Monthly Archives: June 2016

Welcome to Summer

Hellooooo summer. 

I suddenly realised I hadn’t made any blog posts for 15 days. Where did that time go? 

Well, I’ve been steadily increasing my mileage at the weekends again after taking a short break. I think it is key that even ‘experienced’ runners be very careful when they start to return to higher mileage. It is tempting to just crank up with distance as ‘you know you can do it’ but this path leads to injury by going further than your body is currently trained for. 

The answer is just to increase a little each week. I did 10, 13, 15, 17 and this week, 20. 

Running in the summer presents its own unique set of issues:

  1. Finding somewhere with good shade. Getting out of the full sun is important if you are planning for longer runs. 
  2. Get out early morning. To avoid the full heat make sure you get out early before it gets too much. If you have a long run, get out even earlier. 
  3. If you are going long, take water and plan a route that will take you via water stops so you can refill. 
  4. You will sweat more so you will need gels to replenish your body. I use clif shot bloks as I don’t like liquid gels. 
  5. Expect to get some chafing. This is something I’m experiencing for the first time this year following using the new shirt I got from the recent 5k. It is a material that feels more like cotton (although it is 100% polyester) but somehow it didn’t work well for me last week. Perhaps using it for the first time on a 17mile run was a bad idea? Any way, expect more of this when you sweat more in summer months. 

What else is going on? Hmm, well, the guy I run with on Monday mornings is looking to get a husky. This is a great running dog, but it will also be good to get him out even more than he already does. 

We saw an eagle out on the Schuylkill River Trail the other week. It landed on a pylon above us watching the rabbits. Here’s a pic for you from my friends phone. 

My Brooks Glycerine’s reached their 400 mile mark with today’s run. I have already purchased some new shoes as one of the big stores had a massive sale the other week and Brooks Ravenna shoes were 35-65$ a pop. This is less than half price so I bought two pairs. Perfect timing and this means that I will now be solely in Ravenna’s for the coming future. 

The Glycerine’s were great shoes. They have slight holes in the tops around my big toes and the left foot has slight wear on the outside back edge of the shoe, but other than that they held up really well. 

Here they are slightly dust after today’s run. 

The Perkiomen Trail was superb today. Quite a few runners and walkers about, plus some groups of pleasure cyclists (the nice polite casual riders). 

20 miles with an 8:15 pace isn’t too bad for the time of year. 

Feeling pretty groovy now and looking forward to a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Take care out there and enjoy those summer trails. 


Work 5K: SEI Cares Rush Hour Run

It is once again that time of year when the SEI Cares Rush Hour Run happens in Oaks, PA. 

For the first time in many years the temperatures were a lovely favourable 75F. Generally they are in the high 80s with high humidity, so this was a rare treat. 

After a Monday morning run and cycling to work Tuesday, I took Wednesday off running to save something up for the 5K. Now, I’ll admit that this feels a little pathetic as it is only a 5k but the field is very competitive. What do you expect from an Investment Banking company?

And also, this:

There were 500 people at the race at $40 a head, so we successfully raised $20k for charity. 

The race always sells out in a matter of days as there is so much free food and beer after the race. It is quite the party on our riverside/lakeside campus! 

Lots of local vendors give free food away and some raffle prizes, too. 

With the temps so perfect, I had no excuse for under performing… Or so I thought. Then I realised I’d left my phone strap at home and so wouldn’t have pace info. What the hell, I decided to run tech naked. 

As we set off past the Chik-Fil-a cow, the pace at the front was aggressive. Some people can’t pace themselves and I knew I’d soon be passing many of them. 

The course is a very fast route. It starts at the top of a hill and runs down into a riverside park (Lower Providence Valley Park) and along the Perkiomen Trail, then turns around near a dam, but ends before the hill climb! So, you get all the benefits of the downhill with no hard work later. Hurrah! 

Most of the route is in the shade, too, except for a brief portion running directly onto the sun. 

At the half way point I was flagging somewhat. I had no idea how hard I was running but the effort was starting to bite. I slowed a little and a couple of people slid past me, then it got easier.

My wife and kids were waiting about a 1/4 of a mile from the finish so I high-fived all of them and accelerated towards to line. There was no way I was going to catch the people that had overtaken me as they were too far ahead. 

At the end I finished 31st over all and 7th in my age group… With a 20:47 time! That just shows how fast the people in this race are. This time is my second fastest 5k ever and my record was set quite a few years ago when I was more sprightly. 

The guy that won it (for the 8th year in succession) ran 16:3x or something like that. He was two minutes ahead of the next person! 

After a recovery down at the finish line and cheering a few people across the line, I headed up for the after-party. The food and drink were excellent again this year with Dia Dolce cupcakes, Frank and Jenny’s Gelato, pizzas, chik-fil-a sandwiches, pasta, etc… Oh, and a plentiful supply of beer. 

My legs were a bit tight the next day, but not too bad really. It was a good family outing. 

Global Running Day, 2016. 

Did yo get out and run for global running day?

I’m not sure why I only heard about it once I got to work and not beforehand, but there you go. 

The Runner’s World website has some nice downloads featuring things like excuse notes for work and signs to hang on your door. They are also pushing ‘Out to Runch’ as their message for the day and encouraging us to get coworkers out running. 

Luckily, I managed to get out at 5:15 this morning for a quick 6.5 miler before the heat of the day arrived. 

As runs go it was entirely uneventful. Very little traffic. No animals. No rain. No aches. No pains. 

Just a simple out and back in the countryside near my home. 

Perhaps it is good to write about the uneventful runs as well as the others so that there’s a record of the fact that nothing fantastic, Earth-shattering or stupid happens each time a runner steps out of the door. 

You have to put in the miles to be a runner and that means that some days you just have to run and, perhaps, bask the fact that it’s all good. 🙂

Next week I have my company’s 5k so I’m trying to up my one and will also try running back a few evenings to adjust to the ridiculous temperatures that we will inevitably have on the evening of the run. 

There’s far more competition from my team at work this year as at least four more runners joined in the last year. Some of them look fast…