Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Runs from Railway Stations in Suffolk - Kaboodle and Stumble Upon

I literally stumbled upon this site called Railway Walks by a Michael Anderton. It seems he was comissioned by One Anglia back in 2001 to design some railway walks from Suffolk Stations.

What I particularly like is the very clear maps which would be great if you want to run a short course. The map for Bury shows a 3 mile circular route and also includes some interesting history on the development of the railway in Suffolk.

There are many other routes for Thurston, Elmswell, Newmarket and Ipswich to name a few.

Stumble Upon is worth a look if you haven't come across this StumbleUpon. It uses / ratings to form collaborative opinions on website quality. When you stumble, you will only see pages which friends and like–minded stumblers have liked.

Kaboodle is also worth a look if you want to make collections of web pages and wish lists. Have a look at a short list of items related to Bury St Edmunds by clicking on the picture of St Edmund in a box on the left called funnily enough Bury St Edmunds.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hardwick to Flying Fortress Moreton Hall Out and Back Bury St Edmunds

6.30 pm 6 miles in 49 minutes 15 seconds.

Week to date mileage 6

Month to date mileage 111

Average weekly rate 31

Average Monthly rate 135

Lifetime mileage 8035

A bit of a recovery run after yesterdays race. It was cold and wet but not as cold or windy as yesterday. I parked at Hardwick near the shops and ran an out and back route through Moreton Hall to the very edge of the housing development which has now reached the Flying Fortress Pub and threatens at this rate to envelop Thurston.

I ran out in 25 .19 and came back a lot quicker as it far more down hill on the return. I certainly struggled on the hills yesterday and this is something I need to work on to improve.

As to my future races I know Strider raised this in my previous post. I had planned to do the Joe Cox 10 at Stowmarket on the 26th March but I am in London that day. My alternative plan at the moment is to see if I can still enter for the Bildeston 10k or half marathon on the 12th of March

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bury Nearly 10 Race Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

10.30 am 9.4 miles in 1 hour 13 minutes 27 seconds.

Week to date mileage 27

Month to date mileage 105

Average weekly rate 30.8

Average Monthly rate 134

Lifetime mileage 8029

After my recent back problems I was just pleased to make the start line to take part in the Bury Nearly 10.

Most starters were taking part in the Bury 20 as prep for London but I feel that distance is beyond me at present and I am not sure even if I actually want to race that far again. Anyway the odd distance of 9 miles and 703 yards must put a lot of people of who might consider doing this event. I am told it is equal to 9.4 miles.

The venue for the start is at Nowton Park at the Lime Avenue. The weather was numbingly cold and I decided to run with gloves, thermal top and trackster bottoms.

I set of apparently far to quick as I reached the first mile marker in 7.07 but at 2 miles I had slipped to 15.35! Either I slowed dramatically or I suspect the mile markers may have been wrongly placed. At 3 miles my time was 22.42 or 7.34 pace. The course had several up and down hill stretches so getting an even pace was difficult on this course.

At 5 miles the 20 mile runners carried straight on towards Lawshall whilst the smaller group of 10 milers turned left on our way home. The route took us through Nowton, High Green, Pinford En, Mickley Green , Melon Green, Hawstead and back to Nowton.

The wind became increasingly strong on the return section particularly on a very exposed section on a long up hill drag before Nowton. This really takes the stuffing out of you.

When I looked at my split times at the end of the race I found that throughout the race my times varied considerably from an 8.22 to 7.07.

I was generally happy with my finishing time considering the weather conditions, the hills and my back problems.

My time was equivalent to 7.49 miles

which wasn't as good as my time at the hadleigh 10 when I ran 7.44 or the Scenic 7 when I ran 7.31 miles.

It was an improvement on my time at the Lakenheath 5 and it is early in the season so plenty of time for improvement.

I will post some more photos from the race on my flickr site.

Well done to all the marshalls and organisers.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd

5.30 pm 5.4 miles in 42 minutes 33 seconds.

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 96

Average weekly rate 30.7

Average Monthly rate 134

Lifetime mileage 8020

Weather: dry, breezy and cold.

A quick run before dashing of to Cineworld to watch The Fog. It was enjoyable to actually run in the evening in at least twilight. I run a familiar winter route over a circular route around Horringer School,Hospital Road, Cullum Road, Newmarket Road and home.

I am still struggling with my running as my lower back injury seems to have now switched to my neck now. Perhaps I need to get new shoes or it is the cold which is making me tense up in the cold wind but I irrationally put it down to being February my least popular month of the year!

My time compared to recent runs on this course was pretty darn average.

