Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The year that was 2009....I know one day left.

Review for 2009

Well where do I start - it`s been a cracking year but briefly;

March - Moved into the V40 age grading. I couldn`t let that drift through so what about “4 for 40”....nah. So a plan was hatched - 5 half marathons in 5 weekends.

8th March 2009 MicknPhil Half 1.44.55
15th March 2009 Fleet Half 1.46.44
22nd March 2009 Hogweed Hilly V Half 1.53.37
29th March 2009 Reading Half 1.44.16
4th April 2009 Bolt Around the Holt (21Km) 1.49.58

May – A fun month. A PB at Bracknell Half (1.42.56) & a run round London dressed as a Nun (BUPA London 10,000) complete with trail shoes.

June – My first taste of pain on the track – Fetch mile – 6.28.

Also my big event of the year – Midsummer`s Munro Half – Box Hill Doking. I knew it wasn`t going to be my day when I went through my PB whilst running through mile 9. Finished in 2.33.30. Around this time I learnt a valuable lesion – REST – as a week later (& two races later) I strained my ligaments in my shin – 3 weeks off.

August – Got lost around Salisbury – 30Km in 3.34.56 – Enjoyable company thou. My longest run to date.

September – Dared not to get lost around Dunstable – Dunstable Downs 20 – 3.10.35. Starting to enjoy this long distance running.

Running to South Shields from Newcastle in an Obelix`s outfit – first half marathon in fancy dress. A fantastic weekend of running & being with friends.

October – Caesars Camp Midnight 30. The course is within miles of home so it would be rude not too. My 1st Ultra. So many good memories difficult where to start or to explain...the quietness of running at 3.00am with no-one around, running through my first 26.2 miles run in the pitch black, arms held high at 5.30am with no-one around, seeing the morning sun first break through the night clouds...going through the finish line......going to a local 10Km in the morning and being quizzed why I wasn`t running. (Finish time 6.50.24)

Getting into London Marathon via the ballot – yeah, another race to run.

Also attending a Chi Running course – so much to learn about running lark.

December – Doyens of the Downs - My 2nd 30 mile Ultra which did prove you can run faster in daylight – finish time 5.22.36. There is something about these ultra`s - the feeling of togetherness is amazing (plus the views tend to be pretty good too)...might do some more of these..

There has been some `down` moments too but an amazing year and quite unsure how I will equal this but if I do I know I will be lucky. Once of the things I`ve learnt is about myself and how much we can do when we take ourselves out of our self imposed comfort zones - you can do all sorts of amazing things just believe in yourself.

I have been also luckily enough to make so many new friends throughout the year (parkrun, races, club) and seen them do some amazing things – Lee, Elaine, Colin, so many I could list – I do thank you.

I am going to sign off this year now on 45 races* completed and 1,395 miles ran...I know I could easily do another 5.5 miles but I know I can sleep happy tonight plus I have a training (& racing) plan to put together for next I`m a wee bit tired...and I do have two parkruns & a 10 miler before the 4th Jan.

Have a happy & injury free 2010


*Not including parkruns.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Hog`s Back 8

After running last`s year race with a heavy cold I was pretty I could manage to set a new PB today (target was 1.07.36). I was aiming for 1.02 which, if worked out correctly is 7.45m/m, however the course would not be kind to work this out.

Rough course - start to 1.5 mile flat, 1.5 m to 3.25 m a ruddy great hill (but nice veiws from the top). 3.25m to 5.5m downhill, 5.5m - 6.75 mile along a flat main road (single file but still undertook runners !!!). 6.75 into head wind with a gradual climb till 7.25 m. Then all the way along the grounds driveway till the finish.

Odd start as caught off guard - not paying attention - chatting and started in wrong place in the pack. Seemed to spend the whole race moving through runners in front.

Splits - 8:25(8:25/m), 8:16(8:16/m), 8:21(8:21/m), 7:11(7:11/m), 7:21(7:21/m), 7:30(7:30/m), 7:29(7:29/m), 6:43(8:00/m) - measured at 7.84 miles (last year 7.87 miles) - Final time - 1.01.16

Pleased with outcome esp after last weekend`s running.

Easy week next week - treadmill stuff, maybe a bit of swimming & plently of reading

Monday, 7 December 2009

The words of the day, and meant in a nice way was `Stiles, Mud & Ar$e`

Since getting a place into next year`s VLM, which I want to do as my first (26.2 mile) marathon I hadn`t really planned to do another ultra beforehand (& one that was so close to October`s Midnight 30) but I suppose temptation got the better of me. Hopefully I could just top up my `distance work` by doing a few longer runs for this one. In the end I did a 12.5 miles, 19.0 miles & a 17.5 miles training runs along with one 10 mile race. I wouldn`t minded another one or two long runs but time wasn`t really on my side as it happens my mileage for November was 132 so `fairly` happy with that.

(I did glance at Draycote Water 35 before they pulled the plug )

I hadn`t really looked at the small print for this one, as this one started at 8.00am and seeing as Arundel (which has a castle) was about 1hr 20 mins away meant an early start or finding a place to stay. I didn`t sleep that well - race nerves I guess. It wasn`t the alarm clock that woke me up it was the rain battering on the window. Quick shower & a bit of breakfast later I was out the door loading the car with all the running gear I own.

