Runners’ Lingo (revised)

Posted: December 7, 2016 in running
Tags: , ,

Many thanks to Darren Smith – aka ‘Runnersknees’ (@runnersknees on Twitter) for the original (and far more useful) version of the following  definitions.

If you have stumbled across my blog looking for some genuine clarification of running terms then you may want to click  >>HERE<< to find them.

ALL

This is a bit like a FALL …one of those embarrassing moments at the start of a race when you get caught up on your own feet and take a tumble) but… You pretend it didn’t happen…nobody saw you, right? It shall never be spoken of. i.e. There was no ‘F’in’FALL’.


Ballots!

A load of total nonsense.


Bling 

The noise created with every step when you leave your car key and a random coin in your pocket when you do a parkrun.


C25K

The name of the robot (like on Star Wars) that you become after doing a longer run than you have done for a while.


Cadence 

Not a brilliant post-run dance… but not a rubbish one either.


Carbloading 

Trying to squeeze extra people into your 3-door hatchback to transport your mates and their smelly kit to/from a race venue.


Chafe (pronounced ‘Chief’)

The boss. In my case – my wife.  All races must be cleared prior to the date in consultation with this person….And the master diary…The one kept next to the fridge. (The diary that is… Not my wife. I have more than one diary, but I only have one wife….And I don’t keep her next to the fridge. I don’t keep her at all in fact. But thankfully she still chooses to stay… Just not next to the fridge…unless she’s getting a drink…But then she doesn’t stay there…she just hangs around briefly.)

 

Chip Time 

Post-race food period.

Compression 

Squeezing too many races into your calendar. (The one next to the fridge)

Cushioned/Neutral Shoes 

Pretty self-explanatory really… Nice comfy shoes that are not in any of those ridiculously lurid colours that seem so fashionable today amongst those youngsters.

We’re talking a nice off-white… Or beige perhaps?

DNF (Did not finnish)

Not doing that marathon in Helsinki.

DNS 

The new sofa store from  which you are considering buying your new piece of furniture (and permanent place of future residence) following a marathon.

DOMS 

This occurs a day or two after a marathon When you have sworn ‘never again’… But it stands for ‘Day Of Marathon Searching‘ when  you find yourself scouring the internet for your next race.

Drop 

Another one of those potentially embarrassing moments when you find yourself on the floor part-way through a race. But you don’t care. You just want your teddy…And for the hurting to stop!

Electrolytes 

Now not so heavy since the advancement of microchips, processors and lithium-ion batteries, ‘electrolytes’ refers to the small items of light electronic gadgetry that can be seen on  runners’ wrists. You don’t see an electroheavy very often these days (apart from those mad people that have an iPad strapped to their upper arm during the local half-marathon!).

Fartlek 

Further than a short tlek.

Fasted 

Past tense. Describing how quickly you ran.

Fell Running

Describing how you got those bruises (see ‘ALL’ and ‘Drop’).

Field 

Really? It’s a big bit of open space isn’t it. Grass or corn and stuff. Mostly found in country-type places.

After a cross-county or trail race, you can legitimately say,

I ran faster than the entire field.

Because fields clearly cannot run at all.

Foot Striking 

An attractive foot. The opposite to most runners’ feet (the latter which would be described as ‘Foot Repulsive’).

Gait 

Gait analysis is what happens on a trail run when you have to quickly calculate whether it’s one where you have to lift a loop of rope over a post, just push/pull, or flick a lever up to gain access to the other side. Comes in various forms including ‘kissing’ and ‘five-bar’.

GFA 

A violent and bloody computer game similar to GTA but for people with mild speech difficulties about stealing cars and then running away from the police. Tenuous running link contained within that previous sentence.

Glycogen 

(Glyco-gen) The knowledge that you are eating too much sugar.

Gun Time 

The period of rest, relaxation and leisure following any race in America.

Disclaimer: I am aware that not everyone in the USA enjoys shooting stuff for fun ALL the time.

HR 

Human Resources.

  1. Physical and mental capacity to complete a race.
  2. Someone to make you dinner when you get back from a race.

ITB 

This is the less well known song by the Jackson Five about running related injuries.

