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Archive for September, 2007|Monthly archive page

Felixstowe Half Marathon 30th September 2007

In Felixstowe, Half Marathon, race, suffolk on September 30, 2007 at 4:39 pm

11am 13.1 miles in 1 hr 44 mins 46 seconds
Week to date mileage 30 miles
Month to date mileage 160
Average weekly rate 30.7 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1197
Lifetime 10790

I rate the Felixstowe Half Marathon as the best road race on the Suffolk calender. It has everything great marshaling , crowd support and an easy to find headquarters for the start of the race. Add to this a seaside promenade with plenty of entertainment for any family and friends who might accompany you to a race. Then offer a course that offers a mix of rural countryside, town centre and 1-2 hills then you have the ingredients for a great race which this event has and no wonder there was no opportunity for late race entries – you need to book in advance!

The weather was a repeat of the previous year with good sunshine but with an autumn feel.

Last year I managed a time of 1.46 .19 so this was my target to try and beat this . I decided to start at a much more gentle pace at the beginning and it took some time to reach the start line hence a difference in my official finishing time of 1.45 and my watch time of 1.44.46.

My mile times that I remembered to record went like this :

Mile 1 7.50
Mile 2 7.38
Mile 3 7.50
Mile 4 7.54
Mile 7 8.24
Mile 9 7.58
Mile 11 8.32
Mile 12 8.06
Mile 13 8.58

Clearly I slowed on the 2nd lap but unlike last year my legs didn’t stiffen up to the point of feeling that I was just putting one foot in front of the other.

Once again Felixstowe TV were present and you can watch a video of the event which is fairly unique among events in Suffolk as far as I am aware. Well done Felixstowe Road Runners!

I will load many others photos of this event on my flickr site when time permits.

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Newmarket Road Bury St Edmund Suffolk

In Bury St Edmunds on September 27, 2007 at 7:19 pm

5.30pm 4.1 miles in 34 mins 57 seconds
Week to date mileage 17 miles
Month to date mileage 147
Average weekly rate 30.7 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1184
Lifetime 10777

Another slow tapering run prior to Sundays race at Felixstowe. I did a couple of laps along Newmarket Road doing a circuit up by the Cost cutter garage and along Westley Road before passing Westley School.

Bury St Edmunds Town Centre

In Bury St Edmunds on September 26, 2007 at 7:10 pm

5.30pm 6 miles in 50 mins 25 seconds
Week to date mileage 13 miles
Month to date mileage 142
Average weekly rate 30.7 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1180
Lifetime 10773

On a very wet Wednesday evening rather than attend the track I decided on an easy run. With the Felixstowe Half Marathon I would have probably have still chosen to give the track a miss tonight. A track session this close to a race is not advisable though at my level and standard of running it is arguable if it makes any difference.

I ran past Horringer School and the Glad Abbot pub and then headed up past the west Suffolk hospital and up to Moreton Hall. I turned for home here and ran back along Eastgate Street and back into town.

West Suffolk Athletic Track Bury St Edmunds

In Saint Edmund Pacers, West Suffolk Athletics Track on September 24, 2007 at 9:11 pm

6.15pm 6.5 miles in 53 mins 45 seconds
Week to date mileage 6.5 miles
Month to date mileage 136
Average weekly rate 30.8 miles
Average monthly rate 134
Year to date 1174
Lifetime 10767

Dave Reed took tonights track session which consisted of 5 x 1.45 seconds with a 1.30 recovery in between at 5k pace and a 400 metres lap at the end of each set – with 3 sets in all.

I was able to comfortably run just over 400 metres for each 1.45 run and found that I improved my time for the 400 metres lap coming down to about 1.32 for the final lap.

Adkins Wood Ickworth Park Suffolk

In Adkins Wood, Ickworth Park on September 23, 2007 at 6:23 pm

9.15am 7 miles in 59 mins 17 seconds
Week to date mileage 40 miles
Month to date mileage 130
Average weekly rate 30.7 miles
Average monthly rate 134
Year to date 1168
Lifetime 10761

A really good week for me in terms of putting in the running mileage and I am getting closer to my original annual target of running 31 miles a week. Today I headed out to Ickworth park via Horringer Hall farm.

