Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easter Weekend Training

The Easter Weekend has already come and gone and the first May Bank Holiday is nearly upon us.  Summer just around the corner, woo hoo.

I kept myself busy over the Easter break.  As you would have read in the last update, I had Izzy staying with me Wednesday through to Saturday on both weeks, so its been a case of keeping her entertained and the training hit the back burner, although on Good Friday we did get out together, her riding alongside me as I ran a gentle 4 miler.

Izzy went home Saturday evening so I had Sunday free.  I was planning on joining my first Eltham Velo ride but looking at the forecast, it really didnt look great (and so it proved later), so I opted for the Plums Sunday run.

For once, it was leaving from Bexleyheath Sports Club rather than the usual Plumstead Common, which meant it was pretty easy for me to get to without relying on the 51 bus.

The plan was to run the Plums 10 mile handicap course with a view to giving the newbies (like me!) a recon...and a pretty brutal course it is too.


I'd run some of the roads before but not all at the same time.  Putting them together is a real test.

Out of the club, up Welling High Street, Bellegrove Road to turn left into Welling Way.  At the end of Welling Way, you're pretty much at the end of a 2 mile upward drag all the way from the club.  The course then dips down to the Well Hall roundabout when it turns right up and kicks up Well Hall Road to the old Shooters Hill police station.  Then downhill to Woolwich common, before turning right into the hilly ups and downs of Plumstead down to Wickham Street and then the lung busting climb of Bostall Hill to fill the quads with lactic acid.  The final 2 mile is literally a downhill sprint for the line.

We ran it at a nice leisurely pace on Sunday.  Its good to have a run like that at times and I really enjoyed catching up with Dave, Graham and Richard.  We got back to the club about 10:15 just before the heavens opened.  You cant say fairer than that.

Bank Holiday Monday saw me hit the trails over at Oxleas Woods.  I'm really fortunate that living in South East London, I've got the best of both worlds.  I'm near enough to the City but I'm still near enough to wide green open spaces and the Kent Lanes.

I was really intending to have a rest day.  I'd spent the majority of the day catching up with chores and housework and I finally had a nice clean and dust-free home but sitting on the sofa for a couple of hours watching SSN had started to get to me so I thought about running but had a brainwave to hit the trails rather than the roads again.  The ground would have been soft because of the rain 24hrs previously and the impact would have been less on the legs...

A nice 7 miler. A really easy pace but the previous days 10 mile run with the Plums was still evident in the legs and my HR was a damn sight higher than it should have been for that pace. However, it was still fun.

The majority of the route follows the Plums XC course but for some reason, I get a little lost on the west-side of the woods and end up coming out behind the hill top cafe, rather than further down the hill. Not a problem but will have to pay more attention when out with the Plums next time we run the course otherwise I'll end up getting lost.

I ended up running two laps of the woods, which means running up both sides of the hill twice so its a challenge but that makes it more fun.

On the second lap, I stopped a couple of times to take a few pics.  Sometimes its good to stop for a few seconds and just take in and appreciate the beauty around you.

Seriously, how could you just run past that and not let it take you to somewhere else for a split second...

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