Archive for the “running” Category

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My race pack for the National Lottery Anniversary Run has arrived!  As you can see I’m number 248 and I’m in the red start wave.  That’s the first wave so I’m starting to worry that I put the wrong time as my prediction!!!

I’m really looking forward to the run.  The course is slightly different to last year, partly because all the temporary venues have been removed from the Olympic Park.  It’s still 5 miles and I’m still hoping for a sub 40 minute time but that’s going to depend on lots of things, mostly the weather and the volume of people.

The forecast for the weekend is looking HOT but I’ve had a few runs in the heat recently so I’m hoping I’ll cope.  I keep telling myself I managed to run 26.2 miles in 26C so this should be fine!

This time last year we were all still wondering what the Olympics would hold.  Would the opening ceremony be any good?  Would the British athletes cope with the pressure of a home games?  Would world records tumble?

The answer was a resounding YES.  The opening was incredible, the athletes performed and world records were smashed.

Most of all we wondered what the games’ legacy might be?  Would they ‘inspire a generation’?

Well, the places for this run sold out in hours.  The places for the 2014 London Marathon ballot went in record time.  parkrun is growing every week.  Cycling participation is at an all time high.  And a Scot won Wimbledon.

It seems like something is happening…

 

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It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally logged 2,000km running with Nike+.

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I ran the Glasgow Half Marathon in 2000 and then didn’t run another step until 22nd Feb 2010.

I can’t really remember why I thought it was a good idea to go for a run and I soon decided that it wasn’t really.  I lasted 3 months and didn’t run at all through June, July and August 2010 and didn’t run again more than a few km once or twice a month until March 2011.

first run

 

That first run should give everyone hope! 3km with an average pace just over walking speed.

Running has brought me fitness, friends and some amazing memories and achievements.  There have been two highlights…

On 27th May 2012, age 40, I ran the edinburgh marathon on one of the hottest days of the year.  It was 26C at times and I loved every step of the 26.2 miles!  I’ve just re-read my post about my marathon and still feel quite emotional about it.  There’s something about marathons that bring out the very best in people.

marathon nike

 

 

On 31 March 2012 I was part of the first run ever in the Olympic Stadium in London, the National Lottery Olympic Park Run.  You can read all about that experience in ‘Making History‘.  I’ll never forget running around the tunnel under the stadium with Chariots of Fire playing on the PA and then emerging into the Olympic Stadium.

Olympic Park Run Banner

Olympic Park Run Banner

The good thing about running is that the journey is never really over, and you never know what’s around the corner.  Strathclyde parkrun, a weekly free timed 5k, is one of the highlights of my week.  Who ever thought that dragging yourself out of bed to run at 9:30 on a Saturday would be a thing I looked forward to, and missed when I can’t make it, but it really is.

stewart running

 

In July I’m returning to the Olympic Stadium for the National Lottery Anniversary Run, this time with David running too.

So, here’s to the next 1,000km.  I wonder where it will take me?

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Last March I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  I won a place in the a once in a lifetime Olympic Park Run and was one of the first people to cross the finish line in the newly completed Olympic Stadium.

olympic park run certificate

Well, the National Lottery are doing it again… with the Anniversary Run on 21 July 2013.

And I’ve got a place!

I’m going #backtothestadium and I can’t wait because this time I’ll be joined by David.

It’s another 5 mile run around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, past the iconic velodrome where Sir Chris Hoy became the most sucessful British Olympian ever, the Copper Box where we discovered that handball is amazing, the Aquatic Centre where Michael Phelps became the person to win most gold medals ever and into the stadium… that stadium where David Rhodesia blasted to the fastest 800m ever, Jessica Ennis powered to gold, Greg Rutherford leapt to glory, Mo Farah had two dream Saturdays to win 5,000m and 10,000m golds and Usain Bolt proved he is the fastest man in the world.

Can’t wait.  I may not sleep until July!

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It stuck me that my ‘Unresolved’ post was almost entirely negative.  It was all about what I didn’t do in 2012, what I failed to achieve.

Well, I’m not going to let 2012 pass without adding some balance because in 2012 two brilliant, never to be repeated things happened…

The Olympic Park Run

In March I ran a race with Sally Gunnel, Roger Black and Princess Beatrice around the Olympic Stadium and I beat a guy called Bolt by 2 seconds.  It was Andy Bolt from Sheffield… but it makes a great story!

olympic park run certificate

I won one of 5,000 places in a once in a lifetime race around the Olympic Park in London.  I was part of the first race to finish in the Olympic Stadium and it was amazing.  I’ll never forget it.

olympic park run

We ran past the now iconic venues of the 2012 Olympic Games and round the tunnel beneath the Olympic Stadium to the strains of the theme from Chariots of Fire.  Emerging onto that track was one of the most unbelievable feelings.  It still feels like a dream.

My First Marathon

marathon

At the end of May I did battle with the 26.2 miles of the marathon for the first time.

