Sunday, June 28, 2009

Running in the Heat


After a trip to a car boot sale at Woolpit this morning I left any plan to run until the early evening at 6pm. The car boot had been a success and I bought a woolen hat just what you need in this weather! Actually it was a supporter who could no longer afford to go to games at Ipswich Town selling his collection of badges which I debated whether to buy and then did 35 badges and the hat was £20. I thought it was worth it others might not.

The weather on Sunday was never particularly bright blue skies and wall to wall sunshine but it was humid hot and sticky. When driving in the car the outside temperature meter recorded 30c or 86 f in Bury St Edmunds. The humidity levels were around 75% when I ran.

As a runner the internal battle that goes on in your mind as to whether you can a) get out of the door to run in the first place and b) run a certain distance or time is probably the biggest adversery you will face I find.

However after this as a runner you are always battling the elements, whatever the seasons chuck at you. Running in the cold in mid winter may seem daunting but you can always put extra layers on and combat this. Spring and Autumn are just about the best for me and summer is also wonderful but is an adversery to respect. Two conditions can result from running in the heat overheating and dehydration.

When you start to heat up the body sweats and more blood is sent to the skin surface where it is cooled. However your muscles demand oxygen and blood to run at a pace and as a result less blood flows to the skin resulting in overheating. I find I slow down in heat as the blood tends to go to the skin more than the muscles in an effort to cool down. In humid conditions like today there was no way my sweating was going to evaporate and therefore give me a chance to cool down so running slowly was my only option.

As you sweat and lose fluids from the body dehydration can start to occur. It is the combination of losing both water and electrolytes.

I have never enjoyed carrying water on a run but will now plan to do so perhaps a sports drink with electrolyte replacement.

I do wear sunglasses but not a hat something else to think about buying along with a bandana perhaps.

My concusion is that I could do more myself to combat heat by a little more preparation . Anyone have any good tips on running hats and sports drinks?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pinford End and Whepstead Suffolk


After last nights race I felt ok but the weather continues to be humid and as a result I again ran slowly.

This run took me out and back from Bury St Edmunds 5 miles to Whepstead.

One of the landmarks on this run is this very traditional Suffolk Pink house at Pinford End. It is familar to any one who has run the Bury 10/20 mile road race. The Bull's Green Lane takes you through to Mickley Green on the Brockley Road.

Listened to a new podcast today from Phil the Twilight Runner at

I was interested to read about the world war 2 airfield at Ballyhalbert at County Down. Well worth a listen if you enjoy listening to a a podcast.

Now playing: Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere
via FoxyTunes

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bury 5 at Nowton Park Bury St Edmunds


The Suffolk Friday 5 series continued with Saint Edmund Pacers turn to host the five mile road race series. This was the 4th race after events organised by Ipswich Jaffa, Felixstowe Road Racers and Stowmarket Striders.

The good weather increased the number of entries compared to last year. Wheras there were 391 finishers in 2008 this year the number was up to 451. The weather was warm , sunny but also humid and this had its effect on more than a few runners who needed help from the medical attendants due to the humidity.

I entered on the night and this year parking was easier as we were allowed to park within Nowton Park. Like many other runners I took advantage of the Lucozade Sports Mobile Stand which was providing free sports drinks and energy bars.

I am never very good with running in heat it always to sap my energy and so I knew before the start this would be more of a training run than a race. I also had in the back of my mind last years DNF!. My only ever did not finish race.

As a consequence I set off at a moderate pace and ran the first mile within the park in 7.40. The first mile has lots of bends and is narrow in places with some up hill sections and generally you have to watch your footing for mole holes.

Once you leave Nowton Park and emerge on to Fox and Pin Lane you are starting to gradually climb up hill and my second mile time had slipped to 7.57. The steepest section of the course takes you up the old town lane to High Green and through a local farm. I seem to struggle with hills and was passed by many here as my time for the 3rd mile was 8.36.

