The first few week of the plan, A Percy Pud Fiasco, Mauled by the Black Dog and SY XC #1

 “It’s important to know that at the end of the day it’s not the medals you remember. What you remember is the process — what you learn about yourself by challenging yourself, the experiences you share with other people, the honesty the training demands — those are things nobody can take away from you whether you finish twelfth or you’re an Olympic Champion.”
-Silken Laumann, Canadian Olympian


48days till the Percy Pud 10k

90days till the Brass Monkey Half Marathon

Again its been a few weeks since I blogged.  Last time I mentioned I was just starting a new Dave Oldfield training plan.  I started it then my rota at worked changed and some sessions had to be changed or moved. Timing wise it wasn’t good as Dave had just jetted off on holiday so I had to make my own way.  I stuck to it but things like going to club tempo runs or speed sessions became solo efforts when I needed to run with other people.  the first week ended with the planned hillsborough parkrun at full effort.  I have been running 19min plus for months which is nowhere near my best and I used to consider anything not in the low 18min a poor run. Setting off conservatively I worked my way up to Finish Strong in 18.55. Not great but the first time I had seen an 18 in front of a parkrun time in months so was really happy with the run.


Sunday I had a planned 15mile run but chose a too hilly route and 7miles in the tummy bug Lucas had also caught up with me.  After a pit stop in some woods I struggled home to run 10.2miles of the 15. The following day I did a easy 5mile but the slow pace felt too hard but I put it down to the weekends adventures in running.  Tues I tried an interval session of 3 sets of 75seconds x 4reps but after a warm up mile I started the 1st rep and had to stop with vicious stomach cramp and the urge to… uh um,  do like bears do.  The run every day in October was over and it was Friday evening when I finally ran again. A 5.5miles Fartlek which went great in the circumstances and pitch black.  Sun I did a 3mile Fartlek before work so at least I managed 2 half decent speed sessions.

That evening at 7pm It was time to enter the race for a Percy pud place. The Percy Pud is a 10k race in December through the picturesque Loxley Valley and Damflask Reserviour. Its a stalwart of the Sheffield running scene. Despite certain people saying there are better races out there, and there probably is but people see the running 6.21miles for a xmas pudding as the start of their Xmas plans.  it always sells out fast and has a huge demand.  Last year it sold out in under 2 hours and with the new online entry system expected to sell out even quicker this year. FR systems were warned by race organizers Steel City Striders that  the demand on the website would be huge the website said it could handle it.  So the time came and i entered my details, the page saying it would hold my place for 15mins. pressed enter for the payment screen and boom, blank white page!!!! F5 and still white, go back and re enter my details and White page. Other races like the inaugural Wilmslow 10k on the same day were suggested. 35min of this and people where getting angry, desperate and in some cases vicious towards the organizers who were not to blame.  eventually it was taken down and we would be told when it would reopen. 2hrs later it was back and a lucky few got in before it again crashed.  Mobs of aggrieved runners were speculated to be roaming the hills of Sheffield looking for Striders.

Film The Simpsons


Reports the police had taken the entire club into protective custody became unfounded but the decision was made to take it down completely till a suitable way was found.  14000 people had tried all simultaneously tried to gain 1 of 2200 places.  fast forward nearly 2 weeks and after a 48hr warning it reopened Friday night.  This time when you logged on you were assigned a random queue number and a waiting time.  Mine was 862 and 1hr.  30min later though I was again entering my details and this time successfully paying. I’m not sure put off by the previous fiasco or the new queuing system but the race still isn’t full 3days later. Shame really.  So I’m in the first targeted race with the next one, the brass monkey entry opening 6am!!!! on the 22nd October.  This is another race that is huge in demand and fills quickly.  The website for this as also crashed in the past.  FFS but I’m confident I’ll get a place easily.  This will be me next Saturday morning……,


This weeks training as gone a little better but on Thursday I had a massive mauling at the hands of the black dog of depression. possibly one of my worse ever.  A stressful morning trying to get Lucas to wear the new shoes I had bought him Wednesday and all it took was a wrong thing from Emma and I was storming into pot house woods. Now I know these woods like the back of my hands but my head was gone in a 100 different directions at the same time.  I had chucked my phone onto a bench and was standing 2ft away staring down a steep banking. Emma was trying to frantically call me and when I finally answered just ranted at her. I had no idea where I was and how to get out of the woods. The evil hound had sank his teeth firmly in me and draining the life out of me. Get in this state of mind and its tough, suicidal thoughts, lack of caring and sheer despair.  All of a sudden I escaped the clutches of my own mind and I got my senses back and instantly knew where I was. I went and found Emma and she took me home with the promise I would take Rusty the golden dog up to the Underbank dam. This helped my mood and Rusty loved the run around.

That evening instead of going to Sheffield RC speed endurance, Emma, Lucas and I ended up at Parkgate Clarks for some more new shoes for Lucas. We also went to Burger King and a bar bar of chocolate. Friday we all went up to Langsett for a nice evening walk.



Unfortunately an attack like that can take a lot out of you and leave you drained for a few days.  A coping mechanism is eating crap.  I had planned to run Hillsborough parkrun but Beer, pizza and ice cream on Friday night meant my guts were not up to running a fast 5k so I cycled down to parkrun, took photos and cycled home instead.  Sunday after all was Cross country time.

I woke up this morning and Yes its Cold,wet and foggy, perfect X-country weather.  I left the house and within minutes was soaked. got on the bus and when I got into town it was still raining heavy. I wanted to take some photos and realized a big umbrella was the best way to protect the camera. I went into Sportsdirect and 5min later walked out with a brand new umbrella to find it was bright, sunny and warming up.  You have to laugh.

Onto the tram and up to Norfolk park. This park in  Sheffield is like most places in the steel city, vertical. This was a change of venue after the flat course in Doncaster became unavailable.  I wasnt feeling 100% and not race sharp. after taking a few pictures I handed over the camera to Georgina, clubmate Ben’s other half, did a lap warm up with Ben and John D before making my way to the start for the Race. The plan was to race the 1st lap then tempo run the next 3.  This is how it panned out but the 2nd/1st tempo lap was only a few second slower than the first lap.  A great training run and a gentle easing into the winter racing season.

I have the next 3 weeks of training mapped out and really need to nail every run, every session. This blog has been nominated by someone in the 2017 running awards community blog section and you can vote HERE

Anyway, Bye for Now


If only it was that easy.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
Haruki Murakami






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