Category Archives: 2003

32. The bad run

What are the causes of a bad run ? I’m sure there are many.

In general, I’d expect these to result from overtraining or poor rest. But I’m not sure it follows, since I’ve had a couple of bad runs following days off and early nights recently. In each case, I felt fine during the morning, but was sluggish, dead-legged and repeatedly tempted to walk when I ran at lunchtime.

Conversely, sometimes I can run surprisingly well on jet-lag or when I have very disrupted sleep. I can feel ragged and near the edge but run fast.

Can being too well rested result in a lack of adrenaline ? It’s a mystery.

autumn-on-the-river-wey-guildford.jpg

Related articles:
24. Things I have learned… #267
85. A homage to London’s Gherkin
107. Don’t it make a bad run good ?
38. At last, the rewards of strife
82. The strife of Bath

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31. Running slow

river-wey-near-stoke-lock-guildford.jpgRunning without a watch can be very helpful for many runners. The once or twice that I have done it, it did feel great, honest….

I’ve been intrigued about the idea of base training, and read up about it recently on Greg McMillan’s running site which, incidentally, also has a fantastic race prediction calculator.

As a dedicatedly one-pace runner, I hardly ever train at slower pace, but perhaps I really should try practising what I’ve preached to others in the past.
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30. Embarkation Beach: Great South Run 2003

It’s a breezy day in Portsmouth, with a stiff breeze whipping up shingle beach. The Isle of Wight ferries are plying to and fro across the marble grey water of the Solent, as I shiver wind-propelled along the promenade towards the pier.

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There’s a simple D-Day memorial just by Southsea’s boating pond, and I cross the road to read it. From this very beach, it says, a multi-national force embarked on the 6th June, 1944 on their great adventure to liberate Europe.
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29. Good luck from England…

big-ben-and-london-eye-westminster-london.jpg… to everyone, especially those of you I met at last year’s party. I’m running the Great South Run in Portsmouth on the same day, and despite the 10 000 runners and claim to be the third largest 10 miler in the world, there’ll still be no soaring skylines, no see-through bridges, and the crowds will politely clap ‘Well done‘ instead of screaming “Go, marathoners !

A poor substitute, perhaps, but just about the only way to resist cashing in those airmiles on another flight to O’Hare to repeat last year’s fantastic experience.

Have a great run. My feet and I will certainly be thinking about the streets of Chicago this Sunday.

Related articles:
4. GO British ! Chicago Marathon 2002
27. A marathon is…
5. La vida latina – from Houston to Mexico
8. Lakeshore reflections – Chicago Marathon review
51. London Calling
110. The hands that built America – Houston skylines
30. Embarkation Beach: Great South Run 2003

28. Thoughts on racing

Dear Liz
Each race always costs me at least 2-3 weeks of recovery. And that’s when I’m fit. The bigger the race, the more mental and physical energy it takes out of me. Double that for hilly races with 46 000 people blocking every inch of the road.

reduce-speed-now-runners.jpg

If you’re not enjoying running much in general, I’d wager you’re probably running too fast and getting knackered in the process.
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27. A marathon is…

… an excellent way for an Englishman to see a great deal of Chicago, all in the same day.

chicago-grant-park-skyline.jpg

Related articles:
4. GO British ! Chicago Marathon 2002
8. Lakeshore reflections – Chicago Marathon review
29. Good luck from England…
10. My best run of the year
51. London Calling
24. Things I have learned… #267
116. London is Olympic – The London Marathon

26. Great North Run

great-north-run-at-tyne-bridge.jpgIt’s 7 am and Durham’s massive Cathedral is rising through the mist as I head for the station to join a ragged assembly of runners awaiting the early train.

There’s a wonderful view of the city as we pull away, and I have to quash the spontaneously rising bars of Roger Whittaker’s ‘I’m leaving old Durham town‘ resolutely from my brain. That’s one song I don’t relish reverberating round my mind on the long run later today.

A quick glimpse of the sculpture of the Angel of the North atop a frosty field, and then we’re into the southern outskirts of Newcastle, passing Billy Elliot back-to-back terraces, desolate factories and empty parks, before the view opens up to reveal the fog lifting under sunshine over the lined bridges of the River Tyne. A metro train scurries just below us into Central Station like some cheekily overgrown Lego set.
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