3000 miles and counting

 

Between October 2005 and April 2009 I ran 3119 miles. This is an average of about 17 miles each week, with a maximum of 54.6 and a minimum of zero. I know this because I am not just a geek but a thorough geek. Every time I ran I would record the distance and time it took. This would only take a few seconds after each run and it soon became habitual. Sometimes it would even give that little extra incentive to go out, to get above a certain mileage for the week.

I’ve resurrected this data as I’ve been thinking about all the racing I used to do. Yesterday I ran the Inverness half marathon for the third time. The weather was pretty grim but I don’t think that’s the reason for my 1 hour 37 minute performance. I can’t be too unhappy at that number; I didn’t feel like I could have run too much faster, maybe a minute, two at the most. However I do think back to that first half marathon, just over five minutes faster, and wonder how I did it on so little training. This possibly hints at how big the mental aspect of running long distances is; the excitement of that being my first half marathon giving me that bit more enthusiasm to dig deeper.

Looking at the mileage I ran over the course of four years it’s interesting to see how writing my thesis and starting a job affected my running habits. Not only does the data end in April 2009, but the mileage does too. I wouldn’t run for months at a time. I did get enough miles in my legs to run the Glasgow half marathon in 2009, but only just. The mileage died again after that. I then entered the UK half Ironman, giving me a surge of effort for three or four months until the event itself in June 2010. Since then again, the mileage dropped to near nothing. Revving up this latest race I’ve joined a local club and been trying to attend the twice weekly training sessions. It’s been going well, which is why I thought I’d post a better time yesterday than I did. I just need to keep at it. Better than quality training sessions, better than really long runs, is just plain old regular runs and I’ve not being doing enough of them.

Back in the saddle

Today I took part in my first running race in quite some time. The last time I donned a racing vest was in September 2009 for the Glasgow half marathon (and what a disappointment that was).

The race was a strange one; a twelve mile relay race with six members running two legs each. That’s the Hartley Cup. The venue is different each year as the hosting club changes.

Despite the quantity of races I’ve done before, I’ve never raced a mile. I found it pretty hard going! I started out too fast, stalled in the middle but finished well. I came in at 6:22 and 6:28 (it’s a mile plus 50m), which I’ll have to admit I’m disappointed with. But really I didn’t feel like I could put any more oomph in so it’s a fair result.

A great atmosphere in the stadium and tasty goodies at the end means I’ll most probably be back next year. And I’m sure I’ll go a damn sight faster!

Isle of Man

I spent my easter weekend on the Isle of Man. I have never visited before. My first impressions were of an Island that is lucky with its weather and has a very high number of very fast cars. I wonder if the speed limits differ from that of the rest of the UK? Anyway, I should get to the point. The point of the journey was to have fun. The mechanism that we chose to obtain this fun was a running festival. That’s right, we chose a festival based around physical endurance with the aim of having fun.

Due to slight injury I only took part in one of the three races scheduled. During the 10K road race, I had a sports massage. During the hill race I had a nice walk and took pictures of my team members running. The 5K road relay, I ran. I am happy to say that I now appear to be injury free. All in all, it was a great weekend and we will most definitely be returning next year.