Run 113 – SRC Victoria Intervals and Core

Date: Tuesday 29th July 6:30pm

Distance: 4.82 km

Time: 55:44

Pace: 11:34 min/km

Description: So, despite my legs being fairly strong, my core and upper body strength is non-existent! They say core strength can improve your running, so a session tonight of intervals and core training seemed quite novel. But to be honest, I hated it. I can’t do pushups for shit, and the wheelbarrow race was just as humiliating as a school. Did end up meeting an old uni mate though. “Lady-Diamond” Pah!

Cycle Ride – Offroad at UWE

Date: Wednesday 23rd July 5:00pm

Distance: 15.76 km

Time: 1:43:58

Description: I hate the pedals on my bike. So I got a new pair. Much grippier. But they’re gonna rip my legs to shreds. Anyways, after a ride to Uni, it was a overly sunny late afternoon. There were some woods, trails and hills nearby, so I thought it was about time I got my mountain off the tarmac and onto the terrain its designed for.


First riding over freshly cut grass, across the fields, through the woods, over braches (there goes my shin), speeding down long downhills, and slowly back up and back home. This is what the bike was made for, and I’m sure it’s grateful for its first proper outing. It’s finally got some mud on it. And a bit of blood. Christened!

Running (The Race To Nowehre)

Why are you running?

Are you running from something, or towards something?

Is it from the shadow you try to escape, or do you chase the light that eludes you? From inadequacy, or towards acceptance?

Do you fight to overcome the cramp of rejection and regret?

Do you push in the hope of recognition and reconciliation?

Are you further, or closer than you were?

What have you gained, and what have you lost?

Have you been blinkered? Did the sweat get in your eye?

Do you now run alone, when before, you walked and danced with friends?

Have you finally realised you’re alone on this road as the light is fading? Are you injured? Do you need a shoulder?

Can we wipe the slate clean? GFY.

The race is over, the marshals have f**ked off home. Time has elapsed. They no longer care. Did they ever? Entrants run at their own risk.

You’re just another number.

Where are my emergency contact details now?

How do I find my way back?

Have I come too far?

Am I lost? I have so many, many questions.

Or am I found?

Can I still keep running?

What if I take out my earphones and listen to the crowd. Embrace the support and run closer to the edge.

Reach out your hand and tell me what you’ve found:

  •     Obsession. Ability. Camaraderie. Competition.
  •    Loneliness. Solitude.
  •    Losses. Gains.
  •    Pain. Disappointment. Ecstasy.
  •    Fire. Drive.
  •    Something worth living for.

The Edge.

 Matt Larmour, 14th July 2014.

Run 112 – SRC Nightingale Nightmare Route

Date: Thursday 10th July 6:30pm

Distance: (2.16) +9.77 (+2.11) km

Time: (10:30) +48:58 (+10:57)

Pace: (4:53) +5:01 (+5:11) min/km

Description: The stats in parenthesis (brackets…yes I’m an engineer) address the run out and run back, while the middle data reflect the course route, which is just shy of 10k.

As an engineer, nerd, geek, OC, whatever, I love my data.  I love looking at it on the run from my Garmin 310X (The Forerunner 10  just wasn’t as accurate or have enough information gathering capabilities). Elapsed time, distance and average pace are not enough. Elevation, ascent gain, time of day, heart rate, lap pace (I can set my lap/split distance), sunset time (useful when hiking), favourite GPS locations (useful for finding that camping spot on Cribyn at 11pm),…etc are all great to know.  I can get back home, upload it to Garmin website and look at my splits, routes, pace vs distance etc.  I can see where I’ve been, see the points where I had great pace, and the places where I was bogged down.  I can even import it into excel, and overlay similar runs to see the differences.  I did this to understand the Ashton Court parkrun and see where I could make up time.  I felt like an F1 race engineer at times.  Sometimes I get to a stage in a run or a race and I don’t want to know at the time.  But I like having the data, as a sort of memento of each run.

And it leads in to the question of why I try to keep a log at all.  Why not just go out and run, and let it only exist in the present.  Well, every run I do I see as a small miracle.  That just like my first, I find it incredible that I’m dragging myself outside, breaking into a trot, a sweat and laboured breathing.  This isn’t a granted.  Two years ago I wouldn’t run for a bus.  So every run is precious to me.  EVRY single run makes me stronger, makes me a better person.  Every run is an adventure, a lesson.  Something to use for the future, lest we forget it!  So that’s why it’s very important to me to save it on GPS, and if possible write a bit about it!

