2010 Cary Road Race

I think I may be becoming a ‘runner’.

Late on Friday night, one of my drinking / poker buddies told me he was running in the Cary Road Race (10k) starting at 8.30a the next day. I switched from beer to water (admittedly a bit late) and decided to enter as well.

The start is at Koka Amphitheater, just over a mile from my house so I jumped on my bike and headed down to register. It was a little chilly – but otherwise an awesome Spring morning.

I had no real target time or pace (didn’t even wear a watch) I just went along for the run. It’s basically two laps of a circuit starting with a decent hill.

My final time was 52.08 – that’s an 8.24 pace. That doesn’t break any records but was actually pretty fast for me. A 10k is a nice run – not long-enough to get really knackered but long enough to settle into a pace.

So now I have something to beat next year !

Running – Part 5


Lef to Right : Iain, Rich, Craig enjoy a post race “sports drink”

Last Sunday I completed the ATT Half Marathon (or Full Pikermi if you prefer). This series of posts is mostly for my own reference but if you’re interested you can read the rest here.

My personal goal was to finish in 1:50 minutes – the time of my last Half (2002?, Bristol). I managed to maintain a good pace for the first nine miles (sub 8.30 and even one sub 8 minute mile) but then basically ran out of energy and the last 4 miles were a struggle. I went pretty light on breakfast and a second Banana would probably have made all the difference. On my previous long runs – energy had never been a problem.

My official time was 1:57:01 – short of my goal but bearing in mind that just a couple of months ago I couldn’t even run 4 miles without stopping; I don’t think it was all that bad and shows that pretty much anyone can run a half with some dedication and a training plan.

This was the first ATT Marathon and I thought it was very well organized and as I’ve mentioned before – the ATT is a great place to run. My only criticism was the early start (7am) and the lack of parking meant that it wasn’t really possible for my family to cheer me across the line. Free beer and pizza after the race made up for the shortcoming though.

I plan to stick with the running – it’s by far the best way to keep fit, burn fat and clear your head. I plan to do the City of Oaks Half in November and maybe one other Half or 10k over the summer. You’ll likely find me on the ATT at least once a month for the longer runs.

I did consider doing a full marathon this year but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it without injuring my already knackered knees, feet and ankles. However, I am thinking pretty seriously about attempting a Triathlon this year – if anyone has advice on how to get started – let me know !

Running Part 4

Here’s part 4 of my running log – my 10 week journey to train for a half marathon – something I haven’t attempted for over a decade. The log is mostly for my own reference but if you’re interested you can read Part 1 ,  2 and 3 as well.

Well the running is going pretty well – I’m starting week 8 with a rest day after a long run yesterday (on the American Tobacco Trail) – I was scheduled to do 11 miles, aiming to do 12 and ended up doing 13.68. This made up for the previous week which was a complete wash-out in terms of mileage due to travel and picking up a nasty bug between Boston and Raleigh.

I have 2 more weeks and weather permitting should be able to get 2 more long runs in before I start tapering down before the run on March 21st – I’d like to diverge from my schedule and see if I can do 16-18 miles – if I can, then I’m going to sign up for the City of Oaks full marathon in November.

One last thing – if you run in the Cary / Raleigh area and haven’t already – make your next run the American Tobacco Trail – it’s mostly flat; it’s a nice even surface, great scenery and shaded from the sun – there are also mile markers to keep you motivated. It’s pretty much the perfect place to run IMO.

Running Part 3

Here’s part 3 of my running log – my 10 week journey to train for a half marathon – something I haven’t attempted for over a decade. The log is mostly for my own reference but if you’re interested you can read Part 1 and  Part 2 as well.

Yesterday I completed my fourth full week of training. It’s going pretty well – I’m still slightly ahead of plan in terms of distance and with yesterday’s 7-miler I made some good progress on pace as well. I’ve mostly been running on the hamster wheel in the gym due to cold weather and travel – but that has allowed me to get a better sense of my pace. Over the next 5 weeks I start to up the mileage and hopefully I can increase my speed sufficiently to maintain a constant time-investment as time is something I don’t have a surplus of. Yet again, I’ll be working my running schedule around my travel this week so will have to cram a lot of miles in at the weekend. I’ve also notice that I’m losing about 1lb a week – that cumulative advantage should help as I start on the longer runs.

Running Part 2

Just finished week 2 of my 10 week half-marathon training. Despite being away from home most of the week – I managed to exceed my mileage goal again – but didn’t make much progress on my pace. I have goal of finishing under 1hr 50m so need to be aiming for 8 minute miles; currently I’m barely hitting 10 min. miles consistently. With the warmer weather in the Triangle It was great to be running outside for the last couple of days (I find the treadmill desperately boring) and good to hit some small hills which should help bring my pace up.

Next week I’m hoping to squeeze in 16-18 miles and it looks like it will be warm enough to do most of those outside.

For what its worth, here’s my 10 week plan, it’s a variation of one I found here.



I’ve never been much of a runner but always found running to be a pretty decent way to keep fit. It requires very little in the way of skill or technique; you don’t need any equipment; there’s nothing to set up and you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you’re busy with kids and travel and a job then you’ll find it pretty decent from a time investment point of view.

The only time I’ve really done any regular running was over a decade ago (notably before kids) – I ran the Bristol (UK) Half Marathon 3 times (98, 99 and 2000) as well as a few other shorter runs here and there (most recently the Los Gatos Dammit Run). But I’ve really never been much of a runner and find it pretty boring (more so on a treadmill) – I find cycling much more engaging and a much easier way to ‘turn off’; but cycling needs a lot more investment.

Over the Christmas break I signed up for the Tobacco Road Half Marathon and put together a 10 week training plan. I finished the first week this morning and am slightly ahead of my target. That’s fortunate because my plan (and the time available) has absolutely no contingency for injury or travel. And you guessed it – next week I’m traveling – the hotel has a small poorly equipped gym with exactly one running machine and the temperature in Boston isn’t going to be above freezing until August. If I was a runner – I’d be a fair-weather runner at that.