Running in the rain

Fetch Everyone has a Poll up at the moment asking runners whether they like running in the rain or not, or go out even if they hate it. Personally, I quite like running in the rain. It’s much quieter for a start: Far fewer dog walkers or ambling couples taking up the entire path. It’s also a nice feeling, and the atmosphere, sounds and smells are very different: The smell after a heavy rainfall is particularly nice.

Only thing I struggle with is my glasses. They obviously get covered in water, and sometimes steam up. Plus I’ve only got a ‘shower-proof’ running top, which doesn’t really cut it in the heavier downpours. Waterproof ones (at least from wiggle seem, frankly, extremely expensive). Contact lenses are a possibility I suppose, although I do frequently get sweat in my eyes, and that’d be quite expensive too given I’d need a new prescription. I fear I’d look silly in a baseball cap.

Three running routes in the Norfolk Broads

Earlier this month Frances and I spent a week on the Norfolk Broads, in a cruiser with a maximum speed of 4mph. It was great fun, and a great way to unwind.

Unfortunately, being confined to a boat in the broads wasn’t the best plan in terms of picking up my half-marathon training. We found getting moorings a lot more tricky than we’d hoped, and of course some moorings weren’t in very good places to get to dry land and get a bit of training done. However, I did manage it three times during our break, and each of those runs were very enjoyable. So I thought, with my new-found Google Maps plugin I’d pop the details up for others to perhaps use – especially as the holiday season is kicking off.

Worth pointing out that some of the routes were a little narrow, and with high grass/hedges I was very thankful to have my high-vis running vest on so that cars saw me well in advance. So worth picking one up if you don’t have one!

Barton Broad to Irstead

The first run was quite by chance – we were moored up at the north end of Barton Broad on a public mooring that didn’t seem to have any route to land. After a bit of a wander the night before, I found a path that led around private moorings and in to Barton Turf itself.

Direct link to Google Map, and the KML file.


View Larger Map

The route itself is a simple ‘out and back’ – from Barton Turf, along a road running parallel to the west side of Barton Broad, to Neatishead, then heading out to Irstead (where there are some gorgeous thatched houses along the side of the river). I didn’t quite get to Irstead, but it’s not that much further.

It’s all reasonably flat – just a few gentle inclines. Nothing too arduous. About 8km out and back, probably safely over 10k if you go as far as Irstead, or add a loop around Barton Turf in on things.

Stokesby to Filby Broad

Direct link to GoogleMaps, and the KML


View Larger Map

OK, so all my routes are ‘out and backs’. It’s a little hard to do much more in the Norfolk Broads national park when you have a boat to get back to and an unfamiliar route to follow.

Rather than take a map around with me, the tactic I took was simply to memorise a simple route, ie. in this case, get out of Stokesby, take the first left, and keep going! I knew roughly the distance I wanted to go and, of course, kept reminding myself I had to get back as well! No use running yourself to exhaustion only to find yourself only half way!

We’d been very fortunate with the free mooring in Stokesby – A bit of quick and handy manoeuvring on our part meant we grabbed a space as it came available. Another boat behind us, taking the slot next to us seemed barely competent about mooring (We were asked to help rather abruptly, and literally heaved it the last 12 feet or so to the moorings! Not sure how they were expecting to cope in more complex mooring cases!!).

But back to the running – I’d hoped to get to Filby Broad, but when I reached Filby I’d forgotten which way the bridge was, so turned around before seeing it. Felt a bit of an anti-climax in that regard, but it was a lovely run. Lots of open fields, and some guesswork required to work out what was being harvested for/by Coleman’s – Turned out it was mint (I guessed as much, but only got a real whiff when the trailer went past me!).

Out and back it was 10.28km. I’d thought about perhaps coming back via another road, but I couldn’t be absolutely certain, so just doubled back. Some slight inclines along the way, but really nothing too arduous. This is the Norfolk Broads after all!

Salhouse to Ranworth Broad

Salhouse Broad is a very popular place to moor, and there’s a superb pub (The Fur and Feather Inn) not that far away from the broad. We’d been to the pub the night before (and couldn’t resist going again when on Salhouse Broad!) after walking down from the free mooring in Horning across the river from the Ferry Inn. I think if folk knew it was only a 20 minute walk to this pub, with it’s eight *superb* beers, there would have been a few more people on our side of the river!

Here’s a direct link to Google Maps and the KML.


View Larger Map

I really liked this run. A bit longer than the others (11.39km), but along lovely lanes and the scenic village of Woodbastwick, right through to the lovely Ranworth broad (Which we’d stopped in for lunch the day before!). A few tight corners (again the high-visibility vest was useful!), but on the whole a quieter run than the previous run from Stokesby.

The weather the day I ran wasn’t so good – it was drizzling and felt rather muggy, but it was still enjoyable. Certainly felt quite tired at the halfway point when I looped around the church in Ranworth.

First 10 mile run!

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself today. It all started yesterday when I picked up some new trainers. My old pair were really starting to look rather worn. I knew I was safely over the 400 mile point when it’s generally recommended to get new trainers, but holidays and general busy-ness just meant I couldn’t get myself out to sweatshop. But go I did, and I have a new pair of trainers. Marvellous they felt too that I couldn’t resist going for a short run yesterday.

This morning however I wanted to go a bit further as the half marathon approaches. I’ve been building up the distance for a while now, so was feeling good enough to see about going for a couple of kilometres more than I’d previously managed. I’d investigated a couple of route possibilities yesterday, but in the end opted to join a couple of long routes together that I’d previously run, and managed to run 16.1km (10.01miles) in 1:32:21. Funnily enough I hadn’t aimed to break the 10m distance at all – I’d been aiming for 15km, and felt good enough to do a little bit more.

