Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Swan at Lavenham


No run today instead I needed to make a visit to the Swan at Lavenham where my son is about to start work. The drive was just to familiarise him with the road to Lavenham. Have a look at the Swan Hotel website at the rooms and the menu it dates back to the 1400's.

Anyone who visits Lavenham will know how well preserved many of the tudor buildings are and it is almost a time trip back to the days of the wool merchants of East Anglia. There are apparently over 300 listed buildings in Lavenham.

I will return another day for a run to explore this beautiful village.For now one or two pictures. Can there be a more beautiful estate agents in the country than this one shown in the picture? Lavenham has a good website and its own message board .

This message board is part of the UK villages on line network.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Moreton Hall and Town Centre Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


7.30am 8.1 miles in 1 hour 5 minutes 37 seconds

Week to date mileage 30

Month to date mileage 139

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 539

Life time 8317

Set of early this morning for some reason I was awake at 6am and decided to get out on a run early. The weather was a mixture of showers and watery sunshine typical April.

I headed through town along Risbygate Street until I reached Eastgate down by the river lark and the Fox. I have extra affinity for this area now that we have traced my family on my mothers side to Eastgate Street. My great grandfather and my great great grandfather going back to 1841 were both fish hawkers in this area of town. We have only just begun to research using Ancestory UK so lots more to find out.

I ran up through the Vinefields and past St James Middle School and then on to Moreton Hall. I took a path off road at Moreton Hall Prep School.

I don't think I have run up here before and I was surprised at just how many dog owners there were. However I ignored these as immeadiately before me was the biggest field of Cow Slips that I have ever seen. In the drizzle I took a photo or two. Cowslips are much rarer these days, the name derives from cowpat not sure why? Cowslips have been used to make wine, in salads and in the past to treat spasms and cramps.

There are several quotes from poetry on cowslips that I found including


The cowslips tall her pensioners be.
In their gold coats spots you see:
Those be rubies, fairy favors;
In those freckles live their savors.


And ye talk together still,
In the language wherewith Spring
Letters cowslips on the hill.


Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,
That bends not as I tread.

Though the best for me is

Thomas Hood

The cowslip is a country wench.

After a run around much of Moreton Hall I returned home with the picture of the cowslips still in my mind.

Friday, April 28, 2006

River Lark Run Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


8.45am 7.2 miles in 58 minutes 8 seconds

Week to date mileage 22

Month to date mileage 131

Average weekly rate 31.5

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 531

Life time 8309

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

10.15th April 58 minutes 50 seconds
9. 13th Feb 06 59 minutes 52 seconds
8.27th Dec 05 1 hour 3 mins and 23 seconds
7.19th 05Sep 56 minutes 42 seconds
6.29th 05 August 58 minutes and 7 seconds
5.2 july 05 1 hourand 53 seconds
4.26th june 05 1 hour and 9 seconds
3.28th May 05 58 minutes and 51 seconds
2.13th April 05 59 minutes and 25 seconds
1.11th March 05 1 hour and 31 seconds

I ran well again the weather is just perfect at this time of the year for running. I took some pictures of sights I regularly see on this run.

The sign board introduces an area of water meadows known as No Mans Meadows. Apparently the area was created artificially in the medieval period as a result of diverting the course of the River Linnet in order to provide a millstream for the abbey. Livestock would have roamed here.

The picture of the conical shape building is that of an Oast House. An Oast House is a kiln for drying hops. There would ususally be a kiln room and above this a drying room where the hops were layed out to dry. After sufficient drying the hops would be removed into a cooling room.

The shape of the Oast House enables a sufficient draught for the fire in the kiln.

Running through Bury St Edmunds Abbey Graveyard the gravestones have almost disappeared under a sea of weeds.

