Bits and Bobs for Running

Just thought I’d do a run down of the kit I take running…
The most important bits, trainers, Mizuno Wave Inspire 9‘s… fancy eh? Well they are comfy, go on my feet and eat up the miles.

Garmin Foretrex 401
My trusty GPSr, logs my runs. Great feature it has is that if I want to go across country lanes, I can upload a route to it and I get a little arrow to follow. Also track back a recorded route.

SPI Belt
Tiny little belt, that can hold my phone, ID, and 6 gels for the journey.

Sony Xperia Z
Chose this phone mostly because I wanted to switch to Andoid, liked it’s style and a big feature for me is that it’s IPX5/7 (Water-resistant) & IP5X (Dust-proof).

LG Electronics HBS-700W
Water resistant lightweight bluetooth headphones

Camelbak Hydropak 1.5L
Water, water, water, dislike carrying bottles and I tend to go through a lot.
High5 EnergyGel Mojito 
These are just for the long ones, really do give a boost of energy, tastes horrid!

SoftwareI upload the tracklogs from the Garmin to the Garmin Connect website.
Import the gpx into RunKeeper, so I can match the runs with the training plan.
Import into nike+, I’m not really using that much, but I started in it so it has all my historical totals.

If the run is an intresting route I’ll import into Memory-map to overlay onto an OS map, this is also what I’ll use to create routes to upload to the Foretrex.

Workout 62 of 73 (Half Marathon Training Plan) – A nice little 4 miles

Ended up skipping workout 61. Needed to spend some time catching up on housework and my maths. I’m struggling a bit with the maths but feeling more confident.
As part of this run I ended up breaking my personal best for 5k 25:35 which I’m pretty happy about, as I’ve been training for the longer distance I’ve not really been breaking any of my personal records recently.

The afternoon was threatening with dark clouds but it ended up being a beautiful evening with a lovely sunset across the park.

Finished the run with a couple of trips up the hill.
I’m so lucky that I work next to Great Notley Park (With that hill to really push myself on, lakes to run round and access to routes across fields into the countryside), live near Flitch Way as well, handy when it’s raining or sunny as the trees offer a bit of shelter.
In Zombies, Run! I completed the Trefoil mission “Janine is running a test of Abel’s structural defences – it’s up to Runners 4 and 5 to keep the real zoms away from the fake ones.” – Quite a fun mission, met some new friends.
I used the materials gained to upgrade my hospital and some housing. More real houses instead of shacks and tents now for the township.
Book wise I’ve started the audio book of The Hunger Games, really like the film so thought I’d give the book a go.

Seeing Old Friends

Sunday afternoon we went visiting our friends Kirsty and Dave.
Was good to catch up, it had been such a long time since we had all seen each other.
They’re settling into their new home which looks lovely.
Isobel their two year old is so very sweet, Michelle and I enjoyed spending time with her. I kept getting random hugs and enjoyed building towers with the blocks.

Workout 59 of 73 (Half Marathon Training Plan) – A stiff legged early morning jolly

59 after 60? Sometimes I change things around a little mainly because the big runs in the plan are for Sunday, but Sunday mornings are when I run with my friend Clare.
It was Clare that got me into all this running, so her to blame for this madness :p She started by doing a C25K regimen and I copied, hijacked her motivation by seeing her updates on Nike+ and got addicted to it all. Most Sundays we now train together, it’s a good incentive to get my lazy arse out of bed and moving. It’s great hanging out with her and get to keep fit as well.

This one was an early start, the clock started at 7:47am, not bad considering I got home at 2:30 the same morning. Legs very stiff from the run yesterday, was worried how I’d do but they started to regain some motion, heavy all the way through though.

As I was pretty exhausted after the 10k, I walked back from Clare’s and took a slightly different route, I’ll probably use that from now on on the run back, avoids some of the roads.

Zombies, Run! update, played the mission Dare “Runners 3, 5, and 8 are sent out to the chemical works on the Dickens Estate to pick up the ingredients for a sealant to contain a spill at Abel.” – Ohh, this is a pivotal one. Secrets abound.
I didn’t do anything to my base today, saving up for an upgrade to my hospital.

/BatCrazy Night – Tribal Unity Autumn Charity fundraiser evening

Saturday was such a lovely night. Unfortunately Michelle couldn’t make it because she had a cold and didn’t have the energy for a night out, she was very much missed.

It was the Tribal Unity Autumn Charity fundraiser evening.
The evening is in aid of Kate, to help pay for medical bills to help with her ME, the NHS are being pretty useless and dragging their feet.

