Yeovil Montacute parkrun #52

I went into parkrun on Saturday thinking about a shot at a PB. I’d pulled out my Salomon Speedcross shoes and worked out my target pace. Unfortunately, I don’t think i was mentally prepared for it. Pre-run I was busy co-ordinating volunteers and doing my favourite part of parkrun – talking parkrun with other parkrunners. I spent too much time doing that though and before I knew it, and with barely time for a warm up, the run briefing was starting!

I hit my paces OK for the first mile, but it went downhill from there. The conditions were tough underfoot, and the general consensus was that the course was running slower. Halfway round I semi gave up on my PB attempt and just ran it comfortably hard. I only missed my PB by about a minute, but I knew after mile 1 it wasn’t my day.

Jodie on the other hand, absolutely smashed it! It was her 4th parkrun of the month, and her first attempt at a new PB, and only went and delivered! A 15s PB in those conditions was a brilliant acheivement! Tantalizingly close to Sub 29, but inside the top 100! Her main aim at the moment though is to run a time faster than the “Average run time” published at the bottom of the Yeovil Montacute website, so she can say she is an “Above average runner” which is a very respectable target. I reckon she’ll have done that by the end of the year.

Some cracking photos of us taken this week too, which I’ve uploaded below. Taken from the Flickr group.

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How to blow up in spectacular style

As the title suggests, the last few weeks have been a bit rough. Training wise that is! I’ve had a blast socially (It was mine AND Jodies birthday’s last week!), but too much indulgence has made me put back on a few pounds and I’m feeling a bit sluggish.

Part of that reason may be due to me blowing spectacularly after this workout.

During the workout, I felt amazing. I nailed my paces, my splits were great, there was a lot of climbing and afterwards I felt tired, but on top of the world. It was the day after that I fell apart.

Admittedly after the toughest session of my life, heading out on a 13 mile long run the day after wasn’t the smartest move. But it was even less smart to have a go at climbing 3 of the main hills in town covering 200m of elevation gain.

My legs were the heaviest they’ve ever felt, and when I reached the bottom of Mudford Road (The 3rd big climb) i got about 20 yards up and I actually gave up. I questioned the value of putting myself through another 2 miles of pain. Would I have gained any fitness from it? Not likely. If only I’d have thought that at the start of the run…) I had nothing, the tank was empty. I lightly jogged another mile home.

The top of my foot developed a painful niggle – like a bruise on the tendons on the top of my foot. And, my legs were ruined.

Its taken a week of ONLY easy running (And one small progression run to test my progress) to get them back to feel vaguely normal – but they are still not right. Not really. The foot is just about pain free though which is good.

Its forced me to rather sensibly reorganize my training plans and consider my easy runs and less steady running. Not to mention the stupidity of trying to run a quality session on a Saturday and go back to back with a Sunday long run.

I’ve taken a huge knock in confidence. Running still feels a bit laboured, and I’m a bit concerned for my race plan in the Weston Christmas Cracker. Time will tell.

Time to shake a bit of weight, regain some confidence and get back in race trim.

But all that said… that session did feel amazing 😀

Monthly Review: October 2014

October was a strange month. After the hard work leading up to the Bristol Half, I had a target race in the Great South Run, but it kind of wasn’t a target at the same time, as my main target is in December for this training period. That said, the GSR was a fantastic event and a joy to take part in. I set a time I was delighted with and I set a new course best for Basingstoke parkrun – despite it being the tougher “crabtree” course.


I missed 2 planned training sessions (Actually 3 – but one was rearranged) – the most for quite some time. One was a long run, which was scheduled to take place after a big family party 250 miles away. Unsurprisingly, after the drive home I wasn’t massively motivated to run 12 miles! The other missed session was because I wanted 2 clear rest days before having a crack at my Yeovil Montacute parkrun PB. So I’m not going to harangue myself for those two. Especially as the results when my way!

So here are the goals I set myself at the beginning of last month.

  • Run the Great South Run in Sub 1:13
  • Run 24 times in the month
  • Achieve an average elevation gain of over 100m
  • Run consistent paces in line with training zones

For the GSR I went in with a much more aggressive target than I set at the start of the month. I figured “Go hard or go home” so I targeted 7m/m for a sub 70 minute time. Unfortunately the wind in the last 2 miles got the better of me, missing out by a mere 28 seconds.

The number of runs was achieved, and I did stay within my training zones – which was trickier than it sounds, as they were increased after the great south run!

I missed out on the elevation average. Mainly due to a lack of hill repeats and long runs. I’m not likely to see this increase too much in the build up to my December target race, so I’ll look to increase it a bit at a time again.


One of the nice things I can extrapolate from that report is a good steady increase in my average speed. Its nice to see how far I’ve come. Considering after the Marathon in April I introduced a 5 min warm up walk and 10 min cool-down walk (Which explains the dip in average at that time) I am confident if I were to remove those then it would be an even more significant increase.

November is a race free month, so it’ll be all about consistent training. Though saying that, I may try and drop a parkrun in there to test my speed. Here are my targets.

  • Complete 25 runs
  • Increase average speed to 6.6mph+
  • Increase elevation gain to > 90
  • Go sub 21 at Yeovil Montacute parkrun OR Sub 20 at Poole parkrun (Depending where I decide to go on 30th November

Yeovil Montacute parkrun #50 – Halloween!

It became clear earlier in the week that I wouldn’t be needed for an “on the day” volunteer job this week, so I started psyching myself up for a tilt at a PB. It was halloween week, though I’d been so busy I wasn’t able to really think about a costume, and I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise the PB attempt! Jodie on the other hand played the role of “Zombie Runner” perfectly!


When I got there the team had done a brilliant job decorating the scanning tent and there were plenty of others in fancy dress. It was a lot of fun.

Conditions were perfect, and Montacute House looked as amazing as ever.

Credit to Neil Biss
Credit to Neil Biss

Simon and getting paced around for a sub-21 today by our thursday intervals coach Dave. I thought I’d try and hang on with them as long as I could, knowing I wasn’t going to get around in that time. The strategy almost paid off. I stuck with them all the way to halfway and started drifting back after the 2 mile mark.



The last mile was a real struggle, especially with the killer hill at the end, which I walked up again. I’m a firm believer that if I ran up it, I wouldn’t have the energy to run quick over the last 0.2 miles of the course. But equally, I haven’t had the balls to actually test it yet!

I managed to cross the line in 21:50, 20s outside my target but generally pretty happy. I’m still on track to go sub-20 on a flat course by the end of the year. I just need to do more interval work at a flat out rate – as it was my breathing that was causing issues. So I need to push it more.

Jodie ran with Paige and a young girl for the first lap as the responsible adult for the first lap. The girl had a lot of fun so Jodie was well utilised 🙂


As it was Jodie’s birthday run (And mine I guess – I’m not running next week, volunteering instead) we had some lovely cakes made by Jodie’s dad. But Aime and Sue (Other volunteers/regulars) also came with cake!

A good day and pleased with a PB. Here’s the Garmin Activity.