Archive for January, 2006|Monthly archive page

Famous Men and Women of Suffolk No 9 in a Series

In Uncategorized on January 30, 2006 at 8:12 pm

John Lydgate Born 1370 died 1451

Born at Lidgate, Suffolk He entered the Benedictine abbey at Bury St Edmunds when fifteen years old.Lydgate was a prolific poet, his verses seem to have been much in request by noble lords and having been court poet he wrote a ballad for the coronation of Henry VI. Some of his poems include Falls of Princes,Troy Book, Story of Thebes,The Life of Our Lady and The Dance of Death.

However my reason for mentioning him is that John Lydgate was apparently the first poet to refer to one’s chosen love as one’s ‘Valentyne. King Henry V hired John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

“Awake, ye lovers, out of your slombringe,
This glade morowe, in al the haste ye may;
Some observaunce dothe unto this day,
Your choyse ayen of herte to renewe,
In confyrmyng for ever to be trewe

From the Flower of Courtesy

Obviously the history of St Valentines day dates back far further than this and is argued as to how far back in history it goes. However it seems Lydgate is claimed to be the first to mention Valentyne in print.

One of his poems Falls of Princes is apparently nine times longer than Hamlet while his book of Troy is a mere 30,000 lines.

Lydgate was a big follower of Chaucer to whom he sent his manuscripts for review

However when all said and done this is the kind of Suffolk poetry I am more familiar with ….

Mary Anne she’s arter me!
Full o’luv she seems to be
My mither says it’s plain tew see
She wants yer for her young man
Feather says ‘If that be trew
John, my boy be thankful dew
There’s one bigger fool in the world than yew
That’s Ma-a-a-rey Anne !

OR Wellbanks

Rushbrooke Suffolk

In Uncategorized on January 29, 2006 at 7:53 pm

9am 10 miles in 1 hour 20 minutes

Week to date mileage 36

Month to date mileage 146

Average weekly rate 35.2

Average Monthly rate 153

Weather: Cold hard frost clear skies and sunny

Course:- Set out from Bury along Cullum Road and through the water meadows. Past the Haberden where many people were gathering for
a rugby match and out on to Rushbrooke Lane. This was rather slippery this morning and the road was white with frost.

Along this road near Southgate Farm I expect to normally disturb the animal kennels and set the dogs barking but of course it being the winter presumably no boarding animals and all was quite.

The road starts to rise as you reach North Hill Cottage and today I decided to follow the pathway over North Hill Covert. I don’t think I have been over this path since I used to
regularly visit as a boy to earn some money fruit picking. I believe we used to generally pick raspberries on this farm and although it was quite hard work and you would get spiked a lot on the thorns you could also eat as much as you liked. I think we filled plastic buckets which were then emptied at a farmers trailer to be weighed and if you had too much stalk or leaf you were sent back till it was filled properly. When the farmer was satisfied I seem to recall we were given some metal tokens. At the end of the day you queued to exchange these for real money. Looking back these were great times! However now
all this has seemingly been replaced with pigs and what a paradise they live in. Plenty of mud to wallow in lots of straw and the very fashionable outdoor metal hut. These are springing up all over Suffolk and must be a good earner for the farmer.

Home Farm at Rushbrooke is known as a model farm village. The thatched houses are in a beautiful quiet setting.

Returning home over the North Covert height being all of 65 meters above sea level there is now a terrific view of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Something that obviously wasn’t there when I was a boy fruit picking. I was tired running today but I have had a really good month of training so far and I have beaten my highest total mileage in a month already. My best being 145 last year. In February I expect my mileage to slip a bit as I prepare for 2 and may be 3 races if I run the Lakenheath 5 next week.

Lark Valley River Path

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2006 at 4:15 pm

10am 7.5 miles in 1 hour

Week to date mileage 26

Month to date mileage 136

Average weekly rate 33.9

Average Monthly rate 147

Weather: Cold hard frost clear skies and sunny

Course – I set out from County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds and took the Thetford Road near the Tollgate Pub through Fornham St Martin.

I turned left at the first roundabout and went through Fornham St Genevieve before joining the Lark Valley Path. This pathway takes you along the side of the River Lark out to Mildenhall for about 15 miles. I only went as far as Hengrave. I saw a Heron busy hunting fish in the river and noticed that the Ducksluice Farm
looks like it is on the verge of falling down.

