I was up too late last night. Mary woke me before 8am with a cup of tea which was a mixed blessing. I knew if I turned over and had that extra snooze I'd be running on my own, so preferring company I got up and we were parking at North Berwick before 10.30.
We ran the roads to Gullane where we had a Falko's coffee and a coop pastry. Then onto Aberlady and down to the beach. The wind was now behind us and the rest of the day was a delightful run back to North Berwick. Mary has a yoga injury: she was bitten on the back of the knee by a downward facing dog. Despite this she kept up a brisk pace. The bright weather was unexpected (the forecast had promised overcast and grey) and although there was a stiff wind whipping up the waves, it seemed to be smoothing out the sand. The people we passed were dressed for Autumn: the rose hips and berries were certainly out and the wind chill suggested the end of summer.
big yellow we saw on Wednesday?
other caterpillar tracks
How to get sand in your hair.
However it was a really lovely 16 miles and we ended up back at Ben and Alison's for cups of tea feeling buoyant and full of the joys. Ben invited me on his long run tomorrow morning shortly after dawn. As there are no trains at this hour that would have meant returning there tonight or cycling as the sun rose tomorrow. I did the sensible thing and decided to get that overdue long lie. The weather tomorrow is not going to be as good as today and if I keep this pace up I will fall to bits very soon. Maybe recharge more than just the camera batteries.
aren’t long runs, they’re not speed work, they’re not tempo
training, they’re just a few miles that you may throw into your
week somewhere in order to hit a mileage goal.”
I came to run . com
Earlier in the week I noticed I was
clocking up the miles. A relaxed working week gave me the opportunity
to run another couple of medium days and bring the weekly total up to
80 miles from last Saturday until tonight, Friday.
All I had to do was 10 on Thursday and
9 tonight. I had snuck the meadows speed session in on Tuesday
between a couple of scenic longer runs so was really just out chasing
the bragging rights to an 80 mile week. It's a while since I have
done one and I am not following a particular schedule.
This loosely comes under the derogatory
term junk miles. Non training specific miles run for their own sake.
Quantity over quality. While I was contemplating this I was also
thinking that most of the people finishing up the front of races are
the ones putting in the most miles. However if you are prone to
injury from overtraining then should you be considering quality over
quantity – specific speed work and tempo runs over high volume.
Both methods hold true. This from
“For example, in the late 1970s
and early 1980s Alberto Salazar leveraged a very high-mileage
training program (routinely exceeding 150 miles per week) to win the
New York City Marathon three times and the Boston Marathon once.
Then, in the mid-1980s, Steve Jones of Wales used a comparatively
low-mileage (80 miles per week), high-intensity program to set a new
marathon world record.”
“Comparatively” being a comparative
term. I felt tired from Tuesday onwards and had I a full working week
I would have done very few miles from then till now. My legs felt ok
probably due to the Hoka shoes I do most of my miles in, but I have
been feeling really hungry most of the day and like I could switch
the alarm clock off and do another 2hrs sleep in the mornings.
Thursday and I spent most of the day
dreading the 10 miles. No scenery and no pals, the least taxing route
in the 6 o'clock drizzle was the Queens Drive round the Seat. It's an old
old friend and I hoped one that I could run without noticing. Put on the mp3 player and
just float round. The first 4 miles were awful. There's a lot of up
hill and by mile 5 I was nearly 2 minutes down on the 7 minute miling
average. Not that I was chasing a time. Only last time I did this
route I did 67 minutes. The downhill nature of the second half
encourages a negative split and suddenly you're clocking 6.30 miles
and rescuing what was fast becoming slow.
Out the Innocent Railway then back for
a full loop and sure enough all the descents got me home in 68
minutes. Not without incident though. I had recently been wondering
about libraries. Will they soon be as redundant as newspapers since you
can get a second hand book for next to nothing, in online retailers,
download hundreds of free Kindle titles and buy the rest very
cheaply. Who, with a computer, still uses a library? Then I saw
someone post about free ebooks and audiobooks through a library
lending system. I checked and sure enough. Got in touch with my
library (they were surprised to hear from me after so many years) and
registered for online lending. There are a couple of downsides –
limited number of titles, and compatibility issues, but if you are
not that fussy, it's the future of libraries. I am particularly
interested in free audiobooks which are otherwise expensive and which
can make a long day doing tedious paintwork fly by.