Final picture shows one of my favourite buildings in Bury that of Moyse's Hall. Built in 1180 it is now an excellent museum. It has apparently been an Inn, the town gaol, policestation and a workhouse.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bury St Edmunds Town Centre


2.30pm 7.5 miles in I hour

Week to date mileage 15

Month to date mileage 124

Average weekly rate 31.6

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 524

Life time 8302

Another run around Bury St Edmunds. As it was market day it was fairly busy and I avoided
the town centre. This was still room for one or two put downs. A couple near McDonalds dressed in matching fashion track suits passed by and as they did so I was taking a photo of the Kings Arms Pub. He commented to his partner loud enough so I was meant to hear "I don't know why they run if they think they are trying to impress us they should know it just doesn't work. " His partner just said "Yes dear".

The week after the London Marathon there are always a few remarks lobbed in your direction from people who may have watched some of the event and assume that you are suddenly starting to run. This week I have had Keep going, only 26 miles to go ... and today I had Keep running you will soon be at the Cutty Sark. At least that was an original comment.

In the Abbey Gardens I took a picture of one of the most filmed sites that of the Abbots Bridge which is reguarly seen as a postcard from Bury St Edmunds.

The Norman Tower is shown at the end of one of the road in one of the pictures in this update. For along time there were many complaints against the road planners as this is a one way road system which means you never drive towards the Norman Tower only away from it.

I also ran through the cemetary though I was in two minds as to whether I should. In the end it was fine and I didn't encounter any funerals in progress!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fornham Circular Run Suffolk

2.30pm 7.5 miles in 57 minutes 2 seconds

Week to date mileage 7.5

Month to date mileage 116

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 517

Life time 8295

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.

18 Mar 06 56.51
11 Feb 06 59.25
14 Jan 06 60.05


17 Dec 59.29
29 Oct 59.52
3 Oct 60.19
11 Sep 60.14
28 Aug 57.42
19 Aug 59.36
22 Jul 58.24
10 Jul 59.48
1 Jul 59.42
23 Jun 64.0
18 Jun 62.18
23 May 59.38
5 Apr 62.41
1 Apr 60.26
19 Mar 59.0
12 Mar 60.43
5 Mar 62.16
26 Feb 62.16
6 Feb 61 .23
28 Jan 61.02
16 Jan 61.14

My time today was nearly as good as last time out about a month ago. I felt good and I didn't push the pace at all. I must have a look at up and coming races to set some targets soon!

Monday, April 24, 2006

London Marathon


Congratulations to everyone who took part yesterday in the London Marathon it really is one of the greatest mass participation events in the world.

I watched on the BBC and despite the drizzle there seemed to be a good spectator turn out as usual. You cannot fail to be inspired by the event and to see 35,000 competitors setting off from Blackheath and Greenwich is just fantastic. Well done to the organisers and the thousands of helpers.

Deena Kastor simply ran away with the Womens Marthon and at the finish she looked like she had just been for a stroll. Its a pity that we didn't see her battling out with Paula Radcliffe I wouldn't be sure who would win.

The mens race was a great battle especially to see the sprint finish. I know when I have been in this situation in much shorter runs such as 10k if I sprint at the finish I often then feel sick. Limo was a deserved winner in the end.

If you are inspired to run next year have a look at the details forthe London Marathon 2007 here.

Whilst these guys were running the London here is a few more pictures from my pub run yesterday!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bury St Edmunds Town Centre


5.30pm 6.3 miles in 51 minutes 24 seconds

Week to date mileage 28.7

Month to date mileage 109

Average weekly rate 31.5

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 509

Life time 8287

I decided just to run where ever I fancied around town. I headed towards the Railway Station past the Falcon and the Rising Sun in Risbygate Street and then up past the Ipswich Arms and down to the Linden Tree .

Then up by St Johns Street past the Bushel into the centre of town past the Grapes and the Cupola House and down past the Masons Arms. I continued on past the Black Boy and down Whiting Street to the Rose and Crown. I then ran past the Theatre Royal and round by the Dog and Partridge.

To think that so many pubs have closed in Bury but I have still only mentioned just some of the pubs that you can still visit. It would be interesting to find a book listing the closures I can think of half a dozen closures along Kings Road alone, but not always their names such as the Cricketers Arms which I think is now a hairdressers. Further down on the right their was another pub and then there was The Market Tavern which was just off from the mini roundabout as you turn left down Kings Road and in the centre of town the cavernous Griffin and another pub can't think of the name of it which was situated where the chemist Superdrug is now. Then there was the St Edmunds Head which is now the Cannon Brewery Restaurant.

