Saturday, February 27, 2010

Relatives at Timworth in Suffolk


Looking at the weather forecast and knowing I was in for a busy day I decided to switch my long run to Saturday from Sunday this week.  We have had a lot of rain, heavy rain and there a number of flood warnings in the region.

For this morning there was a slight drizzle as I set out on a 12 miler. I decided to visit Timworth in Suffolk. I ran out to Fornham St Martin and for me this run really begins here at the place known as The Drift which is opposite St Martins Church.

After running between some houses you have a good view of the Sugar Beet factory before crossing over the A14. It is here at this point that the former railway line used to run taking passengers from Bury up to Ingham and on to Thetford.

Crossing over the A14 you are then onto open farmland and there are several paths named as drifts . I decided on the Livermere Drift offering as it does a more direct path to Timworth.

The drift way finishes at Barton Bottom and I immediately crossed over the road taking the Livermere road. On reaching a crossroads I took the left turn towards Timworth.

Once in Timworth I headed to St Andrews Church, which is reached down a long pathway. Timworth really is just a few houses that you can count almost seemingly on two hands.

In tracing our ancestory one branch of our family tree links to Timworth. My great great grandfather was from Timworth and his father was also born here. Throughout the 19th century relatives lived in this tiny hamlet as labourers working on the land.  I haven't as yet got any further back than 1800 but we are following the surname of Parish.

Most of the row of cottages are in Suffolk Pink with this one selling free range eggs.

There is a tranquility and peace to to this place, it feels remote and lost in time though it is just 3 miles from Bury. The village was never highly populated with the doomsday book recording a total of 45 in 1086 and 50 in 1327 . Following the Black death in the 14th century it would seem the village was almost unoccupied with just 16 people being recorded in 1524. At its height in 1851 a total of 241 people lived there and today I suspect it is back to its doomsday level.

I ran ok today though slowly.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Running in the Rain

The thought of it is always worse than the experience. Tonight after work it was dark and it was steadily running.As I headed to change into my running gear just for a moment I had a passing thought  shall I give it a miss? What if I don't run tonight and instead do a longer session tomorrow to make up for it ? As its raining its a ready made excuse not to go and just give it a miss.

However with the weather being milder I ventured out and the steady rain meant I was fairly soaked through by the end of my 6.6 mile run. By then I didn't mind that it was raining , in fact after a mile I didn't mind that it was raining. I had actually forgotten how enjoyable it is to run in the rain as long as it is not combined with strong winds.

Eurythmics - Here Comes the Rain Again
Uploaded by LuisB. - Sitcom, sketch, and standup comedy videos.
When it is raining and you go past people on there way home from work with their umbrellas up and coats and scarfs trying to shelter from the elements they almost seem to give you a longer look than normal. Whats in their minds? Perhaps it is pity cause you are wet. Or maybe it is a thought that you, a runner in the rain, must be crazy. After all what are you doing out running its dark, cold and wet are you mad! Perhaps some secretly admire you and it might just inspire 1-2 to give running a go or take up some form of exercise.

As I ran round avoiding most but never all of the big puddles the air feels cleaner and fresher from the benefit of the rain. I know the shower will feel so much better after a run in the rain.Its the contrast of having overcome the elements returning home soaked and then warming up under a hot shower and feeling glowingly good afterwards.

Having said all of this I will still look to the heavens and wish it was dry next time I am due to run and it is raining! 

Another run in the bag as part of my half marathon week  8 training schedule. Only another 4 and a bit weeks before the race.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Five Mile Tempo Run in Fornham St Martin Suffolk

Wednesday in my training schedule usually calls for a tempo or speed interval run which I always look forward to. It's something different from the usual easy paced runs which make up most of the rest of the week. Of course it is also a chance to test yourself and to see how the training is going.

My run today consisted of a warm up mile , five miles tempo and warm down mile. I ran the same course as Monday following the route around Fornham offering as it does a 7 mile course with not to many roads to cross where you can get stopped by the traffic.

After two days of snow and sleet the weather was mild , in fact possibly the warmest day of the year at about 8c. I only wore one layer for the first time this year- a sweat shirt and tracksters and my Asics Gel Stratus 3. If anything the sweat shirt was a little too heavy and a thiner thermal top would have been adequate as I got warm on this run.

