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Wednesday 6 February 2013

Week 8, Day 2: Garmin Troubles & a Lack of Light

Week 8, Day 2

Goal: 5 x 1600 in 7 – 7:30 min/mile ... changed halfway through to Thursday’s session of 6m with middle 2 at HM pace
Actual: 6.12m total with middle mile 1 at 6:58 min/mile and middle mile 2 at 7:30 min/mile.

I struggle with Tuesdays. It’s a dash home on the M1 through rush hour traffic to get to the nursery before 6pm and then a whirlwind of stories, baths and settling of the 3 year old. Then it’s a wait until 11pm to pass over the child monitor before I can head out for a run.

Last night, I had planned to run the mile repeats. I’d diligently used a route planner website and drawn out a route which was slightly over a mile and wasn’t too hilly, deserted or busy. The trick was finding the fine line between having to constantly dodge people and hurdle canines and choosing somewhere so deserted that I’d get spooked if a rabbit  hopped across my path. The route I’d chosen seemed fine. Interestingly bendy, a bit of a hill and a few roads to cross but it was street lit and less than 2 miles from home.

I completed the 1.5m warm up and ended up at exactly at the start of the loop. Perfect. Set the Garmin to record my average pace over a mile – GO! 6:58 min/mile. Fine.

Tried to reset the Garmin for the next mile ... nope. It wasn’t playing. Pressed the right buttons. Then the wrong buttons. Then tried to play Fur Elise. The Garmin wasn’t having any of it.  

I would struggle to complete the laps properly without having an average pace. The loop was on a housing estate and there were a lot of corners and hopping on and off of kerbs. If I could record the average, then at least I’d get an idea but just checking the Garmin occasionally wouldn’t give me a very accurate idea. Bother.

At least I knew the route and the distance of the loop. I decided to do another loop at 7:30 minute mile and complete 6 miles and substitute this run for Thursday’s session which was 6 miles with the middle 2 miles at half marathon pace (7:30 min/mile). The first lap would have been slightly too quick, but the rest of the run would be fine. See ... not a complete loss!

Completed the lap at half marathon pace and then ran a gentle lap for a cool down and ... darkness. Someone had pushed the ‘Power Off’ button on the streetlights and everything was suddenly plunged into darkness. I’d forgotten about this ...

The council had decided that as a cost saving measure that they would turn the streetlights off between midnight and 6am. In theory ... marvellous. We all save money and wouldn’t need the streetlights because we would all be in bed sound asleep dreaming of our next working day as good citizens.

However, the council didn’t consider that there might be a few people who might NOT be in bed asleep and who might appreciate the guaranteed hours of darkness to go and pilfer other people’s belongs. And mad runners, too of course.

There wasn’t a lot of lycra around, but the amount of cars up on bricks because of having their wheels stolen was getting ridiculous. You would have thought the police would be able to track the wheel thieves down by finding out who was buying bricks in multiples of 4 ...

At least the session was completed ... even if my run home was slightly more murky than I’d expected. I hadn’t worn a headtorch this evening, but this meant I could slip in and out of the shadows unseen and unnoticed. I’d like to say unheard too but with my heavy breathing it sounded as though a prank caller was practising out on the streets.  

Session Summary:

Distance: 6.12 miles

1.5 mile warm up – comfortable pace
1 mile lap at 6:58 min/mile
1 mile lap at 7:30 min/mile
1 mile cool down
1.5 mile panicked sprint home.


  1. I really on street lights for my runs over here, even the path round the lakes are lit up, but I remember a occasion when a section was out, I remember it well as I didn't see the wire fence I ended up flying over but I felt the deep puddle I landed in!

    1. Oh no!! I'm sure you were still very gracefull ... right up to the point you landed in the puddle!! I bet it's lovely running around the lakes in the evening! (Apart from wire fences and puddles of course!)

  2. Wow, I admire your dedication. I thought getting up at 5.30am to run was bad enough, I honestly don't think I could drag myself out of the house at 11pm after a day's work. Hats off to you :)

    1. Hee hee Marie! I think you're a LOT braver than me getting up at 5.30am! I find it so much easier to run in the evening and really struggle in the mornings. Do you use a headtorch for your morning runs?

  3. lol you be careful out there :)