Obstructed Pavements

My training for the half marathon continued yesterday with my second Adidas miCoach session. That is, after a fitness assessment at the gym. It turns out my last fitness assessment was very nearly 2 years ago! I was glad to hear that I am officially fitter than I was. Phew! It’s a good job after all the running I’ve done in the past 15 or so months. If I’d got worse then it might have been time to hang up the running shoes.

What I did find surprising is that the improvements were smaller than I expected (I’ve apparently still got 20% body fat which seems a lot). I’m hoping part of it is down to the potential inconsistency of some of the measurements taken by the two gym workers, 24 months apart. And I’m thinking the other part might be where I’ve been taking it easy over the last 3 months. Whatever it is, it’s more motivation to stick to the training programme over the next 12 and a bit weeks. I’ll be making sure that I have another assessment, hopefully with the same gym worker, after I complete the Oxford Half.

I’d decided to complete my training session direct from the gym, especially as the roads near the gym are long, straight and flat – perfect for the fartlek session miCoach had in store for me. WHat I hadn’t bargained for is that the single available pavement for a portion of the main road was so overgrown that I had to opt instead for the potholed and uneven road surface. Luckily the road is relatively quiet in the evening however vehicles rarely stick to the 30 mph limit so I was still a little tentative.

Normally I’d just let things like that go but I thought “What’s the point in building a pavement if it’s going to become unusable?” so when I got home I jumped on the web to find out how to report the problem to the council.

Little did I know that the website of both the District and the County Council would prove so difficult to hunt through to find how to complain. Who’d have thought it! Eventually I managed to get the details submitted and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to receive a real response within 24 hours. Unfortunately, the content of the response was less pleasing: as the vegetation is coming from land not owned by the council they won’t clear the pavement. The did offer me a next step – to contact my Councillor asking for them to find money in the coffers to clear the pavement.

So I shall put pen to paper to both my County Councillors. I’ll probably drop a copy to the District & Town Council too. I’ll save writing to my MP for now, he’s pribably got bigger things to worry about. If the councils hide behind the bureacracy then perhaps I’ll drop a note to Big Dave and see what he can do to get them to talk sense!

Other than the vegetation, my biggest problem is getting used to the feel of the different pace bands as I kept finding myself going too fast. The yellow zone bursts gradually got harder and the session as a whole was definitely more hard work, naturally, than the long, easy run that stared my programme. I managed to score 84% so I’m still happy with that.

Tempo session tomorrow so hold on to your hats!

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