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There’s snow way I’m running in that

Getting up nice and early for a run with the club tomorrow…

Since the term has finished (yes I know Cambridge students have very short terms) the running club did not have an official meeting; however we did arrange for a run with whoever was left in Cambridge i.e. us graduate students.

The organiser was unfortunately ill, so I offered to lead the group. I woke up to a light covering of snow, but dragged myself out of the door because I didn’t want to disappoint whoever turned up to run.

Running to the meeting point was a challenge, as once again my standard running shoes had inadequate grip: in fact I nearly slipped and fell in an attempt to make way for some pedestrians.

Luckily when I arrived I found 2 people waiting for me – I was a couple of minutes late because of the “adverse” weather conditions.

We ran a rather ambitious route (which I guess is my fault as I was leading), which involved slipping and sliding through town, running along a cycle track and through a meadow along the river on a second cycle track. We then looped back along the main road, which was by this point starting to thaw. I decided on a more ambitious route because the other two runners are part of the triathlon club, so I wanted to make sure they were challenged.

The club route ended up being just short of 6 miles and, by adding the distance to the meeting point from home and back my total for the day was 9.3 miles, with a running time of 74 minutes (pace 7:56 min/mile), which is pretty good considering the conditions.

Up early again tomorrow for a run…

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Casual spinning

More to come…

I took both Sunday and Monday off – I was tempted to go to a spinning class Monday evening but I wasn’t quite feeling up for it, oh and I had work to do of course…

Today I fit in a solo spin to an old soundtrack, but after it ended I added a few extra songs, just to add a little extra challenge.

I did a disproportionate number of slow climbs in the set because I don’t like sprints and I was not in the mood to push myself in that way. And it’s difficult to watch the football highlights whilst sprinting…

Getting up nice and early for a run with the club tomorrow…

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Cambridge v Oxford varsity

Possibly more running/exercise tomorrow….

It was the varsity cross-country race on Saturday (Cambridge v Oxford).

Before the races there was a supporters’ race, where we could run the shorter ladies (4 miles rather than 7.5 miles) course, which I really couldn’t resist.

I reached the start line in my normal running shoes, realising that this may have been a mistake as the field was extremely wet. Needless to say as we started I was slipping all over the place, but finally got some grip towards the end of the field.

The course was around Wimbledon common (London), which was actually really nice: it was also undulating, which made a change from he usual flat runs done in Cambridge. There was even a water jump near the start, where we had to wade through a calf-deep river and climb up a muddy bank – exciting.

Unfortunately, probably due to my footwear I ended up falling over in an attempt to avoid spectators and now I have a nice scabby knee.

I ran the course in 28 minutes, which wasn’t bad considering the fall, the terrain, the lack of suitable footwear and the hills.

During the proper races a group of us were jogging around trying to intercept and cheer on the runners at various points: unfortunately we missed the actual end of the races.

Cambridge on the day had a fantastic victory 2-0, winning both the men’s and women’s races.

I have also just decided to go on the winter training camp with the club in January; however this definitely means I need to buy a new pair of shoes more suited to the terrain. I’m looking forward to running in the peak district, which will be much different from Cambridge.

More to come…

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Coming back from injury

So it looks like I’ll be resting this week…

I managed to rest all the way to Thursday evening – that’s nearly a week right?

I was just going to do a small gym session: I’d already turned down the offer of a level 4 spinning class, which would have been far too long and intense to risk with my injury.

I was all set for this gym session when I received an email informing me that there was an EZ run this evening – I couldn’t turn it down.

As a tester I decided, rather than cycling to the meeting point as usual, I would gently run there so that if there were any problems or any pain I could turn back and not commit to the run.

As it was I was fine running down and my gentle run ended up a little quicker than anticipated, so quick in fact that I was a good 10 minutes early.

While I was waiting I did a few stretches and noticed my thighs were tighter than usual, could this be from lack of use for such a “long time”?

The run itself was pretty uneventful: we ran up the river in the dark as a group of four and I turned back when we came near to my house, as I didn’t want to push it and get re-injured.

5 miles in 40 minutes (pace 7:58 min/mile), which is about as quick as my original fast pace, but I would grade it as very easy – oh how times change.

Possibly more running/exercise tomorrow….

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Race day

Resting or light exercise before the race on Saturday…

I managed to squeeze in a quick morning run on Thursday as my last run pre-race. It was a little quicker than my recent runs, but also a little shorter. We ran 3.9 miles in 31 minutes (pace 7:44 min/mile).

It was a lovely rainy day for the race. Unfortunately I had to go and register in the morning and then run some errands, then cycling to the race venue (rather than taking the coach). It was also unfortunate that the venue was up and hill, giving my legs a bit of an extra work out.

The warm-up was difficult because it was so cold, windy and wet that we were all reluctant to change into our running kit. We were also waiting in the cold, watching the other (better) teams compete.

As we were the last race we already knew the results of the others: one of the two women’s teams had won and the two other men’s team had also won, so we were under a little bit of pressure to perform.

The race was almost the same course as the race a couple of weeks ago; however it was only 3 laps rather than the previous 3 laps with a little bit extra.

The biggest problem I had was the wetness of the surface, as the mud was slippery – so slippery in fact that I think this may have been the limiting factor on my speed.

This, unlike the previous race was a team race and so it was nice to run as a small group of Cambridge runners without the competitiveness, taking over a few Oxford runners whenever possible.

Also unlike the previous race there was much more support of the crowd as anyone from Cambridge would cheer as we ran past: at one point there was so much encouragement that I significantly sped up, if only for a few seconds.

At the end of the race we were also given a can of beer – it was delicious, even though I usually hate that beer.

The worst thing is I think I may have injured my leg from the run: not from running too hard, but from the slipping.

So it looks like I’ll be resting this week…

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EZ, getting harder

More running tomorrow…

I ran with the EZ group today; however I found myself getting ahead of them as we were running along the river, so I looped back to let them catch up.

The group then split into various smaller groups and I realised that I was “stuck” with the fastest EZ group, which wasn’t a problem, it just meant we had to wait at the end of the run.

The run itself was 5.1 miles, which we ran in 39 minutes – a pace of 7:39, far faster than any previous EZ group. I think I may have to go with the main training group at some point, perhaps once a week.

Resting or light exercise before the race on Saturday…

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Too much, too hot, too fast

Early start for running again tomorrow…

It was another double exercise today, which in retrospect was probably a bad idea.

A relatively short run nice and early in the morning: only 3.8 miles, possibly explaining why I was in need for a little more. Although I guess it was a little more with cycling 15 minutes there and back.

The run itself lasted 31 minutes, making it a pace of 8:08 minutes/miles, faster than the last few runs I’ve done. I need to make sure I can speed up for the varsity run this Saturday – my second ever race!

I also managed to make it to a spinning class towards the end of work. I hadn’t been to this instructor for a long time, mainly because I never usually finish work in time (I actually didn’t this time as I went back to the lab afterwards).

The class was completely full – in fact six people were turned away: it was that popular. You could really tell the class was full, as it was really hot, which wasn’t very conducive to exercise.

I was really struggling with the unusual positions (hands and arms) that he was making us do. He also made us do one-legged climbs, which I really do not enjoy. We also had a lot of quick bits and the resistance wasn’t quite right – rant over…

All in all I was glad for the class to end.

More running tomorrow…