Tag Archives: running

Review of the Year

There are lots of these posts going around, so to prove my lack of originality here is mine.

#TieForHelena

Screenshot 2015-12-15 22.02.08

A subject that took over my blog for a few days in December was the #TieForHelena. An online friend of mine (we’ve never actually met in person) and fellow swimmer was attacked near her house because she was wearing a tie. As a community we wanted to support her and hopefully give her the confidence to wear a tie again. Here’s the original post outlining this: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/tieforhelena/

What actually happened was that it seemed to strike a chord with people and it turned out to be quite big. Here’s the summary post I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/that-went-well/

2Swim4Life

About to start mile 20 - not happy!

About to start mile 20 – not happy!

There were two main events that were the focus of 2015 for me. The first was back in May and was the 2swim4life event. A simple premise of swimming a mile on the hour, every hour, for 24 hours. I trained hard for it and had great support on the day, here’s the write-up I did: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/2swim4life-summary/. That said, it took me a while to get my focus back again: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/if-found-please-return-to/

Swimming the Channel

Screenshot 2015-08-26 14.08.43One thing that did help me to regain my focus was swimming the channel on behalf of the charity Aspire. This was a channel crossing with a difference as it was to be done in the pool over the course of 12 weeks. I decided to add another element to the challenge and do it in 22 days: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/swimming-the-channel/. I completed it successfully and as you can see I was effusive in my final write-up: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/ive-done-it/.

It’s not too late to sponsor me if you have any spare money lying around after Xmas: https://www.justgiving.com/patrickJPRaspire/

I didn’t do a channel relay this year (although there may be one on the cards for 2016), but I did write some of my thoughts on them for aspiring relay swimmers: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/channel-relay-thoughts/

Bala Disaster

2015 wasn’t all good though. I had my first ever DNF at Bala this year – and to make it worse I wasn’t swimming, but kayaking and had to pull my swimmer out of the water (sorry again Rach): https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/shit-shit-shit-shit-shit/. Fortunately we did get a swim in the following day: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/sunday-was-better/.

Cricket

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

A picture postcard scene. Photo courtesy of @135notout

I also tried to play cricket again in 2015, for the first time in over 25 years. As you can see from these posts, it wasn’t a complete success: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/05/29/crickets-hard-work/; https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/cricket-hmmm/

Crete

But at the end of the summer, I did treat myself to a swimming trip to Crete. It was a trip organised by the wonderful Swimtrek and I met some great new swimming friends: https://1000kmstowindermere.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/more-on-crete/. I’d definitely recommend one if you’re thinking about it.

Not a bad 2015 all in all. And I still think that 2016 will be even better.

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I’ve done it

My plan for 2015 was to complete 1,600kms – and after this morning’s swim I have crossed that threshold.

The distance isn’t the actual distance travelled during my training and events in 2015 as I use an algorithm to try and equal out the three main activities I partake in – swimming, running and cycling. As I’m mainly a swimmer, it didn’t seem fair on me to compare distances with runners for example. Yet nor did it seem fair to just do lots of cycling to boost the numbers. So the 1,600kms distance is a ‘normalised’ running distance for the year as I multiply any swimming distances by three, and divide any cycling distance by four.

So my totals for the year so far (I plan to do another session tomorrow):

Swimming: actual – 408.66kms; adjusted – 1,225.98kms
Running: actual – 270.17kms
Cycling: actual – 447.27kms; adjusted – 111.82kms
Total: actual – 1,126.10kms; adjusted – 1,607.96kms

I’m pretty pleased with that. Well over 1,000 kilometres in actual distance covered and a whole day to spare in hitting the target. But all of this is with a complete lack of motivation in June and July (after the big swim in May), which meant that to complete the target my top three months (in order) were October, December, November.

Update 31/12/15

After today’s session my final totals are: 1,145.8kms actual and 1,620.56kms adjusted.

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LetJog Update – Nearly There

As I’ve posted about before there is an online support group that has set its members the challenge of completing the distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats in 2015 through their training and events. According to Wikipedia that is a distance of 874 miles (or 1,407kms).

I’m a member of this group and have signed up to this challenge, although I have decided to extend it slightly to 1,600kms – or 1,000 miles. Initially this blog was about me completing 1,000kms of exercise in a year (a target I didn’t hit), but you can see how much fitter I’ve got as my target for 2015 was 60% greater.