I downloaded a couple of titles and at
the time was wrestling with a problem: that the media player interface
of the audiobook system wanted to put the files alongside the music
files on my mp3 player and not in the specific audiobook folder. So I
am running round Holyrood with the player on shuffle and Aiden Gillen
starts narrating Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. It is in seven files and this
is not even the first (which I might have considered, though not
ideal), so I stop, unlock the mp3 and skip onto the next (music)
track. Three tracks later and we're back to the Irish lilt of Aiden
Also here's a thing. When I am bouncing
along at full tilt there is a tendency for the earbuds to fall out. I
have tried a number of different headphone / earphone devices and
none are 100%. I got some tokens for Sweatshop and was wandering
around there without an idea of how to spend them. (I still have half
of them unspent. I will end up with socks and gels.) £30 for a pair
of Yurbuds – Performance Fit Earphones. Won't fall out –
Guaranteed. Given you can get a whole mp3 player for round about this
price I would be reluctant if I was spending my own money. They come
in several sizes – a pair of rubber galoshes that fit over an otherwise basic earphone and screw into your lughole. The galoshes
come in a variety of sizes and I tried several in the shop each time
less certain if that was the right size. It is their very rubberiness
that holds them in place while you bounce along the road. Until I
start sweating heavily or it is raining. Then they plop out every 15
seconds. The box says sweat and water resistant. I will be writing an
email shortly. Maybe I have the wrong size? Maybe I have the wrong
So I tuck the errant music makers into
my shorts and never know whether Aiden Gillen took up his narration
Friday and all I have to do is pay a
bill, sort a couple of chores out at my mum's house then it's 9 easy
peasy miles to hit 80. I try to avoid the computer and facebook and
the tendency when tired to waste the day reading blogs and watching
important videos of animals on trampolines. I nearly manage, then get my shoes on
and I feel better than yesterday – I can see the end of the week
and promise myself a beer if I can just do this. The best policy is
distraction. I am going to run 2 miles to Inverleith Park. Following
the perimeter (anticlockwise) on 3 sides then on the fourth carrying on through the
lane after the pond and back to the start up the hill makes 1.2
miles. Four times, each one faster and then a bit extra and home and
we're done. First lap 8.05. Second I nearly forgot to get faster and
recorded 8.01. Third one I paid more attention and took 30 seconds
off that. Last one may well have been a course pb of 6.57.
My only regret was not taking the
camera. It was overcast and threatening rain. However at the side of
the pond over on the grass was a huddle of ducks with beaks under
wings all in a row. They looked snug and warm and I wanted to lie
down there with them. They didn't stir as I ran past – I slowed
first 2 laps but they seemed to be sleeping and I wondered if they
would mind if I stopped and stroked them. Some of their chums with
beady eyes open over at the side of the pond might let on. Or I might
just upset their cosy Friday evening. I resisted. It wasn't easy.
Timing the laps as distraction worked and in no time I
was finished and gasping for breath. Home, dinner and that beer. 80
Tomorrow and it all starts again.
photo borrowed from a library
Angry jogger.com Who
gets the final say on what constitutes a junk mile? Bart
Yasso? Galloway? Mo Farah?
does a junk mile stop being a junk mile? Is it the point where my
trademark scowl becomes my sex
I admit it, I haven't been unduly burdened with work this week. My excuse was I was keeping some space free for running with our American friends. However they were elsewhere today so I caught up with AGH and we tried out a route I had mapped out a while back and hoped to run with Mary at some point. It was about 18 and based around Ben's 20 miler leaving N Berwick and following the JM Way to East Linton then over to Tyninghame (North of the Tyne) and back up the beaches to NB.
However I came across the route-map for the 12.7mile version starting and finishing in Seacliff, which seemed about right as Amanda had done a speed session yesterday. I did the Tuesday night intervals and was a bit distracted by someone chasing me round the first lap, and going past in the second. Which made me race the first 2 (4.13 and 4.12) leaving a lot to do, to make each one faster. I should know better. I half killed myself doing 4.12, 4.09 and 4.10 for the last 3 while the other chap had shot his wad by lap 2 and finished somewhere behind.
You can tell AGH would rather be running than made to stand in front of the green gate to contrast with / compliment her vermilian top
Unintentional Camera Movement but I like it.
Hadn't been this way before so the map was out every 5 mins.
That'll be the "Old Mansion House"
Now this sign is well meaning but very badly presented. It has North pointing upwards which is the norm, however north in real life relative to this sign is in the opposite direction meaning this sign is upside down as you look at it. ie it looks like you have to walk backwards while turning right, when in reality you must walk forwards and wheel left.
Binning Wood: my father is buried here but that is a trip for another day. I was very impressed by the size and layout of the woods. I had noticed a circular hub on google maps and wanted to check it out.
at the centre of the circle
where the paths radiated out
Gormenghast where the Addams family live.
At last we met the coastal paths.
St Baldred's Cradle.
I was expecting Danny MacAskill to bounce his bike across this any second.
The last 3 or 4 miles is across the beaches from Tyninghame to Seacliff.
AGH was feeling the past 2 days in her legs but the scenery is outstanding.
"like contours on a map"
Where victorian vandals went out with masonary chisels and left their tags in a rather pleasing way.