Intervals 

Eating overpriced miniature ice creams and chocolate in between running sets.

(Also see https://notmuchofarunner.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/my-kind-of-interval-training-day-18/ )

Junk Miles 

The distance to your nearest Maccy D’s.

KTape 

Not brilliant tape. But not rubbish tape either.

LSR 

This is every run I ever do (that isn’t a short slow run).


Majors 

Big, proper injury problems.

Mary 

An Americanism. A person called Mary. (Could also be a half-Mary. Such as Mary-Ann, Mary-Jane, Mary-Ellen, Mary-Lou, etc.) Nothing to do with running.

Maranoia 

When a well known runner (second fastest time for a British woman in a marathon after Paula Radcliffe) by the name of Mara Yamauchi is sceptical that a lot of elite runners are/were drug cheats. Mostly correctly it would seem…

“Maybe it’s not Maranoia if you’re right and loads of people are cheating.” – quote by me.

Minimal 

One of two of my friends called Malcolm. This is the smaller one.

Naked Running 

When you are used to running with a child – e.g. in a pushchair, or at a parkrun (because they are under eleven and can’t yet do so independently) but then you get a chance to run on your own with no child (Nae Kid) and can really go for a PB!

Negative Splits 

Attempting to do an extreme stretch before an event and then having to withdraw due to causing yourself a mischief. Not positive.

Neutral 

We’ve been through this: White, off-white, or beige.

Orthotics 

Small blood-sucking mites that live in your trainers.

Pacing 

Packing for a marathon you need to travel to… but forgetting something… Like the ‘k’.

PB

parkbench.  All one word.  Lowercase ‘p’.

Pens 

Like pencils but more permanent (unless they’re dry-wipe markers).

PF

20131228-073618.jpg (Answer at the end)

Polarised training 

Running with posh sunglasses on.

PR

American version of PB. parkrest. All one word. Lowercase ‘p’.

Progression

Getting really angry/violent  with other runners during a race… but getting paid for it.

Pronation

Patriotism.

Some people are prone to over-pronation. These people can be quite annoying.

PRP

Eating baked beans before a run.

Runcation

Going on holiday somewhere with the family because it’s where you want to run/race but stuff what everyone else wants to do. (This is the actual and true definition)

Runch

Self-righteously getting your running gear on at lunchtime… but after jogging around the corner, going to the cafe for 30 minutes before splashing your face with water and returning to work.

Runcommute

Legend about the Viking king of England who stayed lying in bed one morning, silently commanding the clock not to tick over to ‘Get up! It’s time to run to work!’ o’clock.

He was late for work and got fired.

Rundorphins

A myth. They can’t run. They are very intelligent and all that. Very good at swimming – obviously… Saving lost sailors at sea… blah…blah…blahh… yes, yes.  But you don’t see them completing the London Marathon, do you?

Which is weird because apparently ‘Dolphin Shorts’ are a thing.

Runfie

The normally extortionate amount of money it costs to run a race these days.

Runger

See ‘Progression’. This describes the amateur version… or mild form of irritation – pronounced ‘RunGrrrrrrr‘.

Sky Running

Running whilst watching satellite TV. e.g. on a treadmill at a gym with a million screens.

Snot rocket

It looks a bit like rocket but it’s not.

Splits

Also see Negative Splits. Can alternatively refer to a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ which depending on garment location and embarrassment level of the wearer, may or may not result in race-withdrawal.

Stability Shoes

Tiny shoes worn by people when they clean out their horses. Nothing to do with running. Ignore this bit.

Streak

How long you can go for without running.

Striking

  1. Attractive
  2. See ‘Runger’ and ‘Progression’

Support Shoe

Give me an ‘N’……… ‘N’

Give me an ‘E’……… ‘E’

Give me a  ‘W’……… ‘W’

Give me a  ‘B’……… ‘B’

Give me an ‘A’……… ‘A’

Give me an ‘L’……… ‘L’

Give me an ‘A’……… ‘A’

Give me an ‘N’……… ‘N’

Give me a  ‘C’……… ‘C’

Give me an ‘E’……… ‘E’

‘New Balance’ Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!! Woooooooo!! Yeah!!