16 Feb 44.0
10 Feb 41.50
2 Feb 42.38
17 Jan 42.50
10 Jan 42.52
1 jan 41.45
14 Dec 42.47

As for the film The Fog this was also pretty darn average. The plot centers around a quiet seaside town which is engulfed by a thick fog one century after a boat sunk just off the coast under mysterious circumstances. There is no great acting in the film but if you like suspense, thriller type films you might get something out of it.

Of course the film is a remake and I have never seen the original but from all the comments on the IMDb website it looks like the original was far better. I would give it 3 out of 10.

I recently spent a bit of time trying to find all my running diaries. Unfortunately I have lost some records particularly those I recorded on computer which were not backed up. From my paper records that I could find I am now able to say how far I have run in total which can be proved. Including today's run it totals 8020. I also have notes showing that I lost various records which I reckons total another 1500 miles but I can't prove it so I am dismissing those. At least I have another useless statistic.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds

6.15pm 6.6 miles in 53.26 minutes.

Week to date mileage 12

Month to date mileage 91

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather: dry, breezy and cold.

Tonight I attended the St Edmunds Pacers track session at the West Suffolk Athletics Track. It was bitterly cold. I was feeling fine until I had a large cold drink before I left for my run. For some reason I couldn't seem to digest the drink and this sat on my stomach so I felt bloated with trapped air in my stomach.

This made the run a bit of a survival exercise. I kept thinking the pain would go away. I suppose I know what it feels like to be a baby again but there was no one to give me a pat on the back . Anyone I was please to run an anything is bearable compared to the back problems of the last few days.

The interval session consisted of two sets of 3 x 5 minutes runs with 90 seconds recovery inbetween. I ran a mile to the track and back and warmed up with 4 laps. I struggled to maintain consistency and got progessively slower in the 2nd set of intervals casting fresh doubts over whether I will be able to run the Bury 10 on Sunday. I am still planning to do so but it may be more of a training run just to get round the course.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cullum Road/Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41.35 minutes.

Week to date mileage 5

Month to date mileage 84

Average weekly rate 30.9

Average Monthly rate 134

Weather: dry, breezy but absolutely beautiful.

I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run I can run

I am back!! Yes I only did a routine run but it was great, absolutely wonderful.

Wonderful as defined by the freedictionary

Anyone I am waiting to see if there is any reaction from my back tomorrow from my back but cross fingers hopefully all is ok.

27 Jan 41.56
13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

Tonights time was my second best. I can hopefully now think about running on Sunday in the Nearly 10 in Bury St Edmunds.

Thanks to all who offered there words of support - edinburghrunner,ruby in bury, junkfood and elizabeth.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


Frustration is the name of the game!! Today I should have run at Bungay at a 20k race but I am unable to run at the moment. I woke on Friday with a bad back problem. I have pain in the spine which has meant I am currently struggling to stand up straight without pain.

I still tried and didn't give up on doing the run until Sunday morning. On Saturday and Sunday morning I tried to run and ventured out the front day only to go a few yards before I had to give in to pain from every step. Stupid really even to try as it probably hasn't helped me recover.

I have been in a bad mood every since Friday which again is silly but it is only when you have something taken away that you realise how much you take for granted. On Friday I was just hoping to be able to stand up straight instead of working around like a hunch back.

My February curse has struck again. Last year I had the flu and hardly ran in February.

Back pain isn't new to me. I can recall doing my back in about 18 years ago in the mundane act of changing a nappy. I know that sounds odd but I was tired and overstretched to reach a nappy and I had a big click in my back and ever since once or twice a year I have a reoccurence.

I have been to Gp's and to be honest this is always a waste of time as they always point out that there is no cure apart from rest and they always look at more in an accusing manor once they discover that you run. I am once again taking the musle relaxation tablets and hoping for recovery before next week when I ma supposed to be doing the nearly 10 in Bury. Looks doubtful at the moment!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

7.30am 5.4 miles in 44 minutes.

Week to date mileage 13

Month to date mileage 79

Average weekly rate 33.4

Average Monthly rate 145

Weather: dry winter sunshine

An easy circular route around Horringer School,Hospital Road, Cullum Road, Newmarket Road and Home. This was my slowest time by far over this course. I didn't try to push it at all knowing that this Sunday I am doing the Bungay 20k race.

10 Feb 41.50
2 Feb 42.38
17 Jan 42.50
10 Jan 42.52
1 jan 41.45
14 Dec 42.47

Monday, February 13, 2006

River Lark & Water Meadows Run Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


4.15pm 7.2 miles in 59 mins and 52 seconds

Year to date mileage 219

Month to date 73 miles

Average miles per month 151

Average weekly rate 34.8

Weather dry and dull.