I am sure there is a book on the pubs of Bury St Edmunds anyone know of it?

I also photographed the Nestle advertising on what must have been a corner shop. More photos to follow.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Risby Suffolk


8.30am 11 miles in 1 hour 28 minutes

Week to date mileage 22.4

Month to date mileage 102

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 503

Life time 8281

Weather warm sunshine and clouds

I ran out along the Newmarket Road past the Minden Rose pub. This road leads on to the A14 for Newmarket and is consequently always busy. There is a tricky section of this run when you need to cross over one or two roads on a roundabout before you can get on to Tut Hill.

I turned first left towards Risby and followed the road all the way to Risby past the crematorium on the right and a large pig farm on the left.

In Risby I ran past St Giles a church with a round tower. Risby has several ponds in the village before you reach the green which is looking well overgrown and overdue a mow. Risby is another village with an iron village sign .

I took the road towards Cavenham out of Risby and ran past a dominant feature in the landscape a large water tower. Before you get to Heath Barn Farm I took a footpath to the left besides a tall hedge. I only ran about 5 minutes along the path before turning around. I had wanted to turn after 45 minutes anyway but it was uncomfortable running along this path as their were clouds of hovering black midges flying in swarms. I didn't realise until I reached home just how covered I was in midges stuck to my face and clothes.

So I was pleased to turn for home and retrace my steps along the same roads back home.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Horringer School /Hospital /Cullum rd Newmarket rd Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

6pm 5.4 miles in 40 minutes 57 seconds

Week to date mileage 11.4

Month to date mileage 91

Average weekly rate 31

Average Monthly rate 135

Year to Date 492

Life time 8270

I ran tonight in my new shoes I bought from Sportsshoes Unlimited.
I decided on a pair of New Balance 854's. I have to say I have bought more New Balance Shoes then any other. I am generally never disappointed with them. Sportshoes Unlimited are a good company to buy from and deliver quickly.

Having said all this I never enjoy the first few runs in a new pair of shoes. They always seem a little too bouncy and your feet are bouncing off the road at all different angles.

Previous times on this course are as follows

27 Mar 06 42.41
8 Mar 06 42.13
24 Feb 06 42.33
16 Feb 06 44.0
10 Feb 06 41.50
2 Feb 06 42.38
17 Jan 06 42.50
10 Jan 06 42.52
1 jan 06 41.45
14 Dec 05 42.47

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Kenilworth Warwickshire

4pm 6 miles in 48 minutes 14 seconds

Week to date mileage 6

Month to date mileage 86

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 136

Year to Date 486

Life time 8264

I took my running shoes with me to a conference held at Kenilworth in Warwickshire. I managed to get out for one run from the Chesford Grange Hotel. The hotel had 18 acres of grounds and several trails to follow. An enjoyable run.

I think this is my first ever run in this county of Warwickshire. At some point I will have to dig out the diaries and work out what other counties I have run in this country. From memory I have certainly run in Somerset, Cumbria, Norfolk, London, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire,Yorkshire. I am sure there must be others and its something that will nag now until I work out which other counties I have covered.

Has anyone run all counties of England , Scotland , Wales and Northern Ireland? Or can claim to run to have run in several countries?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Woolpit and Drinkstone Suffolk


8am 7 miles in 57 minutes

Week to date mileage 36

Month to date mileage 80

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 480

Life time 8258

I drove out to Woolpit which is about 8 miles from Bury St Edmunds on the A14 road to Stowmarket. I parked at the recreation ground near St Marys Church and headed through the village soon picking up a pathway across Bishop Karney Green to Drinkstone. There are good footpaths here and I would certainly return. I encountered a fox and we both stood still just for a second but in my haste I took a shaky picture.

At Drinkstone I ran through the village to visit All Saints church before following a path through the graveyard which took me aptly to Deadmans lane. At the bottom of this land you arrive at Rookery farm where there are the remains of two windmills neither now with sails.

