Week 21: South Bristol Circular

Saturday 21st May

Today was a solo exploration south of the river Avon. After the crowds and sunshine of the IMG_4225Bristol 10km, this was a welcome relief to go at my own easy pace and enjoy the ride. I headed down to Bristol Temple Meads and crossed IMG_4237the river into Arnos Vale, famed for it’s brightly coloured houses on the hilltop. Then down through Bedminster and North Street weaving in and out of side-streets, through skateparks and around the green parkland. I crossed the river back into the city around 14km and weaved my way up to the Children’s Hospital. I like running past the hospital, pat Sean the Sheep’s head and look up at the staircases that we spent 6 days going up and down in November. Always a reminder to be grateful and thankful! From there I headed back up Gloucester Road and home. Back in bed for 10.30am with a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning!

I never really hit top gear in this run and it all felt pretty IMG_4241straightforward. It’s taken 20 weeks but my body has pretty much conceded to me doing this each week without too many arguments. I finished the run tired and achy but by no means in some of the states that I have in the past dragging myself home! Onwards and upwards.


Week 20: 11.1km to the start of The Bristol 10km

Sunday 15th May 2016

The Bristol 10km is a great event that I wanted to be a part of, the only problem… too short! IMG_4172The plan was to take a 11.1km detour to the start line in Millennium square, pick up my race number and then pound the race with the other 12,000 competitors on the day.

The first 11.1km was pretty cruisey, heading up to Durham Downs from my house and then down through Clifton into the city. I arrived at just before 9am for what I thought was a 9.30am start but unfortunately having entered so late I was in the very last wave of the race start time. At 9.55am I started the Bristol 10km on a beautiful morning in the city. It was a great atmosphere with people IMG_4179lining the streets along the causeway and under the iconic Clifton Bridge. Having started at the very back I spent the whole race overtaking other runners- IMG_4192good ego boost but I couldn’t help but thinking that I wasn’t really enjoying the atmosphere as much as I should and was just being that annoying person that’s breathing down everyones’ necks….! Still… I kicked on and finished the 10km in 47mins30secs to see the girls just by the finish line!

But there was controversy yet, Katie set about a Facebook smear campaign arguing that taking an hour between two halves of a 1/2 marathon does not equate a full run and that it should be redone…. It will not! Week 20-tic- and onto the next one!

We have now tipped the £4000 mark – 50% of the way to repaying the cost of Autumn’s care to the NHS Trust of The Bristol Children’s Hospital… onwards and upwards.

Week 19: Bath 2 Tunnels 1/2 Marathon

Sunday 8th May 2016

Week 19 the fam’ and I made the short drive to Bath for my next official race of 2016. On the hottest day of the year so far the 6 miles of tunnels in this race were both spectacular but also a God-send!

IMG_0042The event is a selection of runs from 5km, 2 x 10km’s (one hilly, one flat) and 2 x 1/2 marathons (one hilly, one flat). All races followed an out and back format, through the 2 tunnels in both directions. The heat was quite stifling so the tunnels came as a blissful relief and the dead air inside them led to a perception that I was floating along in the dark. I tried to focus on the spectacle of the opera music and spot lights throughout the tunnels of 1600m and 600m each. Trying to get my head around distances and paces with 5 different races going on was a nightmare and in the end rocked in at 1hr45mins. At the half way stage I thought I might be able to grind myself to a 1hr40mins run but it was not to be. On the day I’m not sure I could have run much faster with a hangover from Wednesday’s 5km’s still in my heavy legs! This one was pretty stifling to be honest, the heat and the single track path felt very oppressive. Interesting experience though and I feel stronger for it!

As of Sunday I’m sitting just shy of £4000, just a few more nudges to take it to the half way stage. Please hit up justgiving.com/bobsm100 for all the info.

Week 18: 4 x 5km’s with a Cheeky 1.1km to finish

Wednesday 4th May

My interval running continued tonight, breaking up 21.1km into 4 equal 5km runs then topped off with the remaining 1.1km. It was a beautiful sunny evening in Bristol and I started by Whitehall School after dropping this little cherub off there to meet her mum.

5km is a great distance to work on endurance work around lactate turnpoint 1 or the speed at which blood lactate starts to accumulate. In theory my training adaptation over time should be an increase in speed at which significant lactate accumulation begins, therefore allowing me to maintain a higher 1/2 marathon pace. So I set off with a PB in mind for the 1st 5km, pushing my speed as much as I could. The only issue with this is that I would probably fade quickly in the latter 5km’s. Question being is it better to run this one as fast as possible, knowing I would fade or pace all 5km’s a little slower and see how many km’s I can accumulate faster than race pace…. ?

IMG_4114And so with a predictable outcome, 5km No.2 was horrendous- much slower- massive stitch and legs just gone, still shifting the acidosis out of my muscles from rep 1. After a gel and some fluid, rep 3 was a dream, somehow finding my legs again. I did an out and back along the cycle path, 2.5km on a slight uphill gradient followed immediately by 2.5km back downhill. Felt like I was just cruising along at 185bpm (approx 95% of my maximum heart rate)… the speed wasn’t great but the work effort felt strong. Rep 4/4- disaster- absolutely gone! Nothing left in the tank, mentally or physically. Managed to push on around to by Snuff Mills and up to my favourite Bristol landmark, the BT Tower in Purdown! I had the added incentive to make it home for Autumn’s bedtime and I made it with 10mins to spare.

Tough evening but feeling healthy. Patella tendon pain has gone, calves and hamstrings now need some more conditioning to cope with higher running speeds. Thanks to everyone who has contributed this last week, Luke’s fantastic work last week gave a big bolster in support and I’m grateful for Sam’s family for supporting also. We’e now at £3895, nearly 50% of the way to my £8000 target. Can we get over the £4k mark for Sunday’s 2 Tunnel’s 1/2 Marathon in Bath?