There’s actually a fair chance that I’ll hit this target too. I’m currently about 50kms away from John O’Groats, so I should get there before the end of November. Then that gives me December to complete the additional 180kms or so.

There are no rules to the challenge – other than the distance covered – and most of the people in the group are primarily runners, so will have run just about every mile.

I’m primarily a swimmer, but I run and cycle [a bit] too. I didn’t think that I’d manage to swim 1,600kms in a year, but equally I didn’t want to ‘cheat’ and cycle the bulk of the distance, so I follow a simple algorithm:

  • All swimming distance is multiplied by 3
  • All running distance is counted as is
  • All cycling distance is divided by 4

My totals (with adjusted figures) so far are:

  • Swimming – 357.46kms (1,072.38)
  • Running – 195.07kms (195.07)
  • Cycling – 358.77kms (89.69)
  • Total – 911.30kms (1,357.14)

As you can see I’ve travelled almost exactly as far in water as I have on a bike – although the adjusted figures are then somewhat different. It’s also a pretty good total given that once I’d completed the big 24 hour swim in May I did almost nothing in June and July (a combined, adjusted total of 107.99kms). Fortunately I caught up a lot of my missed distance with a big October – an adjusted total of 220.43kms.

I’ll need to be dedicated through December, including into the Xmas period, but I expect to hit the 1,600kms target.

 

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A Change of Pace

I’m a big fan of the Team Bear ethos of “Suffer, but never surrender”. In fact I like nothing more than being the first into the lake and the last out, or pushing myself so that I can hardly breathe at the end of a sprint session in the pool, or using the weights and feeling an ache the next day in places that you didn’t realise you had, or doing a cardio session and almost literally having to wring your t-shirt dry afterwards. I love all that.

But I’m not sure I can do that anymore. Or at least not right now.

Let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger (none of us are, sorry to break that to you) and how I have adopted the suffer but never surrender mentality up until this point is to think that unless I’m suffering, then it’s not worth it. So, if I can’t run 10k, then why run? Or if I can’t swim at least a 3k pyramid session, is there any point going to the pool at all?

It’s that attitude [of mine] that has to change. Because it leads to one of two things: 1) not doing anything – “I’ll only manage a short swim, so why bother” or “the pool will be full and I won’t be able to do a proper set, so I just won’t go”; or 2) breaking myself. And the two are usually linked, as I break myself when I push too hard after not doing anything for a while: “I can do this, I’ve done it before, so what that I’ve not done it for three months… OUCH!”

Instead of suffering, for the next few months I want to just enjoy moving around. I’ve not got any big events planned this year, so no reason to suffer, and my previous mentality might have seen me become a bit of a couch potato. Instead I just want to be more active. It doesn’t have to be big and macho, but a gentle bit of exercise to counter balance all the sitting around I do for work.

Last night’s run was the perfect example. A nice 20 minute jog around a lovely village (I’m lucky to live somewhere beautiful) on a lovely evening – and all while my tea was cooking.

So from now on my plan is to take the chance to be active as much as possible and to ignore [some of the] goals and targets and just enjoy it. So more walking, more running, more gentle weights sessions at home and more quick dips in the pool and lake.

Of course it won’t last forever and at the back of my mind is the thought that I’m probably not all that fit at the moment. Instead of being fit I have trained my body to be able to perform one particular task – and even then I’ve broken it slightly as I’ve had a shoulder injury for the past week that will keep me away from swimming until at least the weekend. So a slightly more wholistic approach might improve my general fitness and put me in a much better position to be able to suffer in the future.

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I’ve been for a run

That might not be big news for most of you, but for me it means a lot. The last time I ran was the middle of March!

I didn’t go far, just a little pootle around that took just less than 20 minutes (so I’m gonna call it about 2.5kms), but it was lovely.

Post run selfie

Post run selfie

In fact it worked out perfectly. I put some veg in the oven to roast, ran, came back and had a slow and long stretch but a quick shower and by that time my veggies had roasted. A bit of Breaking Bad to keep me company while I ate and here I am now blogging about it all. I might even do it again soon!