Course:Head out through the water meadows and then turn left at Bury Rugby Club . Follow the path through No Mans Meadow which is at the back of the Abbey Gardens returning to Southgate Bridge and then returning over the meadows for a 2nd lap.Return home up Southgate Street past the Police Station and through the Abbey Gardens graveyard then through town centre, Risbygate street, Westley road and home.

My previous times over this course are as follows

8.27th Dec 1 hour 3 mins and 23 seconds
7.19th Sep 56 minutes 42 seconds
6.29th August 58 minutes and 7 seconds
5.2 july 1 hourand 53 seconds
4.26th june 1 hour and 9 seconds
3.28th May 58 minutes and 51 seconds
2.13th April 59 minutes and 25 seconds
1.11th March 1 hour and 31 seconds

My ninth running of this course was pretty average. Today the ground was sticky and difficult to negotiate, well that is my excuse. Todays photos are again of my run yesterday at Stanningfield.
Another picture of Coldham Hall. If you look carefully you can just see Claudia Schiffer waving from the top window on the left - yes really, well perhaps not!
St Nicholas Church at Stanningfield. On September the 7th 1880 two men who fell through the church roof. The men, Joseph Finch and Durrant were pulling down some lathe and plaster when two rafters gave way and they fell into the church, both men were seriously injured.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hoggards Green/Stanningfield/Coldham Hall and Lawshall Suffolk

11.30am 12 miles in 1 hour 36 minutes 15 seconds.

Week to date mileage 37

Month to date mileage 66

Average weekly rate 34.4

Average Monthly rate 150

Weather: Steady rain.
Finally we have had some rain for what feels like the first time this year. It has been extremely dry and we could do with continuous rain for a month.

I parked the car at the Red House at Hoggards Green which is about 6 miles south of Bury St Edmunds towards Sudbury. The Red House is both a pub and a village shop.

I wasn't sure where I was going to run to as I set of in the rain. The first footpath I followed ended up at Yewtree Farm on the busy A134. As this was a deadend I retraced my

steps back to the Redhouse Pub. I set out on a B road hoping to pick up a footpath. I passed a very nice methordist church really in the middle of nowhere surrounded by fields. This road took me back to the A134 so again I retraced my steps back to the Redhouse. It was a good thing I wasn't popping into the pub each time I passed, though I was sorely tempted.

I again set out from Hoggards Green and this time picked up a road which took me into Stanningfield. The name apparently derives from stony field .

I passed the church of St Nicholas and then picked up on part of the St Edmunds
Way. However I was somewhat uncertain as to whether I should carry on as there were many imposing signs saying private besides the right of way pathway signs. This is somewhat intimidating and you feel a bit like an intruder. The private signs made reference to two private halls Coldham Hall and Rookwood Hall.

I never saw a soul on this run and decided that I was in my rights to follow the path. I soon reached Coldham Hall and its large grounds. It has a very long driveway and lots of a breed of Cattle in the grounds that
might be Highlands?

At the end of the driveway I couldn't see a way out there were some locked gates and I began to wonder again if I should be here and whether I was trespassing.

So I again retraced my steps but instead of going back to Stanningfield I decided on a quick visit to Lawshall along the wonderfully named Donkey Lane. I then took a visit in the opposite direction along Old Lane to the Little Rockwood Farm.

Before finally returning back through Stanningfield and into Hoggards Green . It was only when I returned home and had a look at Coldham Hall that I found out more about a very interesting history. The manor of Stanningfield and Lawshall was in the hands of the Rookwood family since Edward the 1st. The Rookwoods were members of parliament and staunch Catholics. Ambrose Rookwood inherited Coldham Hall in 1600 and soon turned the hall into somewhat of a secret retreat for catholic priests to practice.

However Ambrose Rookwood didn't enjoy his inheritance for very long as he was executed in 1606 as one of the conspirators involved in the Gunpowder Plot. he was executed along with Guy Fawkes. Could it have been at Coldham Hall that the plot to restore catholicism to England by blowing up the Houses of Parliament were hatched?

The last heir to the Coldham Hall estates died during the 1st World war and it is now owned by the German supermodel Claudia Schiffer. In 2002 when she married nearby in Shimpling apparently the locals who had gathered at the church were disappointed when Claudia Schiffer arrived hidden in blankets and she was roundly booed. I can now undertand the security around Coldham Hall which is aptly named. She has been stalked in the past and I guess my run through the grounds was probably recorded and watched on CCTV!

Still it is not every day you take a training run in Claudia Schiffers back garden!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Fornham Circular Run Suffolk


10am 7.5 miles in 59 minutes 25 seconds.