However once at the top of the hill I knew I was at least going to finish albeit in a slow time . There is a good long downhill stretch past Nowton Church and my time recovered in the fourth mile to 7.40. There is another up hill section at Nowton Road near the Nowton Village Hall but by this point you know the finish is close by and you return down Fox and Pin Lane and into the park for a sprint to the finish line. My final mile was my best in 7.33. In fact at this point I felt as if my legs had woken up and I was ready to do another five though very hot. At the finish the humidity had left me resembling a river of sweat and absolutely soaked I took the offer of a cold shower from a jug of water from one of the race helpers at the finish funnel.

My official time was 39.22 for 216th place right in the middle of the pack bearing in mind the 451 finishers. Probably my slowest ever 5 mile race but I was still happy relieved I think to get this bogey dnf out of my mind.

The junior race had a good entry and many of the photos in this entry capture the beginning of this race. I will load other races to flickr in due course

Now playing: Ramones - Chasing the Night
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beyton Country Fair


Last Saturday we ventured over to Beyton Country Fair. Beyton is a small village about 5 miles East of Bury St Edmunds and always holds a good country fair.

There is all the usual attractions such as vintage cars, stalls selling plants and bric a brac and a marque where the judging of the entries for cakes flower arranging and photography is held.

Although it rained just as the fair opened at 2 pm it soon stopped and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.I picked up a couple of books from a stall including an autiobiography of david Gower for the princely sum of 30p.

We then had a nice beer a local one from Brandon called Old Rodney. followed by an ice cream. I then got an important job holding the finishing tape for the childrens egg and spoon race.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our Chickens


We have had our current layer chickens since about May last year. So these girls are roughly 17 months old. Up until two months ago we have had no health problems with the birds but as you will see from these photos they now look a little tatty as they have lost patches of feathers around the neck and also on there backsides.

In themselves the birds are very alert eating very well and laying eggs everyday. We have the 6 birds and generally get 4-5 eggs a day and some days 6. Diet wise they have the basics layer pellets and corn but this is supplemented with all many of food that is left over in the house - rice,pasta,chips, vegetables,fruit - just about anything really. I also provide lots of grass cuttings.

From what I can tell chickens naturally lose feathers when they are moulting. However these lasts about 6 weeks and is usally accompanied by the birds ceasing to lay as they put there energy into development of new feathers. So we have ruled this out.

Secondly we thought there might be some parasite lice or mite. We have given the chicken house a total clean from top to bottom and can see no evidence of any bug in the house.

Chicken lice would seem to be most likely cause of the problem. However we have treated all the birds with a powder but the problem persists and again I can't see anything in the house.

I was also told this problem could arise from lack of green vegetation or from the social pecking order. We do supplement them with green vegetation as they have eaten everting green in their enclosure.

Anyone keep chickens have any advice for a novice chicken keeper!

Now playing: Eater - Thinking of the USA
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 22, 2009

Martha's Vineyard - Run around St Edmundsbury Graveyard


For todays's run around Bury St Edmunds part of my route took me through the great grave yard. If you ever visit Bury then this is a place of much interest with interesting inscriptions and of course great history.

In an early post on the 21st of June I mentioned how there were many links between Suffolk and the USA particularly with regard to the early settlers and as a result the many place names in the States which carry a Suffolk place name.

Bartholomew Gosnold was born in 1572 in Grundisburgh Suffolk, His ancestral home was Otley Hall in the heart of rural Suffolk.

It was in Bury St Edmunds that Gosnold made his home and his children are recorded in the parish register of St James Church

Gosnold graduated from Cambridge University where he studied law and in his short life of just 36 years he is considered to be the founder of the Virginnia Company of London and of Jamestown in Virginnia.

The Virginnia Company of London was established under royal charter during the reign of James the 1st with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.

