Sunday, 20 February 2011

Back on track

Exciting things have happened for my running this week. First, following the saga of ruining all of my toes, I decided it was high time I bought some new running shoes. As always, I insist on having new shoes properly fitted by someone who knows at least a thing or two about running. The bloke who sold me my shoes was actually studying podiatry at University, and as you'd expect, he was pretty clued-up on his feet facts. After trying half a dozen pairs on the treadmill I went for the new version of my outgoing shoes, replacing my Saucony Omni 8s with the creatively-named Omni 9s. 

The only difference I can see is that whilst the 8s inexplicably had glitter in the side panels, the 9s are slightly less, er, sparkly. I also learnt that my running shop of choice (Snowlines/Footworks Edinburgh) will take your old running shoes and send them off to sports projects in developing countries, as long as they're still good for a minimum of 100 miles. Since my 8s have done 550, I reckon they're still usable for another 100-150 miles, and I'll be happy to see them sent somewhere useful - much better than gathering dust at the back of a cupboard.

Omni 8s, below, and the shiny (but not sparkly) new Omni 9s, above
Second, I've had a great mileage week. I'm completely back on track in terms of my planned mileage, logging 33.4 in the past seven days, christening my new shoes pretty thoroughly. I recorded these in 6 outings (2, 3.1, 3.5, 5, 7.2 and 12.6 miles), rather than my targeted 5, which isn't ideal, but the total is all good.

Third, my weekend runs have been superb. Yesterday's parkrun was my fastest ever and first sub-20 minute 5k, recording 19:51.6 on my watch for an official time of 19:53. I crossed the line with a little bit too much self-congratulation, cheering myself in a rather over-the-top fist-pumping display. Particularly awkward as I went to parkrun on my own and didn't actually know anybody else there... But regardless of my various embarrassing behaviours the conclusion is the same; I've reached my goal and run 5k in under 20 minutes. Like all sufferers of wandering-goal syndrome, this means I now have a new goal of sub-19:30. Where will this end!? Olympic gold, probably.

My long run this morning was great too - 12.6 miles around Edinburgh taking in Arthur's Seat, which accounted for most of the 968 feet of climbing (and descent). I went out intending to take it very easy, probably around 9 minutes/mile, but ended up feeling fantastic and on a mission. By the time I got home I had averaged 8:02, including one mile at a rather brisk 7:31. This is great news for the Alloa Half Marathon, one month today, which I had previously thought would be quite a slow one. With this massive hill training at a good clip in the bag, I might get closer to my 1:37:03 PB than I thought...

Last, some other exciting things are happening (more detail to follow), which if they come through will make my race calendar much more exciting. Stay tuned.

Happy running.


2011 to date - miles: 169.86, parkruns: 3, races: 0 

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