The white building in the photo is the postmill. It is believed to date from 1689 however further research now suggests it may be the oldest in the country as some of the timbers date back to 1543.

This location was used in 1970 for an episode of the comedy Dads Army - There is a link for more details of the windmill here.

I ran back through Drinkstone and headed out towards Tostock but I only reached as far as Ticehurst House before retracing my steps back to Woolpit.

Woolpit is a lovely village and a place I have regularly visited for its annual fair and in days gone by it had a great reputation for its fish and chip shop. Many a time returning from Ipswich I have stopped off at Woolpit for its fish and chips but not in recent years.

Woolpit has a legend which many people may have heard regarding the green children. So the storey goes in the 12th century a boy and girl appeared in the village one day who were entirely green. Their skin and clothes were all green. Neither of the children could speak English or would eat the food offered to them. Eventually however the boy died but the girl survived and learnt some of the English language but no one knows where the children came from. There are many books on this storey more details are here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

River Lark Run

8.30am 7.2 miles in 58 minutes 50 seconds

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 73

Average weekly rate 31.6

Average Monthly rate 137

Year to Date 473

Life time 8251

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

9. 13th Feb 06 59 minutes 52 seconds
8.27th Dec 05 1 hour 3 mins and 23 seconds
7.19th 05Sep 56 minutes 42 seconds
6.29th 05 August 58 minutes and 7 seconds
5.2 july 05 1 hourand 53 seconds
4.26th june 05 1 hour and 9 seconds
3.28th May 05 58 minutes and 51 seconds
2.13th April 05 59 minutes and 25 seconds
1.11th March 05 1 hour and 31 seconds

Dry and sunny

Fairly tired after the race yesterday but ran well.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sudbury Fun Run 2006


10am 5 miles in 37 minutes

Week to date mileage 22.2

Month to date mileage 66

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Year to Date 466

Life time 8245

Dry and sunny

I decided to enter the Sudbury Fun Run this morning. The town of Sudbury is about 15 miles south of Bury St Edmunds on the A134.

As I hadn't pre entered I imagined registration would be fairly straight forward. However this race is one of those where the race start and finish are in two different places. The start is in in the centre of Sudbury and I went there first but couldn't see any signs to direct me so then thought registration would be at the finish nearby at Great Cornard Sports Centre. When I got there I found out it was back in Sudbury so I drove back and just managed to register by the 9am deadline. Then I had to drive back back to Gt Cornard to park the car and then jog back 1.5 miles to Sudbury to the start.

The race was easy in comparison but I have only myself to blame for not pre entering the race. Sudbury is probably unusual in still allowing a road race to take place from the centre of town and disrupt traffic. Bury used to stage its 10 mile race from the centre of town but I imagine due to pressure from authorities this was moved to its present location out of town at Nowton Park.

As it was a town centre start to the race there was a good crowd watching including the mayor. The road race was preceded by the walkers who set of at 9.30am to follow the same course. At the front of this race there was one guy who was clearly a race walker and by the end of the high street he had already won this race.

At 10am the road race commenced and there was a very good turn out I would imagine well over 300 competitors. The course seemed to be generally flat though as much of the course was open to traffic we were instructed to keep to the pavements. This generally meant quite a lot of running up and down pavements over the course.

For the first mile the road was congested and you pretty much had to keep in file which prevented you going of too fast which is a good thing. I arrived at the first mile in 7.20. The road then began to clear and I would imagine the 2nd mile marker might have been wrong or I went too quickly as I ran the 2nd mile in 6.58.

There was a drink station round about the half way mark which was very welcome as it was really quite warm. My 3rd mile was run in 7.21 before there were one or two slight hills I think on the 4th mile and I ran my slowest recording 8 minutes for this mile. My final mile was back to pretty much my average mile times and I ran 7.19.

My overall time of 37 minutes means an average of 7.24 miles. This is my best average mile time for a race since I restarted running last year. However according to the Prairie Inn Harriers scoring system ( a system used to compare performances over different distances) today's race scored 591 points which is 1 less than I scored for the Stowmarket 10 on the 26th March 2006 which I ran in 77.27 - average time per mile 7.45!