Gosnold died of dysentery and scurvy just months after landing at Jamestown. Two thirds of the 104 colonists who landed at Jamestown were dead within months. However without this expeditation and colonisation it is said that North Americans would now be speaking Spanish as their principal language!

Gosnold led the first recorded European expeditation of Cape Cod in 1602. During this voyage he named ‘Martha’s Vineyard’ after his infant daughter who had died a few years earlier. Martha was baptised in St Edmundsbury Cathedral (then the church of St James) and is buried in an unmarked grave in the great churchyard.

Now playing: Japan - Ghosts
via FoxyTunes

Suffolk News from 1779

Article taken from the Ipswich Journal Newspaper June 26th 1779

One day last week, Thomas Ambrose, carpenter of Long Melford who was disordered in the mind, cut his throat in a terrible manner and died next day.
Tis very remarkable that if he left a pint of beer unpaid for when disordered that when he came to recollect himself he would go even if several miles to pay for it.

Bury & Norwich Post June 24th 1789

On Saturday last the coach from Norwich to Sudbury overturned at Shimpling from the road hence to Sudbury by which accident a child about 22 months who was riding with it's mother on top of the coach, had it' skull fractured and died six hours later. The coachman was not to blame but occasioned by the road being mended with a quantity of rough stuff which gave the coach a sudden jerk, overturning it.

Bury & Norwich Post June 26th 1816

Susan Bruty was committed to Bury Gaol on suspicion of setting fire to buildings belonging to John Shelton at Clare.

Now playing: The Apers - Behind Enemy Lines
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Race Calendar for 2009


Looking ahead at what races I might do in the second half of 2009 here are the possibilities:-

Bury 5 on 26th June a regular race I usually do or help out on with car parking/marshalling and in the past arranging the race entries. Expect a sell out on the night of 500 runners if we get good weather.
Sudbury 5 on 1st July I haven't run this race before though have run the old train route between Sudbury and Rodbridge so would like to gie it a go.
Newmarket 10k 5th July No knowledge of this one haven't done it before. I am not too good running in hot weather, in fact slighty scared of it!
Ipswich Half Marathon 30th August - a new race for Ipswich might be hot and looks a little expensive but looks a great course and event
Littleport Leisure 10k Race 6th September - love the area around Littleport haven't done this before
19th Grunty Fen Half Marathon 13th September - I really bombed on this race last year set out too fast on this flat course and ended up walking in parts - however well organised race and I would like to go back and take it out on this race it's a personal thing I owe it one!
Help for Heroes RAF Honington 10k 30th September A great cause not sure if I can do on a Wednesday though.
Martlesham Heath 10k 11th October An event organised by the Lions Club of Woodbridge & District - I haven't run before but will consider.
Stowmarket Striders Scenic Seven 8th November I have run this many times before well organised by a great running club also reminds me of the on set of winter
Norwich City Half Marathon 29th November - Enter the dark side and venture into Norfolk with your passport! Only joking Norfolk folk I did this event in 2007 though then the race was run in the peak of summer. A big race then run from the Norfolk County Showground on a 2 lap course and fairly flat.

I am unlikely to do all of these 10 races but there is enough pleasure and pain to consider in these events to give my training a focus in the up and coming months, health willing.

Any one else planning to do any races this year let me know how it is going for you. What races are you doing ? Are you following a training plan ?

Now I have listed them lets see just how many I do!!

What does the photo have to do with this post? Absolutely nothing it is a picture taken in 1965 in the Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds and I am in the front on the slide and my sister Melanie is in the middle.

Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


Another Seven mile run in the centre of Bury St Edmunds Suffolk.

7 miles in 1 hour 4 seconds. Total for week 37 miles and 102 miles for June.

I am beginning to build up my mileage though I need to enter some races so that I have a target. I am happy just to run but having a race in mind helps give more of a focus to your training.

I again visited parts of the Abbey Gardens and this memorial to the 94th Bombardment Group can be found in one of the gardens near to the Park keepers hut. There are many links between England and the United States of America and this is one from modern times.

