Thoughts Running through my mind. Six weeks remaining. Saturday Morning

According to my training planner, this morning I’m supposed to do a practice 10k or half marathon run. Considering the Yorkshire Half Marathon route goes pretty much past my flat I really don’t have an excuse not to follow it, or at least half, the difficult half though. As you may know, Sheffield is famous for its hills so any 10k or half marathon route is guaranteed an elevation. The route I’m taking is out of my flat then from Hunters Bar roundabout up Ecclesall Road South, up Ringinglow Road, out to Norfolk Arms then back taking a detour up Psalter Lane, which includes a 215m elevation (http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/1361792553)

It’s 2c, I’ve got a busy day lined up, the jacket is on, the new playlist is… playing. Out.

Perfect. I get to see all the Parkrunners happily jog to the park while I slog it up a never ending hill.

Ecclesall Road South is steep.

Oh God, Ringinglow Road is ridiculous.

One slim, bald runner has run onto my route.

*10 minutes later* I have no idea where he’s gone.

Training must be going alright, feel like I can run uphill for miles and miles. Or maybe that’s the homemade lentil dahl I had twice yesterday.

THAT’S IT, THE ROAD IS FLAT, WE HAVE REACHED THE PLATEAU.

Now, where are those llamas? They’re covered in fur, they wouldn’t be THAT cold.

Looks like a fair few are following the same training plan, I’ll give an appreciative nod to each one as our paths cross.

Really need to invest in a lightweight jacket. And lightweight shorts.

Like an oasis in the distance, there’s Norfolk Arms.

My brain is saying we’re halfway done. My legs are giving the go-ahead to push on.

At the halfway point my stopwatch reads 32:33, no time for a breather.

Woof. I’m flying down this hill. Apologies to everyone else for making them feel even more knackered.

If anyone wants to see me angry watch me running downhill while listening to Ill Manors by Plan B (Watch it burn. Oiiiiiiiiiiii) or Club Foot by Kasabian (Boosh)

One day a pedestrian will thank me for running out of their way. Not today though.

Now I get to see all the Parkrunners leisurely stroll home. That’s right, you enjoy your bacon sandwich. Bastards.

One final hill. Done. 58:57. That’s a tidy five minutes knocked off my route PB. Buzzing.

 

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Thoughts Running through my mind. Seven weeks remaining. Wednesday Evening

What a beautiful evening to go out for a run.

Endcliffe Park looks so different in Spring. High school couples holding hands, a young lady reading a book on a bench, kids playing, a man with a long-range lens photographing the ducks…

You know when you’re really taking it easy during a run you just feel like you’re going through the motions. That. It’s not nice.

My hands and face are still cold, I’m going so slow.

Blaming the shoes, it’s like I’m partially slipping over and having to make up for it. I must look bow legged.

There is an angry bald man who has sprinted past me THREE times.

No, don’t mind me love. You just continue your conversation while I dart around trying not to step on your tiny dog.

Definitely not deserved a hot chocolate tonight, maybe a bath though. Mmm.

First time this year I’ve got back and it’s still light, lovely.

Thoughts Running through my mind. Seven weeks remaining. Monday Night

It’s 6c. The jacket is back, oh yes.

Aw no, I can hear panting behind me. If you could imagine a tortoise overtake a marginally less pedestrian tortoise that’s what this would look like.

First tempo run. Joke’s on you Mr Tortoise, I’m actually a hare. Zooooooooooooom.

If I struggle doing 2 minutes tempo run and 2 minutes recovery jog I might actually die doing 3 minutes tempo run and a minute recovery jog.

Second tempo run. Damn you hills. HOW SHORT IS A MINUTE!?

Third tempo run. Halfway. I can still breath. This is good.

Hello Mr Sheep. Looks like I’m out in the Peaks.

Fourth tempo run. A downward slope \o/ Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Fifth tempo run. Look at this, I’m actually going faster than those ‘professional’ runners.

Sixth tempo run. How short is a minute when you only have to last three more running? Easy.

And we’re back at the leisurely runner’s club pace. I’ve earned a massive dinner AND a hot chocolate.

Thoughts Running through my mind. Seven weeks remaining. Saturday Morning

Cold, bit of drizzle. Do I dare venturing out without the jacket? Soddit, let’s do this.

Saturday morning. Kinda miss ParkRun, that’s a nice, easy 5km isn’t it. Not the 15km slog I’ve got planned.

There’s some real runners out this morning in neon leggings, then there’s me struggling along in a ridiculously loose black t-shirt.

Wish I’d brought my jacket so I wouldn’t be checking if my keys had fallen out of my pocket every five minutes.

And my mp3 player.

Dang. The same girl has overtaken me twice.

Then a friend’s fiance but at least he said hello.

Changing podcast while still jogging. Who said men can’t multi-task?

Mud, lovely mud. One day I’m going to slip comically on my arse.

Dogs really are fearless, running into the path of a runner. What, do you want a stroke?

Cyclists really hate joggers don’t they.

Brocco Bank really is steep.

Oh Lordie, Westbourne Road. Only 10 more minutes and I’m still feeling comfortable.

Wish they’d do something with Hallam Tower, looks so forlorn.