Anyone else use the Prairie Inn Harriers scoring system as part of their running log? I suppose it is a good way of comparing relative performances. It does point out that an elite athletes performance would score a 1000 points! It doesn't really include any allowance for age though.

All in all this was a very well supported event and it was good to actually have crowds of spectators watching and there were good numbers in Great Cornard and at the end of the race at the Sports centre.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Angel Hotel Bury St Edmunds

The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds was built in 1779 and is situated in a commanding position on one of England's prettiest Georgian squares.

Records show that prior to this building there stood an Angel Inn on this very spot as long ago as 1452.

Anyone who has visited the Angel Hotel and ventured into the Vaults for a meal and seen the medieval arches will know the history goes back much further and there are many theories put forward of underground vaults between here and the Abbey Gardens.
One theory is that the Vaults were
originally used by the monks of St Edmundsbury Abbey as a Charnel House to which songs were song to the departed sould whose bones were entombed in the underground vaults.

In Leonard Thompson's excellent book on the Inns of Suffolk he states that there were originally 3 inns where the Angel Hotel is now sited - The Castle , the Angel and the White Bear.

It was a decision by the Guildhall Feoffees which led to the present building being built at a cost of £2,000.

There are many characters associated with the Angel Hotel of the course of its history. One of those who would have had course to regret ever setting sight upon it would be a Robert Clarke who presented a forged £1 note and was executed for the crime in 1807.

The Angel Hotel is chiefly associated with Charles Dickens. Room 15 at the Angel Hotel is where Charles Dickens stayed when he visited Bury and gave readings in the Town of his book David Copperfield. Dickens writes of Bury St Edmunds and the Angel Hotel in his book the Pickwick Papers. In the storey Mr Pickwick is on the trail of Mr Jingle and stays the night at the Angel Hotel.

Bury St Edmunds was full of coaching inns. The Angel served this purpose at least as far back as 1739 when journeys were advertised between Norwich and London via Bury St Edmunds taking 2 days to complete.

I well remember myself working in the kitchens at the Angel Hotel when I was around 16 years old operating the dishwasher. The kitchen was a volatile place full of bad tempers and I didn't stay long.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Chevington to Ousden via Hargrave Suffolk


2.30 pm 8 miles in 1 hour 4 minutes 40 seconds

Week to date mileage 17.2

Month to date mileage 61

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 461

Life time 8239

I am off work this week and in between filling a skip of garden rubble I am taking the opportunity to visit more of Suffolks beautiful villages. Today I drove out about 7 miles west to the village of Chevington. I parked near the Tan Office Green post office and set of with the intention of running to Ousden. Ousden is a village that I nearly reached on Monday's run from Barrow.

I chose to run mostly all along the road and they were very quiet and there was no problem with traffic. At the Greyhound Pub I turned left and headed downhill and then back up hill to Hargrave. As I visited Hargrave on Monday there was a natural progression to todays run and I knew my way through this village.

I turned right and then left to pick up the Ousden Road. There is an uphill section here to reach Lady's Green before arriving into Ousden. At Ousden I took photos of some nice glass in the windows of the local methodist church, a kite stuck in some telephone lines and best of all the important health and safety notice on the local village hall!

I ran past the Fox public house and reached Park farm on the road to Ashley before turning around. On my return I did venture off road at Broad Green Farm and folowed a sticky footpath by a stream. However my time ran out and I needed to return to Chevington Village and home.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Barrow and Hargrave Suffolk


12.30 pm 9.2 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes

Week to date mileage 9.2

Month to date mileage 53

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 453

Life time 8231

I drove out 6 miles from Bury St Edmunds to the village of Barrow and parked at the Weeping Willow pub. When you are unsure where to park I generally head for the pub carpark this always seems a good place.

My intention was to follow a path I had seen on the ordanance survey explorer map 210 which should have taken me to Great Saxham. I followed the footpath turning directly left on the Hargrave Road just outside of Barrow. There was a nice path beside fields and everything loooked good but when I arrived at a junction the wooden signpost had lost its markers. Someone had vandalised the sign and it was totally unclear where to run. After one attempt which took me into Green Farm I knew I would just have to return to the road.

