Sunday, 7 June 2015

Juneathon day 07/30 - Week one completed

Back home after my week of driving around England catching up with friends and relatives. I've had a lovely week, it feels like it's lasted a lot longer than a week too. But like many good things, it has to come to an end. And that means arriving home and running in some more familiar surroundings.

My birthday present to me was hiring this 5.0 litre V8 beast for a week to tour the country #zoom!

So today's run was my normal 5k loop from home. I warmed up with the first kilometre in 5:59, and then decided to try for a royal flush (Marathon Talk terminology for when each kilometre or mile is faster than the one before).

I'd last attempted a royal flush at Gadebridge parkrun in Hemel Hempstead - it was a hilly two-lap course and I left myself with the 4th and mainly uphill kilometre as a real challenge, needing to as it was to be faster than the previous three. I just about managed it there, and I just about managed it today too, despite running my third kilometre in 5:02 (bit faster than intended).

Today's royal flush with gradually increasing pace (green line)

Splits were 5:59, 5:15, 5:02, 4:50, and a lung-busting 4:48 during which I had to walk twice due to stitch and then flat out sprint the final 50m to try and get under 4:50 (walking and finishing sprint quite clear from the pacing line above!).

My Juneathon totals: 7 runs for 45.22km in 4:50:44

The first week is done! I've run a little over a marathon distance at a relatively easy average pace. I'm not out to break records in speed or distance, this is about consistency. I briefly toyed with the idea of running 1km on day 1, 2km on day 2, up to 30km on day 30 - but I think I'll save that challenge for another month.

I wrote a few days ago about starting to feel the effects of running every day through achy legs, but the last two days have been most enjoyable. No aches or pains, relatively quick to warm up, and very enjoyable runs. Running every day seems to be working well for me. Let's see if I'm still saying that on day 30... Now I'm back home and back to work I expect running every day will take a little more planning.

I feel bad for glossing over Fountains Abbey parkrun so quickly yesterday, in all the 123 different parkrun courses I've completed it really is one of the most beautiful. So here's a bit more about it.

Google maps satellite view of Fountains Abbey, together with the parkrun route

The run is round the grounds of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal water garden which is in a valley created by what was one day a much larger River Skell than the one we see today.

The grounds are immaculately maintained by the National Trust, the grassland is perfect, and the water garden is beautiful. It's also the only parkrun I've ever been to that has a bridge over water with no handrail - I wonder if anyone has ever fallen in?

The Bridge - single file only! (taken from this photo in their parkrun flickr pool)

The facilities are excellent with a huge café/restaurant serving a wide variety of food and drinks, including fully cooked breakfasts. The cafés at National Trust locations are always excellent, I'm reminded of the brand new building at Lanhydrock Park - what a treat that was!

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