Disclaimer: Other shoes are available. Obviously.

Supination

Expletive – reserved for occasions when you only have liquidised food to eat.

Switchbacks

What you want to do when yours is painful but someone else is moving like a gazelle.

Taper

Herbivorous animal of the jungle and forest regions of Southern/Central America and Southeastern Asia. A similar size to a pig.

Taper madness

Tempo

Describes how quickly you get cold.

#teamblue

An original UKRUNCHAT team along with team red.  These people get cold quickly.

#teamred

The other original UKRUNCHAT team along with team blue.  These people chafe easily.

Trail running

Rather embarrassing event occurring if you are unfortunate enough to experience runners’ squits during a race.

Trail Shoes

Describes your shoes after the above event.  Might be worth binning them to be honest.

Transition

The process of getting out of your warm, comfortable bed.  Not everyone achieves this.  Keep at it though. It will come.

Ultra

A planet in a far far away galaxy (possibly where ‘C25K’ originated… but many years of robotic evolution has since occured) hosting a species of humanoid creatures that want to run further than a marathon.  They appear mostly human.  They are not.

Wall

Generally located between the floor and the ceiling. To reach your ceiling from your floor, you will probably find the wall at some point.

Waves

Bye.

 

 

*The answer to he running injury question was clearly ‘Planter Fascist Eye-Test’. 

Apologies to regular readers who may have spotted a certain amount of blog-recycling containing within this piece.

It was that 10k on Sunday last week. You know… the one I’ve been tapering for six months for… laying down the adipose tissue for added insulation from the cold.

I wasn’t feeling all that great beforehand as you might know if you read my last post.  Basically I’d managed to do something to my back in the process of getting out of a car last week.  I really wasn’t sure if it would be possible so on Saturday night, I managed a little 3k run/walk to ‘test it out’ and I figured – ‘if I can get out of bed in the morning then I’ll do the run’.

Well, I could get out of bed in the morning and so I did indeed head off for the run.

It was busy. Well over 600 runners and the usual mad scramble at the start with people trying to beat their 400m record in the first minute of a 10k race. Silly.

At least one person took a dive in those initial stages. I didn’t see it but I heard a ‘…*slip*…*splat*…’ and then a collective… ‘OooOoooooo’ from somewhere behind me and to my left.

It soon thinned out and I got into a nice rhythm. The back wasn’t giving me any pain but I was aware that I am heavier now than I have been in a long while.

This was one of those races that I entered about six months ago as an incentive to lose some weight… and then did absolutely nothing about it.

Not wanting to be too negative here, I shall say that it’s a new training method…

THE THEORY: My access to altitude training is somewhat limited, so if I run whilst overweight, the additional stresses placed on my heart and lungs will simulate the increased oxygen requirement achieved by the much more expensive option of running in the Andes… or Nepal… or wherever it is that altitude training is done (can you tell I’ve really researched the science?!).
To be honest I don’t know why more athletes don’t use this method. Oh wait…maybe they do… Cue Steve Redgrave and a packet of Crunchy Nut…

Sorry Steve. But I do notice you have 5 gold medals there. 

(Not sure if he used this training method at the time of winning those. Perhaps not.)

THE OUTCOME: A slightly chubby bloke, making it look like very hard work sprinting for the line to get sub 50 minutes for this 10k… but missing out by 9 seconds.

pudrun2016

If only I’d ran that first 400m a bit quicker!😉

10k  taper ?

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Injury, running
Tags: , , , ,

Tapering? For a 10k? Is that really necessary?

Well, no. No, it isn’t. But that hasn’t stopped me from inadvertently experimenting with it as a tactic. Because, as previous blog posts have shown, I’m a proper science type person an’ that.

Either that, or I just generally haven’t been running much recently and now that 10k I signed up for ages ago has come around.

It’s known as a ‘pudding run’. Intended to have connotations of Christmas and because you get a Christmas pudding instead of a medal at the end.

It is  NOT called that because it is run by puddings. Except for me, that is.