As for the run, it was horrible.  Seemed to go on forever through Leigh Woods…and then we pop out on to the Towpath miles from home.  The last run along that path just went on and on with monotony!  But there’s always next time!

Run 111 – Towpath Series #3

Date: Friday 4th July 7:30pm

Distance: 9.85km

Time: 42:49

Pace: 4:21min/km

Description: Two down, two to go! I’ve been pretty apprehensive all week about this. Probably haven’t carbed up as much as I could have done. But Thursday evening I was reading an article that said that I need 500g of carbs for one or two days before. And that I don’t need to eat MORE, just make sure that I’m eating 90% carbs, and less of the other stuff. Seems doable, as energy seems to be my limiting factor. And I decide to revert from wholegrain back to plain pasta again. Yes wholemeal may be better, but I just don’t end up eating anywhere nearly as much of it as plain. So I figure that plain is what works best for me, and I should carry on. Also interesting to note that three handfuls of pasta gives me much more carbs than a bag of rice. Noted.

I eat well the day before, and manage pasta and sweet potato that afternoon with plenty of time to digest. A little lacking in sleep maybe, but a coffee beforehand perks me up and I’m actually feeling pretty relaxed on the bus. I make it in plenty of time, so I can relax on the warm up run to Greville Smyth and limber up. Feeling good about this. Weather is cool. May see a bit of drizzle later. Good breeze. Perfect.

Nice chat with people as we wait to start. My competition isn’t here yet again thank God. I can concentrate on running this race how I want. I try to get nearer the front, and I’m keen to get off ahead quicker than I did last time, but already people seem miles in front. I’m pleased to keep sub 4:20 pace for the first few km. The race thins out, but I pace behind one SRC runner for a while who has similar pace, and then decide I can push harder. Once past it seems an age to catch up to the next person. The other people are coming back the other way. I reach halfway and the guy says 22:29. That would put me on 45mins. What?! I look at my pace and it’s 4:25. What?! Come on! I’m really pushing here. I get past the guy in front, carried by the downhill momentum. But it seems to take FOREVER to cut the gap to the next group in front. I’m too tired to talk to people much. I feel that I’m stuck in one gear, which isn’t fast enough. Even when I’m only a few meters behind the group, I find it so hard to speed up. In hindsight, perhaps easing off and then catching up may have varied it more. But gaining pace up and down and small incline, I cruise past another SRC runner who says I have better pace. We’ll see at the end I say.

I just can’t seem to gain much, even going up the bridge. Running across the bridge, I know I’m running out of time, and that I should be overtaking people. I will myself closer to the person in front and the increased speed in doing that allows me to overtake several people on the rollercoaster before the field. I catch up to another woman, who kindly encourages me on faster. Amazing.

The SRC crowd is a lot quieter today, and it makes it even harder. There’s a Westbury guy in front. Part of me thinks that it’s pointless trying to catch him. But I keep pushing and edge past him, convinced he’s gonna get me back just like the old Westbury chap from last time. But I see the time, 42:40 and that gives me the impetus at the end I need to push, I wanna be sub43!

I make it! And I don’t feel I need to puke next to a tree. I obviously held back. I’m not gasping as much, and my legs don’t feel as broken as they did in the first race. Maybe I could have pulled 30 more out of that and be where I really want to be. A mixture, happy to have a PB and have momentum again. That 43:20 wasn’t just a fluke! But it’s only 30secs faster, and I need another 30sec before I’m in free air. Sub40 seems more than one race away that’s for sure. Can I do 42:20 in a months time? And If I’d known how close I was, maybe I’d have found that 30seconds in this race. It was perfect conditions! Maybe it will be scorching next time. But I did find it harder with less people to pace and overtake. I was stuck in too slow a gear. But a good pace early on. Need to be faster, stronger physically and mentally.

Run 110 – SRC Victoria Park Intervals

Date: Tuesday 1st July 6:30pm

Distance: 10.63km

Time: 58:38

Pace: 5:31min/km

Description: Last run before Towpath #3 and thank heavens for another Chris interval session. What a corker. Some small hills involved. But again a great group. Feeling shattered, but then on one of the final runs, I just seem to find a load of energy from somewhere as I start to power past people, not just on the flat, but up the hill. I give it everything, grit my teeth, I probably look like a charging madman. I don’t know whether this is anger management, or if this is what adrenaline does to you. But if I can find and use this on Friday it will be a good thing! Bring it on!