Record Collector. We’re done. They’d better have copies of NME.

 

Thoughts Running through my mind. Eight weeks remaining. Midweek morning

Some day this year I am going to be able to run without having to wear a jacket. Alas, I am a wuss and today is not that day.

Earphones in. Marketing podcast on. Hood up. Out.

Quiet this morning, most people will be indoors enjoying a brew and a nice breakfast, but not me. Me 1 – 0 Everyone Else

Great. I’m pretty sure I’ve given myself a cold. Guess who didn’t bring tissues too.

There’s ‘Mo’. I call him Mo because I genuinely believe he thinks he’s Mo Farah, only really ungainly but look at the concentration on his face.

When you think you’ve nearly finished your second 12 minute run and you’re actually only five minutes in. Ugh.

A 3 minute walk break feels more like 30 seconds.

Breakfast options – cereal, porridge or bacon and eggs. Considering I had a lie-in (of 10 minutes) it’ll be cereal, dang.

Out to The Peaks, only Yorkshire can look this glorious in shades of grey and miserable.

Yes. I’ve over-taken someone. It’s a dog and their walker but I’ll take that.

Aw no, here comes a long-distance running student to take away my glory in neon shorts.

Nearly home. Nearly done. School kids are now populating the park meaning my dodging skills weaving past their groups is almost as impressive as their skills dodging tax.

Soggy. Sweaty. Either way I’m just sodden.

Thoughts Running through my mind. Eight weeks to go. Monday Night.

With eight weeks to go until my first half-marathon I thought I would try to collate my thoughts as they run through my mind during training. I honestly didn’t realise I was such a grumpy runner…

Do I wear the Arctic Monkeys beanie hat? Do I not? Nah, it’ll be fine.

Dammit, I should have worn the hat.

I wonder what they’re filming down Sharrowvale Road.

Training would be really hard without a podcast. Lord bless the Guardian Football Weekly team, even Max Rushden.

*stares at pedestrian crossing* C’mon, hold out green man. Hold out. Damn.

There’s only room on this path for two at a time. I bet neither of these couples of walkers even notice I’m running. Nope. Called it. So I’m just wearing these shorts for a laugh aren’t I.

Crivens, it’s cold. Time for the first of six two-minute sprints. That’ll warm me up. *Two minutes later, panting* It really is cold isn’t it.

Aw bless, that lad waited at the top of the steps for me to jog past. Chivalry isn’t dead after all.

Second sprint. I really am going to keel over one day while running.

Third sprint. Two minutes is way too long to be sprinting for.

Fourth sprint. How am I still cold!?

Fifth sprint. One more. C’mon now.

Sixth sprint. I’M FLYING. Nah, hang on. I’ve still got a minute to go.

Oh piss off you student, in your t-shirt, I’m SUPPOSED to be doing an easy jog. Don’t make me feel guilty.

I hope there’s a special place in Hell reserved for people that don’t press the button at a pedestrian crossing when there’s people behind them.

Project 365 : Days 255 to 261 – My Birthday, a failed bbq and many goodbyes

Day 255 – One of my finer homemade lunches is undoubtedly cold pizza. On this occasion I was well on the way through emptying my cupboard so using up flour, meat and oil for pizza  seemed a worthy idea. Needless to say, the lunch was terrific even if it did gain odd looks.

Cold Pizza for lunch

 

Day 256 – Seeing as it was my birthday week the theme of  meal presents continued so Tuesday meant boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast. Truly a start to the day fit for a king

Breakfast of kings

 

Day 257 – Even The Daily Fail saw fit to give me a birthday present. On this occasion the delightful Christina Hendricks (aka Joan from the fantastic Mad Men) graced their front cover from some awards ceremony or something, I wasn’t really reading…

Christina Hendricks FTW

 

Day 258 – Yup. My office is one where you strangely have to bring cake in for your own special occasion. Soddit. I wanted cake and the excuse to experiment so made a Cherry Coke Chocolate Cake. It went down a treat though you couldn’t actually taste the cherry, the cake itself was divine in its moist consistency.

Birthday cake

 

Day 259 – Despite my birthday officially signalling the death of summer I thought it a good idea to have a bbq, for one reason that I’d need the practice for Australia. Alas, the heat never occured so we ended up retiring indoors and using the grill. Still, a good time was had by all

WE HAS FIRE

 

Day 260 – Alas, the trip will also mean I’ll no longer be able to visit Old Trafford on the whim of a train ride and a spare ticket acquired from tweets. Thankfully, probably my final game of this season saw my beloved reds triumph in an entertaining game against Chelsea that will be remembered for Torres’ extraordinary miss rather than Rooney’s penalty slip.

Leaving the second home, Old Trafford

 

Day 261 – After a cursory look on the Shortlist Magazine website, I spotted these beauties; Arthur Ashe trainers from Le Coq Sportif. For weeks I’d been looking for a pair of trainers fit for the trip and finally they had made themselves known to me. Maybe it was fate but the leaving work present kitty came up to £75 and after securing a ticket to the match on Sunday and moving out in time I managed to purchase them from Ran in Manchester. For the record, there are only 2 other stockists in the UK, in London and Edinburgh.  

Birthday present, from me to me