Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

Active Weekend

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Emma RunningDuncan RunningIt’s been an active weekend in the Currie household. On Saturday morning we made the trek over to Staunton Country Park for the second in SOC’s Solent Summer Series. Buoyed by just receiving the SOC Junior Women’s trophy for 2015 (although she was quick to point out that she didn’t have much competition, Emma was happy to go out on the yellow with Christine and a grumpy Duncan in tow. I went out on the light green which was more than a little muddy in places. Rob Finch managed to turn the tables from Fleming Park pipping me to first place by 14 seconds.

Christine after half marathonFrom there we headed in to Southampton for the ABP Southampton Fun Run. Christine set off on the 1 mile course with both children but Duncan got a stitch and Emma ran off and left them towards the end. The field was smaller than I had expected given the potential catchment area for the race. Christine then ran again in the half marathon on Sunday finishing in a chip time of 1:40:54. Not bad given the lack of training she’s done due to injury.

Back to the Brecons

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Pen y FanFor the first week of the Easter holidays we returned to the same cottage that we stayed at two years ago for the JK (having decided not to go up to the JK in Yorkshire this year). It was an action packed week with walking, running, cycling, swimming, canoeing and climbing, with a fair amount of dodging showers thrown in for good measure!

Here’s a quick run down of the week:
Friday: Arrived early evening having spent rather too much of a beautifully sunny day sat on the M4!
Saturday: Managed a quick walk down to the canal before the rain arrived. Headed to Brecon to stock up on supplies.
Sunday:pen-y-fan-2016-2.jpg Made the most of all the rain by going to visit the waterfalls above the Talybont Reservoir. Made it back from our walk just as the hail descended. I managed to time my run in the evening for the return of the sunshine.
Monday: We returned to the scene of the JK relays (Pwll Du) for the Rogue Runs ‘Gilwern Grunt’ race. The children were marshalling with their grandparents which meant both Christine and I could run. The hail ceased just in time for the start. Running through the mine workings was fun although my progress on the ascents/descents was pretty poor. Christine bagged a prize for third lady. We headed to Big Pit afterwards although sadly they weren’t running underground tours that day.
Tuesday: Gerry and Sue took the children climbing at Llangorse and Christine and I headed out on our bikes. We took the Taff Trail up to the top of Talybont Forest and then had a quick walk up Craif y Fan Ddu before heading for the tea shop. It began to snow heavily whilst we were sat there which wasn’t so much of a problem as the freezing cold rain it became as dropped altitude on our way back to the cottage.
Wednesday:pen-y-fan-2016-7.jpg The weather finally took a turn for the better and we spent a fun few hours paddling along the canal from Brecon (trying to catch the electric hire boats!).
Thursday: With a clear day forecast we finally took to the hills, climbing Pen y Fan and Cribyn via the Corn Du ridge. The snow on the way up certainly added to the excitement for the children. Most memorable for the adults was the orderly queue to take your photo at the summit of Pen y Fan!
Friday: Time to pack our bags and make our way back to Southampton via a night in Monmouth.

Last minute half

Monday, October 5th, 2015

Clarendon 2015Christine had entered the Clarendon Half Marathon this year but, as the day approached, her achilles was still playing up and, with a week to go, she transferred her entry to me. Stood on the start line I was in something of a quandry as how to tackle the race: I had done no preparation this time but last time I had run I had won! On top of this, the first 1km is the flattest of the course so you can’t waste it easing yourself in. As it was, I set off somewhere near the back of the top 10 and at a pace which didn’t feel excessively fast.

I had been undecided over footwear too as my off-road shoes are disintegrating. I’d eventually gone with road shoes which was the right choice as the conditions under foot were the best I’ve known them. Indeed, it was a glorious day with lots of blue sky and a nice cool breeze.

When we reached the climb up to Farley Mount at 7 miles I can’t claim to have been feeling particularly strong but there was the incentive of a steady stream of marathon runners to pick off. Although you’re only just over half way when you reach the top, mentally it feels like you’ve broken the back of the race. I overtook a couple of my fellow half-marathon runners as I descended to where my fan-club was waiting to cheer me on and this gave me sufficient impetus to continue pushing to the end, despite the nasty undulations in the last 5k.

I eventually finished in just over 1:28 which was only half a minute slower than my previous winning time. Even that wouldn’t have been nearly good enough this year with the winner taking an impressive 1:20. I was more than satisfied with my 5th place though and I’ve only been hobbling slightly today!

10K Time

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Hursley 10KIt’s been a busy weekend with Duncan off at a party yesterday and then setting out our stall at the school car boot sale (a profitable couple of hours but we still came back with far more stuff than I’d hope to have!). Today it was the Hursley 10K and it was my turn to run this year. As an added incentive, this year I was running with #8 which, I was told, was based on the estimated time that I had submitted. What I also knew was that #1 had beaten me by some 4 minutes two years ago so I wasn’t trying to keep up from the start!

Things went well for the first half when I was in a pack of five behind the leading two runners. Unfortunately I started to fade after that (blood doning last Wednesday?) and also started to wretch around the 7km marker (something that’s affected me before in 10k races so there’s probably something wrong with my pre-race prep). I was therefore glad to hit the open at the end with no-one on my tail and could coast to finish in 7th place. Depending on how you look at things, either I was either 4 seconds slower that two years ago (gun time of 38:49) or one second faster (chip time of 38:45).

Duncan - Hursley Fun RunEmma - Hursley Fun RunBoth Emma and Duncan were entered in the children’s races. Duncan was off first in the KS1 race and declared that he wanted to run on his own. This was probably a mistake as he got his first stitch on the way round which was obviously paining him as he came in to the finish. Emma had a longer loop in the KS2 race and, although she claimed not to have enjoyed herself very much, put on a respectable show. She seems to have become very materialistic of late and was very put out at ‘just’ getting a buff, bag, banana and water bottle!