There were plenty of people out fishing near Kingsburyhill Woods. I think they looked at me and thought daft beggar what’s he want to go running for in this cold weather and I kind of thought the same as to why you would want to sit in the cold and try to catch fish. I actually like coarse fishing but not in this weather.

Cullum Road/Ramada Hotel and Newmarket Rd

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2006 at 7:52 pm

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41 minutes 56 seconds

Week to Date mileage 18

Month to date mileage 128

Average weekly rate 33.2

Average Monthly rate 144

Weather: Cold some sleet

Hat and gloves and two sweat shirts weather but a lovely evening. I had a good run around a regular circuit I am continuing to use whilst I do most of my week day runs in the dark.
Looking back my times over this course include

13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

So tonights time was my second best.

Bury Pacers Interval Session

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2006 at 8:23 pm

6.30pm 6.6 miles in 52 minutes 33 seconds

Week to Date mileage 12.6

Month to date mileage 122

Average weekly rate 34.4

Average Monthly rate 149

Weather: Cold and dry

The club had planned to run some time trials tonight but the track was icy and as the temperature dropped conditions were only likely to deteriorate. So we ran on the inside of the track on the grass and to be honest there were patches of grass which became hard and icy as the night wore on.

I must admit I still warmed up on the track and ran 5 laps. The interval session tonight consisted of 3 x 4 minutes at race speed with a minute recovery in between followed by 4 x 3 minutes and finally 4 x 2 minutes all with a minute recovery.

I found I could run just on 3 laps in 4 minutes on the inside of the track. It was hard to judge if you were keeping a consistent pace throughout the intervals as invariably you might start from a different side of the track. It was a good session though the icy conditions meant always having to be a little guarded with each step.

I warmed down with four laps on the track.

I have posted a couple more pictures of Adkins Woods at Ickworth Park.

As you can see it was beautiful and muddy.

Vinefields Bury St Edmunds

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2006 at 8:50 pm

6.45pm 6 miles in 49 minutes

Week to Date mileage 6

Month to date mileage 116

Average weekly rate 35.4

Average Monthly rate 154

Weather: Cold and dry

I parked at Hardwick and ran through Town and the old graveyard to the Vinefields. This brought back some memories. For many years I visited my Grandmother who lived at the Vinefields. They are of course named after the vinefields owned by the monastery. I am not sure how they got on with their wine production but they were very successful with their beer. Every Monk was entitled to a daily ration of 8 pints of beer a day. Of course drinking beer was safer than drinking water.

I didn’t think too much of this when I was doing my hill session. Running a hill session was one of the targets I set my self at the start of the year and this in truth was rather an easy one.

The hill was no more than about 35 seconds of climb followed by a circular run around the Vinefield houses on the flat and down hill which takes about 2.30 minutes all told.

I did 10 intervals and timed them after a few when I remembered to do so as follows

Lap 4 2.28, lap 5 2.33, lap 6 2.30, lap 7 2.30, lap 8 2.29, lap 9 2.31 and lap 10 2.30.

This amounts to only 6 minutes of hill climbing but it is a start. I did have a drink when I got home but not as many as the monks of St Edmundsbury were used to.

Adkin’s Wood Ickworth Park Suffolk

In Uncategorized on January 22, 2006 at 7:00 pm

9am 12.2 miles in 1 hour 38 minutes 18 seconds

Week to Date mileage 35

Month to date mileage 110

Average weekly rate 35.1

Average Monthly rate 152

Weather: Cool slight frost

On today’s long run I decided to take a new path in Ickworth Park oe which I haven’t tried before. As you enter Ickworth Park there is a stile on the immediate left into some woods which has some red and blue markers. The ground wasn’t too bad but was sufficiently muddy
and boggy to dissuade and walkers from venturing here. There are one or two stone markers from which I learnt this is known as Adkin’s Wood and was planted in 1800 – 1812.

I have had a quick look but have yet to find out anything about Adkins and who he might be.

There was a lovely view of Ickworth House and this ties in fairly well date wise with the wood as the house was started in 1795 but not completed until the 1830’s by the eccentric Hervey Family.Have a look at the link it includes a virtual reality image of the house. The gardens were apparently designed by Capability Brown though this would mean the gardens came before this house was built as he died in 1783. This is possible though as it is thought there were at least two previous houses to the current rotunda house. Who was Adkins though? Anyone know of him?

