MdS challenge 2017

A challenge of the self


January 2016

Sometimes, life gets in the way

Hey folks,

Sadly my the only things that has been running this week is my nose. It’s done many more miles than me that’s for sure.

running nose
A week of inaction as been feeling, and looking pretty crap. However, i guess the upside is, I’ll be ‘fresh’ again to commence adding on more miles.

Reflecting on the previous months, I am happy with my increase in distance and my pace seems to getting better and other than having this cold, I’ve been injury free so far. I can’t really complain. Maybe it’s the lack of running this week that makes me feel a little down?

January Report mapmyrun January report

However, since I started I have now run over 1,000 kilometers in just over 7 months. Something I thought I’d never do. And, this month alone sees my mileage cover 200k.

The training plan here on in though does make this number seem ‘insignificant’ considering I’ll be doing 100k per week.

Onwards and upwards folks.

Marathon No. 1 – Done

7 months in! First ‘major’ milestone achieved. First marathon distance training run completed. A happy bunny really.

Marathon distance
Dunfermline to Kincardine & back

A route that saw me cover the distance along some fine coastal paths, all the way into Kincardine and back. Elevation assisted on way there, maybe hindered on the way back. That’s what I get for living on a hill. Some 147m across the distance.

Although I have a sore right knee now, I am generally in good form. I can walk unaided, so all is good.

Sadly, my watch battery ran out (misjudged charge by me) shortly after mile 22 but I went on to complete this milestone.

My drinking & eating was ok on this run which helped with my eventual finish time of…

3Hrs 46min 35sec

So… what now? Just more 🙂 This week sees me on another ‘hard’ week, i.e. another long day across the w/e and I’ll try and cover 100k this week.
I’m meeting a friend for a 40-45k on Sunday as we will be running together on the 33miler in March.

Onwards, and upwards! Keep doing what your doing.

another week passes by

Well, my first 100k week went ok and now into my second week of the same, I have to say, I failed again.
When I say failed, my circumstances changed and I had to settle with what I had done by Thursday. Which, wasn’t all that much. 2 x running to work and back (9.2k each way) so a shade under 37k. However, I did have a VERY busy weekend ahead which would compensate for the lack of miles.

I (my martial arts club) host an annual event and this year saw our 5th such event and approx 65+ Kenshi attending. I had invited guests from Italy (Verona & Torino) and had the pleasure of their company from Thursday afternoon through until Sunday evening.

Kendo Winter Seminar
Winter Seminar – Sunday attendees

The result of that meant, Kendo on Thursday evening (2Hrs), a welcome Keiko on Friday evening for folks travelling (2Hrs 30mins) and then all day Saturday (10:00 – 16:30) & Sunday (10:00 – 16:00). All with very high intensity across those times.

A normal session (Keiko) is usually the same as a 10k in intensity, so, I don;t feel too bad that I didn’t run. I did the mileage in other ways.

I’m now ‘back on track’ with my 100k miles after a two day break and this weekend will see my long run reach marathon distance. My route has been plotted already, just gotta get out there and do it.

In other news; my runs to and from work seem to be paying dividends. I have reached a PB yesterday on way in & out. Since starting them, I’ve managed to knock almost three minutes off the run in, and two minutes on way home. That rise of 153m on route home does take it’s toll!

Anyways… onwards and upwards.

100k week

Hey folks,

An update on my first 100k week. If you followed the last post, you’ll know that my training regime has changed. I’m now trying to do 100k weeks from here on in.

Last week was my first attempt. Sadly, I didn’t make it. I wasn’t feeling too well on Saturday so missed my back to back. Therefore losing 10miles on my plan.

So, how did it go?

Monday saw me run to work (9.26k) which is mostly downhill.
This was also a scoping run. To see what the most effective way to run through the streets, i.e. the most efficient route.
I completed my run in 47:05 and was happy with that.
I was lucky enough to get a lift home as I had interval training later on.

Interval training consists of a 45min session of which we do;
500m warm up (rise of 10m overall) at 10min mile pace.
3 x hill sprints (200m length with a rise of 20m).
5 x sprints between lamp-posts (100m).
10 x stair reps (3 flights with a jog down to start and repeat instantly) A mixture of bunny hops, full squats and sprints (hitting each step).
1.3k cool down at 10min mile pace (24m rise overall).

Tuesday became a rest day.

Wednesday saw me run to work. A slightly varied route. I managed to cut off a corner (9.17k). I managed the distance in 44:10.
Wednesday also saw me run home. Knowing I live on a hill, i thought the uphill would be brutal and tiring. I was astounded to find that I ran it in 47:32. I was definitely happy with that!

Thursday was another run to work (9.22k)which was completed in 46:45. Again, happy that my running seems to be consistent.
Thursday evening sees me do my weekly martial art (Kendo). A 2Hr session which equates roughly to amount of effort in a 10k.

Friday was a rest day 🙂

As I said at the top. Saturday saw me not feeling too well so I postponed my long run. I relaxed all day.

Sunday became my long run as it wouldn’t run itself. I felt better. no headache and stomach was feeling ok.
I had already mapped my run and I was trying to complete it in 3:15:00 to 3:30:00, which I knew was pushing it, seeing as the first 9k is all uphill!
Well, I was pleased with my effort to the 9k mark and had (when I looked at the results) done 2 PB’s across the route.
At mile 10 i was undecided about turning back and making up the miles using a shortened route around the loch. Instead I decided to run into the nearest town, and keep going until my watch said 12 miles. Simply hit that mark and turn round. And that is exactly what I did.