I feel like a right pudding, currently. Caught in a bit of a cycle of being a bit overweight, making running harder, not enjoying running as much, not running as much (/eating all the food), being a bit overweight, etc. I decided to hit the gym a bit for some variety.

Don’t worry, I shall not bore you with tales of my reps and weights and sessions and motivational quotes and the like (yawn). Suffice to say I do a variety of things and do a few circuits of said variety. I was feeling stronger and generally quite good… until I attempted something a little beyond me…

…That ‘something’ was getting out of the car on Thursday last week.

Yes…I don’t know why I thought I was capable of exiting a vehicle on my own without anyone to spot me.  Doing so without a warm-up was clearly just sheer recklessness. The result was an initially mild ‘mmm…That twinges a bit’ that gradually intensified into a ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be able to paint my toenails put my own socks on again!’. 

I don’t really know what I’ve done exactly but it’s somewhere between having my spine ripped out (like on the retro computer game Mortal Combat) and maybe pulling a bit of a muscle.

So here I am three days post-injury, and able to walk at least, but really not sure about tomorrow’s 10k. I still have hope… Especially since immediately following that, I have a tennis match to play.  That is ‘immediately after’ as in I have warned my tennis partner to expect to see mud-splattered legs when she’s serving.

If I’m honest, and I had to choose between the run and playing tennis, I’d choose tennis. But:

 1) I’m greedy and I want to do both.

2) I’m tight and I’ve paid for the run already.

3) If I do do the run and then find I cannot play tennis/walk/breathe properly, my son (aged 10) would likely do a good job of standing in for me in the tennis and I’d enjoy watching him.

I shall no doubt write a blog post next week about how it’s ALWAYS the right thing to rest an injury.
:-/
I’ll keep you posted.

Marginal gains

Posted: October 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

I haven’t done a parkrun for ages but today, the new, lightweight me got a run out.

Yes. Lightweight to the tune of one tooth abscess AND said tooth. Removed yesterday, solely in preparation for parkrun of course.
It  was quite a big tooth.

Marginal gains people!

Unfortunately such gains, it appears, were offset by the reduced aerodynamics of my stupid fat face (that looks like I’ve been chewing a wasp).
All in all, it seems that in terms of speed there was actually a net gain of two minutes!
By ‘gain’ I obviously mean ‘more’. 

A 5k run taking me close 24 mins instead of close to 22. Nothing to do with not running a parkrun for a few months. Nothing at all.
Remember folks – I am a scientist (I got ‘A’ at double-science GCSE you know) and carry out these experiments so you don’t have to.

Which reminds me, I’ll have to repeat the post-party experiment again soon.

I wouldn’t recommend the abscess thing though. Even with such a small sample size, on balance I’d say it’s not really worth it.

When I were a lad…

…I lived in Devon. So no one (other than Monty Python)  used such Yorkshire-like phrases. And if I did then I probably would have been corrected to say ‘was’ instead. That’s not really important to this story – the point is, when I was younger, I can remember, one snowy winter, standing on the actually quite excellent climbing frame (built by my dad after he found he was unable to remove one of the supporting posts of an old wooden garage that used to be in the garden and he built a climbing frame around it instead, until when I was like, 20 or something, that original support eventually rotted away enough to be removed along with the rest of this makeshift but brilliant climbing apparatus – that’s not important to this story though) ….so I was standing on this climbing frame in my full winter gear – padded coat, gloves, balaclava, the works, when my brother throws a snowball at me…

I don’t want to give my brother the credit for what happened next because he missed…or, as I like to remember it, I expertly and deftly evaded the missile…

…unfortunately I then lost my footing, fell off the climbing frame and can then remember a very sick and claustrophobic feeling that I was in pain but couldn’t remove the million layers of knitted garments of industrial (grandma-strength) yarn.

My loving mother (no sarcasm intended…She was and still is…) performed the obligatory parental skills of rubbing my arm, moving it up and down, making sure I could make a fist, etc , and advising that perhaps the snowball fight should take a rain check. I can remember my arm being moved backwards and forwards, accompanied by the words, “I’m sure it does hurt, but you wouldn’t be able to do this if it were broken”.

