Monthly Archives: July 2016

Take it in your Stride

It’s the last day of the month so I thought I’d finish it with a bang. 

I’m doing a lot of work on the house at the moment, so I wanted to ensure that I had enough energy left after my run to actually achieve some things today; therefore I chose to run a mid-distance,  eighteen mile route. 

The Perkiomen Trail was beautiful this morning with a temp in the low 70s. The humidity, however, was close to 100%. I was essentially dripping with sweat within a mile. It is a shame that water weight doesn’t count as weight-loss. 🙂

The trail greeted me with many wild animal sightings in the first mile: a doe and her fawn, a fox, a groundhog, some rabbits, a buck and then a heron. 

Clearly I hit that perfect time in the early morning when they are all about the business of getting breakfast. Silflay was the word used in Watership down, I believe. 

It was quite busy out for being so early. At one point (around mile five) I passed the chap that overtook me a couple of weeks ago. He was sitting resting so it didn’t count. But, he did start heading my direction.

I stopped to clear some branches from the trail and glanced behind me about a mile further up the trail and, sure enough, there he was stalking me. 

Not again, my friend. Not again!  

As it happens I could see another runner in the distance and decided I’d use him as my quarry. I increased my pace to pass him. 

It took me close to a three-quarters of a mile to catch up with him. He said he was doing five miles out and about to hit his turn around. This was now about mile eight and I decided I’d do another mile before turning. 

Determined not to be passed now that I had no direct target before me, I tried a few tricks to help keep my pace up:

  • Light on my feet
  • Pushing back as if on a skateboard
  • Standing straight
  • Powering with my arms
  • Engaging my abs. 

It seemed to work as I reached nine miles without being hunted down. 

This list reminds me that my LumoRun is supposed to arrive this week. A cool new gadget to test out. 🙂

Once I started heading back down the trail I saw him about half a mile back. Clearly I’d actually be putting more distance between us. Yes!

The rest of my run was at a more relaxed pace as I took in the lovely scenery and feed across the river. 

I stopped to refill my water bottle with two miles to go. The humidity was really oppressive by this point and I was looking forward to the bottle of Gatorade that awaited me in my car. 

I was basically out of running juice by this time and jogged at a slower pace for the remainder. 

The Gatorade was like nectar and I had soon consumed the entire bottle. 

Now, sitting eating my well-earned lunch on the last day of the month I thought I should check-out my annual mileage thus far. 

Today’s run pushed me upto 156.07 miles for the month and to a total of 921 miles for the year. My second biggest month of the year thus far (March = 170). 

I got a text from my friend that I train with and he said he managed to do 116.5 miles this month which is his highest ever. Having a dog to run with twice a day is really ramping up his mileage and helping him shed some extra pounds. 

Here’s a screencap from a video I took of them them other week. She’s a lovely dog. 

Now I need to get back home and carry on decorating my garage. Some patches to smooth off on the wall and then to put a second coat of primer on to drown out the brown (why’d they choose brown?) drywall. 

My wife is away at the moment but had this t-shirt shipped to me. Funny. 

I guess that’s a good point to finish for now. 

Living the dream, man. 

Living. That. Dream. 


Beware Chains

Today I ran twenty-three fabulous miles up the Perkiomen trail and into and around the park at Green Lane. Lovely. 

The early morning was a suitably cool 69F with a gentle breeze, and the trail was nicely in the shade. But, of course, the temperatures didn’t stay that way for long. 

On the way up I was in quite a chatty mood and greeting everyone that I passed on the trail. There is one lady I’ve seen quite regularly running in the opposite direction to me and she clearly does very long distances too as we pass twice at quite distant places on the trail. 

As we passed I asked her how many miles she was doing today. Her response was that she was only doing ten as she did eighteen the previous day. Like I said, she clearly runs a lot of miles. 

I was focused on adding extra miles to my route by running through the whole of Green Lane Park as I’ve not done that before. Generally, I’ve either turned at the entrance or about a mile in. 

This time I ran through the park and ended up at the bandstand. As I approached it looked like there were toilets on the side so I decided to take advantage of those and headed towards them. 

They were at the top of a slope so I run towards it and … Ouch… There was a freakin’ chain across the slope. I thin light chain with no sign on it. Against the light concrete it was next to invisible. 

While I didn’t go flying over it, it bloody hurt and startled me. 

As the evening is progressing the bruising is coming out:

The other leg has a matching one although not quite so dark. 

Fortunately it didn’t affect my return run home. I ended up having to walk for half a mile as the temperature slipped into the 80s. Other than that it was quite a strong run. 

Ah, I did get overtaken by a very slight lady on my return. I rarely get overtaken so it stood out. I had caught her earlier on the trail but then she accelerated and stayed on my tail for two miles. I eventually had to rest for water and snacks and she went past me and I didn’t catch her again. She turned around after four miles though, so I’m going to tell myself that she was running less distance than me and that’s why she took me. (Naa, she was just faster).

A coke icee and a large bottle of Gatorade later and I felt great. 

My food strategy was better this time although I did lose count of the number of shot bloks I’d eaten. At least I didn’t entirely run out of energy this week. 🙂

Enjoy your running and keep cool as the temperatures are rising. 

Every Cloud Has One

This was the view that greeted me on the return leg of my Monday morning run. I’m pretty sure that the sign is a warning for cars to slow down for children, but it looks like a indictment of my running prowess! Everyone’s a critic. 

