Friday, 30 December 2011

Unwarranted gloom

An interesting run this morning. I did a familiar 4.3 mile loop up and around the lanes before breakfast - and really struggled on it. My legs didn't seem to want to work properly. My ankles, calves and knees were sensitive. I felt all ploddy and out of sorts.  Looking back at my records, I'm wondering if it's because I have fairly quickly ramped up the frequency with which I've been running, combined with the fact that it's all been on roads and I'm really an off-road runner. All of which is leading me to think that my next exercise sesson should be in the gym to do some strengthening and core work.
Sorry this is such a self-absorbed post. I'm just a bit light on the post-run endorphins today.
Smileyrating 6/10

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

On a roll...

After a little local trot out yesterday (A pretty level 3.5 miles or so, in the relentless drizzle), I was out again today for a more challenging run with my brother-in-law Pete. Staying on the roads again (I can't wait for it to dry out a bit so I can get off-road) we did a hilly route around the lanes. 5.24 miles, 396ft of ascent/descent, which I did with an average heart rate of 149 - 2bpm over my aerobic target of 147. So a good training run for me, (thanks Pete), though my legs did feel a bit bashed up at the end. A rest day tomorrow, methinks.
It was wild and chilly out but at least it didn't rain. There was even a hint of blue in the sky to lift the spirits. It's been so unremittingly grey for ages it was lovely to see it.
After a pretty relaxed year, I seem to be getting some regular running in at the minute. This is great, but I'm going to be careful not to push too far, too fast to avoid injury. Isn't that just the greatest excuse for sofa surfing watching telly and eating cake!
Smileyrating 8/10

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Of lightbulbs and goose terrine...

Another chilly day. Another soggy day. Another chilly, soggy run done. Miles in the legs and all that. After  festively dusting and vacuuming the house (and nipping out to Morrisons for spare lightbulbs to replace the one I dropped (don't ask)) I worked my way round my local lanes again for about 45 minutes at 8:45 min mile pace (quickest, 6:48). The bald statistics hide the fact that it was, despite the weather, a lovely run. I was enjoying it so much that I put an extra loop on the end just to get some more running in.

According to my Garmin, I burnt 551 calories, though Lord knows how it calculates such a thing. Anyway, I'm no expert in calories, having never counted one in my life, but in my book 551 equates to a slice of goose terrine (made by the lovely Mrs HF), 2 slices of bread, green salad, slice of Christmas cake, mince pie and glass of sherry that I've had since then - and will still leave some left over for the fish pie, glass or so of crisp white and hot mince pie + chilled yogurt I am looking forward to tonight. As I said, I'm no expert...

Happy festive waddling!

Smileyrating 1/10 for the weather, 9/10 for the running

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Hard and immensely satisfying...

(Ooh er missus).

After a day of festive preparation which included wrestling the Christmas tree from the downstairs shower (where it was standing to drain the rain from it) to the lounge and then subsequently festooning it with baubles various, I really needed to get out and get some fresh air. So I belted out, headtorch on, and ended up doing a top training session which essentially involved running hard uphill for 15 minutes to a high point on the local lane, gasping for breath for a bit, then running back, finishing with a  with a sprint. Only 25 minutes, so short, yet as sharp as anything I've done for a while.  It felt GREAT.

Now our tree is up, the festive season at HF Towers is officially open. This brings mince pies, chocolates, cake and other seriously non-athletic comestibles into play. Maybe my hard little run tonight was a sort of pre-emptive guilt trip prior to the munching. Well, I'm not going to obsess over it. It's Christmas. I'm off to open a bottle of champagne and toast the lovely Mrs HF.

Merry Christmas all.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Runner's Tip No.1: Don't trip over the sheep

I like winter running. I nipped out yesterday for my little River Loop run. It's only about 2.7 miles, but it's got a couple of proper little hills and some gentle upward trending sections, a nice downhill to finish and a flattish bit along the river in the middle. It was glorious. Lovely sparkly sunshine, crunchy underfoot with the occasional soft bit that gave a wet foot (wearing white socks was a mistake), and somnolent sheep that didn't skitter off as soon as you approached. Indeed, on the downhill section I was working my way towards a stile which lay in deep shadow of a wall, with the low wintry sun shining straight into my eyes. Suddenly, less than a metre in front of me, a lump of shadow started up and jogged away from me. Yep, I nearly blundered into a grazing ewe. I don't know who was more startled.
And there we are. Not a great training session. Not a run that can be ticked off a training plan. Just a nice steady trip out around familiar local landmarks; the sort of run that'll keep me ticking over until the New Year when, as every year, plans get made and 'training' starts.
Smileyrating    8.5/10

Thursday, 15 December 2011

'Tis the season to be lardy...

Yikes! Has it really been that long since I've been out for a run? Oh dear.
Since my last run, I've had a brilliant weekend's training with the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association. And their Christmas dinner. And five days toil at the compost heaps of Holehird gardens for the Lakeland Horticultural Society. And their Christmas lunch. There's a theme developing here. I'm off out again dog training tonight and tomorrow I have, no prizes for guessing, another Christmas lunch.

But today I threw off my festive indolence, stirred my stumps and headed out into the gloom and gentle sleet. I did a road route as I didn't fancy wading through knee-deep mire which is what the land round here is currently like. Even the sheep can be seen picking their way through it with a combination of distaste and delicately placed feet.  The lanes were running with water and covered in debris, with muddy trenches at the edges where the tractor wheels have chewed up the verges. The only life I saw were the stoic sheep and a flock of black, raucous, birds. I think they were rooks, but I suppose they could have been crows; I'm a bit hazy on the corvids. One Land Rover went sloshing past me. It was cold and misty and permanently drizzling. I and the weighty collateral damage from my multiple Christmas feasts toiled and laboured up the hills. But, you know what? I had a whale of a time. It just goes to show what magic things those endorphins are. I had no watch or Garmin, so I've no idea how long I was out, but it was great.

And that's what it's all about really isn't it? Getting out and getting round and having a good time while you do so.

From deep within the gorgeous Lake District, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a successful New Year.

Smileyrating 9/10