Of course, it turned out that it was indeed broken. I wasn’t able to sleep that night, mum realised that maybe something was in fact the matter, and we ended up going to hospital where it was confirmed.

 

*                          *                            *                           *

 

Fast forward approximately 30 years… it’s a Wednesday, and I arrive at my son’s after-school football club to take him home. They are just finishing up. It’s penalties. They always have a penalty each at the end of the session.

Son is in goal.

He saves a penalty and appears to land awkwardly.

But he walks up to now take his own penalty. He misses.

He returns to be goalkeeper …and lets the next penalty in. Game over.

Only at this point does he appear now to express any hand pain.

Now call me cynical  *pause… to allow time for you to call me cynical* but I wasn’t convinced, and told him to stop making a fuss. He shouts at me for never believing him (all previously  ‘life-threatening’ injuries sustained by son to this point have turned out to be no more than scratches and bruises) and when we get home, I am internally eye-rolling but in the real world I’m going through a VERY thorough hand examination, checking for scaphoid fracture – negative, checking for peripheral nerve damage – negative, putting hand and wrist through full range of movement. He reports some pain but isn’t jumping through the roof. I basically performed a slightly more elaborate equivalent of rubbing his arm, moved it backwards and forwards and telling him, “You wouldn’t be able to do that if it were broken!”. To show him I was a loving and caring father, however, I did apply an ice pack (frozen peas) and a wrist wrap bandage thing for the evening.

The next day, he goes to school and plays in a football match afterwards (they lost 4- 1 incidentally… though that’s not important to this story).

The day after that, due to ridiculous roadwork near us, I decide he will cycle to school while I cycle our younger child (using a tag-along bike) to her school. Son returns home 5 minutes after leaving, saying his wrist hurts and could I drive him? No I could not. He needs to stop being a whinge-bucket and if he’d just kept going he’d have been over half way there by now… and anyway, his sister was all kitted up and excited about cycling to school… and we didn’t have time now… and traffic would be dreadful and if he wasn’t going to cycle then he’d better start walking now or he would be really late!

He cycled to school.

And he cycled home.

But when he didn’t want to play tennis on Saturday morning, I thought something was up. I looked at his arm again.

Now his arm did look a little bit bent…mmm…not sure… swelling? … worse?

To cut this story slightly shorter, we basically spent the day in various hospitals where, after x-rays and a 3.5 hour wait, the upshot was basically “We don’t know for sure if it’s broken either. We think it still might be a greenstick fracture so here’s a brace (removable velcro-strapped splint) to wear for 3 weeks. During that time no swimming… no P.E at school… no football… come back and see us in 3 weeks“.

To cover my own parenting inadequacies, I have been recounting the story of ‘The Boy Who Cried, “WOLF!”‘ to my son.

He thinks it’s a rubbish story.

I shall be collecting my ‘Father of The Year’ award next month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. they didn’t actually say “no running” so I have used his non-participation in school sports to persuade him out with me on three separate occasions for just a ten minute run.*

 

*and thus this blog fulfils its very loosely running-based brief.

 

 

I nearly ran a 5k last weekend with my son in a park near our old home.

It was part of the Decathlon running series. A free event put on by the sports store. If you have  a Decathlon near you, it is worth checking out. It’s not chip-timed or anything, but it was friendly and well organised and a very pleasant morning. It wasn’t quite 5k, hence the ‘nearly’ but more of that in a bit.

I might be NotMuchOfaRunner, but my son is even less of one, so when he agreed to do this one with me a few months back (swayed by the free t-shirt and goodie bag ‘worth £10’), I signed us both up straight away (there was persuading my wife or daughter though). He has been out on his bike a few times accompanying me on a run, but hasn’t run himself since May when he managed just under 30 mins for his school’s 5k.

Here’s a couple of photos of him doing his stuff during the race. None of me… but just imagine a slightly taller version with less hair and generally more tired-looking if you want an idea.

.

He’s a funny one, my boy. I made sure he knew that it was fine to walk… that we weren’t going for a time… that it was a hilly course…etc. Basically  no pressure. But he wanted to get sub 30 and really beat himself up when he struggled to run up the hills or had to slow to walking pace. Thankfully, the end came in sight before I’d expected it and all of a sudden, his energy had returned as he pulled off a strong final straight into the finish.