My warm up mile was run in 8.35. I then paused and set the IPOD to music rather than running podcasts. I am sure I run faster when listening to music rather than speech. On the IPOD I had The Ramones, The Beatles, Jimmy Eat World, The Saints, The Lillingtons, Joy Division, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beach Boys, Editors and The Jam.

With the music belting out I was able to tackle the tempo run. The schedule called for 5 miles at 7.54 mile pace. I was happy with what I did achieve though I didn't hit this pace my mile splits show 7.48,8.12,8.09,8.19 and 8.28. So my 1st mile was under target but I then slipped back to over 8 minute miles averaging out at 8.12 miles for a total of 40.58 for the 5 miles. I felt good and comfortable for 3.5 miles but then had to grit my teeth for the last 1.5 as my times showed I tired particularly for the last half mile.

When I tired I had reached my lactic threshold maximum. Tempo runs  create lactic acid in the muscles and eventually you do begin to slow. Running at tempo pace often enough should help train the body in dealing with lactic acid. As it will make the body more efficient in removing lactic acid from the muscles.

Thats good news because next time I  run, I shouldn't  build up as much lactic acid in the muscles as the last time I ran at that same pace. The body will be able to get rid of lactic acid faster too. At least thats what I have read.

I warmed down for a mile and half feeling that this was a really worth while session and has helped overcome some of the disappointment of not racing on Sunday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

First Run for a week!


I lost a week's training following a heavy cold but eventually felt well enough to venture out this morning for a run.

I missed the 10k race at Bungay it just came too soon . I had full intentions of running it and I took tablets to try and clear my head but the weather was awful cold rain and sleet. I just felt too weak to do a race feeling lousy and in bad weather.A pity really seeing as I had entered in advance and paid for it.

This morning I had a renewed determination to get out and run regardless, just as well as snow returned to day. It snowed for the hour of my run but generally I had no problems with slipping my Asics coping well.

Half way through the run a bus made no attempt to avoid a big slushy puddle and I got mushed from head to toe. I turned and swore but I was just happy to be back running and laughed it off , inconsiderate drivers are part of the running survival experience along with extreme temperatures snow , wind and heat.

A week out of training and I was a little stiff my left leg felt a bit tight but generally I was ok and completed the 7 miles in 1hr 1min 33 secs. I followed a regular route around the villages of Fornham.

How does the week with a cold affect my training programme for the half marathon? Week 8 of the Runners World SMART Coach plan calls for 6 days of running and 44 miles including a long run of 12 miles and a tempo run of 5 miles.

Whether I can just jump back in the saddle and complete all of this is open to question especially with the weather forecast being pretty lousy all week .

I am just glad to be running again and I will give it a go and see what happens.

My Music Monday offering is the Cinematics with the very apt song Break

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pump Aid Water for Life

I was sent this and I am happy to add to my blog to help promote this race  and event in London.


1(66)Pump Aid, the leading water charity, is calling on 8,000 people to dust off those running shoes and take part in The Dow Live Earth Run for Water events, which will take place in London on 18th April 2010.  Pump Aid is the sole beneficiary of the UK 6km Run for Water events, which are also taking place in a further 48 cities around the world.

Currently 1 billion people world wide don’t have access to clean water and Pump Aid’s work is invaluable.  Pump Aid provides clean water to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Liberia through their unique ‘Elephant Pump’ design - a simple yet immensely beneficial device.   Clean water is essential, not only to health, but also to deliver education for children, to create the ability to grow crops and to build communities.

“We had to use nearby bushes if we needed to go to toilet, girls and boys would use the same area. Since the Elephant Toilets have been built, all of us can use them....We have a special washer where we can wash our hands with clean water, Pump Aid also installed an Elephant Pump near our school where we can get clean water , this means we don't have to walk far to get it. ..We don't miss school anymore because of illness, I like going to school so I am glad”
Dariso, 9 years old and Mark, 5 years old

1(45)Pump Aid’s aim is to get 8,000 people to sign up to for the 6km run – the average, and unthinkable, distance vulnerable women and children in villages walk to collect clean water, often taking them 5 hours a day.  If 8,000 people take part and each raise £500, Pump Aid could deliver water to over 1 million people.  With over 5,000 children dying every day as a result of unsafe drinking water, this will make a huge difference.  To sign up to the run and for more information to discover how you can make a difference, please visit

Internationally renowned singer and ambassador for Pump Aid, Corinne Bailey Rae speaks of her support:
“As goodwill ambassador for the charity Pump Aid I’ve seen at firsthand how a relatively small amount of money can transform the lives of rural communities in Africa.  That’s why I support Live Earth and its 2010 Run for Water.   I hope people will be inspired to support Live Earth and Pump Aid on 18 April.”

