Saturday, 31 December 2011

Year's End Anti-summary

2011 all but gone. Shame. There were some good bits in there, I hope I remember them in years to come.

Never mind - there's a 2012 on the way. Thank goodness the new year always arrives on time, so we don't find ourselves holding party poppers and champagne, waiting in limbo for Radio 1, Jools Holland, or Big Ben to tell us we can get on with things again.

My last day of 2011 contained a bunch of worthwhile moments, and couple of Local Adventures. A few hours out on the mountain bike riding some local singletrack, and giving a private coaching session to a guy I run with, and his 14yr old son; followed by a five mile walk in the mild evening air, behind a pushchair, giving my wife a bit of a breather, and my son a bit of a rumble to help him sort out some wind.

My first day of 2012 will include a run of some sort to start off a month of jogging, logging and blogging for Janathon, though the route and distance are to be determined, depending solely on how much sleep Jacob allows us tonight.

As for champagne and party poppers - I'll be surprised if we're still awake at eleven!

See you on the other side - Janathon blog entries will include photos as in 2011.

MTB - 13.4miles, 3(ish) hours, 2x mince pies, no punctures.
Pushchair - 4.9miles, 1:24hrs, 466cals, no leaks.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

The Boxing Day (Belated) Run

An annual bout between recreation and excess. Previously known as the Boxing Day Ride before we realised we preferred the social element of the event, to the hours we'd invariably spend, cleaning and fixing filthy and tired mountain bikes.

This year we were all to be hosted by Beany, at his, for food and company post run. This meant we'd be running somewhere local to his place (food always dictates the time and location). So I thought it a good opportunity to introduce the uninitiated to the official Caesar's Camp 100 race route. 10 tough miles on hilly army land, covering approx 1500 ft of ascent (and therefore descent).

Joining us to today (with excuses listed):

Gary Vallance: "I ran quite fast yesterday, my legs are still tired."
James Bean: "I've had to eat a lot of business lunches this month."
John McFall: "I haven't run since October, and my prosthetic limb isn't very good at steep hills."
Tom Phillips: "I'm still getting rid of this cold."

The conditions were superb, a mild and still 11 degrees, and the sandy trails were well consolidated after recent heavy rain.

The runners were also on excellent form, despite the excuses in the book. The pace started off quite social, eventually speeding up after seven miles, once the route allowed a bit of pace. Mile nine passed in a blistering 7:14mins, which is good going over winter ground, even if it did include a long downhill.

However, the post-run company was definitely the highlight, joined as we were by better halves, young children and dogs; enriched further by a culinary masterpiece which climaxed with pickled-onion flavoured cheddar on beetroot infused crackers, with homemade spiced apple chutney.

I reckon if we'd started training in October, we could have eaten more. Next year maybe.

Run stats: 10.40 miles, 1hr41, 1446 cals.
Food stats: 2x bowls sausage hotpot. 1x festive pint Guiness. Much x cheese and crackers.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas Cracker

He sleeps.
For me, this Christmas has been the best in a long while, and for only one reason. My new son, Jacob. I can't deny that the last four weeks have been eventful, challenging, and "a bit of an eye-opener", but all the things that make Jacob the handful that he is, will also make him the boy he's going to be. Clearly I have to take some genetic responsibility for his constant activity, stubbornness and refusal to sleep, but I can't remember ever being as grateful for anything, or as excited about what is yet to come.

Keeping myself in good shape (mentally and physically) will become more important, yet harder than ever to fit into the day-to-day. As we reconfigure our routines and schedules round our tiny endurance-monkey, just getting out the house has become a worthy adventure.

But there is no reward without challenge, and the chance to introduce the world to a pair of eyes that are only just beginning to focus is an opportunity, and privilege.

My month of self-inflicted activity begins in a matter of days, to try and start the year off as I mean to go on. In 2011 I ran 450 miles in January, using up all my spare time and domestic credits. Many months later, my son's arrival has moved the goalposts right out of the field, meaning 2012's Janathon will be a comparatively sane-looking affair from the outside. From within, I suspect it will be every bit as testing, though distinctly less "runny", and decidedly more "push-chairy" as I include a little hitchhiker in some of my exploits....

....which is definitely the way I mean to go on.

Slept 4ish hours
Ran 5km in 21:04 min
Road biked 36.7 miles (to and from Basingstoke Parkrun)

Friday, 23 December 2011


If pre-amble means an amble before the main event (ie Janathon), then this title isn't perhaps the best suited to today's entry.

The little run I went on today with Javed was anything but an amble - it was a beasting.

I ran the couple of miles to meet him at a carpark, and then the pair of us ran straight for the tallest, most relentless hill in the immediate vicinity, and proceeded to run up and down it via a number of different routes. At the top, Javed did a few press ups and ab crunches for the benefit of his (already exceptional) core strength, whereas I abstained in order to focus on not passing out.

The run then eased off a bit (it bluddy needed to!), and we had a bit of a chat on our way round. I've not run with Javed in months, so this was a nice little catch up. I hope there to be a few more on the horizon as he limbers up for a year of serious ultra-distance challenges.

Anyway, home again, now able to focus, a bit wobbly.

If pre-amble means an introduction to things to come (ie Janathon), then this title might be well suited after all.

161 bpm avg,
193 bpm max,
1244 cals (equivalent to 23 gin and tonics - happy christmas!)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Year end systems check

Running shoes - check

Garmin - check

Computer - check

Sanity - negative

Looks like it's Janathon time. Stay tuned.