Knowing the park quite well, I took him to an outdoor tap at the edge of the field and he soaked his head for five minutes afterwards to cool down. He was fine after that and didn’t again mention what a ‘terrible run’ it was (his unhelpful mantra for the last 2 kms).

It wasn’t just me who was surprised by the early finish. Here are a few of the titles from other people’s Strava runs that I saw later on.

“Shipley Park 5k (only 4.65k so I ran to end of field and back)”

“Decathlon 5k (that wasn’t quite 5k!!) Run with Jane”

“Decathlon nearly 5k”

“Decathlon short 5k series”

And my own, “Decathlon running series (?)5k(?)”

 

Ha ha. So don’t target this race if you are going for a legitimate PB… but for  our purposes of a ‘fun run’ it was very welcome! Don’t tell my son it was short, though!

We thanked the officials and headed off to the Decathlon store to collect our goodie bags…

.

…Mmmmm…. NEARLY £10 maybe….Stretching it perhaps? Here it is…

Energy drink – £1.50
Bottle of water – £1

Energy bar – £1

(These are educated guesses, by the way)

Decathlon lanyard thing – £0.50 (not that I think I’d buy one for 50p but it makes the maths simple)

Fabric P.E bag advertising decathlon – £3 (pushing it)

Which means that sticker that says ‘run power’ is worth £3 ! Apparently. Who knew?!

Haha! I don’t mind really because…

1)It was a well organised event (though I did get an email a short while back telling me I’d been signed up for the Bolton event! …someone must have clicked ‘send to all’ by mistake).

2)It was free.

3)It was a lovely morning.

4)I was with my son.

5)It felt very inclusive.

6)We got a decent T-shirt each upon sign up (yes that bright yellow one!) but I won’t be able to wear it on a trip to my local Decathlon store for fear of being stopped to ask where the goggles/archery equipment/football shirts/bike locks/etc are…

Maybe that makes up the value of the goodie bag😉

No matter. The run was worth it (for me) even without a goodie bag because I was with my boy.

wp-image-2001802203jpeg.jpeg

I hope he forgets that he doesn’t like running very much quite soon, because I’d like to go out again.

Well just at the point I was considering giving up running, I get sent these from the lovely people at new balance… New Balance Vazee Coast

As you can see, they include a certain amount of ‘knitting’. The sort of main fabric they are made from… which looks great… but maybe that’s the point. They look and feel more like fashion trainers to me.  I have been for a short run in them (and I hope I don’t regret saying this) but I don’t particularly like them for running. I would run for the bus in them, sure, and if I was late getting my kids to school like this morning.

I still like them, I do. But more to go with my jeans than with my shorts, I think. On a night out maybe… if that ever happens again… but not to one of those places that says “No jeans. No trainers.” … obviously because they’d say, “Oi! No!  You’re  wearing jeans AND trainers” …and who could argue with that logic?!

As you may have noticed, the word ‘running’ has crept back into my blogging vocabulary.

🙂

It has… eventually… but not after getting worse first. I shall fill you in.

You see, in addition to the pulled hamstring in the dads’ race at sports day… I then, after eventual (well… partial) recovery, played a game of tennis and ( to give you the shortened version) I managed to pop my quad! Have I told you this before? * checks previous blog post* Nope, I haven’t. Well there was an audible ‘pop!’ and I couldn’t walk. It was shortly followed by a repeat of the hamstring pull and subsequent melancholy for a few weeks with me complaining of getting old and falling apart.

I resolved to ‘control what I could control’ and took to doing some weights and core work, together with taking some protein supplement (after many days of extensive internet research) to aid muscle recovery. It felt like it was working, albeit slowly.

A holiday to Wales came at the right time, and I was able to go out for a short morning run on most days, which I slowly lengthened….

