better after.”

So I dragged myself and my kit to the gent’s, got changed and the phone rang.

“Can you pick up x,  y,  and z”  from the shop on the way home.  My mind raced on the way to the car. If I go to this shop, I could run along this trail,  or if I went to that shop,  I could run along the river,  etc, etc.

In the end, I made a quick visit to a store and parked up on the edge of a wooded trail. I planned to run out for about 3k and then return along the same route.

The trail is mostly up hill on the way out and I was breathing hard in places.  At the half way point I accelerated along a flat stretch for about 300m before coming out of the wilderness and abruptly arriving at a busy road. Crossing the road, I took a another trail and started to loop back in an arc before rejoining the return path and again accelerating down hill back to the start.

It was only a quick but “hilly” 6k and I felt great!