On Running (with added tech)


Running. I tweet about running a fair bit but I haven’t blogged about it yet. I’ve got no intention of keeping a formal running blog. I’ve done that before and bored myself pretty quickly. But I will sneak on here and post about races I’m chuffed about or runs that terrify me. Just not formally and not often.

2011 is not really shaping up to be the running year I imagined. By July 2010, I was in the shape of my life with a marathon under my belt, and a 10k personal best of 45:37. Slow to some, perhaps, but quite an achievement for me, a fitness latecomer.

Then, at the peak of my proverbial powers, I got a knee injury. In the months of convalesence, I went from running 50+ miles per week to running 0 miles per week. I also continued to consume food like a 50 mile a week runner. My fitness fell apart.

I got some good physio advice and rested up. Now I’m at the beginning of my spring marathon training plan and am planning to run the second Brighton Marathon on 10th April 2011. The difference between me now and me last year is that the plan is no longer to beat last year’s time of 3:55:14 (perhaps even nearing 3:30). My goal is simply to get around the damn thing in something close to sub-4.

I ran a 5k parkrun yesterday and, while I was third lady home, I actually ran quite slowly, coming in at 24:10. This makes sub-4 at Brighton challenging in the least.

I have a couple of races upcoming that will help determine my fitness in the meantime: The Great North West 1/2 Marathon on the 27th February, and the Trafford 10k on March. Then, barring a few 5ks, it’s just me and the big one: Brighton. I have unfinished business there.

After that, I have a secret desire to run 30 miles on my 30th birthday. This is all dependant on making it to Brighton uninjured but I think I’d rather spend my birthday doing this than getting drunk in San Fransico, which was my original plan. I intend to run the 30 miles in Alexandra Park, in 1 mile loops, and invite my friends and family to run one of the miles with me. Hopefully I can organise some music and a BBQ and people can have a ball watching me struggle around on blistered feet. Obviously, I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out.

Finally, the inaugural Liverpool Marathon is being held on October 1st and as Liverpool is fairly local to me, being based in Manchester, I might run this if I’ve recovered from my spring and summer endeavours. Of course, this could all be a delicious recipe for injury and disaster but you never know until you try, right?

But where’s the tech? One of my friend’s found it incredible that I embraced running to the extent that I do. Until she realised that I like running because I get to geek all over it. It’s all about stats and constant biological feedback for me. I wear a Garmin 405 gps watch and heart rate monitor for my runs. This means I get to pour over my stats daily. If that kind of thing floats your boats, I upload, break down and analyse these data at the excellent fetcheveryone.com. The link to my profile is here.

Does it make me a better runner? Probably not. But like all the other tech in my life, sometimes I just have to have it. And if I have it, I make full use of all its capabilities.

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