The farm looks trim and tidy with the oilseed rape long since harvested and the ground now ploughed and rolled.

In Ickworth park I headed right at the entrance following a well trodden pathway but found the way blocked off and fenced.

I had forgotten that the sheep have been moved from their summer pasture to this part of the park for the winter. After returning back to the entrance gates I climbed the stile into Adkins Wood and did a short lap of the woods before returning home.

Icklingham and Cavenham Heath Suffolk

In Cavenham Heath, Icklingham, Mildenhall, rabbits, scots pines on September 22, 2007 at 1:04 pm

10am 10.7 miles in 1 hr 30 mins
Week to date mileage 33 miles
Month to date mileage 123
Average weekly rate 30.7 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1161
Lifetime 10754

With the Felixstowe Half Marathon next Sunday I decided to get in a long run today and I drove out to Icklingham which is named after the enclosure of Yccels People. Icklingham as a settlement is on the line of the ancient Icknield Way. It is an area of heathland and two parish churches of All Saints and St James.

I parked up near some bungalows opposite St James and headed off past the old school and along West Road. When the houses cease you are onto open plains and have options. You can either take the Icknield Way and venture into Cavenham Heath which has a wild heathland tranquility or you can do what I did which was to take the first footpath I came across. This took me in a diagonal line across a heath but emerged on to the busy Mildenhall Road.

So rather than follow this I noticed an unmarked pathway which a jeep or some other vehicle has made over Icklingham Plains. This is an area of conservation and I think it is ok to follow this but there were no real markers for my off road run in the soft sandy heathlands.
This was an absolutely beautiful run, if you ignored the distant sound of traffic from the Mildenhall Road then I had the world to myself in splendid isolation apart from a million rabbits. This is undoubtedly rabbit heaven, a rabbit kingdom.
You had to watch your fit as every tread could be into a rabbit hole. Every so often rabbits tore left right and centre and I had the feeling I was running across a giant rabbit warren the ground underneath my fit just being a large honeycomb structure of tunnels.

A long row of telegraph poles broke up the endless heathland, apart from this there were odd rows of beautiful scots pines.
The trackway made by the jeep wheels became more indistinct but I continued on in the hope of reaching a landmark of some sorts. This was reached when I arrived at a small woodland area. The ground here was ankle deep in grassy mounds and I was unable to get a good footing. I could have carried on but my feet were now wet and there was a real chance of getting lost with no directions. Then came one of those great moments when I stumbled upon a deer and the animal stood stock still staring at me giving me a chance to get a rapid photo but not a very good close up before it bolted.

I returned back to Icklingham and then decided to follow the path of the ancient Icknield Way the oldest road in the country. This took me into Cavenham Heath and after a runaround the heather filled heathlands I returned and ran the length of the village of Icklingham before finishing an enjoyable run.

Gt Ashfield,Norton Little Green,Hunston and Langham Suffolk

In 385th bomb group, Gt Ashfield, Hunston, Langham, Norton Little Green, suffolk on September 21, 2007 at 8:00 pm

11.30am 9 miles in 1 hr 15 mins 12 seconds
Week to date mileage 22 miles
Month to date mileage 112
Average weekly rate 30.5 miles
Average monthly rate 132
Year to date 1150
Lifetime 10743

With a day off from work I drove out to Elmswell to pick up some chicken layer pellets from the good pet shop next to the railway station and did a detour on the way home to the village of Gt Ashfield. There is a straight north road leading from Elmswell and I parked up near by All Saints Church in Gt Ashfield.

Gt Ashfield was the home of the 385th bomb group during the 2nd world war and this is represented in the village sign. This is USAF group completed a total of 297 combat missions over France and Germany. The first combat mission took place on June 11, 1943 – and the final mission took place on May 2, 1945. The average life of a B-17 bomber at Great Ashfield was just over 4 months. The average Airman lasted 15 combat missions and few completed an entire tour of 25 missions.