It was an outrageously hot day in Edinburgh but I loved the run.  It was hard, I had to dig deep, but the sense of community and shared purpose and achievement was something I’ll treasure.

I am the 1%… even if I did throw up at the end and loose the nails from my two big toes!

Time Isn’t Everything

I set time goals for both these runs at the start of the year.  I decided before the start of both that the time didn’t matter.  I wanted to enjoy the runs and see the finish.  I had been injured before the Olympic Park Run and it was just too hot to chase a time in Edinburgh.

Sometimes the journey is the important thing.  Of course the destination is important but every run is made up of each step, not just crossing the line.  I’m glad I ditched the times and took my time to savour as much as I could.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere…

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Last year I posted some running goals…

  1. I will run the 5 mile Olympic Park Run in March in under 40 minutes.
  2. I will run my first marathon in Edinburgh in May in under 4 hours 10 minutes.
  3. I will run the Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow in September in under 2 hours.
  4. I will beat my 5km parkrun PB (23:50) by more than a minute.
  5. I will run more kilometers than in 2011 (915km).  I will run at least 1200km in 2012.

So… how did I do?

Well… not so well.

  1. I will run the 5 mile Olympic Park Run in March in under 40 minutes. – 42 mins.
  2. I will run my first marathon in Edinburgh in May in under 4 hours 10 minutes. – 4.49 on the hottest day of the year!
  3. I will run the Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow in September in under 2 hours. 2.10, again!
  4. I will beat my 5km parkrun PB (23:50) by more than a minute. 23.50 is still my parkrun PB
  5. I will run more kilometers than in 2011 (915km).  I will run at least 1200km in 2012. Nope…

I’ve spent big chunks of 2012 being unable to run.  I have a recuring muscle injury and it has claimed about 3 months of running.

runs2012

I managed 780km, which is less than 2011, even though I ran a marathon.

Still, the Olympic Park Run and my first marathon are things I’ll never forget!

So, 2013…

  1. Break 2 hours for a half marathon (I mean really. How hard can it be!!!)
  2. run under 23 mins at parkrun
  3. run 2 half marathons and a few 10ks
  4. run more than 1200 km over the year
  5. stop getting injured (do my rehab exercises, stretch and cross train)

Let’s see how that goes…

 

 

 

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I’ve been running seriously since March 2011.  If you’ve been following my progress you’ll know that I’ve had some ups and downs with injury, particularly a troublesome glutte that has kept me off the road for nearly 3 of the last 24 months.

Part of the problem is that my core strength isn’t as good as it should be.

I spend much of my day sitting at a desk, driving or watching tv and reading.  The days I don’t run I’m pretty inactive.

If you don’t really think that’s a problem then watch this…

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I really like running.  Running is good.  It gets me outside and gets me moving 3 or 4 times a week but I’ve hit a bit of a plateau and I want to get faster.  I set myself a target of a sub 23min 5k by the end of the year and at the moment 25mins is a struggle.  To achieve my goal I need to get fitter overall.

To do that I need to try and exercise pretty much every day.

I also want encourage the kids to do more exercise and that’s always more difficult over the winter as the weather gets cold and wet. (well, colder and wetter!)

I could go to the gym but that costs £30 a month and it only works for me.  I could go to circuits but that’s £5 a class but again that’s only for me.

So… I’ve decided to put some of our tech to use and give  Nike Plus Kinect Training (Xbox 360) a whirl.

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I tried the assessment today.  There are 3 options: get strong, get toned or get lean.  I chose get toned, mostly because I don’t want to use weights and build muscle.  I want to work on my core strength using my own body-weight as resistance.  So, here’s my starting point:

 

I’m looking forward to getting started on my programme and I think it could be pretty good for the kids too.

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I’ve been off on my travels again, this time to Northampton for a couple of meetings.

It’s always been part of my job to be away from home but I’m often struck my the paradox of working for an organisation that promotes good relationships but is happy to ask it’s members and staff to spend lots of time away from home, especially over things like Father’s Day.

It also struck me as I was walking to the car to drive home that I hadn’t been outside for 3 days.  That can’t be healthy!

The meetings were ok.  It was good to see my colleagues and to finally meet Stuart Radcliffe who I’ve been friends with on Twitter for a while in real life.

After sitting down for 4 days and driving 700 miles, today I finally got back out on the road for a run.

The ongoing saga of ‘will my big toenails fall off or not?’ continues but they don’t hurt so I decided that three weeks was long enough to rest after my marathon.

It was great to be outside in the sun and I can honestly say I’ve missed running.

The legs are ok, the breathing was a bit harder than before, but that will sort itself out over a couple of runs.

My next goal is to get faster.

I want to get my 5k time down and then get well under 2 hours in the Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow on 2 September.  That’s not long so July and August will be full of hills, intervals and parkruns with a long run every week to keep the miles up.

And whisper it… I might run another marathon… but not this year!

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