From 1943 to 1945 the 94th Heavy Bombardment Group was based at Rougham Airfield. Rougham is about 2 miles from Bury St Edmunds.

Over 300 operational missions took place in the 2 years with 8000 plus sorties and a bomb tonnage of more than 18,000 tons being dropped. 153 aircraft were listed missing in action. The B17 Flying Fortress and the B26 Marauder would have been a common site over the skies of Suffolk during this time as they were used by the 94th Bombardment Group.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


Seven Miles in 1hour 2 mins and 43 seconds.
30 miles this week , 95 miles this month , 771 miles this year and 13,053 miles in a lifetime.

When I look at the distance I have run in a lifetime 13,000 miles doesn't seem an awful lot. After all 13,000 miles is the distance covered by leatherback turtles in one migration non stop.

I haven't always recorded my running in a diary so this figure won't be exactly accurate but is fairly close for the mileage that I have recorded.

If I was running from Bury St Edmunds where could I get to if I ran in a straight line? It is about 1/20 of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Well I could have run through the whole of Western Europe , Asia , Australia and on to New Zealand. My 13,000 miles would place me somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean but with another 4,000 miles to go before I hit Santiago in Chile.

Of course rather than really being in the South Pacific I ran today in the Abbey Gardens Bury St Edmunds.The history of this site dates back to the 7th century when King Sigebert , the first Christian king of East Angles who established a small religious community here.

It is said that King Edmund who refused to rennounce his christain faith and was slain by the danish vikings is buried here in the 9th century.

King Cnut established a benedictine community here in the 11th century . With the dissolution of the monasteries in England the Abbey Gardens was neglected for 300 years until the Marquis of Bristol arranged for a botanical garden display. Over 2,000 garden plants were available to view and subscibers financed the maintenance and upkeep to this private victorian gardening gallery throughout most of the 19th century.

Even at the end of the 19th century 'riff raff' were not welcome as visitors could only enter at the cost of 1 shilling for an adult or 6d for a child. According to Mitchell (British Historical Statistics) the average agricultural wage in 1900 was around 14 shillings a week and a weeks dole money was 6d .

Rushbrooke Elderflower Champagne goes with a bang!


Look back over previous entries on Running in Suffolk and you will see that we recently made Elderflower Champagne following a Hugh Fernley Whittingstall recipe from the tv series River Cottage.

I had read that Elderflower Champagne tends to be quite explosive and that many a bottle can explode. With this in mind we moved our dozen bottles into the garage just in case.

Having never tried it before it was with some trepidation that the time came to open the bottles. We used the swing stopper type bottles which you can buy in bulk from a number of suppliers on the internet.

We took the bottles into the garden to open just in case which was wise as these open with the force of extreme champagne. You could take bottles of this into war as a weapon the force is considerable. Our first attempt came as a shock and most of the drink went over everyone in sight and just a little bit of foam was left in the bottle.

Practice has led us to an elderflower champagne opening technique of needing more than two hands. When the swing stopper is opened you need to push down hard and allow a minute for the pressure to be released very slowly.

By this method as long as you have the glasses ready with ice you are ensured a lovely summery flowery drink. The verdict is yes, when can we make some more. I believe there is only a low level of alcohol in this drink but many who have tried have said it was strong.

I would say it is fairly sweet rather than a dry champagne.

Total cost approx £3 for a dozen bottles. The main cost of our Rushbrooke Elderflower Champagne was the sugar and lemons.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Risby Suffolk


A Friday lunch time a break from work enabled me to do a ten miler out to the village of Risby near Bury St Edmunds Suffolk.

My 10 miles took 1hr 25 minutes 26 seconds which is an 8.31 average pace. This gives me 23 miles for the week and 88 miles for the month. I am certainly puttin gin the miles and have got used to my new Nike Air Pegasus 25 shoes. Having bought a pair in JJB Sports in Bury I saw the same shoes in Cambridge at Sportshoes Direct at Lionyard Walk for £20 less! Always frustrating to waste money but I have learnt lesson not to touch JJB Sports and I generally haven't had cause to use it previously buying on the internet to find running gear.

