Sunday, 29 November 2009

A bit of `R n R`

Where `R n R` is rain and more rain...and it was more than a bit!!

The last time I ran down on the south coast was last month in the Great South which I had enjoyed despite the `home straight` so it bought back good memories. So I had been looking forward to this one - that soon changed when driving down the A3 I saw the dark battle sea grey clouds – my goodness I can`t remember seeing darker clouds - it did not look good.

Got there early as meeting with my cousin, who I had been & unknown to me been following for the last few miles. Also met up with a couple of club mates too

Today`s plan was to an easy run – as conditions would dictate the pace – I would think about a shorten stride & cadence.

The start was very casual and near the back for a change, this I suppose helped with the steady 1st mile, moving through the pack. Faster 2nd mile, then came the off-road section – a very waterlogged footpath. I used the puddles to gauge where my foot was landing so not all bad then. Then the course, by design meant you could pass the other runners coming past – amazing how the front runners make it look so comfortable. Then came the rain, blowing in from the sea. I seemed to gain a few extra places when the conditions got worse. At least it wasn`t hail I said to a group of runners. Then a section straight into the wind and then a bit of a turn and along the sea front. Tucked in behind a couple of runners and took this chance to have a bit of a breather & to watch again the runners coming the other way. At about 8 & bit miles decided that was enough rest so at the switch back point I pushed on & within seconds the heavens opened up – well I say heavens but it was coming in sideways. Within a few minutes it stopped, and then the hailstones – my goodness they stung. Still I found myself passing runners with almost ease. Within the final mile and straight into the wind – I`m sure I was leaning so far forward (which was not a bad thing) my feet were landing behind me and through the finish.

Splits - 7:51, 7:28, 8:00, 8:04, 7:45, 7:38, 7:41, 7:49, 7:40, 7:19.

Finish time (Garmin) – 1.17.15

Almost sprinted to the car to get into some warm clothes. Got back to the finishing area & saw my cousin coming home – who had done well.

Huge thanks to Havant AC & all the mad marshals who stood out on the course in the rain with encouraging words – thanks.

The forthcoming week`s running plans –

Aim - An easy one.

Tuesday – easy 4 or 6 miles.
Thursday – much of the same, easy 4 or 6 miles.
Saturday – a 30 min parkrun.
Sunday – Doyen of the Downs.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

100 and not out.

100 and not out.

Today I completed 100th race (in all distances) & was pleased it happened at Basingstoke`s (NHTT) parkfun. You may think that is a lot but I still find it incredible that others have run 100 races at one distance - MicknPhil, Shades, Plodding Hippo, Lisrun to list only few.

Anyway I collected Alan & Wendy – both Cove Joggers, in fact I was so excited about today that I got there early...but that is one lesson I`ve learnt is to get to races early. We were first to arrive at NHTT and decided to stay in the car as it was so cold. The sun was out, blue skies but someone turned off the heating!!! We needed to do a warm up run – just about to set off & Gobi arrived in disguise & alone on bike. Soon enough other runners started to appear – some I had hadn`t seen for a while which was nice

During the warm up I kept thinking about a couple of things – what to wear & what pace bearing in mind tomorrow`s 10 miler & next week`s 30 !!! Made the simply decision 1st – pace – see what happens pace or `free` running. Second decision made - wearing club vest over a long sleeved top (which to be fair is what I`ll more than likely wear in the Doyen Of The Downs next week). Another lesson I`ve learnt is to test things out in training runs than on racing days.

At 9.00am we set off and I settled into an easy pace quite quickly on – not pushing too hard, letting things happen and smiling - it was a nice day to run. Thoughts of lifting those heels, starting the wheel, keeping the stride short & swinging those arms kept going round and round in my head. During today`s run I kept swopping places with this chap – which to be fair was quite unusual, turns out it was his first time. I saw my `target` at about 3.5 Kms so I knew I was in the ball park for my normal time (I`m in the habit – good or bad - of not looking at my watch when I`m `free` running). I didn`t catch him but that wasn`t the point of today`s run.

Was quite surprised with my finishing time – 22.44 (garmin time) 22.41 (parkrun time) – pleased with that especially as I eased up during the woods & final path as smiling so much.

What was nice, except for being my 100th race and the weather being good, was the number of runners who I saw coming in who had great runs – Gobi & his brother – huge, huge smiles. Alan & Richard who smashed his PB – smiles & hugs. Richard couldn`t wait to tell people about his run. Wendy with another PB in the bag to mention just a few. One of the big things I`ve learnt and to me is what this running (& parkfuns) is all about is – yes it can be hard out there but the friendship & the sense of satisfaction afterwards completely out weighs that small bit of pain.

So here`s to another 100 races – cheers and happy running to you all.


My race far;

First race logged on Fetch was on the 6th April 2008 – Frimley Park 10Km, it was meant to be early in the year but was postponed due to snow. In fact my 1st race of 2008 was a DNS (Sports Relief run in Guildford) due to a chest infection.

Main races include,

5 Kms – 34 off
5 Miles – 4 off
10 Kms – 29 off
10 Miles – 9 off
13.1 Miles – 13 off
30 Kms – 1 off
20 Miles – 1 off
30 Miles – 1 off

Next race – Hayling Island 10 tomorrow. I do like 10 milers as not done too many of those.