Monday, 21 January 2013

A not so swift sprint down memory lane and a run to work

Reading the Athletics Weekly over the weekend  I was interested to read the article entitled 'A Match for Bolt? Which discusses some American Footballers who believe they can run as fast, if not faster than Usain Bolt.

I have never claimed to be a sprinter but the article did bring to mind my two attempts at sprinting.  Like the majority of club runners when representing your Club at Track League meetings you invariably get asked to 'fill in' for events when there is not a full team.

Such was the case for both of my attempts.  The first was at a Northern League Division 5 meeting at Rotherham, where I ran 5000m, but was also asked to make up the team for the 100m (and shot put - but that's another story).  As I lined up for the 100m B race the aim was to just try to hang - on and I thought possibly pip a couple at the finish.  However, as the gun fired, my reaction time was so slow that the rest of the field seemed to be nearly half way down the track as I got going.  Being roundly beaten by everyone I finished last - but at least I scored a point for the team.  If you glance at my list of PB's at the side of this blog, you will see that I have not recorded this 100m effort.  But for the record it was 13.1 seconds (and now you know why I have not recorded it)

The second attempt was again to 'fill-in' this time however, it was to run a leg of the 4 x 100m relay (shows how desperate we must have been). The other three runners in the team were all sprinters and so the plan was that our first leg runner would get us off to a good start, I would run the second leg and try to keep in contention for as long as possible and our remaining two runners would try to make up for what I had lost.

As the race got underway our first leg runner came storming around the bend in the lead!  As he approached the agreed point on the track I set off  at what I thought was a good speed and waited for the baton to drop into my hand.  The problem was he was travelling a lot faster than I thought and he ended up flying past me and passing the baton back over to me.  But we weren't disqualified, so either this is still a legal changeover or the track judge missed what happened (or was to busy laughing).

This, then is the sum total of my sprinting career.

Back to the now

The snowfall here was pretty heavy last night, as a result I decided to run into work this morning rather than struggle in with the car.  So 11 miles in before work.  As large stretches of the route home are on unlit roads I didn't fancy playing dodgem with any cars I came across so decided this evening to get home using a combination of running and bus.  so it was only 5 miles tonight.  Still 16 miles for the day is not a bad return.

It's still snowing so it looks as though I may be repeating the journey tomorrow.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Then and now

A couple of weeks back I came across some old photographs of various races over the years.  Among them was this photo below:

I have no recollection of this race at all and cannot workout from the background which race this is or where abouts it is being held.  I have asked a few people if they recognise it but without success.

Mind you, one of the reason why this race could have been wiped from my memory is as the result of the pain that was no doubt inflicted on my body as I tried to maintain contact with some of those who undoubtedly came past me, further into the race.

Closer inspection of the the group behind me reveals Ray Smedley (black vest and leggings), possibly Charlie Spedding (red shorts, obscured by myself - No. 13 and the runner with long sleeved white top), Ian Hagen of Sunderland (No.277), Malcolm Price of Sunderland, Union Jack shorts) and a very youthful Stewy Bell (white T- shirt 4th runner down on left of picture).

If anyone can identify which race this is, please let me know - the best I can come up with is:

- it is in the North East of England
- probably 10km or similar distance
- going by appearances (my facial hair and the fact I am up at the front) probably around about 1987
   or  88.

As for whats happening now, things are ticking over nicely and I am picking the mileage up slightly from last week.  Tuesday evening saw the first hill session of the year, this was followed by a fartlek session last night and the plan tonight is for an 8 miler which will include 20 minutes at tempo.

Monday, 7 January 2013

A slow start

After a final flurry of miles (110 miles over the last 9 days of 2012) in order to meet my belated target of 2012 miles for 2012, my knees have decided to send my brain some warning signals.  I suppose it was only to be expected, after all, it was a bit of a jump from the 38 miles a week I had been averaging towards the end of the year.

So the first couple of days of the year, instead of including the customary race on New Years Day, consisted of two very easy jogs followed by a session of 6x2mins with 1 min jog recovery on Thursday, a tempo session on Saturday and quite a tough 14 miles in Chopwell Woods, yesterday.  This contributed to a weekly total of 47 miles.  Still an increase on what I had been doing.

I am looking forward to this year and the targets I have set, hopefully reversing or at very least stopping the general downward trend of last year.  That said, I aim to continue to be cautious over the next couple of weeks as I will need my dodgy knees to be in reasonable condition for 'the big climb' in three weeks time.