…and…cue the photos…

And who could blame me for going out each day when this was the view in the morning… (filter included to help provide a sense of the feeling I got while looking out at it)…


I even managed Wepre parkrun on the journey there… Laps around a field it is not…


…and even the wetter weather closer to home hasn’t stopped me heading out…

 

Some of the recent weight gain has started to shift, and things are generally a bit more positive again. Though my ankle keeps reminding me I’m still not exactly the picture of prime physical perfection. Obviously… if it wasn’t for the ankle though… I’d be on the cover of a men’s fitness magazine😉

This Sunday will see me and my boy head out on a 5k run organised by the company ‘Decathlon’ as part of their free race series. I really don’t know what to expect. The free T-shirt and goodie bag got my son to say he wanted to do it… about 3 months ago. When I reminded him yesterday though, he didn’t seem so keen:-/

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Sooo…  there now follows very little at all about running. This is because I have done very little running at all.

Since that triathlon I did last month, I have run one less time than the number of EU referendums the UK has had.

Now I’m not sure if it’s the cause or the effect…  if it’s to do with the lack of running or the result of the referendum… but my motivation has been on a fairly low ebb recently.

My Garmin will tell you I have been running…but it’s lying.  I’ve been playing tennis while wearing it so I can see what distance I’ve been covering and still get ‘BOUNTS‘ points. (I’ve written about them before, I’ve effectively earned £15 so far this year for free, just doing the little bit of activity I already do. If you’re looking for a Bounts referral code, use avery1132 or just click the link for 100 free points when you do your first activity.)

Smallest child has taken up tennis (instead of dancing) which starts at 9am on a Saturday, so that’s parkrun off the agenda for the foreseeable future.  I don’t mind that.  Just glad that she is being active and enjoying it.  The biggest child has been doing a lot of tennis too (more about that later), and thankfully, the same sport has been keeping me active in this non-running month.

It’s weird that I enjoyed the triathlon so much, ran a great 5k time considering the swim and bike beforehand, and yet have done nothing to do with running since.  In part this may be due to the dodgy left ankle which seems to flare up after any exercise recently.  It may also just be a bit of the post-race blues that I often get.- does anyone else get that? Oh… and putting a bit of my recent weight loss back where it came from.  Here’s a picture of just how unmotivated I’ve been…. I have a brand spanking new pair of some of my favourite running shoes in the cupboard – unworn – tags still attatched… and they’ve been there for four weeks.  Even their presence can’t persuade me outside yet.

  
I have signed up to one of the free 5k decathlon race series in September and a local 10k in November/December (I can’t remember exactly), so I have something to work towards at some point at least…and a bit of work to do beforehand.

So I really have been ‘Not Much Of a Runner’ recently. My thoughts a few years ago of doing an Ironman before my 40th birthday will remain as just that – thoughts.  I did look into it, but the cost financially and physically have me beat(en) before I’ve started.  There’s a reason not many people do one.  Mine is not one of those inspirational ‘Can do’ blogs I’m afraid.  If you want one though, go and check out www.runslikeadog.wordpress.com and read about Cathy, who is two weeks away from doing her first Ironman .

 

It’s been all about the tennis for me and my boy. With the help of a little bit of luck, he was selected to go onto Centre Court at the Nottingham Women’s Open Tennis to go and toss the coin at the start of the quarter final match featuring the British player ‘Tara Moore’ (who lost incidentally) – obviously a highly specialised job that only a ten year old can do.

image

image

Him doing that meant that my daughter, my wife, and I got free tickets for the day and we saw some great tennis.  I also got free tickets earlier in the week thanks to the tennis club I play for.  The following weeks thanks to another internet competition I’d entered, we got free tickets to the semi-finals of the challenger tour (kind of like the equivalent to the Championship as opposed to the Premiership – to use an English football comparison – and I won’t mention English football again).  This involved a lovely drive to Ilkley, Yorkshire and the prize also included a grass court coaching session on that morning.  I hat a bit of a hit too but pretty much left my son to it for a couple of hours before settling in to watch some more great tennis.

   
    
  

  

As a result of yet another competition, I then won free tickets to the men’s ATP event in Nottingham on the Monday (I had already taken the week off work) but anticipating it would be chucking it down, I cycled there and back home so at least I got some exercise despite only seeing 20 minutes of tennis before needing to collect the kids from school.