Week to date mileage 25

Month to date mileage 54

Average weekly rate 33.3

Average Monthly rate 145

Weather: grey and milder than recent

The course - head out of Bury on the Beetons Way past Tollgate and through the village of Fornham St Martin.
Return to Bury through Fornham All Saints along the A11101 Mildenhall Road , back to Tollgate and return up Beetons Way hill and home.

An ok run. I haven't felt that my breathing has been quite right for my last couple of runs.
I have been slightly breathless as if I am trying to force the pace a bit too much. I eventually settled into the run after half an hour and was ok.

My times over the last year are as follows

1.14 jan 06 60.05
2.17 Dec 59.29
3.29 Oct 59.52
4.3 Oct 60.19
5.11 Sep 60.14
6.28 Aug 57.42
7.19 Aug 59.36
8.22 Jul 58.24
9.10 Jul 59.48
10.1 Jul 59.42
11.23 Jun 64.01
12.8 Jun 62.18
13.23 May 59.38
14.5 Apr 62.41
15.1 Apr 60.26
16.19 Mar 59.01
17.2 Mar 60.43
18.5 Mar 62.16
19.26 Feb 62.16
20.6 Feb 61 .23
21.28 Jan 61.02
22.16 Jan 61.14

So todays run was my 4th best over this course in 23 timings.

From the Bury Free Press on Friday was this report on last weeks Lakenheath 5 mile XC.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41 minutes 50 seconds.

Week to date mileage 18

Month to date mileage 46

Average weekly rate 32.8

Average Monthly rate 143

Weather: Cool

Tonights run was an easy circular route around Horringer School,Hospital Road, Cullum Road, Newmarket Road and Home. I struggled a little on the run and I felt a tight hamstring in my left leg.

However I ran better than I thought and my time was just a little outside of my best for this course.

2 Feb 42.38
17 Jan 42.50
10 Jan 42.52
1 jan 41.45
14 Dec 42.47

Last February I came down with the flu and as a consequence only logged 45 miles for the month. I past that tally today so every mile run from know on this month is a bonus!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

6.20pm 6.4 miles in 50 minutes 01 seconds.

Week to date mileage 12.4

Month to date mileage 41

Average weekly rate 33.5

Average Monthly rate 146

Weather: Cool

I ran down to the track tonight which is only about a mile away. I warmed up with a further 4 laps and then we were into a fairly short interval session which was to be run at faster than race pace. That's an extra gear which I don't feel I exactly have as I just haven't down much interval work in the pace and I have never been quick.

we started with 4 intervals of 2.30 minutes with a minute recovery inbetween. After a 5 minute recovery a further 3 intervals of 2.30 with a 45 second recovery inbetween and then finally a further 2 intervals of 2.30 with 30 seconds recovery inbetween.

the objective was to be consistent with all the runs arriving at a certain part of the track each time . The trick being to avoid running quicker on the first few intervals than the last ones.

I think I generally succeeded in this running most of my 400's in 1.40-45 which is faster than my race pace as I think this equates to 7 minute miling.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Vinefields Hill Session Bury St Edmunds

6pm 6 miles in 48 minutes 42 seconds.

Week to date mileage 6

Month to date mileage 35

Average weekly rate 34.1

Average Monthly rate 148

Weather: A little milder clear skies

I parked at Hardwick and ran through Town and the old graveyard to the Vinefields. I repeated the hill session I did back on the 23rd of January two weeks previous.

I ran out to the vinefields in 12.03 and then set to the hill climbs. These are short and sharp climbs of only 30 seconds odd with a two minute recovery on the level and down hill to complete a circuit.

My intervals were as follows

2.23,2.25,2.24,2.20,2.23,2.23,2.25,2.26,2.24,2.27. My best lap being the 4th in 2.20 and the slowest being the last in 2.27. I begun to struggle after about seven and was looking forward to the end by then. Looking back at my times for 2 weeks ago my best then was a 2.28 and slowest 2.33 so this session was a slight improvement.

I attacked the hills a bit harder and also didn't slow as much for the recoveries in between.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Lakenheath XC Suffolk 5

11am 5 miles in 41 minutes 11 seconds.

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 29

Average weekly rate 33.9

Average Monthly rate 147

Weather: Cold and grey

I decided to run the Lakenheath cross country five miler although I hadn't tapered my mileage in fact I have upped my mileage at the end of this

I was also a bit in two minds whether to do the race as it coincided with the East Anglian derby Norwich City v Ipswich Town which had the odd kick off time of 11.15am!

