Friday, February 24, 2012

Rate your Run, Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus

I actually wrote this blog back in August when i got back from holiday in Cyprus. I didn't publish it as it has taken me this long to get the photo's off the camera that i used!
I recently went on holiday to Karsiyacka in, Turkish, Northern Cyprus. Like most runners I know I pretty much always take my running shoes and kit on holiday with me. Read any running magazine and the letters page will contain a submission from someone running on holiday that discovered something stunning that they would have ordinarily missed. this is very true, on foot you will see things that you would otherwise miss. Roads that may lead nowhere may lead somewhere interesting or even exceptional, when you are alone on foot you can make this exploration.
My runs in Cyprus were, in one word, hot! The temperatures through the day were high 30's and in the second week topped out around 42C. Personally I love this, the heat doesn't really bother me. Sure I sweat but in terms of feeling uncomfortable or struggling to function it doesn't bother me. Running in this heat takes some acclimatisation and I would generally run later in the afternoon when temperatures had dropped to 32-34C.
My first couple of runs weren't great. As we were pretty rural I did out and back routes as wasn't sure of my bearings. I started by running up the hill to the local mosque that was visible from our villa (and that we could hear the call to prayer from) and then back. Then I did a run along the main road and back. Mileage sure but pretty unsatisfactory from an enjoyment perspective. That then started me thinking about the rate your run stuff on MarathonTalk. I had downloaded a number of their podcasts for entertainment whilst away, one of their items is to rate your run. Basically give a score for your run. At this point I was barely at a 7. Whilst I was enjoying the running and the weather there was something missing.
It was then that I changed direction and instead of running up the hill I ran towards the coast. What a difference.
From a 7/10 to suddenly 10/10! Within half a mile of the villa was the coast and a coastal path. There was a mix of trail and road, roads with housing, farms and a military base. Once I had done this run once that was it I ran it for the remainder of the holiday. There was actually enough trail that one day I ran it in my vibram FiveFingers. Then towards the end of my holiday I took a camera, my daughters little Samsung, to capture the route so that I could blog about it and keep it.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

24hr day dream...

In my quest to recover from my latest injury set-back i have joined the work gym. I've never been a gym sort before preferring to be outdoors either on foot or bike. Treadmills and stationary bikes are not for me and i've never really done weight training. However with the recommendation from the physio to strengthen my legs i thought i'd try. This week i've been a couple of time and done lots of squats, quad raises and calf curls. Lots! I have also been using the elliptical trainer this seemingly being the closest thing i will get to running anytime soon. The physio did suggest using a treadmill as you can keep your pace under control and also limit the time easily. I did it today, i'd done some rowing, elliptical and then did 2x5 mins on the treadmill at 8km per hr.

It was while doing this and not feeling any pain or discomfort in my knee that i started day dreaming. Calculating how far i'd travel at that speed in 24hrs. Turns out that would be 192km, which is just short of 120 miles. i know you'd need breaks etc but my day dream then extended to how easy that pace felt and how low my heart rate was (102bpm). Suddenly something ridiculously hard didn't appear too hard.

Then after 5 mins i got off the treadmill.

23hrs 55mins to go. One day?