It was chucking it down, actually felt sorry for the runners doing Grim & Luton, hopefully we will be alright being nearer to the coast and all that. Got there, and found the castle with about 50 mins to go, after checking in & a quick look around to see if I knew anyone - nope but then I saw my stalker - gymfreak. which was nice as it`s been a while since I turned up at a race not knowing anyone. After a quick hello I fluffed around a bit..another change of footwear, more vaseline over my feet - I finally decided on my Mudclaws 330`s - a risk but I think I was going to need to extra grip, also going with the belt pack rather than my camelpak. Good news the rain had actually stopped and soon we were in the starting area.

Chatted to gymfreak & soon enough we were off, and with that gymfreak starts going off completely in the wrong way - which was really funny. Out onto the road, round the corner and over the first of many, many, many stiles & into the mud. Correct choice on footwear and within half mile of the start it had started to rain - good choice of smock too.

After clearing the river bank I soon found a nice rhythm, with the rain hitting against my head who needs an ipod Came down a chalkie track and found a new way of passing runners - yep I used my ar$e - slid nicely but at least no damage done. Passed 5 mile in about 52 mins - near enough to plan. Miles till the 2nd checkpoint (10 miles) ticked away nicely - a bit of a break and a chat at this one. Through at approx 53 mins. Shortly after the 13 mile stage the sun had come out. Carried on at a nice steady pace, chatting to runners nearby. One thing I had noticed they all seemed to be chatting about this 45 miler, that 50 miler there, 100`s, mountains marathon, doubles here - I stayed a bit quiet as didn`t really want to tell them that I`d only done one marathon before.

Got to the 3rd stop (15 mile) in about 51 mins & had a bit more of a break - chatted to helly d & ran with streamer stroller (who was in practice for the Grand Union Canal Race - 145 mile - next year). Next stretch took a bit of time as the conditions were really bad. Had to walk across (& up) a field which was just solid thick clay / mud. Chatted to the runner in front who was wearing 12mm XC spikes - he did admit great over the soft ground but painful on the roads.

Checkpoint 4 was up this hill - arrived in about 60 mins, still within the rough plan I had. As I was fluffing around at the checkpoint, one of the marshals (Monster Feet) asked me if I ran Reading Half this year (my Mr. K. Fetch vest giving me away) I said yes, she then asked if I wore a fake bum. The cheek of it, I said yes, she then thanked me for pacing her to a PB. Bizarre conversation 2/3rds the way through an ultra but my ar$e is famous

Up the hill (but great views) at mile 20 & seem to fly down the other side, and `speed` carried on till the next checkpoint. An interesting debate during this fast section & which might be linked - which would be better at mile 22 during an ultra `Bacon Butties or Sausage sarnie?` I opted for sausage but I think I`m being too choosey. Through the next five miles in about 51 mins. Bizarre thing happened here - the garmin didn’t lap correctly I had a double mile.

Found the next (& last) section much harder - unsure if this is `normal`, or the terrain (muddy river banks complete with at least 10 stiles & single gates) & thinking I had more to go than I did - probably a combination of all those. Due to the garmin recording a double mile it did mean I celebrated my 2nd marathon a mile too late - even saved a small packet of jelly babies as a treat...`Ar$e !!!`

Rough calculation I was looking at 5.35 / 5.38 - `AR$E !!!` so wanted a sub 5hrs 30 mins - the terrain did`nt get any easier. Saw the castle which didn`t seem to get any closer, gained on a few runners, round the corner, over another stile & through the finish.

1) - 1m - 11:52(11:52/m) - 125cal
2) - 1m - 10:14(10:14/m) - 128cal
3) - 1m - 10:35(10:35/m) - 126cal
4) - 1m - 9:43(9:43/m) - 134cal
5) - 1m - 9:26(9:26/m) - 132cal

6) - 1m - 10:40(10:40/m) - 126cal
7) - 1m - 10:21(10:21/m) - 130cal
8) - 1m - 11:08(11:08/m) - 125cal
9) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 130cal
10) - 1m - 12:30(12:30/m) - 126cal

11) - 1m - 9:26(9:26/m) - 130cal
12) - 1m - 10:35(10:35/m) - 127cal
13) - 1m - 10:32(10:32/m) - 126cal
14) - 1m - 10:47(10:47/m) - 121cal
15) - 1m - 9:43(9:43/m) - 130cal

16) - 1m - 16:05(16:05/m) - 125cal
17) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 133cal
18) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 131cal
19) - 1m - 12:04(12:04/m) - 122cal
20) - 1m - 12:36(12:36/m) - 114cal

21) - 1m - 21:27(21:27/m) - 98cal
22) - 1m - 12:12(12:12/m) - 115cal
23) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 131cal
24) - 1m - 9:04(9:04/m) - 130cal

25) - 1m - 11:44(11:44/m) - 130cal
26) - 1m - 11:39(11:39/m) - 125cal
27) - 1m - 11:20(11:20/m) - 119cal
28) - 1m - 10:27(10:27/m) - 128cal
29) - 0.89m - 9:47(10:59/m) - 112cal

Time – 5.22.36 (73th from 170 finishers) - A new PB of approx 1 hour & 27 minutes - Yeah

(I had thought I went through 26.2 miles in approx 4.54 but adjusting back it was approx 4.40)

A quick chat with helly d and saw Gymfreak, Foxy Davy & ogee finish. Got showered & off to the pub to demolish a bowlful of chips watching the sun come down over the Castle*

Next race - Hog`s Back next Sunday (not a race as such but seeing as I`m having a week off running a good reason to put the trainers on again) then a week in Egypt.

Then in the new year I have the Tadworth 10, the Brass Monkey & the London plan and then...........

* If you didn`t know but Arundel has a castle. I did know this but when I told anyone where I was going they carried on telling me this (well known) fact regardless. I ended up saying "Oh really, I didn`t know that"