I reckon there was roughly 140 starters for the 5 miler and a good number for the fun run. The race start is from the Lakenheath Cricket Ground.

The weather was misty which meant little could be seen of the landscape in the distance.

Before the start the race organiser informed us to be careful out on the course as at the far end there were a number of badger setts with some pot holes to avoid.

The course was all of road and was mostly over farm track, sometimes over fields and up and down embankments. What I remember most was the fields of dead sweet corn. Whether this was a failed crop or had been picked but the plants left standing and not ploughed who knows?

This was an enjoyable run but I personally ran poorly my time was disappointing. I expected to get well under 40 minutes whether this was because it was across country or I simply ran slower I don't know a bit of both I expect.

Well done to the organisers for putting the event on. The pot holes were well marked with sand and low branches with tape.

When I finished the race I was back to the car for the football score and I found out that Ipswich were drawing 1-1 at half time.

On the drive back to Bury I listened to the match on Suffolk Radio and it was clear Ipswich were on top. I caught the end of the match on Sky just in time to see Ipswich score a deserved winner and the East Anglian bragging rights until next season.

I will post some more photos of the event on my flickr site when I get time during the week.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Howard Estate & Bury Golf Course Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

10am 7.2 miles in 57 minutes 8 seconds.

Week to date mileage 24

Month to date mileage 24

Average weekly rate 33.9

Average Monthly rate 147

Weather: Cold and grey

Course - I ran from the County Upper School and decided not to follow any particularly course. I ended up running through the
Howard Estate to places I am never been before. There is a small wood fenced to one side by the A14 and the other by Bury golf course. It was a dingy place full of litter and not a place I shall return to again.

I decided to head toward Fornham via the Bury Golf Course. There is a right of way which runs beside the river. However you do have to be mindful of the golfballs. Golfers have to play a shot over the river and of course try to avoid anyone on the right of way.

You do feel a bit vulnerable and as if you are trespassing on the golf course though of course this is a clear right of way. The weeping willows and the old bridges along here are worth seeing.

All in all a strange run where I didn't have a course to follow and as a result the run lacked purpose. However I did visit one or two place I have never been before

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ipswich Town Demo Video


Click here to view a video from Portman Road before the recent Ipswich Town v Sheffield Utd match. This is a very short film and is just me playing around to see how to load videos on to blogger.

Ickworth Park Mordaboys Wood Suffolk

10am 11 miles in 1 hour 28 minutes.

Week to date mileage 16.4

Month to date mileage 16.4

Average weekly rate 33.4

Average Monthly rate 145

Weather: Cold and grey

This was an out and back run of 45 minutes each way through Ickworth Park to Mordaboys Wood. At the end of my run I reached a lovely white house not far from Little Horringer Hall.

The route through Ickworth Park follows the River Linnet which is no more than a trickle at the moment as water levels look very low.

The sheep were plentiful and were willing to pose for a photo.
On this path I saw another two routes I can explore another day. It looks possible to continue beyond Mordaboys Wood out to Westley Village and to make this a circular run.

I could also have cut back through Twist Wood however signs warned of Roe Deer culling so I will give that a miss for a while.

today's long run wasn't planned at the start of the week but it has helped me catch up with my mileage for the week but isn't great preparation for Lakenheath 5 on Sunday.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Horringer School /West Suffolk Hospital /Cullum Rd & Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

6pm 5.4 miles in 42 minutes 38 seconds.

Week to date mileage 5.4

Month to date mileage 5.4

Average weekly rate 32.1

Average Monthly rate 139

Weather: Cold clear skies

Tonights run was an easy circular route around Horringer School,Hospital Road, Cullum Road, Newmarket Road and Home. I have had a poor running week, work commitments meant I missed the track session last night.

I am considering doing the Lakenheath 5 race on Sunday though this is cross country and it really depends on the weather over the next few days as to whether I do it as I have no spikes. As it has been cold and dry I presume it will be fine and the ground will be rock hard if anything.

Looking back my times over this course include

17 Jan 42.50
10 Jan 42.52
1 jan 41.45
14 Dec 42.47

So tonights run was pretty average

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

January Statistics Reviewed

I managed my highest mileage in one month since I started blogging, a total of 146 miles beating my record for last year set in July, by a mile.

I set myself a target for the year of running 1500 miles at a target of 29 miles a week. In January I averaged 33 miles a week and I am up on my target at present.

Last January I ran 127 miles so I am pleased with my improvement in distance. I also have included a hill session in my training. Yes it was only the once but it was a start.

I ran 20 times during the month and my longest run of the year so far was a memorable run at West Stow 13 miles on the 15th of January.
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