Half Time Report: 501 not out. 499 to go.

So after 6 months of my 1000 mile quest I have run exactly 501 miles. How convenient, I hear you cry! Well this is no coincidence. After a fairly lax March and April, I had some making up to do. This started at the back end of May, but at the beginning of June I calculated that I’d need to run 145 miles to be on target by the half way point. So that’s what I did.

Here’s a graph that tells you everything you’ll want to know about my progress. The black line is my ideal target, and the red is my cumulative total. All my races are marked on too.

So now comes the reminder. I’m running in aid of two charities: Mind and Samaritans.

To donate to one or other of these two, please follow this link.

Feel free to take a look at some of my past posts and thanks for your continued support.

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Midsummer Munro

As my previous post suggested, my outlook on running has changed a bit over the last few weeks and months. As a result, I thought I might try something a bit different for my next race.

The Trionium Midsummer Munro is a annual off-road half marathon, with a height gain and loss of 3000 ft, the equivalent of a Scottish Munro. However, this year the course was extended to take in part of the Olympic cycling route at Box Hill, in honour of UK Capital City 2012 (amended for legal reasons).

16 miles and 3500 ft later, I’d run the most enjoyable race of the year so far. Brilliant views over the North Downs (nearly) made up for the multiple near-vertical stair climbs!

The atmosphere was fantastic, the marshalls and water stations did a sterling (or should that be Stirling?) job, and the lone bagpiper at the most remote point of the course was enough give you goosebumps. Trionium are an independent group who organise some of Britain’s toughest races, and have gained a reputation by consistently appearing in various top-rated trail race lists. I’ll certainly be running a few more, I think.

For those interested, I finished in 2:51:42 and came 29th.

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“Born to Run”

I was probably the last ‘runner’ to read Christopher McDougall’s book, but it has completely changed my outlook on the whole thing.

In the interests of brevity (and trying not to rant) you’ll have to read the book yourself, and then you’ll know what I mean.

In short, this book taught me that running really isn’t about your time, it’s about finishing. It’s not about your £100 running shoes, it’s about running as God/Allah/Darwin/Vishnu/Jah/Marx/Gianfranco Zola (delete deity as appropriate) intended. It’s not about the questionable moral code of the race sponsors, it’s about running with a smile on your face.

Inevitably, the first thing people ask me after a race will still be “What was your time?”, and I don’t mind that, but I’d prefer it if it was “Was it fun?”

“Remember in the end, nobody wins, unless everybody wins” – Bruce Springsteen

 

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Race catch up #4

May 6th – Frimley Park 10k

Another race, another late post! May’s race was the Frimley Park 10k in… yes, you guessed it, Frimley! (Is Frimley part of Camberley? I’d suggest it was, but I’m sure there are many who’d disagree. I’d have dual citizenship anyway, being born in Frimley and raised in Camberley.)

This is a route that in one form or another I have run quite a few times in training. A few hills, but not too bad. Probably the only race in which I’ll get to run past my own house!

Slightly slower than the Richmond race at 44:16, which I’m excusing on account of the hills (and the fry up I had just before the race)! 94th out of 747 runners.

For some reason I was looking rather peeved at the race start, so apologies to Abi who came down to see me off and welcome me back at the start/finish line. Mum and Dad also made it outside the house to cheer me on, but neglected to hand out any sort of mid-race treat and so only get minimal acknowledgement.

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LOVE KILL’S [sic] THE DEMON

An old pillbox I often run past in the woods. Ignoring the questionable punctuation, it’s not a bad sentiment.

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And I thought it was suntan…

Since moving back to Surrey, I’ve been lucky enough to be holed up next to a large expanse of woodland (largely in the ownership of some bird called liz).

As a result, my runs have taken on a rather more off piste feel. Running is the woods is certainly more life affirming than pounding Tarmac (it’s a brandname, ok?) and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone with pavement fatigue.

Get happy, get muddy!

Peace out bro.

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Race catchup #3

April 15th – Richmond Park 10k

I can safely say this is probably the only race this year during which I will have to stop briefly to allow a herd of fallow deer to cross the track.

My first race since moving from the southwest to the southeast, and it was a good one. My previous 3 races have all been on derivations of the same track, and so I was grateful for the change. Especially given what a nice (but cold!) morning we were given. I’ve already blogged a picture of the race venue, Richmond Park, west London.

Given a target time of 44 minutes by Coach Amesbury, I set out with some trepidation at what was reported as a moderately hilly multi-terrain course (in truth it was pretty flat, save for a short hill or two, and the paths were fine). The smallest race I’ve run this year, but I enjoyed it a lot. I pulled in in a time of 43:41, setting a new PB, and finishing 24 out of 197 (only marginally higher up the relative rankings than the last race, given the small number of runners, but 24th sounds good anyway!).

Also the first race that my Mum and Dad came to, so thanks to them for that, and apologies for them having to stand around in the cold for 45 minutes. Hopefully the next race they attend will have somewhere to sit and have a cuppa!

Here’s some pictures, including one of me doing the standard pose when you have a medal (nb. first medal of the year!). If you have an inanimate object in front of you, you plank on it; if you have a medal, you bite it (preferably with eccentric hair). Simple.

 

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