The Dow Live Earth’s Run for Water will take place in London’s Victoria Park on April 18th 2010 at 10am.  Entrants will be rewarded by a fantastic free live concert after the run in London and there will also be Water Villages at both venues with activities to help raise awareness of the world’s water crisisSo get signed up and get those running shoes on and be part of this phenomenon that will take part on the 18th April 2010!

For case studies of people who have been helped by Pump Aid, further information, visuals or are interested in visiting Africa with Pump Aid please contact
Ginny Corfield, Juliet Brooke or Lynn Louca on 0208 971 3300 or

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Frustration I have a cold

Tuesday was a rest day,as I went through Wednesday I realised I had picked up a head cold. Not enough to stop me working but enough to prevent me feeling like running so I haven't since Monday.

This is my easy week in my training schedule having ramped up the miles in the previous 5 so geting a cold this week is probably ideal, if I am going to get one, however I am doing a 10k race on Sunday so I hope to be back for this at least.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I sold the moon

On my rest day I downloaded another free audio book from called I sold the Moon ( a true storey ) by Barry McArdle

This is already an enjoyable listen and will accompany me on some of my training runs in the next week or two on my IPOD.

The forward for the book

Just because it happened, doesn't mean you'll believe it.

Take a rollicking ride through the 1970s with the original Moon Man, Barry McArdle, a silver-suited street performer and comic philosopher who spent ten years crisscrossing America selling lunar real estate (transportation not provided). As told by the author, I Sold the Moon! explores how a young man, fresh out of college, could get the idea that he could claim the moon, and then sell it. Exactly what drugs was he on? Well??..

Moon Man's adventures are paralleled throughout by a more earthly concern: his romance with a young woman as adventurous as he, in the turbulent days of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. The story of this "first love" is threaded from the opening chapter until the final page. I Sold The Moon! is for anyone who believes in following their dreams and searching for true love. It's cosmic, perceptive, passionate and fun. Mostly fun. Hear it here from the one, the only, the original Moon Man.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Running whilst tired


My Music Monday offering is from the great Dr Feelgood  appropiate band when today I am talking about running when feeling tired!

After a long run on a Sunday I always feel a little tired when I do a seven miler on  a Monday.
I started well today but quickly felt tired after a mile or so. I think my training programme is built this way so that I get used to running on tired legs. There is a fine line between over doing the mileage to the point of feeling exhausted and risking injury and a to be expected feeling of being tired because you have run a quality long run session on a Sunday. As a result the Monday easy run requires mental strength to get out the door.

Running whilst tired is said to build mental strength and to replicate the later stages of a long race. That is what you get whilst running slightly tired a feeling that you are running the last 3 miles in the half marathon and as long as you keep going you build your confidence.

Eating and drinking between sessions becomes more important as you build up your mileageSometimes I am guilty of not drinking quite enough water I aim to have about 8 glasses a day and with regular running the dehydration can leave you a little tired and effect performance. I find I need plenty of carbohydrates and iron from pasta,rice,potatoes and bread, bananas,beans,porridge,broccoli,peanut butter,yougart and marmite - too name a few plus a reward or two which for me is a beer or some wine.

Other distractions to get through a run wehen feeling tired are to listen to music or a podcast.

Finding new routes to run will overcome some tiredness as you explore but too often I follow the same routes.

I find my form can also suffer whilst running tired and instead of running upright and landing on the mid sole and rolling onto the front foot I tend to start landing on the back of the heel and start looking downwards in front of my feet. What tends to happen then is your breathing suffers as with a poor posture and looking downwards you don't get the maximum amount of oxygen into your lungs.

It is said that as you become fitter and more committed to your training, you begin to accept higher mileage and higher levels of intensity. You also begin to accept the discomfort factor as 'par for the course'.

I think you can also watch for a sign of over training which may result in restless sleep or a cold sore neither of which I am experiencing I am sleeping very well!