Plan B was to run along the B Road to Hargrave and look for a triangulation point I had seen on the map. Believe it or not there is a real anorak sport called trig spotting.I guess I have to come out into the open and admit I must be a bit of a anorak as I have always been interested in seeing these colums when visiting the Lake District. The following explanation comes from the web site.

Trigpoints are the common name for "triangulation pillars". These are concrete pillars, about 4' tall, which were used by the Ordanance Survey in order to determine the exact shape of the country. They are generally located on the highest bit of ground in the area, so that there is a direct line of sight from one to the next. By sitting a theodolite (an accurate compass built into a telescope) on the top of the pillar, accurate bearings to nearby trigpoints could be taken. This process is called "triangulation".

A major project to map out the shape of Great Britain began in 1936. The network of triangulation pillars, with accurately known positions, led to the excellent OS maps which we enjoy today.

Anway on the way out to Hargrave I ran past the trig point as I assumed I was heading towards a triangulation mast that I could see in the distance rather than a piller. The road I ran along was called Barrow Hill it descends at a lovely Suffolk pink house called the wash house. I carried on into the village of Hargrave and took the Ousden Road until I eventually reached the triangulation mast at Ladys Green.

Feeling a little tired I retraced my steps back along the same route up Barrow Hill which suddenly felt like more of a hill then before. However suddenly near Wolfe Hall on the top of Barrow Hill I saw the trig point standing in a field. I clambered over a ditch and managed to avoid stamping all over a field of peas in order to get a few pictures of this concrete piller - result! This made the run very worthwhile and I ran back to Barrow in a very good mood to have a look at the War memorial and the main street.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Ickworth Park - Albana Walk and Adkins Wood


8.10 am 12 miles in 1 hour 38 minutes

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 44

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 136

Year to Date 444

Life time 8222

Weather - sunny dry cold

I set of across Horringer Farm, the pathway around the fields was nice and dry and not too much give. There have been times when it has been so wet along here that it is like running on stilts as the dirt sticks to the bottom of the shoes.

For several weeks there has been no sign of any bras in the trees at Horringer but today there was a new pink one posted up in a bush. Well half a cup anyway!

I ran in to Ickworth Park to the Rotunda House. I was then distracted by loud noises which I had to investigate and found a big field of sheep and young lambs making a terrific din. I took a short video have alook at my stickham site where I will place this along with one of the beautiful rotunda house.

I then ran around the Albana Walk before returning to Adkins Walk. I found a new path in the woods which I shall return to as I ran out of time today but it seems to head out to Chevington/Chedburgh way.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Cullum Rd /Ramada Hotel/Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

6.15 pm 5.4 miles in 40 minutes 30 seconds

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 32

Average weekly rate 31.2

Average Monthly rate 135

Year to Date 432

Life time 8210

Weather - dry cold

After a long winter I am finding my times are improving and I really believe I can improve a little bit further I ran well well today and could have quicker

My recent times over this course have been :

21 Mar 40.35
7 Mar 41.31
3 Mar 41.34
21 Feb 41.35
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

I am in the market for a new pair of shoes and I am considering what to buy. I have high arches but over pronate leading to heavy tread usage on the outside of both of my heels. Over the last year I have used 3 pairs of shoes -

a pair of Brooks Addiction 6 2005 model which I have run 410 miles in and there is extensive wear in these I don't think I should do any more running with these.

a pair of Saucony Trigon which I have run 548 miles in and I am not using any more. They are warn with no rubber tread on the outside of the heels left.

I am still using a pair of New Balance 1060's which are great but I actually find the toe space is a bit tight for my pair of size 9's and this has lead once or twice to bruised toes but I still prefer these to any others for races as they seem a little lighter and not so stiff as the Brooks.