Life must have been fairly tame in between missions for the airmen with little to do. Perhaps this was just what some of the airmen needed in between flights thou
gh a train into London from Stowmarket must have been tempting.

My run began by following the path near the church to a moat at Hall farm. There were plentiful supplies of blackberries in the hedgerows and this is the time to pick them. The path followed a circular route to Brown’s Wood and Schoolhouse Farm. I followed the path blindly hoping I was heading in the direction of Badwell Ash but it is only now that I see I was running in the opposite direction!

Emerging back on the Elmswell Road I decided to take the next turning that presented it self to anywhere so as to get of the main road. This was a sharp right and in due course I found myself in Norton Little Green which is a little hamlet about half a mile from
the main village of Norton. Here I spotted this fence which has accommodated a tree branch through one of its panels.

I again did a u-turn as my plan hadn’t been to visit places I have been before so I retraced my steps and took a minor road which lead to Hunston Green.

After a very quiet mile or so along the road I arrived in the village of Hunston. I last visited Hunston on my birthday last year on the 18th of October when for a treat I ran 11 miles!
Just off the main road through the Hunston there is a turning leading into another village I haven’t been to before called Langham. The meaning of the name is long settlement and I didn’t have time to really get into the village or visit the church so another visit will be required.
First impressions were good and I can see a return trip to include Badwell Ash. Instead not realising it would be quicker to return to Gt Ashfield via Badwell Ash I returned the way I came.

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

In Saint Edmund Pacers, West Suffolk Athletics Track on September 19, 2007 at 8:51 pm

6.15pm 6.7 miles in 55 mins 7 seconds
Week to date mileage 6.7 miles
Month to date mileage 97
Average weekly rate 30.5 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1134
Lifetime 10727

Apart from knowing the total time of the session I am unable to remember what we did in this session. I think it was something like a 4 x 3.30 x 2 sets. If anyone was there and recalls be sure to correct me.

West Suffolk Athletics Track Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

In Saint Edmund Pacers, West Suffolk Athletics Track on September 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm

6.15am 6.7 miles in 55 mins 7 seconds
Week to date mileage 6.7 miles
Month to date mileage 97
Average weekly rate 30.5 miles
Average monthly rate 133
Year to date 1134
Lifetime 10727

What a tough session at the track!. Tonight was a bit of a shock to the system as we upped the track work by about a third.

After a run to the track and some laps to warm up we commenced the session which was:

3 sets of 5 intervals of 1 min 45 seconds at about 5 k with a 300 metres at the end of each set at a much quicker pace. The rest and recovery for the intervals in each set diminished reducing from 1.30 to 1 min and then 45 seconds for the last set.

A good session and at my pace I found I was comfortably running just over 1 lap for each interval.

Nowton Park Suffolk

In Bury St Edmunds, Nowton Park on September 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm

7.45am 7.4 miles in 1hr 0 mins 51 seconds
Week to date mileage 37 miles
Month to date mileage 90
Average weekly rate 30.5 miles
Average monthly rate 132
Year to date 1128
Lifetime 10721

This was one of those indecisive drifty runs where I wasn’t sure where I was going to and changed my mind several times.

Before heading out of Bury I passed by the Theatre Royal which has finally been restored and opened for business after what seems must have been 2-3 years.

I set along the road to Sicklesmere but decided against continuing along this route knowing I wasn’t intending to run more than an 1hour. Instead along this road there is an entrance into Nowton Park and the opportunity to get on to softer ground was too appealing to refuse. Inside the park on a glorious Autumn day I noticed this tree stump circle. It doesn’t match the setting and history of Castlerigg Stone Circle but perhaps an alternative venue for druids. Who needs Stonehenge when you have Nowton Park.

I also noticed round hay bales in the park which again I haven’t noticed here before and that is probably down to me my lack of observation more than anything else. However it set me thinking about when round bales were introduced? Certainly as a child there were only square bales. Both have their advantages. Square bales stack like bricks so are good for storing in a barn. However they pose problems in transporting them to a barn and require more labour.

Round bales are seemingly a task of 1 farmer using a baler machine but of course don’t stack well but are much cheaper to make hence nowadays it is the exception to see square bales.