Having said all of this my time for the 7 miles today was 1hr 1min and 30 seconds which was my best this year for the Fornham Suffolk Circular run, though a lot slower than my last 7 on Wednesday, the difference being that that run followed a rest day and todays run followed a 12 miler.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Long Run Sunday from Bury St Edmunds to Sicklesmere, Gt Whelnethum and Stanningfield and back

This morning was misty, overnight there had been a thin covering of snow but nothing to really affect my footing and I didn't find it too slippery. I decided to repeat the same long run distance as last week and do 12 miles. I am very much still getting used to the distance again after such a long period when my long run was 7 miles. My weakest point is climbing hills I am very skow climbing these.

However hill training is something I am not going to work on until after my half marathon training has been completed at the end of March. By then if I remain injury free I wil have had 3 months of good training and this will provide a base to start adding a quality session such as hill training.

My route today was all along pavements initially heading out of Bury St Edmunds to Sicklesmere. At Sicklesmere you pass a round house which is a reminder of the days of coach and horses. One of the coaching routes ran between Norwich and London 4 times a day and used to run through Sicklesmere. The toll house was built by a Turnpike Trust in the 19th century as a lodge house. To use the road you would have had to pay a toll.

After Sicklesmere I headed slighlty up hill for a mile or so through Gt Whelnethum a village which ajoins Sicklesmere.

At about this point I removed a layer of clothes and my hat and gloves. I had been feeling slightly hot and bothered but felt much better after this.

The Jelly Belly Super Sours were also a welcome treat on this long run.

It was a snowy,frosty murky world when I entered the village of Stanningfield. Very few cars or people to be seen today.

I turned at 6 miles and returned home feeling a lot better in the middle of the run without the hat and gloves.

My mile splits were 8.50,8.56,9,8.50,9.22,8.41,8.37,8.12,8.41,8.50,9,8.56 this was an average of 8.50 per mile.

My total time was 1hr 46 mins and this compares well with my last 12 miles a week ago when I ran 1.49.16.

I am now half way through my 12 week Runners World SMART Coach Training schedule. So far so good no injuries.

George Parrott, known affectionately as "Coach George" on the Dead 
Runners Society, presented this idea a couple of years ago.  He suggests 
that a runner can run no faster in the Marathon than he runs his
fastest 26.2 miles in a week during training. 

At the end of week 6 my Parrott Predictator shows a time of 3.47.37 this compares well with last week 3.49.11 and week 1 of my training which showed 3.53.07.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Six miles to Horsecroft Suffolk


My run this morning was an easy 6 miler. Three miles out to Horsecroft and back.

It is mostly up hill on the way but with the downhill return to look forward to.My split times for the miles reflect this:

8.58,9.22,8.49,8.28,8.28 and 8.08

A grey morning with some sleet and snow in the air.

26 miles in the bag for the week just leaves tomorrows long run to complete week 6 and 42 days of training for my half marathon at the end of March.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Seven Miles in Needham Market Suffolk

At lunch time today on the way home from work I stopped off at Needham Market and parked the car at the Lakes. There were not many cars; those  folks who had ventured out  tended to be walking the dog at a hurried pace. However there were also number of hardy fisherman casting a line presumably for chub,carp or pike.

Needham Market is a small town about 20 miles to the south east of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. Many towns in Suffolk built their  prosperity from the wool and  weaving industry. Needham Market was  more of a centre for wool combing the preparation of wool for the weavers.  However the black plague in 1663 to 1665 wiped this trade out for good along with a large part of the population. It is said that a chain was erected at both ends of the town probably as a warning to any passers by not to enter due to the plague rather than as a means to keep the locals from leaving.

The town of Needham in Massachusetts is named after Needham Market.

The weather today was breezy cool and there was some snow still on the fields and in the hedgerows and the sky was a mix of sunshine and grey clouds.

I did my seven mile run starting around the lake the first 2-3 miles being off road. This proved a little too slippery in the mid so I retreated into the centre of Needham Market before heading on the road to Stowmarket and visiting the village called Badley. 

I felt good for all of this run but didn't make any particularly effort so with some surprise I completed the run in a time of exactly 1 hour. This is an average pace of 8.34 per mile which is an improvement shaving off nearly 2 minutes from my previous best for 7 miles this year.
Perhaps my training is beginning to come good but I have a long way to go .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The calm before the storm

Looking at my half marathon training programme week 6 is comparatively easy compared to what is coming up with a marked increase in mileage. So far I have kept to the programme though I have miscalculated the no of weeks there are until the half marathon as I should have been following a 12 week schedule.