I usually buy over the internet from Wiggle, Sportsshoes Unlimited or Bourne Sports. I get lost in all the technology that running shoes claim to have and I tend to go back to tried and trusted brands such as New Balance.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

West Suffolk Athletic Track Session

6.15 pm 6.2 miles in 50 minutes 3seconds

Week to date mileage 12

Month to date mileage 26

Average weekly rate 31.4

Average Monthly rate 137

Weather - dry cold

Tonights track session consisted of 3 sets all to be run at 5k pace. First set was 4 x 3 minutes intervals, second set was 3 x 3 minute intervals and the last set was 2 x 3 minute intervals. There was a bout 3 minutes recovery between each set and a minute between each interval.

The secret was to run a consistent pace for all over this pyramid session. This is easier said then done but generally I was happy that I achieved this and I pretty much finished on the same point of the track each time.

I warmed up by running about a mile from home and then I did 4 laps around the track. I finished by running home.

Now that it is light it is even more enjoyable running on this track and we are very lucky to have such a facility in Bury.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Long Melford Suffolk


5.45 pm 5.6 miles in 45 minutes 18 seconds

Week to date mileage 5.6

Month to date mileage 20

Average weekly rate 31.3

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather - dry cold and sunny

I parked the car at Long Melford at the Hare pub which is opposite the entrance to Kentwell Hall and ran through the village which must be about 2 miles long from the High Street end down to Rodbridge Corner. The village is a mecca for antique enthusiasts and pub crawlers. You could visit about a dozen pubs if you cared to do so.

The village is full of medieval houses and halls - Kentwell Hall and Long Melford Hall being very prominent at the top end. As I ran down the hill along the wide expanse of the village green you have to say this is a wonderful village but its popularity does mean an awful lot of cars. Throughout the village cars are parked at all angles in order to visit the designer stores and often very up market antique stores, many of which you wouldn't venture in to unless you have plenty of money.

There are some lovely almshouses and houses which have weathered with time and now slope at all sorts of strange angles. This is definitiely a place to visit if you are in Suffolk and want a wander. Much of the success of Long Melford can be traced to its wollen cloth production. Up to the 14th Century individual dyers and weavers were able to work for themselves and built up substantial businesses. By the 16th century half the population of Long melford was engaged in cloth production and were exporting all over the world and as far as Russia.

I ran up to the Holy Trinity Church and then into the grounds of Kentwell Hall, Here there is a long line of Elm Trees which are covered in what looks like mistletoe bushes in substantial quantities.

I read somewhere that a rolled up horsemans purse was once called a Long Melford but I am not sure why unless of course they were made here?

Monday, April 03, 2006

First Quarter Statistics

At the end of March it is time to review how I am doing with my running this year.

January 2006

Total Mileage was 146 this compares with 127 miles in 2005
Total no of runs was 20 compared to 19 last year.

February 2006

Total Mileage was 111 this compares with 45 miles in 2005
Total no of runs was 16 compared to 7 last year.

March 2006

Total Mileage was 144 this compares with 94 miles in 2005
Total no of runs was 21 compared to 14 last year.

My total runs for the year up to end of March 2006 is 57 out of 90 days

My average distance that I run is 7.05 miles compared to 6.88 as an average for last year.

My longest run of the year was 13 miles on 13th January at West Stow and probably still my favourite run of this year.

I have run three races already this year. The Lakenheath XC 5 on 5th Feb, Bury Nearly 10 on the the 26th Feb and the Stowmarket 10 on the 26th Mar.

I set these targets on the 31st of December with the aid of a glenfiddach or two!

1. To keep fit and enjoy my running.

That will always be my number one aim. People some times ask why do you run? Quite often they look upon you as weird when you mention that you run. Often they will say they have tried and found it boring. Quite simply I run because I can and I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it. I get to see the changing seasons, experience all weathers and enjoy the beautiful Suffolk countryside. I meet similar folks who enjoy running. I gave up a long time ago trying to persuade others to run you either enjoy it or you don't.

Easy target for me i'm really enjoying my running more than ever.

2. I am a signed up member of St Edmunds Pacers and look forward to continuing doing so for next year.

St Edmunds Pacers is a great club to belong to could do with more members though!

3. I am setting myself an overall target to run 1500 miles next year. That's challenging for me but hopefully a realistic target that is achievable barring injuries ! I managed 1328 this year so it is an additional 200 miles at an average of 29 miles a week.

