With three days to go i thought i might start to write a little about my epic (stupid) challenge for 2012. Late in 2011 we had a conversation about Ron hill, a European and commonwealth marathon champion and also a 3 times olympian. He is just short of his 75th birthday and has logged 17,546 days of running (nearly 48 years). Ron hills minimum run (so i was told) was 800 metres so i thought "whats the point of 800 metres, my minimum would be 10 mins". So with that the gauntlet was thrown down!
January 1st 2012 was a steady run due to celebrations the night before and so the year began. It turns out a friend of ours Barry from Tewkesbury also started on the same day as me, and this helped that apart from Ron hill there were other idiots (sorry Barry and Ron) who were doing the same challenge. With foresight i should maybe have had a little chat to Ron Hill about days when you just could not be bothered to go out, we have all had them and its easy to say "i will run tomorrow" but if you laid down a challenge you have to see it through.
During the year i ran with my local club, raced and trained with my training partner who i must have said numerous times to her "this is stupid" and she has said "you are". Cheers then! If i had to do this again i would start it in april and finish in march as i am finding the cold wet evenings a bit of a challenge to go running in and maybe starting and finishing the year run in warmth would be a bit of a bonus.
As we are getting to the end of 2012, I thought now was a good time to dish out the Gloucester Sports awards to the brands who have done well (or haven't!) this year.
Footwear Brand of the Year: ADIDAS - A great year for Adi, who have the complete range of shoes. Their Supernova and Response range of shoes are great workhorse shoes for banging out the miles. The Adizero range of lightweight and racing shoes are far ahead of any other brand for performance, price and fit. Their off-road shoes also come up well (if slightly iffy on sizing), great grip and cushioning without charging the earth!
Most Improved Footwear Brand: BROOKS - It's no longer just about the Adrenaline! Brooks now have a great range of shoes and we have done very well with the Vapors, Summons, Luanch, T7 Racers as well as our best-selling shoe in-store this year, the Adrenaline GTS.
Must Do Better Award: ASICS - Hugely disappointed with Asics this year, prices have shot up with no improvement in the shoes. They have badly let down the independent running stores (on whom they built their reputation) and sold their soul (sole?) to Sports Direct. They have now pulled out of SD but have decided to open their own outlets.
Brand To Look for in 2013: NEW BALANCE - We have already seen the range for Spring/Summer 2013 and the apparel for Autumn/Winter and it looks absolutely fantastic. Good functional shoes and some very competitive prices on the clothing.
Apologies for not blogging for a while, I've been busy working hard in the shop and getting married! The running is going reasonably well, I'm managing to get out 3 to 4 times per week but most of that is at 7am so I'm not sure how productive it is! My pair of trusty Nike Zoom Elite 5's have finally given up the ghost and been retired down to gardening duty! So I'm now onto a pair of Adidas Supernova Sequence 5's for my general training, so far so good. I've had a couple of pairs of the previous version and loved them, so fingers crossed.
Cross-country season is coming up so I'm getting a few muddy runs in on the local hill to prepare, always great fun splashing through the puddles and trying to stay upright. My shoe of choice for this season is the Adidas XCS 2 although sadly they don't look quite as clean as the picture as I've worn them a few times already! Will write again soon, happy running...
Rob (the 3rd business owner) has been lucky enough to work at the Olympics this year - here is a little report on what he has been doing!
Day 3 [am shift] First athlete, male marathon runner from Mongolia, his session was a continuous run for 80-90 minutes of 1K fast (3mins ish) and 1K recovery (5mins ish). The boss (Seb Coe) dropped in just at the end of the shift to check out the facilities, he came round to all of us to shake hands and say hello.
This is not how athletic tracks should look!
Summer is here... I just cant seem to find it! As I write this staring out of the window at the river running down the pavement outside the shop, wiping the remnants of the man flu i've been enduring for the last 2 weeks from my nose, its difficult to get motivated for tonights session. I haven't helped myself with clothing either, as because its "summer" all i've got is my trusty vest (every runner has at least 1 Nike Miler vest somewhere!) and split shorts... Good.
Apart from the weather the running seems to be going well. I decided to have 3 weeks away from racing so I could concentrate on some good training, but I'm planning to make an appearance at the first cheltenham open on wednesday to get back into it, and I'm considering entering one or two 10ks, pretty sure I'll regret that one three miles in...
I'm also going to enter a new multi terrain race called the cranham beast ( http://iamoutdoors.co.uk/events/cranhambeast/ ), with a 5 miler on the Saturday and a 14 miler on the Sunday it looks to be a great event, and I cant wait to find out what the "hidden surprises" are. Time to get my Saucony Peregrine off roaders out of hibernation I think!
See you all soon.