By the magic of some new behind-the-scenes google link technology I’m hoping you’ll see the route of my run, in all it’s glory, below. If not, and you’re curious, you can click here for a new window:


View Larger Map

The start is a bit further down from our house: My Garmin is taking it’s precious time to find the satellites in the morning. But the first section of the route follows our road down to the Maxwell park, which I loop, then follow one of the nice long roads along the side of the railway. It’s then a cut across Pollokshields road and around Queens Park. I stuck to the outside as the hill on the southern tip is a bit easier outside of the park. The 4km mark is pretty much the highest point in the park.

I then headed over to Nithsdale road, which I recently ‘discovered’ as a great way of linking Maxwell Park to Bellahouston park. It’s long and straight, and there are only a couple of pedestrian crossings along the way. Into Bellahouston park for a small loop. I had been tempted to go all the way around, but by this point was thinking I’d be better making decisions like that after I’d reached Pollok Park and all it’s route options, just incase I started feeling it was getting a bit tough. At the exit of Bellahouston park I’m safely at 10km.

So in to Pollok park, and around what I call the ‘outer loop’ – Past Pollok House and the river, past the Cricket club, then doubling back down towards Pollok House. If I’d been feeling the strain a bit, I could have cut things a bit shorter and headed back home past the Burrell collection, but I was feeling good and the weather was super, so I carried on through the tree-lined paths. Only difficult bit was around the 14.5km mark, where the road gets rather steep. Normally I run down this path, and it was hard work going up the path at the end of such a long run. But managed it ok, to bring my run to an end at just over 16km, with another 5-10 minutes of cooling down, followed by plenty of stretching. So a bit tired and a little sore. With the rain, my tops got rather wet. Suffice to say I’m sore in unusual places!

All in all, I’m feeling *very* positive about my efforts. It’s a great distance to have under my belt, and I felt extremely good about myself all the way around, managing an average pace of 9:19/mile (5:47/km) was better than I’d expected too. fetch translates the run into a half-marathon time of 2:04:06. So with a few more miles to add to that distance, I’m feeling very confident about my half marathon estimations.

On the half-marathon front I’ve scarily already raised well over my target of £500! Not sure if I’m going to revise the target higher, or leave it as it is and see where it gets to (details are here, and in the right hand sidebar if you would like to sponsor me!). But it’s smashing stuff, and the notes and comments received from everybody have no doubt at all been, and will continue to be, a massive help in keeping me going in my training!

First 10 mile run!

I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself today. It all started yesterday when I picked up some new trainers. My old pair were really starting to look rather worn. I knew I was safely over the 400 mile point when it’s generally recommended to get new trainers, but holidays and general busy-ness just meant I couldn’t get myself out to sweatshop. But go I did, and I have a new pair of trainers. Marvellous they felt too that I couldn’t resist going for a short run yesterday.

This morning however I wanted to go a bit further as the half marathon approaches. I’ve been building up the distance for a while now, so was feeling good enough to see about going for a couple of kilometres more than I’d previously managed. I’d investigated a couple of route possibilities yesterday, but in the end opted to join a couple of long routes together that I’d previously run, and managed to run 16.1km (10.01miles) in 1:32:21. Funnily enough I hadn’t aimed to break the 10m distance at all – I’d been aiming for 15km, and felt good enough to do a little bit more.

By the magic of some new behind-the-scenes google link technology I’m hoping you’ll see the route of my run, in all it’s glory, below. If not, and you’re curious, you can click here for a new window:


View Larger Map

The start is a bit further down from our house: My Garmin is taking it’s precious time to find the satellites in the morning. But the first section of the route follows our road down to the Maxwell park, which I loop, then follow one of the nice long roads along the side of the railway. It’s then a cut across Pollokshields road and around Queens Park. I stuck to the outside as the hill on the southern tip is a bit easier outside of the park. The 4km mark is pretty much the highest point in the park.

I then headed over to Nithsdale road, which I recently ‘discovered’ as a great way of linking Maxwell Park to Bellahouston park. It’s long and straight, and there are only a couple of pedestrian crossings along the way. Into Bellahouston park for a small loop. I had been tempted to go all the way around, but by this point was thinking I’d be better making decisions like that after I’d reached Pollok Park and all it’s route options, just incase I started feeling it was getting a bit tough. At the exit of Bellahouston park I’m safely at 10km.

So in to Pollok park, and around what I call the ‘outer loop’ – Past Pollok House and the river, past the Cricket club, then doubling back down towards Pollok House. If I’d been feeling the strain a bit, I could have cut things a bit shorter and headed back home past the Burrell collection, but I was feeling good and the weather was super, so I carried on through the tree-lined paths. Only difficult bit was around the 14.5km mark, where the road gets rather steep. Normally I run down this path, and it was hard work going up the path at the end of such a long run. But managed it ok, to bring my run to an end at just over 16km, with another 5-10 minutes of cooling down, followed by plenty of stretching. So a bit tired and a little sore. With the rain, my tops got rather wet. Suffice to say I’m sore in unusual places!

All in all, I’m feeling *very* positive about my efforts. It’s a great distance to have under my belt, and I felt extremely good about myself all the way around, managing an average pace of 9:19/mile (5:47/km) was better than I’d expected too. fetch translates the run into a half-marathon time of 2:04:06. So with a few more miles to add to that distance, I’m feeling very confident about my half marathon estimations.

On the half-marathon front I’ve scarily already raised well over my target of £500! Not sure if I’m going to revise the target higher, or leave it as it is and see where it gets to (details are here, and in the right hand sidebar if you would like to sponsor me!). But it’s smashing stuff, and the notes and comments received from everybody have no doubt at all been, and will continue to be, a massive help in keeping me going in my training!