Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Marrakech Express

Menara Gardens
  Following my last post nearly three weeks ago I completed my biggest mileage week of the year, so far, with 54 miles.  However, the knee pain I have been fighting all year started to flare up again.

As it happens the end of the week coincided with the start of our family holiday during which I had planned to reduce the mileage anyway.

So for the last two weeks I have totalled 30 miles altogether ( a little less than I hoped. but...) around the roads and gardens of Marrakech.

Koutoubia Tower
 I would like to say that my running was best described by the title of this post but a more accurate description would probably be the Marrakech 'Puffin Billy', especially as on one morning when a taxi driver pulled over and asked if I needed a ride! - I must have been looking good!

All the runs were carried out first thing in the morning before it became too hot, but even then temperatures were already well into the 30's.  A bit different from the high of 16C when I left Newcastle.

All of the runs were based around Mohammed VI Avenue, the Minera Gardens and Oliveraie Bab Jdid.

 Unfortunately on three occasions I had to change my planned route due to packs of stray dogs, when I decided caution was the order of the day, rather than run through them.

But at least the lighter training has been successful in reducing the pain in my knees and now I'm back home can start building back up again.

Mohammed VI Avenue
The Mohammed VI Ave is a flat and mainly straight road which is 5km long and would make an ideal flat fast point to point 5km road race or out and back 10km.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Another small step

I am trying to increase the mileage slightly again this week and it is so far so good.  Monday was a staedy 7 miles and this evening a steady 8.  Last night, though was a 10 miler with the middle three miles at tempo.  The 3 miles tempo is actually covered over a 3.15 mile loop along the Derwent Walk and around Rowlands Gill. 

The last time I did this session was June last year when I covered the loop in 19min 24 sec.  Last night I went around in 19.16.  So it looks as though I am getting back to where I was in the middle of last year at least.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Moving in the right direction

14 miles this morning took the weekly mileage up to 52 miles, my second biggest weekly mileage for the year! This mornings 14 also followed an outing at the Newcastle Park Run yesterday morning.  So all in all a big improvement from last week.

275 people turned out for the 5km Park Run on Newcastle Town Moor yesterday morning and it was good to meet up with some familiar faces from former years.  I did not have much of a plan in mind but talking to Jon Bell (formally of Elswick Harriers) prior to the start, he had ran 18.30 the week before I decided to try to hang onto him.  Things started well as I went through the first Km in 3.40.  The second Km was also in 3.40 and although I missed the 3km marker I am sure I did not slow, but John was by now pulling away and the wheels were starting to come off and by 4 km I was just hanging in until the finish.

My finishing time was 19.03 for 31st position (1st M50) and an age grade of 79.97%.  For the record Jon went on to finish in 18.34 for 19th place.

Although not a spectacular time by me it is an improvement on my last attempt at the Park Run of 14 seconds and even more pleasing in that it is the first time for 18 months that I have shown an improvement over any distance. 

So hopefully things are now starting to move in the right direction.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

If its not one thing its another

Having shook off the cold I had picked up last week, the problem with my right knee flared up again.  So much for the plan of racing myself fit.

 Despite these problems I have managed to keep running though and have actually increased my mileage.  Although the miles (46 last week and on course for 50 this week) have been slow and steady rather than any fast stuff.

One Blaydon Harrier who has been racing recently and racing well is Hester Dix.  Congratulations to Hester on her 1st woman 10th overall position at Tuesday's Morpeth 10km in a time of 35.17.  Full results can be found at and photos of the race can be seen at Running Commentary

As for my plans now, well firstly to reach the 50 miles,mentioned earlier, this week and then hopefully increase the distance again next week but adding some speed work in, before having a couple of easier weeks whilst on holiday