Monday, 24 June 2013

Views from beneath an umbrella

Yesterday following a 16 mile run in the morning I headed down to Gateshead for the second day of The European Team Championships.  I had watched the first days action, particularly Mo Farah's devastating last lap in the 5000m on the television and was looking forward to an afternoon of exciting athletics as Team GB tried to improve on their 3rd position.

Reading a write up of Saturday's proceedings in The Observer, the article finished by saying that rainfall of biblical proportions were predicted for the Sunday afternoon.  The heavy rain, thunder and lightning, although not necessitating the use of an Ark, did require the use of umbrella's and rain wear. 

Despite the rain (which forced the triple and high jumps to be moved indoors) an exciting afternoon of athletics was still to be had and I was particularly impressed with Emily Gorecka's performance in the ladies 5000m, in what was her international debut. 

Another aspect of the championships at Gateshead was that they were, despite the weather, still reasonably well attended.  I mention the crowd because there was an interesting  article on the Guardian website today on why despite the rise in participation in distance running the spectating of such events is in decline.

As for the rest of my week, I had set myself a target of 60 miles alongside an increase in quality.  Despite managing 62 miles for the week I must admit that I am finding it tough going trying to up the quality of the sessions at the same time as increasing the overall mileage.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Where's Mo?

Following last Sunday's Blaydon Race I must admit to finding the following week tough going.  I suppose this was only to be expected though.

I did manage to increase my mileage for the week (up to 51) but the majority of it was easy/steady running.  Along with general tiredness I am having a few niggles, predominantly my right foot and knee.  However, this is a new week and I intend to increase my mileage again (target 60 miles) with the addition of some speed work.  With the Yorkshire Wolds only 5 weeks away I need to push the training on.

My daughter obviously knows my true intellectual level.  Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know that I quite often read and give my thoughts on books about running and athletics.  Well for a recent birthday, she gave me a copy of  'Where's Mo?' a book based on the popular (so I am reliably informed) children's book 'Where's Wally?'.  The object of the book is to find Mo Farah doing the Mobot among a crowd of other people - hours of fun and not as easy as you might think!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Blaydon Race 2013

Not sure where that came from but I am not complaining:

Yesterdays Blaydon race was held, unlike the last couple of years in warm and gloriously sunny conditions. As the field of 4000 or so lined up in front of St Nicholas Cathedral, I stuck to my plan of lining up well down the field with the aim of a steady run/jog around the course.  As the cathedral bells tolled out  3 o clock the race got underway. 

Blaydon is a notoriously fast start but by starting well down in the field it seemed to take an age to actually reach the start line and when I did I was immediately frustrated by not being able to run.  The first mile then, was spent weaving my way past other runners and trying to convince myself that this was what I needed to stop me from going off to fast.

By 2 miles I had hooked onto the back of club mate Mike, who, unlike me had  unintentionally had a poor start .  Letting Mike pull me along over the next mile I was feeling fairly comfortable so decided to try to push on.

Crossing Scotswood Bridge and I was still working my way through the field.  By now I was starting to recognise more and more of the runners in front of me and started targeting certain individuals to pass. 

Running over the fly-over into Blaydon knocked some of the stuffing out of me, but I was still passing people.  Finally reaching the finish at Shibdon Park, where I tried to muster a sprint finish, which didn't quite materialise.

Still a finish time of 36.37 (chip time 36.11) is far more than I had expected.  So I have to be happy with that. Also just to make things even better a quick look at the results and it looks as though I was 2nd M55 behind Barry Allsopp of Wallsend who did 36.26 (36.15) chip time.

At the front end the race was won by Bonniface Kiprop in 26.26

Full race results can be found at

Thanks to Liam for the photo


Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A little over enthusiastic perhaps

Last night, as my recovery continues to progress, I decided it was time to head back down to the club for a run with the lads.  The aim was to do a steady run with a bit more distance than I have been doing by myself (4 or 5 miles) while hanging on at the back of the group and hopefully being pulled around at a slightly faster pace than of late.

The route followed the riverside footpaths along the Tyne from Blaydon, across Newburn Bridge, back along the river bank to Scotswood Bridge and then alongside River Derwent and back to base.

Whether it was the balmy sunny conditions, the release of pent up frustration at not having been able to run recently or just a total lack of self discipline.   I will let you decide, but the session turned into a 9 mile fartlek.

Working hard I managed to hold my own within the group but was very tired over the last couple of miles - but happy!

Apart from a little stiffness there seems to be no adverse reaction today, so perhaps a run around at The Blaydon Race this Sunday may be on the cards.