There is a good waffle tread on these shoes which gives a good grip for off road running .

The weather was good, sunny but with a fair amount of cloud so the temperatures were not excessively warm for running. I ran out along the Newmarket Road , up Westley Road and immeadiately first leftpast the Crematorium. Close to Hyde Cottage the poppies are in full bloom.

In Risby I took this picture in the village centre presumably of a former pond? This is quite a large green area with a central hollow.

I followed a minor road known as the Lackford Lane which leads straight to the Bullock Lodge Farm. However before going that far I chose to follow a footpath off road which leads out to Risby Little Wood.

Here the fields are planted with wheat which is green unlike the barley which is on the point of turning yellow.

On my return back into Risby I was confronted by a young family of expectant ducks hoping for a meal .

I returned to Bury feling in good form . I checked my splits which were at 5 miles 43.17 and for the return I ran 42.08 a negative split always leaves you feeling good.

Now playing: Gregory Isaacs - Stranger in Town
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Adkins Wood Ickworth Park Suffolk


7.5 miles in 1 hr 6 mins 53 seconds

In a break from work at lunch time I ran up to Ickworth Park from Bury St Edmunds. My plan being to seek out the cooler shade of Adkins Wood on a fairly warm day.

Running through Little Horringer Hall Farm up the hill past a large field of barley I was met by a group of cyclists coming at a fair lick down hill. The path being narrow they thankfully saw me and gave way just in time.

At one point I had contemplated jumping into the barley to avoid a collision.

This run is nearly all over fields but emerging from Little Horringer Hall Farm you do arrive on Westley Lane. There is little traffic but cars do tend to hurtle along this stretch and you have to be on guard because of the bends in teh road before you arrive in Horringer Village.

Once in the village you can quickly venture into Ickworth Park and turning immeadiately left you can explore Adkins Wood.

Still muddy in many places it was a case of running from side to side along the track and skipping over puddles but at times with no option just plonking straight into the mud.

This is a run with lakes to visit on route. The first lake is known as the Fairy Lake and is always quiet in fact I don't think I have ever seen anyone there when I have run past.

Close to the fairly lake is a duckboard footpath. It was really good to see that this has all been replaced. The previous duckboard in this muddy section had disintegrated to the point where the remaining boards were removed last year. The new boards are nice and solid and there is no bounce as there was on the old timbers.

The next lake which is more well known to any visitor to the National Trust site at Ickworth is the Canal Lake.

In the photo you can see in the foreground a summer house , behind which there is a small vineyard which produces some fine qulaity English wine. St Mary's Church at Ickworth has been derelict for many years but there is a sign there now to indicate that restoration works are now being undertaken by English Heritage. In the background on the right is Ickworth House.

I ran very slowly today not entirely sure why but this run is more about enjoying the sites and there is always something different to see. For instance today a large school party were enjoying a wildlife trip to the park with a packed lunch.

Now playing: Augustus Pablo - House Raid
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Horringer Hall Farm Bury St Edmunds Suffolk


One of my favorite runs at this time of the year is around the field edge at Little Horringer Hall Farm. This year they are growing barley but in previous years this has rotated from oil seed rape.

The ground despite recent heavy rain is hard as a rock and you have to be careful to avoid turning an ankle in some of the cracks. The barley is a shade of green but turning yellow.

There is a pathway leading right around this field climbing from around 40 metres to 65 metres above sea level. The pathway is mostly clear but in some sections you need to wade through dense grass which has overgrown the route.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Elderflower Champagne



Folk-lore, romance and superstition centre round this English tree. Shakespeare, in Cymbeline, referring to it as a symbol of grief, speaks slightingly of it as 'the stinking Elder,' due to the scent of its blossom. However at this time of the year the English hedgerow is more handsome for its appearance along with dog rose and hawthorn.

