Jantastic me!

Fruit haul

Hello! anyone there? Sorry for the silence the past week or so. I have been full of good new year intentions but clearly blogging lots hasn’t been one of them. Work has been slightly busier, I have also been making sure I see lots of friends but importantly I am back up and running pain free. Edinburgh is in my sights.

Running wise I am hoping the calf problem which ruined my December running behind me. To stay fit I have incorporated a much more rigorous stretching regime both pre and post run. I have also purchased a road bike and went spinning at London Fields Fitness again on Monday.  2014 is going to be the year when fitness and friends come together and I spent more time exploring beautiful places with friends outdoors and less time doing unhealthy things . This Sunday I am going out for a early morning 30 mile bike ride with my friend Luke and a bunch of his friends, I am pretty nervous about keeping up but I am sure it will be fun.

My running has been steady if unspectacular, the weather here in the UK has been insane. I have to admit I have generally been picking my times to run based on the weather predictions. Although I did go running at 6:46 in the morning the other week, this was unusual for me. I have to admit I really enjoyed the quietness of the run and it gave me a great chance at recording a good time on the London Fields 400 metre dash on Strava. I have been really enjoying Strava of late, it is great to see what other runners are doing in your local area. I decided to have a dash at running the stretch fast, I managed to just squeeze into the top 10 on the Strava leader board. I love knowing where challenges are on my routes and having a dash and running them fast.

London Fields 400 metre dash

Get on Strava it is free and a great way to add a bit of extra fun into your runs. 

I have also been on the hunt for great fruit as per usual, I am keeping up my consumption of around 70 bananas a week. My girlfriend and I have resorted to buying whole boxes of bananas from our local market. Although I am not sure how many more times I can carry 19 kg for bananas over a mile.

In this video check out how Kasia and I got on hunting for new fruit.

I also went to GoodGym this week, if you haven’t heard of GoodGym it is a great way to run and help make your community a better place. It is now in 4 locations in London and is growing all the time. This week we had 25 runners at Hackney GoodGym who helped clear a pathway at an allotment. On the way up I ran at the back (we make sure no one runs alone) and on the way back I led us home running leading us back at spritely pace. I love running back from GoodGym there is always a little bit of fun competition for those of us near the front.

I have signed up to the Marathon Talk’s Jantastic.me¬†challenge with a few other GoodGym members, I love being part of a little running community of do-gooders, it is a really special thing. I only have set myself a modest Jantastic target of 3 runs a week for the next couple of weeks until I start my marathon training plan.

I am 19 weeks away and I am thinking about following either 18 or 16 week marathon plan. If you have any plan recommendations please put them in the comments below.

As always thanks for reading and keeping running, we were born to do this.

Damien x

Blown away nearly 10K

ImageSo today we’re expecting a huge storm here in the UK and the media are drawing comparisons with the storm of 1987 that caused huge damage across the country. I was only 3 in 1987, so I can’t really remember the storm but I do remember going to my playgroup and a huge oak tree covering the path we used to walk up. Fingers crossed we don’t lose as many beautiful trees tonight.

But with the stormy and frankly quite grim weather just around the corner, I thought I would get out there this morning and bank some miles. Again I managed to get my layering combination all wrong choosing to wear my winter over layer jacket. I set off fairly quickly but by 18 minutes I was pissed off. I was overheated, I didn’t want to take the jacket off as wearing it around my waist would annoy me. I was breathing heavier than usual, I just wanted to cut my run short and come home. I so nearly stopped but I remember thinking, you don’t do that these days you’re in the best shape you have been in at least 7 years just get on with it.

So I ditched the jacket and suddenly things seemed better my body cooled down and I hit a lovely rhythm. I passed loads of runners today and everyone of them was smiling. Once I got over my little internal fit I was smiling too.

Running in the strong winds was really challenging but kind of fun. At one point I distinctly remember getting blown sideways. I was thinking well it is good conditioning. I know this probably means I have stepped into the territory of crazy runner but I am actually pretty comfortable with this.

Todays run was just under 6 miles and I recorded a decent average pace similar to that of my 10K race at Bushy Park last Sunday. My finish was strong and I felt I had a bit in the tank. I used the Compeed blister plaster today and it did a good job. It was only at the end I started to feel any pain from the blister. In total I have ran 15 miles this week my half marathon in only 5 weeks away now so I need to start throwing in some longer runs which will be a challenge.

Here are my splits from todays run:

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Complete training run:

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Running is definitely infectious. My friend Sean has just moved to Berlin and I lent him ‘Born to Run’ a few weeks ago. I was delighted earlier this week to receive a message from him saying he ran 10k in the morning and had a vegan lunch. It is pretty sad but my running has definitely inspired some of my good friends to start running again. It is a sad fact of life that as we get older our bodies metabolism slows down and we need to take better care of ourselves. I am delighted that lots of my friends are starting to rediscover exercising regularly as they did in the past.

On this note I am running the Greenwich 10K with two of my oldest friends from school John and Pete on 10th November. I am really looking forward to us all doing this together, our lives have gone in different directions but I care deeply about them both and I am excited we are going to be exercising together and I am sure we will grab a few well deserved pints afterwards.

Did you go running in the wind today? If so, how was it? Do you have any tips for running in windy conditions? Please leave comments and let me know how your training has been this week.