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Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page

2006 End of Year Running Review.

In running on December 31, 2006 at 11:58 am

In December I matched my highest mileage achieved in any single month of the year which I achieved last January with a total of 146 miles.

My statistics for the year compared to 2005 show :

2005 Jan 127 miles No of Runs 19 2006 Jan 146 miles Runs 20
2005 Feb 45 miles No of Runs 7 2006 Feb 111 miles Runs 16
2005 Mar 94 miles No of Runs 14 2006 Mar 144 miles Runs 21
2005 Apr 97 miles No of Runs 15 2006 Apr 139 miles Runs 19
2005 May 84 miles No of Runs 12 2006 May 142 miles Runs 20
2005 Jun 89 miles No of Runs 13 2006 Jun 136 miles Runs 19
2005 Jul 145 miles No of Runs 21 2006 Jul 142 miles Runs 20
2005 Aug 130 miles No of Runs 18 2006 Aug 106 miles Runs 15
2005 Sep 141 miles No of Runs 20 2006 Sep 121 miles Runs 17
2005 Oct 139 miles No of Runs 20 2006 Oct 129 miles Runs 17
2005 Nov 107 miles No of Runs 17 2006 Nov 113 miles Runs 16
2005 Dec 132 miles No of Runs 17 2006 Dec 146 miles Runs 18

Total Runs for 2005 – 193 out of 365 days. Total runs 2006 208 out of 365 days

My average distance that I ran in 2005 was 6.88 miles. My average distance that I ran in 2006 was 7.56 miles.

My longest run in 2005 was 12 miles on Boxing Day 26th December. My longest run of 2006 was 13.1 miles on 11th June and 8th Oct.

I ran 9 races this year which is up on last years 3.

My racing pb’s for the year are half marathon 1hr 46.16, 10 miles 1 hr 17.17 , 7 miles 52.37 and 5 miles 37 mins.

On Dec 31st 2005 I set myself the following targets. My observations on how the year went are in blue.

1. To keep fit and enjoy my running.

That will always be my number one aim. People some times ask why do you run? Quite often they look upon you as weird when you mention that you run. Often they will say they have tried and found it boring. Quite simply I run because I can and I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it. I get to see the changing seasons, experience all weathers and enjoy the beautiful Suffolk countryside. I meet similar folks who enjoy running. I gave up a long time ago trying to persuade others to run you either enjoy it or you don’t.

I have had a good year and have managed to stay injury free replacing my shoes regularly. The New Balance 854’s clearly were not designed for me as they wore out on the outer heels after only 241 miles. Purchased on the 21st of April, I used them for the last time on the 15th of June. The Saucony MC5’s were dead after 356 miles which I don’t consider great value. The Saucony shoes were purchased on the 27th of June and were kaput on the 1st of October.

During the year I have used 5 different pairs of shoes. I usually spend no more than £50 on a pair so in total on shoes I have incurred costs of £250. Add on 1-2 new running tops, socks this would another £50. Race entry fees have certainly seemed to go up to reflect additional security, h&s , police arrangements etc I entered 9 races and this must have cost about £8 a race making another £75 quid. I also bought Runners Worls every month and that is £4 a month Add on some travel costs to races and I suppose I would have spent around £450 quid in total.

2. I am a signed up member of St Edmunds Pacers and look forward to continuing doing so for next year.

I re signed as a member of St Edmunds Pacers in October. Thinking about it that cost me I believe £15 and when ever I attend track it is another £1 and I must have attended about 20-25 times in the year so another £40 making £500 on running in 2006. There is definitely a sign of increased numbers of people out running. Hard to say if many of them are joining clubs. I think I made reference to it in the summer that attendance at the Run for Life events is huge and presents a potential size able untapped market of new potential club members

3. I am setting myself an overall target to run 1500 miles next year. That’s challenging for me but hopefully realistic target that is achievable barring injuries ! I managed 1328 this year so it is an additional 200 miles at an average of 29 miles a week.

Well I did it! With a total of 1573 miles I beat my target of 1500 miles with a couple of weeks to spare. In the end I averaged 30.3 miles per week partly because I avoided both injury and illness for most of the year. My worst time was at the beginning of September when I returned from Italy with a balance problem connected to motion sickness. I missed a whole weeks training then. Joining a club and having fairly regular races as targets has helped to provide motivation. Above all of this the biggest motivation for me is taking a camera with me and visiting as much of Suffolk as I can to record what I see.

4. Long Runs – I want to up my long runs so that next year I run some 2 hour or 15 mile runs .

Woops! I didn’t do it. I managed the half marathons at Norwich and Felixstowe but I failed on this.