Rather a splendid view of the sun rising for a second time over the low clouds giving that silver/golden lining effect. Stunning. It left me with little images of the sun burned into my retina for the next five minutes or so.

Today I got up early and headed out into the fog that was a 75F day with 100% humidity. Oh, boy, was that sweaty! The windows of my house were all fogged over which is always a sure sign that it is going to be bad outside.

I planned to run a ten mile out and back but hadn’t thought that it would be that humid. Because of the weather I loaded up with a bottle of water (something I wouldn’t normally bother with for a run of ten or fewer miles) and I was very grateful for it when I reached the five mile turn around point. 

When I got back to the house I had lost 3.5 lbs through sweating! That’s insane for such a short run. My clothes were all soaked through. 

Breakfast and a couple of glasses of water later and I was ready to take on the day!

In other news, I got an email from a project I’d sponsored to say that they were getting ready to ship. The Lumo Run device is a gadget that you clip onto the middle of the waist band on your shorts (at the back) and it gives you lots of interesting data about how you are running. It can track foot strike times, the orientation of your body, whether you are twisting your torso as you are running. It gives live suggestions to improve your running style as you go… Well, that’s the theory. I guess we’ll see what it is like when it arrives. 🙂

From their website it looks like the device will support the things I already use like my fitness pal and map my run. I’m excited to get it soon and see what it is really like. 

As a wise Jedi once said…[blog title]

Eventually, My Legs Gave Out. 

And that sums up today’s run pretty well, so I’ll just end there.

What, you want to know more? Well, okay then!

I planned to run twenty plus miles today and headed out in the shade of the Perkiomen Trail. It was a lovely cool 67F when I hit the trail and all was well with the world.

There were plenty of cyclists out in the early morning light and they were all courteous. There were a few runners out there including several people who looked like I hoped I look (I know that I don’t as these people were perfect physical specimens and I was just lumbering along). In my mind, I was running like those elites. 🙂

All was going fine. I started slightly earlier on the trail to give me more miles before hitting the end. I then ran a bit further and when I clicked over to eleven miles, looked for a turn around point. I don’t like to just stop part way on the trail and like to find something to use as a turning marker; a sign, a junction, a gatepost, etc. 

At this point I was all the way up in Green Lane Park and the day suddenly got a lot warmer. The temps were soon close to 80F and I had a whole lot of miles to get back through.

I also hadn’t brought enough snacks for the extra distance which is something I only realised once I was out at this point. Why I didn’t think that before I set out, I don’t know. One Clif bar. 6 Clif shot blocks and a bottle of water. Nowhere near enough for this distance. Bugger. 

In the woodland trails I had a moment where a stunning Buck appeared on the trail before me. He stood there and assessed me, then decided he should duck under the trail railings and disappeared down towards the river below. A beautiful moment, albeit only briefly.

Eventually I knew I would run out of food I was was trying to eat slowly, but I needed to keep hydrated. Then I realised that my route went past the back of a bicycle shop; perhaps they’d have water. Indeed, they had a soda machine (alas I had no funds) but on the side of the building I found a hose.  I ran it until all the warm water stored in the hose had gone and then filled my bottle. At last, water! At this point I still had four and a half miles to go.

I headed on down the trail and drank the water. Soon I had emptied the bottle again, but I knew there was a water stop at a toilet block on the trail at the two and a half mile mark. Once there I filled up again and rested briefly. I was out of food and starting to feel out of energy. I continued on for another mile or so and then had to stop and resort to walking the remainder. 

I started walking at the 20.6 mile mark and had 1.4 miles left to go. It felt bad having to walk the last bit, but I had no energy left to run that last bit. So, I soaked in the morning sun and enjoyed natures abundance; squirrels, chipmunks, people boating, cycling and running… Ah, someone overtook me that I’d passed earlier. Boo. I tried to run a little but soon decided that there was no chance I’d get past them, so I switched back to a walk.

Eventually I arrived at the car and scooted around the corner to the local Dunkin Donuts to get a very large icee drink. Lovely. And a couple of donuts, too, of course. Yum.

It was a fun morning run but I now know that I need to plan the water fill-ups a little more and take more food for that distance. The half bottle of red wine the evening before probably didn’t help much either…bad Rex Goliath!

Even after all the walking at the end, my average pace for the 22.25 miles was 9:19 which is still pretty reasonable. 

Dialling it Back

Happy Fourth of July holiday to my friends in the States. 

This is the first time this year in taking some time off work and extending the weekend a little, so i’m trying not to tire myself out entirely today. 

Therefore, I chose to run only ten hilly miles today rather than the twenty-something I was due for. 

I can’t believe how lovely the weather has been this year. It’s July and the temps are in the sixties with no humidity. Crazy but really nice. 

I was also being careful as I tweaked something in my knee running in the garden with my daughter yesterday evening. Playing tag can be quite risky with constantly switching directions. 

Tomorrow is the fourth and I will be taking part in our annual Tour d’Omlette bike ride into Philly for breakfast at the Famous Fourth Street Deli. It will be around a sixty mile ride and I haven’t done more than ten miles at a time this year, so that will be ‘interesting’. Or should I say, a cracking good time. Egg-puns abound, as you’d expect. 

I am looking forward to catching up with old friends though. 🙂

Take care out there and don’t lose any fingers to fireworks.