Two weeks in one post

I never got round to writing this last weekend and now I am going to struggle to remember anything about two weeks ago even with the aid of my Strava/Garmin records. But I shall try . . .

And I shall start with the easiest bit – the week that has just finished!

Saturday (29/11) – rest day (did clean dirty bike at last!)

Friday (28/11) – rest day

Thursday (27/11) – A lovely ride with Jen to the South of Norwich on very muddy roads. It was the first time I had seen Jen in months so there was lots to catch up on. I hadn’t bothered to clean my bike since the Audax earlier in the week but it is just as well really – I saved myself some effort by only having to clean it once.
(27.5 miles at ave 12.6mph, ave HR 123 bpm)

In the evening I went to the Norwich Road Runners session and ran a nice steady 4 miler with Karren. Again I hadn’t run with her for some time so there was lots to catch up on there too. It was a nice run although the street lighting is not great in some places and it was rather dark and difficult to see where you were putting your feet.
(3.9 miles at ave 10:11 min/mi pace, ave HR 139bpm)

Wednesday (26/11) – rest day

Tuesday (25/11) Norwich Road Runners efforts session on the field. I love these! And this was one well-suited to me as I prefer the shorter efforts – running hard for 5 mins always seems a bit much, but this was 1 min, then 45 secs recovery, then 45 secs, followed by 15 secs recovery, followed by 15 secs effort. And we did that 6 times. I remembered to push the lap button on my Garmin so could see my effort pace rather than just the meaningless overall pace (I walk on the recoveries and groan a lot!)
(3.5 miles, pace for effort parts varied between 6:14 mi/mile and 7:28 mi/mile, ave HR 148bpm)

Monday (24/11) Long run day. I have decided that I will do a long run (not always this long) every other week to keep my distance up. Anyway, I was planning to run alone which is fine if a little dull. But during the day Jess got in touch to ask if I was going to Norwich Road Runners as she was thinking of going too. When I said I was doing a 12 mile run, she rather remarkably said she would come too. Jess only started running a few weeks ago, and up til now the furthest she had run was just under 7 miles. And she coped fine. We kept the pace nice and slow. My stomach got very dodgy under the Magdalen Road flyover (not a place you want to stop for a natural break) but I did make it home without incident. My Heart rate was a bit higher than it should have been for a run at that pace – not sure why that was but I felt fine.
(12 miles, ave pace 10:35 min/mile, ave HR 151)

Sunday (23/11) Rest day spent marshalling at a very very soggy Norwich half marathon. I am so very glad that I did not register to run that event.

Here we are waiting to start marshalling at the half marathon!

Here we are waiting to start marshalling at the half marathon!

Saturday (22/11) Swaffham Scorpion Audax. It was a wet day and the roads were very mucky but audaxes (is that the plural?) are such fun – everyone is out just to enjoy the ride and not worry about their speeds and the food is always good. And they are so cheap – £5 if you are a CTC member and that includes the food. Doing audaxes has turned me off Sportives which never have such a good atmosphere, often have a lot of dangerous riders and are hideously expensive in comparison.
(65 miles at ave speed of 15.1mph, ave HR 136bpm)

Friday (21/11) rest day

Thursday (20/11) rest day

Wednesday (19/11) Evening run with Jess. This is my old route, the one I used to run every flipping time I went out but it is so long since I have done it regularly that it now feels all fresh and interesting again. It is good to run once a week with Jess as she goes a bit more quickly that I generally do and it’s probably good to have a bit more variety in pace.
(4.9 miles, ave pace 9:23 min/mile, ave HR 158 bpm)

Tuesday (18/11) Norwich Road Runners Efforts session – Descending ladders on Gas Hill. There were no ladders involved – these efforts were 40 secs up, walk down recovery, 30 secs up, walk down recover, 15 secs up, walk down recovery x4. Or at least I think that’s what we did – it is so long ago now that I might have got it a bit wrong) Doesn’t sound a lot, does it? But Gas Hill is steep and it was hard work. But fun too! I managed it and whilst my legs were achy the next day my achilles was fine and I suffered no ill effects.
(Garmin data pretty meaningless as didn’t use the lap button – but total distance was 3.2 miles)

Monday (17/11) Rest day

Sunday (16/11) Longdale Striders Catton Park Relay for the Big C. I was an honorary Storey for this event. Basically we had to run laps of Catton Park for 3 hours – teams could have as many members as they wished. We started off with 5 members which meant not too much running had to be done by any of us, but after one lap the girls decided they didn’t want to do any more, so Linda and I did two laps but poor old Mark ended up doing all the rest. It was a fun event and hopefully they raised a lot of money.

Mileage (for week beginning 23/11)

Cycling – 49.1 miles
Running – 19.4 miles

Mileage (for week beginning 16/11)
Cycling = 118.5 miles
Running = 11.9 miles

Scenic 7, long run, cycle paths and fog

Another week! Plenty of mileage both running and cycling. But somehow it all feels quite hard at the moment. I think it’s the cold. It’s still fun, don’t get me wrong – I am enjoying Autumn rather more than I usually do, but it feels like an effort and going fast is just not possible!

