Wow, winter is really biting.
I went out for a 5km run on Friday night (yes, yes, I know, what a great way to spend a Friday night) and took two new things with me. The first was a rather natty florescent yellow long sleeved shirt, with some sort of weird fleecy liner (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005TZT55C/ref=ox_ya_os_product) to try and keep me warm. It sort of worked – I was still cold for the first 2km but then warmed up a fair bit and in the end had my sleeves pushed up as I was getting a bit hot.
I also took my new GPS watch – the Garmin Forerunner 110 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Garmin-Forerunner-Enabled-Unisex-Sports/dp/B003EG83LK/ref=sr_1_1?s=sports&ie=UTF8&qid=1327923607&sr=1-1). The idea behind this new product was that it displays the distance run, time and pace. You see, holding a steady, constant pace has been a bit of a problem for me, as I tend to run pretty fast and then walk for a bit, which is hardly ideal if I am going to try and do a whole marathon. Thus, by using this I can have a quick look down at my watch and see if I am going too fast/slow and then adjust.
I have to say, it worked a treat. I started off far too fast (probably due to the cold) and forced myself to slow down. I then got caught up in a load of people going down Upper St in Angel, which impacted my time, and then I knew to speed up at the end to still come in at a decent pace. Not only that, but when plugged into the computer it pulls up a map of where I went, average speed, distance, and time per km, so afterwards I can see where I slowed down, and try and figure out why.
However, a sterner test was to come on Saturday afternoon. It was a bit warmer and after the 1/3 marathon on Wednesday evening in the gym, I decided to go for the same distance in the real world to see if a) I could do it and b) how much slower I am.
It was much warmer than Friday night, so I ditched the long sleeves and just went of the bright yellow t-shirt. I also selected a route that included a couple of hills, something that you can’t do on the treadmill. In fact, I did this route:
Well, roughly. I got a little bit lost in Shoreditch, and the GPS said I did 14.14km, which I suspect is more accurate. I managed this in 1 hour, twenty minutes, marginally slower than the 1 hour 18 it took me to do 14.2km a few days before. However, Saturday’s run included hills, as well as having to stop at traffic lights a few times, which obviously impacted on my speed. I am pretty pleased to have done the distance, especially with the Windsor half marathon now less than three weeks away, although there is still plenty of work to do. So, tonight I am going for a 10km run after having yesterday as a rest day, although given how blooming cold it is outside (cold in Jan? Who would have guessed it!) I will be back on the treadmill, annoying the staff at the gym who only want people to do 25 minutes at a time. What is the use of that?
Remember, I am doing this to raise money for the Willow Foundation, as well as getting less fat. You can sponsor me at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/runningfatbloke and to all the people who have already done, so, thank you, it is very much appreciated and is spurring me on to train, even in the cold!