5. Hills – these are great sessions to include in your training. I know it but I just didn’t do it this year. Can I do it next year? Probably not on my own. I remember that we used to run these as a cub session when I belonged to Stopsley Striders back in 1994. I am not going to set my target for hills anything greater than to do 1 hill session a month.

Not achieved. I certainly did better than last year and started the year well running hill sessions in January, February and March. I then slipped until July and more recently doing a couple of sessions in December.

6. Races – for me racing isn’t the be and end all of why I run but I would still like to run more races than I did this year which was only 3 . My target for 2006 is to do 6 races. At the moment I still think my limit for a race is around the half marathon distance. So I would like to include a half marathon as a race next year.

Achieved this one! I ran 9 races including2 half marathons. The venture into Norfolk to run the Norwich Half was on one of the hottest days of the year and I will never forget this race. The Felistowe Half is to be recommended- I like the whole organisation from the comical comperes to the Felixstowe TV – yes thats right Felixstowe has its own tv service and you can view a video of the race here http://www.felixstowetv.co.uk/e107_plugins/eplayer/eplayer.php?view.57.0.20

7. Track and Interval Work – If I miss the Wednesday track session at West Suffolk Athletics Track then I want to commit to doing the Monday session. To my mind track work is so beneficial.

I did ok but again want to improve on my 23 visits to track in 2006.

8. To get my weight down to 12 stone – I could still do with losing a few pounds . My BMI still shows I am overweight for my height. This means losing about 4-6 pounds. This should be possible if I keep to my new mileage targets.

Well no I didn’t achieve this. my weight has remained constant at around 12.5 stone. I just don’t believe in the BMI as a good measure.

9. To replace my watch – I don’t have a very good running watch- sometime this year I would like to get one of those Garmin 201 devices

No I have stuck with my same old watch and no plans to get a Garmin as I can’t afford it and as I run a lot across country I need convincing it will work under trees etc.

10. Lastly this one is a bit crazy but when the weather brightens up in the spring I am seriously considering an occasional run when I take with me a rucksack to pick up rubbish I spot in the hedgerows. I hate to see rubbish which has been dropped from car windows left on the side of roads. It can remain for years in some rural spots. Ok I could say it is not my rubbish but in a way we are all responsible for the upkeep of the countryside and I am willing to give it a go. I expect I will need to wear gloves and an old rucksack. My other though then is what to do with the rubbish as I don’t particularly want to fill my own dustbin with what I collect. Maybe my run will need to by pass a recycling centre.

This is one I really wish I had lifted a finger to try and achieve but I didn’t and so goes on next years list.

2006 was a good year where I achieved many of my targets I believe partly because I set them out in a very public way for all to see. 2007 can be even better!

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Beetons Way Bury St Edmunds

In Beetons Way on December 30, 2006 at 11:05 am

8.30am 8.8 miles in 1hr 13 mins 29 seconds

Week to date mileage 27 miles

Month to date mileage 146

Average weekly rate 30.3 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1573

Lifetime 9593

To end the year I decided on a tough session. I warmed up with a run through Westley Estate and then out to the end of Newmarket Rd and ran into town and I believe it is a mile when you reach the Falcon Pub. There are a few places where you have to slow completely as you cross roads and watch for traffic. My time of 7.14 was consistent with recent miles I have run on the track and usually in the first mile of a race.

I considered repeating but instead ventured down to Beetons Way to do some hills. As I mentioned in my post of the 15th of December there is an option of mixing up the hill climbs between long and short climbs and today I did this.

I started with a long climb which starts from the first lamp post after you emerge from under the bridge to head up hill. Continue up hill past the mini roundabout keeping to the path until you find an opportunity to move across the road which runs parallel to the sports centre car park which is on your left. The end of the long climb is when you reach the end of the road just before you enter Beetons Way footpath which runs besides Gibraltar Barracks.

I decided to alternate between long climbs and short climbs and found this a tough session and was looking for reasons to give up after about 5. However I continued and did 9.

The short hill climb also begins from the same first lamp post after the bridge but ends when you reach the first Grey lamp post at the top of the hill.

I jog down the hills to recover!

My times were as follows

1st long 2.27
2nd short 52
3rd long 2.15
4th short 49
5th long 2.17
6th short 52
7th long 2.25
8th short 51
9th long 2.20

My record for the short climb is 47 seconds on 30th July 06
The long climb stands at 2.15 on 30th Dec 06

Lt Whelnetham to Bradfield St Clare Suffolk

In Bradfield St Clare, Lt Whenetham on December 28, 2006 at 8:02 pm


2pm 8.4 miles in 1hr 10 mins 10 seconds

Week to date mileage 18 miles

Month to date mileage 137

Average weekly rate 30.2 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1564

Lifetime 9584

I drove out to the village of Lt Whelnetham with the thought of finding the old Railway Station House which is clearly marked on the OS map 211 Explorer edition of the ordnance survey map. Coming of the A134 just after Sicklesmere along the appropriately named Water Lane I parked close up to where the Old Station House is marked on the map.