Turning around at mile 12 and repeating the same route in reverse. I knew the hill (162m rise over 4.5k) was going to prove problematic and I was adamant that I was going to run it. Well.. needless to say, by the time the hill appeared (26.5k) my eating and drinking had suffered and I was tired. The after effects of yesterday I think. I had to walk the first part. I was determined to run the rest. The thing that spurred me on.. I saw a cyclist coming up, probably 1k away at the time, and I just upped my pace. I was determined that he wasn’t going to pass me. Sounds silly for sure but, it worked.
My running continued at a steady pace until I hit the end of the run, some 39.13k. A shade over 24miles!

24 mile run
Sitting here today, my knees hurt but that will pass. I ran into work (46:34) and I’m going to run back, should my body allow. i have the offer of a lift if needed. No intervals me thinks.

All in all, I’m happy with what I did. My times felt good and steady. It has made me think that the 33miler in March and then the 55miler three weeks after should be ok.

All I’ve got to do now is… keep going!

Bored, bored, bored

Today, i had my first run of the New Year. I had meant to run yesterday (according to my plan) but time disappeared and I couldn’t get the miles in. However, I did manage to do some form of activity by doing our annual Kangeiko (outdoor training) on the beach. So, not a lost cause altogether.

2016 Kangeiko – Silver Sands, Aberdour

As I was away on an overnight stay in a hotel, I had planned to do 10miles on the Saturday evening as I arrived. However due to other activities, etc. I arrived later than expected and had not eaten enough to get the miles done.
I had hope that I’d grab dinner, relax for a bit and hit the Gym. Due to the hotel still working on their festive timetable, the Gym was shut by the time I had finished dinner. Poop!

Ah well, I changed plans and decided to do, at the very least, the 10k i knew I had to first thing in the morning. NB: I’m on an ‘easy’ week so mileage isn’t high. Moreover, a recovery week really due to the 50miles the previous week.

So, I got up, went to the Gym and pressed GO on the treadmill. Programme set for 1Hr time and I’d just see what my speed would be like and adjust as necessary. I’ve got to say… I got bored 20mins into the run and really couldn’t stand the music that was playing.
I have learned, I’m an outdoor runner! And, surprisingly, I run faster outdoor than on a treadmill too. I saw that my 10k was off my ‘norm’ by some margin. So, although I got thoroughly bored on the treadmill, it did teach me something(s).

As I was running in front of a mirror, I was able to keep a check on my posture and running style, along with foot fall, etc. There are a couple of things I need to change for sure, i.e. raising my knees more and extending through the run cycle. That will all come in time. I have been aware of it for a few months but clearly didn’t want to do anything about it as I feel my running style is providing me with the gains in time & speed so far.
That said, there’s always room for improvement 🙂

Gym bunny

Every day’s a learning day.

So… what’s next?
I’m back to work as of tomorrow so I’m changing my running schedule.
Monday: Run to work (10k) & interval session in the evening
Tuesday: Rest day!
Wednesday: Run to work & back (20k)
Thursday: Run to work (10k) & 2Hrs Martial arts (Kendo) in evening (similar to running a 10k)
Friday: Rest day
Sat: Long run – 24 miles (38.4k)
Sun: Medium run – >13 miles (20.8k)
Total miles for week: 61 miles (97.6k)

This will be my first 100k week. I hope everything holds together.
I’ll update you with results after the Sunday run.

Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it. Do it to the best of your ability!
Keep, keeping on.

2015 – Reflections

Hey guys & gals,

Firstly, best wishes for the New Year. I hope it’ll be a good one for you all.

Reflecting on my last 6 months of running/training, I have to say, I am pleased with the ‘results’ so far.
Currently, I am injury free and have been since I started this quest. Apart from a little twinge on my right ankle which seems to have disappeared. Although I put it down to my body getting used to the punishment!

I have completed 9 weeks of my 50mile training plan which sees my long runs cover 22miles with a 10-12miler the following day. All in all, I am covering approx 50mile a week at present. However, that is due to change on the 4th of Jan as I’ll commence running to work (and back) twice a week for a couple of months, then up it to 3 x per week.
I guess I’m lucky it’s only 6mile (10k ish) away from the house.

Looking at the summary page of my Garmin connect account, I have covered just over 816k in 6months. Consumed, almost 60k calories and I’m averaging 7.4k/h. However, like every stat list they don’t really tell the whole story.
Garmin 2015 summary

I’ve had times where I’ve been ‘defeated’ by the distance and the tiredness. But, I’ve managed to complete everything I’ve set out do so far, so not defeated, moreover, knackered by certain sessions.

I’ve learned lots since I’ve started running.  I’m managing to look after my fluid intake on my long runs (due to purchase of Salamon running vest) and I’m getting better at eating more regularly on these too. however, I’m not 100% comfortable with that yet.

Over the last 6 months, I’ve entered two races which have taught be loads about where I think I’m at, fitness-wise. They have helped get me used to running with others and put me in a ‘competitive’ environment. Not something I’m used to doing.
Both races have been more about exposure, rather than competing. Never had I thought I wanted to, or was capable of, winning in my class (V40). Likewise, when I finally cross the start line of the 32nd MdS in April, 2017, I will be wanting to complete it in the best time I can. Above all, I want to complete it!

So, I’m 6 months in to this quest and I’ve got another 15months left before I stand on the start line. Lots, lots & lots more miles to cover. Lot’s more to consider and put into practise. Lots more to learn!
I’ve got two races to complete. The D33 in March (my first true ultra) and the following month, the Glasgow to Edinburgh (55miles). Both of which should test my fitness and progress.

The next 15months are going to be EPIC!

Whatever you are doing, do it to the best of your ability. Don’t stop. keep pushing on for the results in the pursuit of knowing yourself are worth it.

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