Sunday: Stowmarket Striders Scenic 7. It is so much harder to run now the air is cold. My legs aren’t so bad – it’s the breathing! And I need to breathe! I ran this with Linda and Liz until near the end when we reached a hill and Liz had the energy to attack it and Linda and I didn’t! It was a nice little route, through some pretty countryside and the weather was good for November. In fact, I’ve generally been lucky with the weather for my races but maybe I shouldn’t say that? Anyway, any time was a PB since I had never run a 7 mile race before and I completed it in 1:04:51 which is perfectly respectable. There was no medal at the end (boo!) but we did get a very luminous yellow buff which I guess will come in handy for cycling although it will clash rather with my red club kit!
(7.1 miles at ave pace of 9:09 mi/mile, ave HR 156bpm)

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: I couldn’t make it to efforts (which is a pity as they apparently did hills which is what I need to practise)so I went out and did a long run instead. I ran the same route that Linda, Mark and I did two months ago when we were working up to the half marathon distance – it was one that felt really hard. But this time it felt easier – perhaps because it was cooler but more likely because I started the loop at a different point (from home) so the hilly bit was much nearer the beginning than when we ran it previously. I used the heart rate monitor to stop myself speeding up, keeping my HR under 150bpm even up hill). Anyway, this run felt good – other than the bit where I had to dive into some trees at the edge of Mousehold Heath for a natural break!
(12 miles at ave pace of 10:29 mi/mile, ave HR 143 bpm).

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Cycle Paths of Norwich (which my son misheard as “Psychopaths of Norwich” which would have been a much scarier – and undoubtedly faster – tour). But instead this was a nice gentle exploratory ride, trekking down paths I had not been down before and it was good fun. The cycle paths were mostly good quality but of course you have to cycle slowly because of pedestrians and dog walkers. It’s just a shame that the paths don’t link up a bit better as it’s hard to actually go anywhere much on them – they are just little links between stretches of road riding, most of them not that useful for going places but fun and relaxing to potter along.
(26.4 miles, ave speed 14mph, ave HR 129 bpm)

Friday: rest day

Saturday: Foggy ride with Jess. I think this was the foggiest conditions I have ever cycled in and it was a bit scary in places. We had lights but I did feel a bit exposed on the occasions I rode alongside nearer the middle of the road. It was good to get out and clear my Belgian Beer Hangover but my back was very troublesome and I had to stop a couple of times and stretch it out and by the time I got home and for the whole of the next day it was really very sore. It’s odd as I had no problems on that bike last winter, and other than my shoes, nothing has changed. Anyway, Alan compared the set-up to my summer bike and the saddle was set further back on the winter bike so he has now adjusted that and I shall have to test it out and hope it is better. We stopped for coffee and a cake at the Hen House near Wymondham which was a place I’d never been to before but would definitely go back to again!
( 39.6 miles, ave speed 15.6mph, ave HR 144 bpm)

Weekly mileage
Running: 19.1 miles
Cycling: 103.3 miles

It’s harder to get myself out of the door now the cold has arrived!

Autumn, with hints of winter, arrived this week. And sitting all cosy in the lounge, with the fire blazing, it is so much harder to get those running or cycling shoes on and head out of the door. There is always so much clobber to put on for one thing. In the summer you can just toss on a few bits and bobs for decency’s sake and head out, like this:


Well, maybe not quite like this. This is me, in June 2012, about to do the Norwich 50, my first bike ride in almost 20 years. But the main reason for posting this is because I did this ride on my son’s bike and this bike was stolen from St Stephen’s on Friday evening. So if you see this bike (a Dawes Tamarack in gold and blue) then please let me know, or wrestle the rider to the ground and steal the bike back from them – although maybe that might be a bit much if some poor soul has the same model!

Anyway I did brave the cold and the wind and the rain and get out last week although didn’t do as much on the bike as I had planned (because of the weather):

Monday: In the morning I went out alone and did hills on the bike. I am rubbish on hills so this needed to be done. But boy was it hard. I did Skeets Hill x3 on the single-speed. I struggled to get up it to be honest and by the time I got back home my legs were very sore (bit of a bummer that I have to cycle up a hill to get to the house).
(27.1 miles, ave speed 15.5mph, ave HR 138bpm)
In the evening I went to the NRR session. Wendy was offering a hill option and had I not done Skeets on the bike in the morning I probably would/should have done that, but my legs were too tired so I went on the nice gentle 5k route with Claire and some others. It was just what I needed.
(3.1 miles, ave pace 10:52/mi, ave HR 134bpm)

Tuesday: rest day

Wednesday: Did the usual flat run from home at a nice easy pace. I am surprised I didn’t fall over as it was Guy Fawkes Night and fireworks were going off every few minutes so I spent most of the time gazing up in the sky rather than looking where I was going.
(3 miles, ave pace 10:40/mi, ave HR 135bpm)

Thursday: Another solo run as couldn’t get to club because of a sixth form open day
(4.5 miles, ave pace 10:05/mi, ave HR 140bpm)

Friday: Jess and I had planned on a bike ride (and I needed the bike miles) but the weather was just too horrible (rainy and sooo windy) so we ran instead. It was Jess’ first run in ages (years maybe?) but she did fabulously – in fact, she ran more quickly than I usually do for training runs. It was more of a tempo run, and my legs felt very tired afterwards. But it was good to get out and do something.
(4.5 miles, ave pace 9:17/mi, ave HR 156bpm)

Saturday: Rest day (in preparation for the Stowmarket Scenic 7 on Sunday – will write about that next week).

