The North Downs Way 50, mk II. How not to run 50 miles.

In a grump mid-race I decided I wasn’t going to write about the North Downs Way 50 this year. It wasn’t going to plan, I saw no reason to remember it or to prolong the suffering. On reflection my run writing has always been about preserving my memories & there are definitely things from this race I want to remember, so here we go…

I’m sitting here a few days later, wearing the t-shirt, the massive shiny medal in front of me, looking at the happy, smiley, official race photos telling myself it was a good day, it wasn’t that bad, was it?

No, really, it was.

Continue reading

Summer 2017

It’s twelve months since I first started writing this blog, nearly six months since the NDW50 & I’m about to embark on training my next challenge. NDW50’s sister race, the SDW50.

I’ve had a great summer of running, but it’s been just that, running. I never wanted to be writing about every mile I covered, so I haven’t. This blog is more about the runs that I do that challenge me, that push me, that take me outside of my comfort zone & beyond. The running that I do that I want to remember. Continue reading

NDW Caterham to Wrotham, AKA mile 38 onwards…

22 miles, 4:11:42, 11:26 min/mile, 2,400 ft elevation gain

When it’s the hottest day of the year so far what’s the best thing to do…? I’d like to say 22 miles on the NDW & whilst I enjoyed it, 30+ degrees was just a little too warm!

At 6:30am I jumped on the first train outta Norwood Junction that headed to towards the Downs. Arriving in Caterham at 7:01 I hot footed it up the A22 to the Caterham Viewpoint, or as I now like to refer to it ‘Mile 38’. I walked rather than ran to my start line to stretch my legs a little, my right quad was feeling a bit tight & I wanted to stretch it out before I started running. Continue reading

NDW50 Wk 25: NDW50 T-5 Days (wc 01.05.17)

As I write this post it is five days until race day. FIVE DAYS! How the f**k did that happen?

My training is effectively done. I can do no more A few easy miles over the next few days to keep the legs moving & the mind happy but the main priority for the coming week is rest & recovery & preparing myself physically & mentally to run 50 miles next weekend.

It only seems a few weeks since I signed up for the race, since I started my training & now here we are.

How do I feel? Continue reading

NDW50 Wk 24: The finish line is in sight (wc 24.04.17)

Like most things following a bank holiday I’m running late, but that’s ok because my runs are a day late too so this week’s post is a little off kilter with an extra day thrown in!

Banstead Woods parkrun: running in the bluebells

5km, 23:39, 7:44 min/mile, 141ft elevation gain

I still don’t quite believe it when I run a 23:39 5km, especially when I feel as if I could have run harder. It was May last year that I first dipped under 24 minutes with 23:51 on the flattest, smoothest road parkrun I could find & here I am now running faster on a much harder course. It just shows how much my running has improved over the past 12 months.

Continue reading

NDW50 Wk 14: Chocolate covered coffee beans to the rescue (wc 13.02.17)

What am I doing?

21 miles, 3:31:36, 10:05 min/mile, 1,880ft elevation gain

Early Saturday morning fuelled with coffee & oatmeal I headed out to explore another section of the North Downs Way. My aim is to have covered as much of the 50 mile route before race day as possible. I hope that a knowledge & understanding of the route will be a massive phycological boost. (Although sometimes I wonder if knowing about the hills in advance really is worth it…)

Simply put, this was one of the most challenging & hardest runs I have ever done.

2017-02-21_0007

Where it all begins…

Continue reading

NDW50 Wk 12: Mud ‘n’ Hills (wc 30.01.16)

So, so much mud…!

I heart parkrun…

Roundshaw Downs parkrun, 5km, 24:04, first lady, 7:51 min/mile

My next phase of training starts on Monday, I can’t believe I’m six weeks down already as it still doesn’t quite feel real! During the next phase Bea has me focusing quite a lot on heart rate training, this is a way of running pretty new to me but is aimed at getting me running longer with less effort (& I suspect it will tell me I’ve been running too hard & fast so far…!) Continue reading