 This means I actually have one extra week ! I have been a bit uncertain on what I should do on my training plan either to repeat this easy week or suddenly up the mileage again.

What I have decided to do is include a long run this week end and replace the scheduled 6 miler with a 11 or 12 miler instead. This will mean this week still has a quality run and then make next week the additional week 7  the easier week though on the Sunday I have booked my self in to do a 10k race at Bungay Suffolk .

Just hope that the weather is good and not too windy. I can treat the Bungay race as a fast tempo run and will be my first race since June 09.

Races at Bungay are always very well organised , with good hot food at the end and supportive marshals . The local club are known as Bungay Black Dog

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Easy 6 miles to Fornham St Martin Suffolk

When I got home from work I just had an hour or so of day light and wanted to get my run in. However this was the moment that the promised snow showers started and for a good hour visability was very poor as the ground gradually became covered in a layer of fresh crisp whiteness.

Thankfully in between snow showers I got my hat and gloves, tracksters and thermal top and headed out. Numbingly cold to begin but I soon warmed up as I decided to do a 3 mile out and back course that I haven't done since last year. My schedule called for an easy 6 miles at 9.15 pace but I am never very good at judging this. I just tend to run how I feel without consciously putting in any extra effort so I am running at a comfortable pace  so I not breathless but nor am I jogging.

I kinda know fairly soon how the run is going to go for me once I am a couple of miles into the run and today felt good. At the moment there is a pattern where every alternate run feels good followed by a run where my run feels more laboured my breathing isn't so good and I am have one or two aches.

My splits today were 8.26,8.36,8.39,8.27,8.38 and 9.06 for a total of 51.54 for the 6 miles. Average pace 8.39. Thats my quickest 6 miles this year and more like it though loads of room for improvement I hope. I ran the same course back in April 09 in 50.14 which shows just how much my pace has slipped since being injured.

I listened to the Pretenders on my IPOD whom I saw last year when we went to the Lattitude Festival in Suffolk. One of the star performers and now a bit of a legend was Chrisse Hynde

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Hundred Push Ups

This was a rest day for me but I still did some push ups.

My first push ups for a week and it showed! I decided to do week 6 day 2 programme again and did sets of 14,14,15,15,10,10,14,14 and a final set of 30.

I am not sure how many will be running the Stowmarket Half Marathon I am doing at the end of March but it won't be anyway near the number who have entered to take part in the the world's biggest halfmarathon, the Great North Run in Newcastle England. The 2010 race has attracted a record number of applications to take part in the 30th anniversary of the event.

More than 100,000 have entered  to run on September 19 - and the organisers will stage a ballot this week to confirm the 54,000 entrants.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Fornham Suffolk - Seven Mile Circular Run

This was my 6th day in a row of running and I was pretty tired. I completed the run, the first of week 6 which actually sees me have a little respite after 5 weeks of increasing mileage. There are no quality runs at all this week by this I mean no long run and no tempo or speed work. The total mileage this week is consequently down and I hope to feel the beneficial effects of this and complete a few more push ups which have suffered over the last week as I haven't done as many.

My 7 miles today were completed in 1hr 1min and 43 seconds. It was cold breezy and we had a mixture of sleet and snow showers.

Last week I bought from Amazon a copy of Rosie Swale-Pope book and I am just a few chapters into this. Her husband died of prostate cancer and to remind people to go to doctors for check ups she decided to run around the world as by staying at home doing the weeding  in her backgarden no one would have noticed.

So in October 2003 she set off from her home in Tenby, Wales on a solo run around the World. A five year journey over 20,000 miles using 53 pairs of running shoes and storey to tell. Sheer madness yes but also very inspiring and truely a journey of a lifetime that most of us will never do or even contemplate doing.Sleeping alone in the middle of a Siberian forest with temperatures down to -60 is not everybodies cup of tea.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

12 miles to Rougham Suffolk

My longest run of the year and my biggest mileage week of the year. Lots of positivies from the run today which was a 6 mile out and back to Rougham in Suffolk. My time was slow 1.49.16 for the 12 miles which is a 9.06 pace.

The main thing to take from the run was my improving stamina as I have  gradually increased my long run from 10 to 12 miles this year. This is filling me with confidence that I will at leat complete the half marathon at the end of March.

Looking at my diary this was my first 12 mile run since 25 May 2009 nine months ago! This is the biggest reason for my lack of speed and stamina as I just don't have a good base of training. Back in May 2009 I ran 1.44.22 in training so I have lost some 5 minutes in pace since then.