Where I parked there must have clearly been a bridge but this has long gone with the ending of this railway line between Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury back in the early 1960’s.

I set of up hill and must have run past the Station House as the marked pathway takes you on a bit of a detour around it. I didn’t worry to much and continued on my run through apple orchards and past Maynard House. Maynards Wine Orchard produces a range of English wine and fuit juices and the orchards even in December were pungent smelling of old apples it was like being inside a bottle of cider.

I reached a minor B road but continued my run on passing over another former railway bridge.

The level of the field must have been considerably raised as there is very little clearance under the bridge here now and hard to imagine a train passing underneath.

I entered the small village of Bradfield St Clare and ran as far as the church called St Clare.
I was tempted to run to another of the Bradfields called Combust but the light was already beginning to fail and even this mnor road had a fair amount of cars so it wasn’t worth the risk and I returned back to Maynard House.

I took a different turning with the objective of finding the old railway station. This path took me across a wet field and what would have been the old track and eventually through to the station itself. This has now been converted to a private residence. Further down track there are some old buildings here that once would have straddled either side of the railway which was a single line. It looked pretty derelict with the doors boarded but nevertheless it was possible to get a good impression of how the station would have appeared.

With time on my hands I decided to continue my run in the opposite direction along the restored Lt Whelnetham Line. This is a stretch aboot 1.5 miles long of restored pathway along the former railway line to Bury St Edmunds. A beautiful walk with lots of wild flowers this is worth visiting. Although a little muddy I ran to the end of this walk and then returned to do it again before returning to the car.

Rougham and Hessett Suffolk

In Hessett, Rougham on December 27, 2006 at 3:05 pm

8.30am 10 miles in 1hr 21 mins 59 seconds

Week to date mileage 10 miles

Month to date mileage 129

Average weekly rate 30.2 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1556

Lifetime 9576

On a damp, dark and dreary morning I drove out to Blackthorpe a small hamlet near Rougham. I traveled along the A14 from Bury St Edmunds to Ipswich road. After about 4 miles there is a new turning which enables you to reach Blackthorpe. I parked up and ran through Blackthorpe Farm. There is always a seasonal Christmas sale here in the Barn of all the usual Christmas type paraphernalia. A lot of people also buy there Christmas trees from here or at Rougham Nurseries.

The early part of my run was along a cemented off road track through large fields of trees being prepared for future Christmas years. Eventually you emerge from Blackthorpe Farm at the edge of the A14. Home Farm is on the other side of the A14 on the edge of this very busy road which has constant noise day and night. This must effect the owners as there farm house must pick up the noise. There was a lovely reminder of former days when this road was much quieter and was then called the A45 a sign directing you to this road.

The pathway along by the A14 is short and you turn right at Rougham Nursery. Past a few houses and I was then on to the fields. The pathway takes directly to St Mary’s church at Rougham. The pathway is called Church Plantation Walk.

From here I followed the road past the rectory and along to the New road, turned right and after a quarter mile arrived in the village of Rougham. Arriving from this direction as you approach the Bennets Arms Pub absoultely dominates like a brick wall at the end of New Road.

I turned left here and ran out to a small hamlet by the name of Nether Street, there is a lovely farm here and some good thatched houses. The outlaying area of Hessett is known as the Heath and just when you wonder where the main village is you arrive at Hessett Green.

Hessett is a wonderful village the Church of St Ethlebert sitting nearly opposite the local pub the Five Bells.

Beyond Hessett to the north is Beyton , Rushbrooke lies to the east , Rougham to the west and Bradfield St George to the south all very tempting to continue on my run but beaten for time again I retraced my steps back to Blackthorpe.

At Blackthorpe I was tempted to go on any another short run as I had spotted a path I think near Piegeon Lane. This takes you through Newthorpe a small hamlet. Looking at the ordnance survey map 211 the path takes you through to Eastlowhill Rd an old roman road at Rushbrooke. This is a must do for another day .

Twist Wood Ickworth Park Suffolk

In Ickworth Park on December 24, 2006 at 12:04 pm

8.30am 11 miles in 1hr 30 mins 38 secs

Week to date mileage 29 miles

Month to date mileage 119

Average weekly rate 30.2 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1546

Lifetime 9566

I wore my Inov 8 roclite off road shoes for this run which is mostly off road. The run commences from within town but I quickly reach Horringer Farm crossing over the River Linnett. The farm is on a slope so I have a steady up hill climb of 30 metres from 40 to 70 metres. I cut across the farm to join Westley Lane which takes me into the village of Horringer.