Cycling: 65.3 miles
Running: 15.1 miles

I wonder if I will ever have a week when I run further than I cycle?

The Last Week of Summer

Summer was over long ago I suppose but temperatures have regularly been in the mid to high teens, Halloween was the warmest on record and in terms of running and cycling I haven’t really felt like I have switched to autumn or winter gear. But I think this is it! From next week I will have to find long-sleeved running shirts and dig out my proper gloves and try out my newly purchased winter bibtights for cycling. It is always harder to make myself get out there and run, and particularly cycle in the colder months, mostly because of the amount of clobber you have to put on to do so and the thought of having to clean all the crud off the bike afterwards. But once I get out there, I always get warm quickly and enjoy myself just as much as I do in summer time.

Summer bike awaits his clean - maybe his last clean before he hibernates for the winter

Summer bike awaits his clean – maybe his last clean before he hibernates for the winter

The past week was half term and I didn’t do any races:

Sunday: VCN Club Ride to . . . yep, Goodies, yet again! I seem to go there a lot. This year the wind has been from the south-west more often than not (that’s why it’s been mild, I guess) and Goodies is convenient and cheap and always welcoming to cyclists. This time though, Jim was leading and he took us a different route – kind of backwards with a bit added on which made a pleasant change. The club group was large (and we gained some extras for the return trip as a few people came across from the middle group) and a bit stop-start as one of our number had been doing a lot of running, preparing for the Norwich Half Marathon, and his running legs were struggling to cycle, particularly up the hills. I know my legs were similar when I was doing a lot of running in the weeks before Peterborough and that cycling was a big effort so I had a lot of sympathy.
(44.3 miles at ave of 16.2mph, ave HR 141 bpm)

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: The first of two double-up days. In the morning I went for a solo ride, never straying too far from home. The Heartsease roundabout was closed to traffic so I had to get off and walk across that and there were lots of traffic queues in places there wouldn’t normally be at that time of day, so I did crawl along quite a lot but it was a good ride with a few city hills thrown in to make it fun.
(19.6 miles at ave of 14.2mph, ave HR 139bpm)

In the evening I went to running Club and did the efforts on the field. These are always fun and this time, at last, I remembered to use the lap button on my watch so when I got back and loaded the run up I could see exactly how fast I do run the effort sections. This session was 3-2-1 x 3 with recoveries between of half the time of the effort – so 3 mins effort, 1.5 mins recovery etc. We then did a further 2 x 1 min effort with 30 secs recovery in between. Anyway I was quite pleased to see that for the effort bits I was running roughly 7:30 min/miles, the best being the first 1 min effort at 7:03 min/mile and the worst being the final 3 min effort at 7:36 min/mile. So that was interesting although I’m not sure I could ever run those kind of speeds for more than a couple of minutes at a time! Or maybe I could if I worked at it? Who knows?
(4.1 miles at ave pace 8:56 min/mile, ave HR 156bpm)

Wednesday: kind of rest day. I went to London with Joe and we walked a lot so my legs were more tired after that, I think, than they were after the previous day’s double-up cycle and run.

Thursday: My second double-up day. I headed out for a cycle in the morning, which included another hike across the still-closed Heartsease roundabout and a detour further down when the road was closed there too. My legs felt really good for the first time in ages. I was on the single-speed and didn’t try to go particularly fast but felt I could have cycled forever.
(20.6 miles at ave speed 15.1 mph, ave HR 137 bpm)

Then in the evening I did my “long” run. For a long run it was short but it was the first time I had run more than 5 miles since the half-marathon. I felt OK, and it was really good that my route overlapped with the NRR route as I passed loads of my club mates running the other way and that definitely helped to keep me going. My legs were very tired by the end and still aching the next day and it made me wonder how I ever ran 13.1 miles. But I needed to do a longer run as I am doing the Stowmarket Scenic 7 in just over a week.
(8.2 miles, at ave pace of 10:23 min/mile, ave HR 145bpm)

Friday: Short evening run. I felt tired for this one and actually walked a few times. I would probably have done better to have had a rest day. But it was good to be out and about in the early evening and see all the children out in their Halloween costumes.
(3.1 miles at ave pace of 11:01 min/mile, ave HR 141 bpm)

Saturday: Morning ride (Loddon Loop) with Jess. We got out bright and early, and whilst it was a bit windy, we had a nice chatty ride, mostly in sunshine. A good way to end the week!
(29.7 miles, ave speed 15.9 mph, ave HR 146 bpm)

Cycling: 115.2 miles
Running: 15.4 miles