The church is the wonderful St Leonards named after a French saint, Leonard of Limoges (the patron saint of prisoners). It dates from the 14th century and must have some Norman connection . However the Norman period of history in England dates from 1066 through to the 13th century and by the time of the building of this church England in the late medieval period was in the grip of black death. It was estimated that between one third and one tenth of the population died between 1348 and 1350. So why was the church named after a French patron saint of prisoners ? After all England was at war with France in a battle known as the Hundred Years War. This war was very costly and resulted in Richard II introducing a poll tax .

Eventually the peasants revolted against their landlords in 1381 and though this anarchy was put down it was remembered for many years . The local Abbot in Bury Richard de Cambridge was murdered. It is interesting to note that the when the peasants Revolt of 1381 was finally put down a national amnesty was declared but Bury St Edmunds was the only town to be excluded because of the scale of trouble and violence. According to a BBC Website it was during this period that English rather than French became the language of daily use. Some how I just cannot see how folks in this country ever spoke French on mass! Just try and compare it to today most people in this country cannot speak another language – I could try and try to speak French but basically I am too lazy and I would never use it. These were certainly changing times when the average person if he wasn’t killed by the black death was starved to death through high taxes. The Church remained extremely powerful in putting down and controlling the peasants. Does the Church of St Leonards have anything to do with the Peasants Revolt? Probably not but running raises lots of questions!

Hyde Wood Circular Run Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

In County Upper School, Hyde Wood, pheasants, pigs, risby, sugar beet on January 21, 2006 at 4:07 pm

10am 7 miles in 54.51

Week to Date mileage 23

Month to date mileage 98

Average weekly rate 32.7

Average Monthly rate 142

Weather: Sunny & cool

A lovely sunny day but still cold enough to require gloves and a hat along with tracksters and a sweatshirt. The route takes me from
County Upper School over to Howard Middle School and I then pick up a footpath which takes me over fields until I reach the Westley Road. This part of the run isn’t great as I run along side the busy B1106 until I turn sharp right on the road to Risby. As soon as you turn though the road is nice and quiet passing the Crematorium on the right and what can only be described as Pig World on the left. Hundreds of pigs were sunbathing and rolling around around in glorious mud. The next landmark is the lovely Hyde Cottage and it is just past here that you turn right again.

You soon reach Hyde Wood which is a
very square shaped wood. Before I reached it I could a lot of shooting going on. This wood is often used for pheasant shooting and today they were out in full force. I saw several pheasants make their escape as the guns blazed and I wondered if I should carry on thinking that it would only take one stray shot and I could say bye bye.However I spotted the shooters and they were some distance into the centre of Hyde Wood.

Eventually you leave the road beside the wood and emerge into a fairly lofty position looking down over miles
of landscape on the Hyde Road. The Sugar Beet factory could be seen in full production steamy smoke rising from its tower.

The Hyde Road leads into Fornham All Saints and from here I run back into town and the County Upper School.

Previous times on this course

19 Nov 54.09
22 Oct 52.44
17 Sep 52.20
16 Jul 53.43
11 Jun 53.25
21 May 54.26
9 Apr 55.31
22 Jan 55.15

So today’s run was rather slow but it was very enjoyable and that what matters.

Colchester Castle Park

In Colchester, kestrals on January 20, 2006 at 6:55 pm

12pm 5 miles in 38.26

Week to Date mileage 16

Month to date mileage 91

Average weekly rate 33.4

Average Monthly rate 145

Weather: mild and windy

A lunch time run around Castle Park Colchester. 2 laps of the outside of the park is approximately 5 miles. I saw two kestrals both at work hovering in the air looking for prey to pounce on. This seemed to upset the seagulls who proceeded to swoop on the kestral. The kestral is the most common bird of prey in the UK.

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds

In Bury St Edmunds, Saint Edmund Pacers, West Suffolk Athletics Track on January 18, 2006 at 9:48 pm

6.30pm 5.6 miles in 45.0 minutes

Week to Date mileage 11

Month to date mileage 86

Average weekly rate 33.4

Average Monthly rate 145

Weather: mild and patchy drizzle

Tonights track session was 2 sets of 3 x 5 minute runs with a minute recovery in between and 5 minutes between each set.

The target was to run just below race pace and to do all of the intervals at a consistent speed so as to finish at the same spot on the track. I more or less achieved this with my early intervals being just over 1100 metres and the final ones being just about on 1100 metres.

I reckon this to be about 7.20 speed which is faster than my race pace rather than under it so I didn’t follow this instruction too well but I was pleased with the consistency.

I did a couple of laps warm up and a further 4 laps warm down. All told a total of 9km or 5.6 miles .