I heard on Marathon Talk that the effects of sciatica can take some time to work through and recover from with tight glutes being a particular problem. If you listen to running podcasts then I really recommend Marathon Talk as being one of the very best to listen to at the moment. I had no problems with any aches or pains today so I am currently injury free another big plus.

My splits today showed I set of very slowly but improved in the 2nd half of the run 9.09,9.18,9.05,9.22,9.37,9.04,8.38,8.24,8.40,9.05,9.31,9.18.

My run today took me along Rushbrooke Lane  and Blackthorpe before reaching Rougham. My turn around half way point was just beyond St Mary's Church at Rougham.

On this run I was able to get off road to follow a pathway to the church at Rougham. I also came across this phone box which had plenty of ventilation with seemingly no glass left in the frame of the box. Red phone boxes which were once a common site in every English village are now beginning to become a rarity as they are removed. You can understand why since the arrival of the mobile phone when was the last time you used one? I honestly don't remember and I wouldn't know what coins you should now use in a phone box. I guess this one will be gone before too long.

Any run to Rushbrooke passes fields with hundreds of pigs. If blogs could have smellovision then you would have had a treat and could have shared that piggy/muddy smell that came off the fields!

Today I continued to listen the serialisation of the book I am listening to on podiobooks called Dreaming of Deliverance worth downloading for free if you are out on a long run. Listening to a book on a run really helps you to switch of and the miles fly by.

So I have successfully completed week 5 of my half marathon training and I ran 41 miles. The most I have run since the week of 26th March 2007.

Looking at my parrott predictor time for the marathon I again had a slight improvement in my fastest 26.2 miles of the week.

My times show Jan 11th 3.53.07;Jan 18th 3.50.36, Jan 25th  3.49.50 and Feb 1st 3.49.1112

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Day 34 of Half Marathon Training

Deja Vu - my Runners World SMART Coach schedule called for another 5 mile run at a 9.15 pace. The weather was very misty but it soon cleared.

My garmin didn't seem to cope with the misty weather and as a result  I have no time for my run but I think it was around 9 minute miles for a 45 minute run.

I have 29 miles in the bag for the week and the long run tomorrow to finish week 5 of my training programme.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Day 33 of Half Marathon Training

My Runners World SMART Coach schedule called for another 5 mile run at a 9.15 pace. The weather was very good dry sunny and mild. I still wore tracksters and a sweat shirt but no second layer, gloves or hat were required to day.

My run took me through the centre of Bury St Edmunds. I listened to an audio book on this run which I downloaded from Whats good about Podiobooks is that they are entirely free and you can subscribe via ITunes to serialised episodes as they are released.

The authors are unknown to me so you take a chance on the quality but you will soon tell if it is any good and if not cancel your subscription to a book and switch to something else.

I am listening to Dreaming of Deliverance which is entertaining and I have taken a chance on because of the cover. I am onto about chapter 8 and the main character is a runner but this isn't a storey about running at least not so far.

The promo blurb for the book is as follows

Five years ago when Lindsay Paulson, a naive college student and talented distance runner, was 18, she was convicted of drug smuggling. Now, halfway through a 10-year prison sentence, she begins having what seem to be dreams, in which she leaves her cell in the night and visits another reality called Trae. Dreaming of Deliverance tells of Lindsay’s experiences both in Trae, where she finds herself among people enslaved by terrifying creatures, and in prison where she tries to make sense of what’s happening in her sleep: Is she actually escaping from prison somehow or is she losing her mind?

I completed my 5 miles in 43.34 doing mile splits of 8.22,8.35,8.57,8.39 and 8.59

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Running Log - Parrott Predictor

For the 1st time in the five weeks of my half marathon training programme I ran on a Thursday. Usually this is a rest day for me and had been something to look forward to after running 5 days a week.

I am now at the stage of this training programme where there is no rest rest for the wicked, well there is one day on a Tuesday but I am now in to 6 days a week training. This is something I haven't done I doubt for years.

Tonight it was dark as I set out on an easy 5 miles at 9.15 pace. My Garmin Forerunner 205 recorded splits of 8.59,8.33,8.44,9, and 8.51 for a total of  44.10

Almost hidden away in my Dead Runners Society excel running log  is something known as the Parrott Predictor. I have used the software written by David Hays as detailed here. for many years as it is easy to use and is totally free. There may be other more up to date training logs out there but I haven't really searched for them. The David Hays running log is simple to use and can be downloaded and opened by any user with a version of Microsoft excel 97 or later.