I picked up Kate from Colchester and hung out a bit while she finished off getting ready, was good chatting to her and Mary. Then we headed off to Pitsea.

Was lovely seeing everyone, the people from the old troupe (I used to be a member of Akula, which Akula Ratnavali is an offshoot of), and hanging out with Kate. The dancing was superb, I had been looking forward to tonight as I’ve heard so much about some of these performers and seen videos on youtube, they did not disappoint. Even a bit of ‘drunken pirate’ ATS mixed in as well, never thought I’d see that, but made me laugh and looked like everyone was having fun.

The line up was:

Tribal Unity 
Alexis Southall 
Hilde Cannoodt 
Akula Ratnavali Tribal 
Kathleen Pearlson
Pauline & Asif Qu
Tribal Banshees 

followed by a superb rock and roll band, The 501s.

A line up like that, at Pitsea! wow…

After the band finished a few of us stuck round chatting, well until we got kicked out. I took Kate home and we ended up chatting until 2am over a punnet of chips from the kebab shop, we had a lot to catch up on and was good chewing the cud with her.

Photos to follow, I’ve got a huge backlog at the moment though, need to finish Hannah and Normans wedding photos.

Workout 60 of 73 (Half Marathon Training Plan) – The Flitch

This is the big one… Been a bit nervous but also looking forward to it.
Running the complete length of the Flitch Way, from Braintree to just before the M11 (pretty near Stansted Airport)

I had eaten lots of pasta the evening before, glad I love pasta!

Filled my CamelBak, put some gels in my pocket, headphones in and hit the trail.

(The location of photos are on the OS maps below)
1. Braintree Station, where the railway line ends and the Flitch Way Starts
I missed taking a photo of Rayne Station, perhaps next time

2. Bannister Green Halt

3 Little Dunmow Station
Pity the state it’s in, bet it used to be a lovely building in it’s day
Little Dunmow is the origin of the name Flitch Way.
If a couple can prove that they have not argued for a year they can win a Flitch of bacon (half a pig).

4. Dunmow, the original route of the Flitch is behind the sign (I investigated a little, silly really as that slowed me down, too overgrown to go far), the route is diverted to take you under the A120

5. Lovely old railway bridge, as you can see it’s hard to go further so I turned back to get back onto the route.

6. Under the A120 we go

7. Mud, mud and more mud. The parts either side of Dunmow were very muddy, had to slow down quite a bit to stay upright

8. Formidable police station

9. Out of the town and back into the woods, a lovey tree sheltered part

10. Into Oak Spring woods, muddy and slippery but beautiful

11. A little clearing
12. Leaving the woods and heading back to the Flitch.

13. Dunmow Cutting
14. The Flich Way is home to quite a bit of wildlife, most of it’s length is a country pack. Dotted along the route were many nature reserves. All I saw were bunnies though.
15. After crossing the bridge over the A120, there was a short run along side of it.

17. Sign for the Takeley 10k, I’ll be running that next weekend, my first race!
I’m so excited about it, going to run with my friend Clare

18.Stane Street
Named after the old Roman road that connected Hertfordshire to Colchester, some of it still exists today.
Stane Street is what traditionally divided Braintree and Bocking. Braintree to the South and Bocking to the North.
An interesting quote from Wikipedia on this matter:
H. G. Wells, in his What Is Coming? A European Forecast (1916), in the fourth chapter, “Braintree, Bocking, and the Future of the World,” uses the differences between Bocking and Braintree, divided, he says, by a single road, to explain the difficulties he expects in establishing World Peace through a World State.

“If the curious enquirer will take pick and shovel he will find at any rate one corresponding dualism below the surface. He will find a Bocking water main supplying the houses on the north side and a Braintree water main supplying the south. I rather suspect that the drains are also in duplicate. The total population of Bocking and Braintree is probably little more than thirteen thousand souls altogether, but for that there are two water supplies, two sets of schools, two administrations. To the passing observer the rurality of the Bocking side is indistinguishable from the urbanity of the Braintree side; it is just a little muddier.”(,_Essex#Source_materials_on_Bocking)

19. Passing Hatfield Forest, such a beautiful place. Love spending time there.

20. Here it is! The end of the Flitch Way, kinda anticlimactic really after all that time and effort. 
21. The path up to the Flitch, the aptly named Start Hill