The word 'Elder' comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld.

On a run from Bury St Edmunds through the village of Rushbrooke I sought out a good source of elderflowers. Last year watching the Hugh Fernley Whittingstall programme River Cottage we were taken with giving the making of some Elderflower Champagne a try.

The tv programme made it look easy to make and when Hugh and his mates came to try it the bottle lids were flipped it certainly reacted like champagne with a bang and lots of gushing fizzy drink which all seemed to enjoy.

So Elderflower Champagne was added to the to do list. The end of May / beginning of June is the perfect time in Engalnd to pick Elderflowers. I picked mine out at Rushbrooke on a quiet minor road but to be honest you can of course spot elderflower growing in the town centre. This is certainly true in Bury St Edmunds and many of the car parks which have surrounding bushes often have large elderflowers bushes.

To be on the safe side I picked elderflowers high up in the bush (well above dog height) and facing into the fields . The recipe only required around 30 heads but to be on the safe side I probably picked around 50 heads. A pair of scissors was handy to clip them into a bag.

Some say you should pick elderflowers when they are young but fully in bloom. That the best time to pick them is in the morning and they should smell fragrant and like bananas. They are past their best if they smell like cats wee.

On arriving home I choose to cut away as much of the stalk as I could. Not entirely sure if this matters but just a personal decision. Give your bag of flowers a good shake and you will have some small insect bugs that have returned home with you. These are fairly easily removed but the odd bug won't kill you if you miss it.

There are many recipes on the internet for makng Elderflower Champagne. I followed this one below from the River Cottage site.

Makes about 6 litres


  • About 24-30 elderflower heads, in full bloom
  • 2kg sugar
  • 4 litres hot water
  • Juice and zest of four lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this)
Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.

2. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.

3. Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.

4. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers (available from home-brewing suppliers) or Grolsch-style stoppers, or sterilised screw-top plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so strong bottles and seals are essential).

5. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for a further eight days before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place.

History of Elderflowers

Folk-lore, romance and superstition centre round this English tree. Shakespeare, in Cymbeline, referring to it as a symbol of grief, speaks slightingly of it as 'the stinking Elder,' yet, although many people profess a strong dislike to the scent of its blossom. However at this time of the year the English hedgerow is more handsome for its appearance along with dog rose and hawthorn.

The word 'Elder' comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld.

The 8 days is up on Friday the 12th of June so thats when I try Elderflower Champagne for the 1st time as long as the bottles don't explode in the meantime! Then we will see if the effort has been worth it.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Suffolk Show 2009


One of the highlights of the Suffolk Show at Ipswich at the end of May was the chance to meet John Wark at the BBC Radio Suffolk tent.

Back in the days when the FA Cup was a well respected tournament and both Ipswich Town and Leeds United were two of the top teams in England I well remember an epic replay that took place at Filbert Street Leicester. It happened to be the debut of John Wark for Ipswich Town. The 27th March 1975 was a Thursday night and was the 3rd replay between the two teams. Ipswich winning on the night 3-2 thanks to a Clive Woods banana shot goal still one of the best goals I have ever seen.

Football managers complain bitterly about fixture congestion these days but part of the cup fighting tradition and romance of the FA Cup was lost when a decision was taken by the Football Association to limit replays to just the one game. Having said this after seven hours of football both Ipswich and Leeds had so many injuries that it probably cost Ipswich there chance of winning the league that season and Leeds went on to lose the European Cup to Bayern Munich.

It was a great priviledge to meet John Wark and I of course mentioned his debut at 17 when Bobby Robson was forced to throw him into the side to mark Allan Clarke. He said there is a section of the book that deals with this story and I look forward to reading his autobiography Wark On

Now playing: Rezillos - I Can't Stand My Baby
via FoxyTunes
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Running in Suffolk