Training and Events (14-20 September 2014)

Sunday

5k East Anglian Air Ambulance Runway Run in the morning.  This felt hard.  I’m not sure why that was – the long run with Linda on Thursday, a rough course over grass with a few inclines and some wind – or whether I was unfairly comparing my time/effort with some of my better Parkruns which are on much easier terrain.  Anyway, my chip time was 26:24 which was a minute inside the bronze standard time that I was aiming for – so job done.  And it was a nice event too with a fabulous goodie bag.

40 miles on the bike with the Dandy Horse guys in the evening.  This was a fun ride and it was good to be able to get out after missing the VCN Club Ride in the morning.  My legs were tired and they complained a bit on the hills but I’m glad I went and I’d probably go again on another occasion if I was unable to get out for the morning ride.  It’s good that there are more and more possibilities for people to get out and ride with a group.

Monday

Rest day.

Tuesday

NRR efforts on the field.  The efforts sessions are always worth going to and provide an effective and fun workout whilst taking up very little of the evening.  This week we had the annual club photo so we were a bit later getting out on the field.  The session was run by Richard High and was a pyramid session.  I am never exactly sure how hard to push myself for the effort bits but I suppose 5k PB pace is probably ideal ie 8 minute/miles.  But really I have to go by feel as I can’t be peeping at my watch whilst running around the field and very soon it will be too dark to see my watch anyway.

Wednesday

Rest day.

Thursday

Long run with Linda and Mark in the evening – 12 miles this week.  I hadn’t been feeling very up for it all day, the weather was warm and I felt a bit slumpy.  Linda said the same.  Once I got started I felt better but this was a hard run.  Mark was good at keeping us to pace (10’30 min/mile) but by 9 miles we were tiring and walked up a few hills in the last mile or so.  But we did do it.  I felt a bit weird though later in the evening  – got up to unload the dishwasher and felt very faint so had to slump back on the sofa.  I don’t think I am great at these distance efforts even when I run them at a nice easy pace.  Next week we are doing 14 miles but are doing the Marriotts Way so at least that will cut out the hills.  After that I think we taper.  I hope so anyway.

Friday

Rest day.  And I needed it!

Saturday

Rest day

Thoughts

It is hard to balance the time spent on cycling and running without worrying that fitness in one is compromising that in another.  At the moment I am focusing on running because of the half-marathon (now less than a month away!) and last week I turned down the opportunity for a nice brisk evening ride with Jess because I didn’t want my legs to be too tired to do the long run.  I did cycle on the Brompton Monday-Friday (59 miles in total) but that was it for cycling other than the Dandy Horse ride on Sunday.

Total mileage

Running 17.8 miles

Cycling 100 miles

Aims for next week

To make sure I get plenty of rest before the long run at the end of the week

Concentrate on running rather than cycling

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad (or Don’t Pay the Ferryman)

Over the past week or so I have taken part in 3 events which I had not tried before.  Two of them were a success!

First up was the Tour de Broads – a 70 mile cycle sportive around the broads (broads are lakes in Norfolk!).  My friend, Sally was doing it with her club, Sandringham and West Norfolk Cyclists so it seemed a good opportunity to have a day out cycling with them.

The first 40 miles were pleasant enough – scenic route, good company and the weather was dry and relatively warm.  We’d had a bit of a wait to start – mostly due to one of Sally’s club members not turning up on time, but also the actual start of the event was delayed so everyone set off somewhat later than anticipated.  After 40 miles the route crosses the river via the Reedham Ferry.  This is a quaint little contraption which I have crossed on many times before.  Here it is:

The Reedham Ferry

The Reedham Ferry

As you can see it’s not very big.  It’ll take a couple of cars or about 20 or so bikes.  There were apparently 1500 riders on this Sportive!  Now you don’t need a calculator really to see that this was not going to work.  When we arrived at the ferry we were met with a queue, a very very long queue.

Queue for the Reedham Ferry

People were turning around and cycling back the way we had come, saying the wait would be about 2 hours.  It was!  2 hours standing in a queue for a ferry in the middle of a ride.  It is not what you want – you get cold, your legs seize up and  it makes the day too long.  I knew the way home, so after half an hour or so I abandoned my friends and headed back to Norwich.  By the time my friends had got across the river they had lost enthusiasm for the ride and to top it all, when they finally got to the finish, the organisers had run out of medals.  It was all a bit of a shambles and it wasn’t as if we saw any broads really anyway.  I think from now on I will be sticking to club rides and will take a break from sportives.  I have been feeling a bit “over” them since the Boudicca ride back in May when they ran out of food at the 85 mile mark.  Why pay money when you can ride the same roads for free?

The next event was the East Anglian Air Ambulance Runway Run.  Despite the fact that this was moved at the last minute to a new venue (due to nesting birds on the original site I believe), this was a lovely friendly little event that was well organised and involved no queuing.  I did the 5k (there was also a 10k option which was just 2 laps instead of 1).  It was a tough course – varied terrain and a bit windy – but I enjoyed it.  And the goodie bag was superb – a running vest, a medal, a notebook, crayon stick, pen, and a toy helicopter!!  And the event was all for a good cause too.  Plus I got the Norwich Road Runners Club 5k bronze standard time that I had been after – so that’s another one of those in the bag – just the half-marathon and 20 mile times to get.

Here I am with my helicopter!

Then later that day I did the third event.  This was an evening ride organised by the guys from the Dandy Horse Cafe on Magdalen Street.  It was a social ride – started with a coffee, then 40 miles riding and finished with a beer at The Plasterers Arms pub – a very fine beer it was too.  It was good to have the opportunity to cycle in the evening for a change.  I won’t be going out with them on a regular basis as I enjoy my VCN Sunday morning Club rides but on those days when I can’t make it out in the morning it is good to have the option of an evening ride.  It was very different to a VCN ride – we were a bit of a motley crew, some of us in full lycra, but others in more everyday clothing with no concession to aerodynamics or sweat-wicking at all.  The advertised pace was 16-18mph which was roughly what we did, but we rode in a slightly erratic fashion, speeding up and slowing down at random and spreading ourselves along the road in quite a straggle.  But they were a friendly and welcoming bunch and were supportive of everyone there, regrouping when necessary when people fell behind and one member even rode back to the city with a guy who was struggling to keep up on his single speed, rather than let him hold the rest of us back or have him collapse in a heap at the roadside.  It was fun!