You log your data on one page but there are about 17 tabs which all interrelate and take the data you have entered to provide you with alll many of statistics and graphs on performance.

The parrot predictor named after George Parrott of the Dead Runners Society attempts to give a rough estimate of the amount of time it would take you to run a marathon, based on the distances and times of running workouts that a person has recorded for the week.
If a person hasn't recorded enough running for the week, the predictor will simply read "sub 26.2 Mi week" (or "sub 42 km week" if recorded in metric) and no estimated pace will be shown.

My parrott predictions for the marathon show

Jan 11th 3.53.07
Jan 18th 3.50.36
 Jan 25th 3.49.50

I am not training for the marathon but I do think it is a good indicator that my training is going in the right direction

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Free Spikes Magazine

Last year I signed up for a free magazine called Spikes. Three free issues full of great athletic,track and running news for nothing. Click here for the link . You do have to pay postage outside of the UK though but worth considering.

On Day 31 of the Runners World SMART Coach Schedule todays menu called for some speed work.  I had to take an extended lunch to fit this into my working day but preferred to run at lunch time rather than in the dark after work. The schedule suggested I did 8 miles in total including 4 miles at 7.19 pace followed by half mile jogs and a warm down.

I chose to run up and down Newmarket Road. This is a straight road of around a mile from Oliver Rd to the Falcon Pub. Only problems with this are the need to cross over two busy roads and I have to keep a sharp look out for any cars crossing over a roundabout and a set of traffic lights.

What I achieved was as follows:

1.3 mile warm up and then the 4 miles in 7.54,8.08,8.03 and 8.03.
 I did the half mile jogs inbetween and then ran home 1.2 miles for an overall total of 8 miles.

I didn't hit the pace required by a long way. However I am happy with today's training. Firstly I felt good with no problems with my breathing or any aches or pains. Secondly my mile intervals were consistent with no big decline in speed for the last mile. Lastly they are my faster set of intervals or tempo runs for this year.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Hundred Push Ups Week 6 - Day 3 and Where Was I - Four Years ago


Today was a rest day in my half marathon training so time again for more push ups.I am repeating week 6 training and have reached day

Today my session included sets of 13,13,17,17,16,16,14,14 and a final set of 50. This I managed comfortably though I I don't feel I could many more.

At this point you are expected to have a go at the big 100 push ups. So in a couple of days I will give it a try and see just how many I can do.

I know I can't do 100 and I think I will have to invent my own schedule to take on from the current plateau of 50 to gradually get to 60 as a starting point.

I was recently asked whether I had noticed any physical difference since taking up push ups in the upper arms and chest. I have to say after one months training  I would be lying if I was to say I now have a six pack and upper arm muscles. However I have made some progress and I am confident of being able to do 50 push ups whereas at the beginning of the year when I started this I could do only 17.

Push Ups are a great form of exercise being totally free. Over time push ups are said to be good for developing your chest and  defining your abs, triceps, shoulders and torso. I would hope it would help with shorter races where you tend to use your arms a bit more when sprinting and there should be more body strength to run against  the wind.

I just wanted an exercise which was different from running but would improve my running by developing my core strength. If I keep up the training on push ups for say 6 months then perhaps I will really start to feel the benefits come the summer and then I can kick sand in the face of others on the beach!

Where Was I  Four yours ago 

From my training diary in 2006  this is a post about a run I took in Claudia Schiffers backgarden in Feb 2006..........

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!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Runners World SMART Coach - Half Marathon Schedule Week 5

On the way home from work I had decided not to run tonight and put it off until tomorrow. However after a peanut butter sandwich in the car this seemed to work a miracle and by the time I reached home I had changed my mind and I was soon out for my run on day 29 of my training schedule.

Week 5 started with a 6 mile run. The schedule said to run this in a slightly quicker 9.15 mile pace.  This I did and felt pretty good and relaxed doing a 54 min .5 sec run for 6.1 miles in 8.54 pace.

This post includes more photos from the recent cross country race at Nowton Park Suffolk in January.

It being a Monday do visit Kenley at the Essence of Running for his Music Monday motivational song.

For my offering this week its the Talking Heads with the aptly named Road to Nowhere

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