Tag Archives: Towpath

Run 114 – SRC Towpth + Bike Ride

Date: Tuesday 5th August 6:30pm

Distance: (9.21) +9.65 km

Time: (34:01) +49:07

Pace: (3:47) +5:05 min/km

Description: Rode down to the club just in the nick of time. I manage to convince Dave to do a Towpath group. There’s a pause and a stretch halfway through. Again, my pace isn’t fantastic. This cross training of riding down and running is a tough business. Getting there is downhill, but traffic is stressful. So I find the run harder, and I have to remember that I have to make it back up the hills to get back home another 10km away.


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 103 – Towpath Series #2

Date: Friday 13th June 7:30pm

Distance: 10:00km

Time: 45:27

Pace: 4:33min/km

Description: So, it’s absolutely boiling. I haven’t carbed up. And I’m running a trail marathon up the highest mountain in England in two days time. But I want that time!

Today is an interesting lesson in negative psychology, as well as heat. Having pulled such a surprising PB out of the bag a month ago, I struggle to see how I can top that. I’m almost scared to try. My close finish last Monday makes me even more despondent, and I’m worried about who may be here. Today is looking like certain failure.

But I try my best, and have to grab some water on the way round. 45:27 is slower than I wanted, I would have been more comfortable with a 44:30. Being sprint finished by an old guy from Westbury Harriers didn’t feel too great either. Maybe that’s for Monday?

But let’s focus on the weekend in The Lakes…



Run 99 – Ashton Court, Towpath, Nightingale

Date: Sunday 1st June 5:15pm

Distance: (3.23+) 5.00km (+20.62)

Time: (17:39+) 28:15 (+2:40:07)

Pace: (5:28+) 5:38min/km (+7:46)

Description: What a slog! This was not fun at all. Warm up was quicker, Ashton Court was slower, due in part to the bag. And then the Towpath. First an ascent up Nightingale and back down. I mamage to pace a couple of runners for a bit along the Towpath, but then it starts getting tough. I need to break this now jog into 2.5k sections by walking. I force myself to go on to Pill as I want to break 30k. But coming back was a really tedious. I convince myself to do the second Nightingale ascent. It’s stupidly humid. And I have to push until th end in oder to catch my bus! I just make it, but I’m exhausted and fed up! Not looking forward to Scafell!








Run 94 – Towpath Series #1

Date: Friday 16th May 19:30pm

Distance: 10.0km

Time: 43:26

Pace: 4:24min/km

Description: Round 2.  And what a lovely evening.  Running club group photo beforehand. I’ve left the office and come straight here, and I’ll need to go back after.  But I boss this! Even without much carbing up, hydration and no gels.  I was arguably faster last weekend if you trust the GPS (9.85km for this course).  It’s over a minute closer to my Towpath target.

So the race? Pretty bloody good.  I love the Towpath series, and this is why.  I seem to be able to take it steady at the start, you don’t have much choice as things are pretty congested.  It’s a nice route along the river bank under the trees and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. But you get to the halfway point and you’ve been just a touch slower than target pace, which should be good for a negative split.  You’ve been inching up the pace from about 3.5/4k, but you turn and now it’s time to go up another gear.

You now have people running in both directions, so if you’re gonna overtake, it’s got to be opportunistic and quick to avoid a pile up.  Right…space, sprint, in front, ease off, close gap to next person, pace, pace, sprint, overtake, in front…and so on…and so on.  NO ONE is overtaking me, and I’m knocking these people down one by one.  Maybe that’s because I started behind my target pace, but this feels bloody great.  I won’t lie, I still have to ignore the voice that is shouting “give up, ease off” in my head.  All I want to do is stop, curl up in to a little ball on the side of the road and hug a cup of tea.  But if I can just catch up the the next person in front…

I’m so tired, GPS is showing slower pace than last weekend, but if I keep up with this person in front.  And after a short while I’ve had enough and ease out in front.  The worst bits are the long gaps, psychologically it’s so much easier to be pacing just behind someone and then power past.  But I’m on the bridge now and if I can negotiate this up and down bit without falling flat on my face I’ll be there soon.  Bystanders and runners are encouraging me on.  I get to the edge of the park, and all I want to do is run the shortest route to the finish, but around the edge of the park we weave.  It’s this point I dread the most.  I’m exhausted, but the fear of being overtaken by a sprint finisher and a fellow running club runner keeps me pushing until I’m over the line.  I can hear the shouts of “come on Southville” from here.  How far behind me is he? Come on, push. PUSH mother**ker PUSH!!!

I’m through! I’m logged.  My GPS says…says 43!  Holy mother! 43!…43:26! Ha HAA!!  I’m up against a tree trying not to throw up. GASPING for air.  I feel like an asthmatic about to have a heart attack. But 43:26! Oh YEAH!  43:26!  Two weeks ago I hadn’t broken sub47.  Now I’m nearly 4 minutes faster!  4 minutes CLOSER!

But I think the best bit about the whole evening, after getting a couple of cups of water and my breath back, is walking back to the large mob of green garbbed Southville runners screaming “come on Southville”.  The adrenaline is still pumping, and you’re screaming ” go on, get him, GET HIM” at the girl sprint finishing past another runner.


I bloody love this!

After a brief gathering in the pub afterwards, it’s back to the office to finish the job.  Like a boss!


Towpath Route


Looking forward to a less pressured Cheddar Gorge 10k on Sunday…

Run 87 – Park Street, Greville, Towpath 10k Practice

Date: Thurs 17th April 2014 17:44

Distance: (3.35+) 10km

Time: (17:42+) 47:28

Pace: (5:17+) 4:45min/km

Description: First run with new Camelbak Volt. Stable. Run up Park Street wasn’t recorded. Stopped by Bike UK shop and found an old friend working there. Recorded run started from there, down Park Street, past Arnoldfini, across both rivers and along to Greville Smyth park. Bit of another stretch, before starting the 10k Towpath practice run. Didn’t feel as fast, and light on foot and as energetic as I’d hoped. Perhaps it was the bag, although I hardly noticed it. First half I was happy to go heel and toe, but return leg I tried a better style. Think this was again of being low on energy, or being weighted down. After finishing, my legs weren’t burning, but I did feel tired. Still, I did match my last Towpath time, this time with a bag, so this has to be seen as a small improvement. REALLY need to work on some speed runs! At this rate I’ll be lucky to break sub45, let alone 42:30!

Run 87a – Park Street to Greville

Run 87a

Run 87b – Towpath 10k Practice with Bag

Run 87b