22. Waiting for Hannah and Norman to pick me up

During the run I completed a few Zombies, Run! missions
Times New Roaming “You’re caught in the middle as a journalist in pursuit of a hot story meets a horde of zombies in pursuit of fresh brains.” – This one was quite funny but also makes you think about how important journalists are, and the risks they take to bring news to us.
Electric Dreams “Archie and Runner 5 peel off from a large group of decoy runners in order to explore a small plant and lab facility believed to belong to Van Ark” – Woah, scary and reveals some very interesting information. 
The Object Is A Hungry Wolf “Jamie joins Runner 5 on a mission to plant transponders in order to triangulate Archie’s position and save her from Van Ark.” – Tense and moving
Top 40 “A pop princess is mobbed by adoring undead fans. You might be the hero she’s holding out for.” – A much needed bit of comic relief. Brilliant singing from the crew :-s
Dark And Long “Having triangulated Archie’s whereabouts, Sam, Janine, Maxine, Jamie and Runner 5 work together to save her from Van Ark.” – Made me swear out loud… eep
As you could guess, lots of changes in Abel Township. I now have a lab, and upgraded it to level 2. Upgraded my Training Ground to level 3, Janine’s Farmhouse to level 3, Armoury to level 3, Communications to level 3, Hospital to level 2, Playground to level 2, some of the farms to level 3 and some housing to 2. The township is shaping up quite well now, life is getting a bit more comfortable in the fight against the grey plague.
Silver Linings is turning out to be a great story, really dragged into it and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

The run went pretty well and I really enjoyed it, the mud and terrain slowed me quite a bit so brought down my half marathon time. Still pleased with the 2 hours 22 mins though, hoping to get 2 hours for the race in October though. The last bit was very hard, a few places I had to walk until I got to 2.5 km away, I got a second wind and managed to run to the end, even through all the stinging nettles at Start hill!
The timings for the run were:
5 km       28:29
10 km      58:59
21.1 km  2:22:26
27.3 km  3:09:11
Shortly before finishing the run I got a text from Norman letting me know they’re on the way, gave me time to stretch and cool down. Hannah and Norman came to pick me up which was so lovely of them, I was mega grateful that they’d been extra thoughtful and brought me water, a banana and some sweets. Water had never tasted so good! (well other then the time I got dehydrated coming down from Snowdon). Enjoyed chatting with them both on the way back, marvelling a little at the distance covered.
We got home and hung out for a bit, catching up with each others news. Michelle handed me a ma├čkrug squash which went down well. As Hannah and Norman were getting to leave my Mum and Dad popped in for a cuppa, was lovely to see them and I bored them with the tales of the running whilst Michelle was being busy in the kitchen, after smelling some lovely smells Michelle presented me with a post run feat. Cheese toasties, applewood cheddar, on a tomato puree base with some sriracha hot sauce with a box of veggie samosas. Was a wonderful meal and helped me feel human again, just lovely as well to get so much support, especially as Michelle had done the shopping to get those treats while I was out running.
So that’s it, another 27 km put on my trainers, 10 km tomorrow.

Workout 58 of 73 (Half Marathon Training Plan) – Lovely 8 Miles Across the Countryside

I really enjoyed today’s run. There is something wonderful after a day in front of screens to lose yourself in nature. Most of the time I couldn’t even see any buildings or people, just me, the fresh air and the world. I saw a beautiful dusk, bunnies being bunnies across the fields and nearing the end the reflection of the moon in the lakes.

One thing I’ve been enjoying about the running is seeing the seasons slowly change. When apples fell on my head a few times I wasn’t so happy about that though!

Yikes, gone a bit hippy here…

I found this run really pleasant, I guess my body is getting used to it a bit more now. I used a couple of gels en-route, I’m sure that helped as well, mojito flavoured!

Got a rest day tomorrow, then 15 miles Saturday. Doing the entire length of the Flitch Way, it’s going to hurt!

Finished The Long Earth, quite an odd ending. I enjoyed it but it really has left me hanging.
There is a sequel The Long War, so hopefully that’ll tie up things.
Moving onto The Silver Linings Playbook, Clare’s read it and it piqued my interest, contains mental health issues and Kenny G, sounds right up my alley.

Completed a few missions on Zombies, Run!
Whack-A-MoleWhen a collapsed building fills the streets with lethal shamblers and sneaky crawlers it’s up to you and Runner 3 to put your baseball bats to good use…” which was rather funny, getting points for killing zombies.
You’re Rocking the Boat Lead by Runner 8, the runners navigate their way though the ship in an attempt to rescue the few remaining Aurora survivors” quite a creepy one this one, in the depths of a stricken ship with zombies **shudder**
Hounds of LoveYou and Runner 8 set off on a mission to help Maxine learn a little more about how dog whistles affect the fast zoms.“.. Fast zoms, nope, the worse kind of zoms!

Managed to put those missions to good use, upgraded the farmhouse, farms and the training ground.