However I then got a message from the competition people saying that as it was such a washout on the Monday, and one of their other winners was unable to accept their free tickets for the Tuesday, would I like them.  Well yes I would indeed, I said. So I cycled again on the Tuesday and this time got a bit sunburnt.
image

  

   
On the Wednesday, I actually already had paid-for tickets that I’d purchased months ago (see, I do actually contribute sometimes) and I cycled in once more, but this time I had a friend collecting the kids from school and I wouldn’t have to leave early and I could relax a bit.

  

 Logic would dictate that carrying a bottle of bubbly for over half an hour on the bike and then opening it would only have one result. Well it did… and the cork landed – as I was helpfully informed by the security personnel – on court number 3! oops.

No more free tickets since then.  I’m not going to Wimbledon this year.  Maybe my son will get good enough in about 15 years to qualify there and I’ll get my free tickets then.

 

I’ve been playing tennis as well, though –  I’ve bought a new racquet AND tennis shoes, and I’m  working my way through the rounds of my club’s own championship so will be playing in the semi-final soon… most likely to be against our club’s coach… mmmm… I know this is supposed to be a running blog, but I’ll let you know how much I lose by.

I don’t think I’ll be winning a trophy…
image

June 2016

So my last blog post was a short introduction to how I intended to beat my younger self at this year’s triathlon

I suppose, to be honest, it wasn’t so much how as just that I had that idea. There was no plan as such. Just an intention to swim hard, bike hard and run hard and then generally hope that I’m fitter and harder than I was four years ago!

This is a short post. You know how I’m no good at long race reports. (I can actually hear your collective ‘phew!’)

The first thing to note is that I did fit into both my tri-suit and my wetsuit. Four years on from their last outing this was no mean feat… unless by ‘mean’ you actually just mean ‘average’ in which case, that’s exactly what it was. But I was s bit worried about that do it was indeed a good start.

SWIM (750m open water – 15:23)

The timing of the swim start had been changed due to a course change upon the discovery of some blue-green algae in the lake. They needn’t have bothered as I am colour-blind anyway and besides, the water was so murky you couldn’t tell what anything was.

I swam the swim ok, but my snug wetsuit seemed to make lifting my arms out of the water really hard. I would also get stupidly dizzy and need a few strokes of breaststroke just to stop the world spinning. I alternated between this and front crawl until the exit gantry, where I then proceeded to try and remove my rubber onesie while trying not to fall over! Proper dizzy!

I later found out my son, watching, was saying, “What is he doing?” Upon viewing my antics.

BIKE… (20k – 36:53)

“…Eventually!” – my son.

This felt straight-forward… with a few corners thrown in. Four laps of not crashing. 20km.

I was never going to be super fast on the bike but I overtook a few people and was overtaken by a few different people… though I consoled myself with the fact that most of these were not in fact ‘cycling’ so much as ‘piloting futuristic looking spacecraft’. I’m sure I would have overtaken myself if I was piloting futuristic looking spacecraft too!

I did one of those clever, off the pedal – straight into running with the bike -dismount thingies, but I think I was going a little faster than I thought because my legs had to work like billy-o to prevent immediate face-planting embarrassment.

RUN  (5k – 22:51)

This must weirdly have had it’s benefits though as I settled into a steady running pace that I thought I could sustain for the next 5k and a glance at my Garmin told me this was 7:45/mile . Pleasantly surprised with that so I stuck with it.

I slowly picked off a few runners and didn’t get caught by anyone (that I remember) which felt good (obviously anyone faster than me at running was also faster than me at swimming and/or cycling).

I still had enough energy for a strong finish in just over 1 hour 18 minutes – just over five minutes faster than my time in 2012🙂

  
If I continue at this rate of improvement I shall be winning this event by the time I am 55 years old! 

Many thanks to the family for cheering on the chubby bloke in a leotard, and to the marshals – who incidentally were lovely to me (the friendly, law-abiding triathlete novice) but who had to deal with a few trumped-up numpties, I heard.

It is now June… Which in the past has meant JUNEATHON which has meant daily blogging. I can’t see that happening…but maybe a few more regular ones this month.