Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Give me sunshine...

Another morning hunched over a word processor. Another morning's tension in the shoulders and brain. Bright sunshine outside.... It didn't take much to obey the call to go for a run today!

I popped round my new local route which is all uphill at the start and then downhill from about mid-way. It's pretty much all across fields, including one which is still knee-high grass (which caused great red weals where it brushed my legs - I must be more sensitive to grass than I thought), and one in which there are always a few hens free-ranging about. I felt really slow and ploddy, with tired (soon to be fetchingly blotchy) legs. Apart from that, it was great, with gorgeous warm sunshine, tractors buzzing about cutting the grass and swallows flitting about after the insects the grass cutting disturbs.

For the digitally inclined, here are the figures: Duration 27min 10s,  2.39 miles, 185 ft of ascent. Average pace 10:47 min miles. Average HR 141, max 162. Not inspiring from an athletic point of view, but most satisfying from an emotional one.

Smileyrating 9/10

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Runners' Rules

I think there's a rule of running which goes something like: 'Thou shalt run fastest when thou leaves thy watch at home - trouble is thou shalst never be believed'.

Well, I don't care. If tonight's run is anything to go by, it's true. I thought I'd nip out for a Buzzard Loop, before it chucked it down with rain. The last thing I agreed with Mrs HF as I went out the door was 'I'm just going to take it easy' (so no need for a watch), but as soon as I took my first stride I felt good. So I pushed up the hills, felt strong on the descents and enjoyed the flat bits. Net result: I felt faster than I have in ages. But was I? I'll never know.

Still, it's raining now. So that bit of the plan went right!

Smileyrating  9.3/10

A 'yow' called Nikon

After my last miserable effort, I'm delighted to report that I had a smashing run yesterday lunchtime. It was a warm, soggy sort of day (62% humidity according to the nifty little weather station gadget we've got on the windowsill) when I set off for a run that linked together bits of the routes I refer to as the 'River Loop' and the 'Buzzard Loop'.

It was on the first part of this that I heard, very distinctly, Click!, the sound of a camera shutter. 'Weird', I thought. There was nobody about. But then I heard it again, the distinctive click! of a camera shutter. I trotted on, looking around. And there it was. A bedraggled ewe (they call them 'yows' in these parts), head nodding with the effort, coughed/sneezed - and sounded uncannily like a camera. Phew. Mystery solved.

I then wondered whether sheep can get hay fever. After all, they are mammals, with mammalian immune systems and so presumably have all the necessary biological mechanisms to respond to allergens like grass pollen. Can you imagine being such a sheep? Sneezing and coughing, eyes streaming, wishing summer would hurry up and be over, being delighted every time it rained, going through a gate into a new field... oh bugger, more sodding grass... Atishoo! click....

Such musings kept me occupied for quite a while. The run was glorious. Even in the fields which have yet to be cut, with the knee-high soggy grass soaking my feet and legs (and leaving red wheals where my skin responded to the grass pollen) which meant I had to run with high knee-lift. Tiring, but good extra training. Rabbits were scurrying about. All in all, it was an enjoyable 35 minutes with 192 ft of ascent/descent.
Smileyrating 9/10

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ho Hum.

Along the river. Up a small hill. Along the top. Downhill. Home. Just 4.6 miles. Average moving pace 9:45 min miles. Despondent.
Smileyrating 4/10. At least I got out.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Bimbling along

Went round my local River Loop yesterday lunchtime. Nothing special in performance terms. Not an interval session. Not a hill session. No fartlek. I just went out and ran. The weather was lovely - warm sun and cool breeze. Sheep and (large) lambs to say hallo to. Gorgeous ferns in the woodland alongside the river. The perfect antidote to being hunched over a keyboard all morning.
Smileyrating 7.8/10 (I'm getting very discriminating!)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

On losing count

I did a lovely hill session today. Lovely in the sense that it was Kenyan hills (where you just keep going up and down, trying to maintain as even a rhythm as possible) so you get into a sort of karmic zen mindspace where you just keep going and going. I was so mentally chilled (if physically boiling in the warm sun) that I lost count. I meant to do 10 reps and ended up doing 11. The reps took 2.05 miles - so I reckon that's about a mile up and a mile down.
That'll do nicely.
Smileyrating  8/10