A focal point of the village is the national trust Ickworth Park which is open all year round at least for runners. There is a good choice of runs once in the park but today I decided to visit a wood I haven’t been to before called Twist Wood. So I followed the straight main path which takes you to Ickworth House. By following the road you continue past the church and are soon near the Canal Lake. Following the road round to the right you soon come to the White House.

The path now follows the course of the River Linnett. The first path to the left takes up into Twist Wood. There were a number of signs warning of dates when deer culling is undertaken here. There is a big population of deer and I usually see them whenever I visit Ickworth Park and today was no exception. On two occasions I came upon 2 large groups of deer who scattered before I could a good view of them.

I decided to end my run at the ruins of a house in the woods. There must be an interesting storey to this house and what became of it. Returned home in a quicker time by about 2 minutes.

Fornham Circular Run

In Fornham All Saints, Fornham Saint Martin on December 23, 2006 at 11:05 am

8am 7.5 miles in 57 mins 58 secs

Week to date mileage 18 miles

Month to date mileage 108

Average weekly rate 30.1 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1535

Lifetime 9555

Ran well very wet under foot.

Cullum Rd, Ramada Hotel,Newmarket Rd Bury St Edmunds

In Bury St Edmunds on December 21, 2006 at 9:00 pm

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41 mins 35 secs

Week to date mileage 5.4 miles

Month to date mileage 100

Average weekly rate 30.1 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1527

Lifetime 9547

2006 5 Dec 41.48
2006 3 Nov 42.37
2006 24 Oct 41.10
2006 19 Oct 41.08
2006 6 Oct 41.06
29 Sep 42.10
29 – Aug 40.40
27 Jul 40. 47
13 Jul 41.11
6 Jun 41.33
18 May 41.18
7 Apr 40.30
7 Mar 41.31
3 Mar 41.34
21 Feb 41.35
27 Jan 41.56
13 Jan 41.30
2 Jan 42.42
2005 23 Dec 43.34
9 Dec 42.0
6 Dec 42.04
29 Nov 42.17

Ran ok tonight

Horringer School,Hospital and Cullum Rd Bury St Edmunds

In Bury St Edmunds on December 19, 2006 at 9:46 pm

5.30pm 5.4 miles in 41 mins 50 secs

Week to date mileage 5.4 miles

Month to date mileage 95

Average weekly rate 30.2 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1522

Lifetime 9542

7 Dec 06 43.45
7 Nov 06 42.33
10 Nov 06 42.02
30 Oct 06 42.0
3 Oct 06 41.15
19 Sep 06 41.39
8 Sep 06 41.01
1 Aug 06 41.45
28 July 06 42.25
17 July 06 42.46
13 June 06 42.08
11 May 06 43.21
27 Mar 06 42.41
8 Mar 06 42.13
24 Feb 06 42.33
16 Feb 06 44.0
10 Feb 06 41.50
2 Feb 06 42.38
17 Jan 06 42.50
10 Jan 06 42.52
1 Jan 06 41.45
14 Dec 05 42.47

Ran well tonight over this regular course.

Gt Barton

In Gt Barton on December 17, 2006 at 8:05 pm


8am 11 miles in 1 hr 30 mins 47 secs

Week to date mileage 42 miles

Month to date mileage 90

Average weekly rate 30.2 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1517

Lifetime 9537

I ran out to Gt Barton on the A143 road. I decided to take a look down a RUPP a road used as a public path. This is where the main village of Gt Barton is situated and is a well kept parkland area with some lovely housing. However I couldn’t see much point running around the houses and retreated back to the main road with the idea of continuing through Gt Barton to visit a wood.

At the Thurston turn in the road there is a footpath which takes you through a wood called the Heath. On the map it is marked as the Icepits Farm and there are some disused pits.
Unsure where the path led to and 45 minutes into my run I had to return back to Bury and home.

On checking the map OS Map 211 I see I can do a complete circular run as the pathway emerges on Green Lane and it is only a matter of time before I will give this a go.

Fornham St Martin Circular Run

In Fornham Saint Martin on December 16, 2006 at 7:27 pm

6pm 5.5 miles in 45mins 5 secs

Week to date mileage 23 miles

Month to date mileage 79

Average weekly rate 30.1 miles

Average monthly rate 131

Year to date 1506

Lifetime 9526

The course – head out of Bury on the Beetons Way past Tollgate and through the village of Fornham St Martin.

Return to Bury through Fornham All Saints along the A11101 Mildenhall Road , back to Tollgate and return up Beetons Way hill and home.

Ran well to day felt good. This was the run that achieved my target for this year which was to run 1500 miles.