I am on target at present. In fact I am averaging 31.6 miles a week so I have nearly a weeks mileage accumulated over and above my target so far.

4. Long Runs - I want to up my long runs so that next year I run some 2 hour or 15 mile runs .

Not achieved- my longest run to date is 13 miles only. I need to enter a half marathon to give myself an incentive to do this - must look out for a possible race - any suggestions anyone?

5. Hills - these are great sessions to include in your training. I know it but I just didn't do it this year. Can I do it next year? Probably not on my own. I remember that we used to run these as a cub session when I belonged to Stopsley Striders back in 1994. I am not going to set my target for hills anything greater than to do 1 hill session a month.

I am running hills but only once a month. This was my target and to be honest it should be fairly easy to achieve. I ran hills on 23rd Jan, 6th Feb and 14th March.

6. Races - for me racing isn't the be and end all of why I run but I would still like to run more races than I did this year which was only 3 . My target for 2006 is to do 6 races. At the moment I still think my limit for a race is around the half marathon distance. So I would like to include a half marathon as a race next year.

On target with 3 races to date

7. Track and Interval Work - If I miss the Wednesday track session at West Suffolk Athletics Track then I want to commit to doing the Monday session. To my mind track work is so beneficial.

Not achieved - I am missing more track sessions than I would like. Mondays are not a great day for me to do a fast track session after a longish run on Sunday- Tuesday would be better.

8. To get my weight down to 12 stone - I could still do with losing a few pounds . My BMI still shows I am overweight for my height. This means losing about 4-6 pounds. This should be possible if I keep to my new mileage targets.

Not achieved - to be honest I have hardly checked but I believe I haven't lost any weight this year.

9. To replace my watch - I don't have a very good running watch- sometime this year I would like to get one of those Garmin 201 devices

Not achieved would still like to, its on my wish list but I can't justify the expenditure at the moment

10. Lastly this one is a bit crazy but when the weather brightens up in the spring I am seriouslyconsidering an occasional run when I take with me a rucksack to pick up rubbish I spot in the hedgerows. I hate to see rubbish which has been dropped from car windows left on the side of roads. It can remain for years in some rural spots. Ok I could say it is not my rubbish but in a way we are all responsible for the upkeep of the countryside and I am willing to give it a go. I expect I will need to wear gloves and an old rucksack. My other though then is what to do with the rubbish as I don't particularly want to fill my own dustbin with what I collect. Maybe my run will need to by pass a recycling centre.

Not achieved but I never intended to do this until the weather improves and I am not picking up wet grotty stuff.

So the year to date is going very well and I am positive.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hardwick Park to Nowton Park Suffolk

10 am 7.5 miles in 59 minutes 11 seconds

Week to date mileage 37

Month to date mileage 14

Average weekly rate 31.6

Average Monthly rate 137

Weather - dry mild windy and sunny

I was tired today and it was a real effort to set out on a run. I was fine once I was out and ran quickly in short bursts. I didn't have long to fit this run in before venturing down to watch Bury Town play in the FA Vase Semi Final against Hillingdon Borough. Unfortunately a 1-1 draw probably makes the London club favourites to progress to the final at Birmingham City.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hardwick Park


8.30 am 6.8 miles in 55 minutes

Week to date mileage 29

Month to date mileage 6.8

Average weekly rate 31.3

Average Monthly rate 136

Weather - April showers - a heavy rain shower meant I got soaked but it was mild and quite enjoyable.

Todays run was a circuit around Hardwick Park. Out the very back of the park I picked up on a pathway that I haven't spotted before which runs parallel to the Hencote Lane which I regularly run.

There is semi permanent scout camp site which is marked with a gate saying no entrance which I ran through as it was wide open. You can lost in this wood with the amount of pathways but this time I did pick up on the path which is the St Edmunds Way.

This quickly joins the Hencote Lane which is the Bury to Clare path and I was back on a familar pathway.

I returned back to Hardwick Park and visited the lake and then ran along Hardwick Lane to the Horsecroft Road and back home.
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