Emma and PonyWe then had to race off as Emma was meant to be singing with the Brownies at the local fun day (she’d already missed singing with the school). We arrived just in time for her to enter the arena having no idea what she was meant to be singing! She needn’t have worried though as it was virtually impossible to hear them over the band playing at the other end of the rec. Thankfully there were long queues at most of the attractions to disuade Emma but she eventually decided that she would like to have a go on the pony rides. By this time I needed to get home to have a cup of tea and a sit down!


Fleming Mudbath

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Christine @ Hants XC Champs 2015Opening the curtains on the first Saturday of the year to view a very wet garden and more rain on its way could only mean one thing: the Hampshire Cross-Country Champs! At least it was handy with Fleming Park once again being the venue. Christine braved the weather first, cycling there whilst I fed the children lunch. We then followed on in the car arriving just in time to watch her race start.

The courses are particularly convoluted which has the benefit that, as spectators, we didn’t have to move very far to see Christine, and the conditions, getting progressively muddier and muddier. The children were very good given the weather. Emma said it was great fun although, to be fair, I think this may have just been her new discovery of sarcasm. Christine finished just in time for me to hand over, strip off, and head to the start for the men’s race.

Last time I ran this course two years ago, I started far too fast on the first lap only to realise that I still had to go round twice more. Knowing this still didn’t stop me repeating the error! I’ve strategically chosen a picture of Christine to accompany this post as, once you’ve removed the blurred and out of focuse photos she took, your just left with ones of me looking like an old man in lots of pain. I waded round the 11.5km of mud in 46:23, some 35 seconds slower than in 2013 and ended up four places further down in 45th place. By way of consolation, when I really am an old man next year and qualify as a veteran, I just need to shave off 16 seconds to end up in to top 5 M40s!

Coast Path Finale

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Mass Beach RunHaving managed to get a reasonably sized SOC team together for this year’s Dorset Coast Path Relay it was perhaps inevitable that none of the other clubs would! As a consequence, it was decided that we would all join forces for a final record attempt before calling it a day.

SOC was allocated the section from Hardy’s Monument to Osmington. At ~15km I couldn’t really justify dragging 18 people down to Dorset even for a record attempt and we were eventually a (sub-)team of 10. I was off first and had a somewhat flustered start as it was shortly after being told that I had about 20 minutes to wait! I still haven’t completely thrown the cough that’s been plaguing me for the last month and my breathing was somewhat laboured. As I handed over to Andrew Nash it was clear that I wasn’t in any state to run the King of the Coast section later with Tim and Tamsin.

Christine and I were meant to help with a couple of hill sections but we managed to miss both of them. We therefore headed off to Studland for the children to enjoy the beach. Sadly when the incoming runner finally reached the group waiting for the mass run along the beach we were already well over the previous record time. Christine ran with them and then jogged back before we all headed to the pub.

Thankfully, of the promised sunshine and heavy showers, the latter part didn’t show its face until we were driving home. It’s sad to think of this as the last Coast Path Relay – maybe its time will come again…

Synchronised training

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

For the past couple of years, uploading my running training has been a bit of a faff. I like to use a desktop app (SportTracks) so that, whatever the changing fads online, I still have all of my data in one place. (It goes back to 2006 when I first got my Forerunner 305. Some day I may even important my old Polar Training Software data.) The desktop app also has some interesting plugins. One of these I used to push my training to dailymile for comparison with a few friends and colleagues and for the widget on this site. However, I’m also partial to a bit of segment stealing on Strava. Sadly no simple SportTracks plugin for Strava so that was a separate upload.

After a bit of search and experimentation, my new workflow is to upload to the SportTracks website which then syncs seamlessly (in both directions) to the desktop app. Then I’m using the excellent online tool Tapiriik to automatically synchronise the data from SportTracks to Strava.

On the plus side, this means I’m now only downloading once and it doesn’t have to be on the machine with SportTracks installed. Also, without really thinking about it, it means I know have 8 years worth of data synced back to Strava!

On the negative side, Tapiriik doesn’t support dailymile so that will have to go by the wayside, at least for now. That means you’ll see a slightly squished Strava widget in the sidebar of this site. The other major downside is cost. The SportTracks site has an annual subscription of $35. Whilst the site is nice and they are continually adding good features, if it weren’t for the sync with the desktop app I wouldn’t be forking out that money. We’ll see how things are going come renewal time. Automatic sync on Tapiriik also comes at a cost but a mere $2 pa for what is a very slick site and available as open source if you really wanted to host it yourself.

Now I just need to decide whether to add Garmin Uploader to my shopping list so that I don’t even need to turn on the Mac! (Works with my Nexus 7 but not my S2 unfortunately.)

Run some Pubs

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Today was the traditional ‘Run the Pubs’ where we run round the pubs that we’ve visited on Tuesday evening runs during the summer. There were six of us this year and, in keeping with last year’s tradition, we decided to bin one of the pubs (the Drift at Beaulieu Road Station) for a shorter run (13 miles) starting at the Redshoot Inn and ending with some great food at The Oak at Bank (where Andy somehow managed to book a table with less than a week’s notice). The weather deteriorated on our way round but no-one seemed to mind. We even got cheered along by a selection of Santas at one point when we accidentally came across the route of the CC6 cross-country race (over-taking the back marker in the process!). We also bumped in to Tuesday night veteran Mike Yeo at the New Forest Inn who, clad in wellies, declined to join us for the final short leg to Bank.

Elevation Profile
Speed Profile
2013 Run the Pubs