UPDATE

I enjoyed it so much last night that I went again this morning. Same route and same process (although I didn’t roast any veggies this time), but just a gentle pootle in the sun to get me moving. And it was lovely. 🙂

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The dream is over

I have finally decided that I can’t do the Coniston 14 run in a couple of weeks time. I’m supposed to be out for a long 2 hour run right now as I type this and I’m not…

The original plan was that I was going to run a 10k or two at the end of last year and so the training for the Coniston 14 would only be a case of topping up. That didn’t happen – injury stopped me. So instead of topping up my training I had to start from scratch this year – and I’ve just not had the time to get to where I want to be.

At the moment my life has three priorities which, in order, are:

– My son
– Work
– Swimming

Running comes just below that and can only ever be, at best, fourth on the list.

Since Xmas the top two have taken priority and although I’ve been out running it has been tough. The reason that I’m not running this morning is because having just come back from an industry event last week I’m excited to get back to the office to work on the leads that I gathered and keen to continue to progress existing projects for clients – I don’t want to ‘waste’ two hours (or more) running.

I did however take Friday off work, and then spent [nearly] the whole day swimming – a total of 9.5k over four different sessions as they keep opening and closing the lane swimming sessions. That was a great way to get my mind and body back into action and clear out all the effects of the industry show (lots of walking, standing, thinking and drinking!). It was also a great reminder that there is still a LOT of work to go before I can feel ready for 2swim4life, so again I want to focus on that and not run.

I’m pleased I’ve got this far with it. I’m pleased that I can run 10k plus – especially after the injury. But it’s unrealistic to think I can run 14 miles, so I’m going to have to withdraw.

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Great day for a run

Yesterday I did my longest (time) and furthest (distance) run in years. But most importantly it was the most fun I’ve had running in ages.

It was a lovely sunny morning, if a bit windy – in fact it was so windy that at one point I was worried that if it suddenly stopped blowing I’d fall on my face as I was leaning into it so much.

Run - 1st March

Run – 1st March

I was intending to do an hour and forty minutes and ideally about 16km. As you can see I was a bit short on both, but I’m not going to worry about that. What you can also see though is that I only walked twice (and had to stop for a pee). But after missing last weekend’s long run because I was ill I was really pleased with yesterday’s efforts.

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LetJog Feb Update

Feb’s included nearly a week of illness, but I’m still doing ok and am only a bit behind the targets for the month.

– Feb total – 115.59kms

– Year to date – 242.86kms

– To target – 23.81kms behind schedule

March should hopefully be a better month, starting with what will hopefully be about a 16km run later today and culminating in the Coniston 14, with of course plenty swimming in the month too.

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A bit worried

I had the flu at the weekend and it really knocked me out for a few days – so no training. So last night I was delighted to be able to get to the gym and do something on the treadmill. I have to say that I’m a bit worried about the Coniston 14 in a few weeks time – especially after missing a long run this weekend. I don’t have many weeks left and not much time to do many more long runs.

In the end I managed the following:
– 5.95km on the bike (warm-up)
– 5.1km running
– 1.2km swimming (technique drills)

To heighten the sense of worry this came in the post yesterday morning:

My Coniston 14 number has arrived. *Gulp*

My Coniston 14 number has arrived. *Gulp*

It’s real now and I’ve gotta do it – I just don’t think I’ll do it very well.

And of course I can’t focus only on my running as I’m already starting to worry about the 2swim4life 24 hour swim at the beginning of May! I’m not sure I’ll get anywhere enough swimming training in by then!

At least all this training means that it’s not keeping me awake at night with worry – I’m too tired!

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More running

It would appear that I am getting my running mojo back.

I’d love to be a summer swimmer and then a winter runner, that’s the plan. I’m not much good at either, but when I feel fit enough I enjoy them both. For both of them I’m much more a slow plodder than a racer, tending to go longer and slower than many.

At the moment my running isn’t up to much, but it is getting there. And today was another good run.

Today's run

Today’s run

The plan today was to try to go a bit faster and also do some ‘hills’ – or as close to hills as we get around here. I’m still happy to do bits of walking (as advised by the physio when getting back to running after injury) and you can see the three slow sections which were walks, but the running pace was good and the ‘hills’ were good too.

There’s a little rise near me and so I did two sides of that. Up, across and down – then walk – up and across – then walk – across then down – then walk – up, across and down to get back to where I started (I also had to transport a fox, a chicken and some grain… more here).

The last section hurt my legs as I’d done a long (75 minutes) run on Monday, but another good run done. I’m almost starting to look forward to the Coniston 14.

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