Sunday, 30 May 2010

"I love it when a plan (nearly) comes together"

Dorking 10

I entered this one purely as a training run for the North Devon Marathon. I ran this before so I knew what was in store – hills, nice countryside & a few more hills.

(Race profile - )

As I drove down the A25 & looked left I saw Box Hill – I did laugh & thought mad buggers (for those who don`t know that the start of Midsummer’s Munro – btw guys the rumours are false - they have not install a cable cars.)

Anyway, great venue & car-parking at Dorking – huge field to park then a short walk to the start.

I`m glad I wasn`t `racing` it as it was blooming hot – which I didn`t mind as Devon in June could be hot. Also decided to wear a camel-pak just in case I wear that in Devon too.

I had a plan to keep the pace very constant regardless of the course, which meant I worked harder up the hills!!

After a quick race briefing from Dr Rob, we moved into our estimated finishing positions & then off.

Did feel a bit of a fraud by not having the `racing head` on but everyone has their own agenda anyway.

Felt a bit relaxed into the first mile – noticed the mile split and quicken the pace slightly, then came the first hill. Just after the second mile Dr Rob came bouncing past – despite the hill I was pleased when I saw the 2nd mile split time. Just after the Mile 3 marker there is a short sharp hill with a hidden 2nd incline – thought I might drop time there but I guess I used the downward section well. You complete the first lap at around Mile 5, which does mean you run that `double hill` twice. Pleased with the first half.

At mile 6 I knew if I could keep this pace steady – maybe slow down a touch it would be a good run. Had a go at applying sun-cream * on the go – not pretty!!! Sharp incline at 7 & half miles, followed by a downward section. From last year I knew the last couple of miles were are a bit lumpy with not a lot of downward running. Couldn`t believe the runner behind me was moaning that we had to wait for an ambulance to come through some traffic to get to a runner who had collapsed – we only had to stop for a few seconds – ggrrrr. Anyway saw the “I`m not a 400 metre` runner” sign and into the field & through the finish – nice touch when you hear your name & club over the loud speakers.

Great event – well done for hitting the 25th Anniversary run (it says that on the very nice tech T-shirt :-) )

Splits - 9:11, 8:53, 8:56, 8:57, 9:04, 8:46, 8:48, 9:10, 9:27, 8:52

Garmin time - 1:30:04

After getting back to the car & updating my race time I had notice I was meant to running at a slightly slower pace – opps so nearly perfect then.

* (Thanks RachE & Gobi – very useful gift)

Next event – BUPA 10,000 Bank Holiday Monday, then the Yateley 10Km on the Wednesday.......ok that`s more practice for the Thunder Run then :-)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Aye, aye Captain steady as she goes....

Queen Mother`s Reservoir 10 Km

Ok so recently I`ve not been running as quick as I would have liked, but what is actually worse than that is my running discipline - posture & splits - have gone AWOL.

Basically I wasn`t really looking forward to the Queen Mother`s Reservoir 10 Km so much so that I did have thoughts of DNS this one but decided in the end that running on a flat surface around a water reservoir for 6.2 miles would actually be good for me - I wasn`t looking to race this one - maybe 50:00 mins. My legs were a bit tired - I was even wearing my full lengths 2XU`s to help out.

Met up with Sue & Nick, who shocked me by saying they were only doing the 5 Km (I didn`t even think about doing the shorter distance). Fluffed around a bit, and after a short warm up it was time to start. The plan was to keep it steady - the first km marker came around a little bit too quickly, slowed it down. I could have chased a few runners who went passed but I didn`t. 2 Km came up - a bit slower but ok. 3rd & 4th Kms were the same pace - I was feeling generally ok at this pace. A couple more runners slowly past me - kept with my plan thou.

Through half way is a good pace - i.e. I didn`t sped up to look good. Splits were bang on each other which was really pleasing - did wonder when or if they would slow....opps famous last words - a slight increase, then another increase - I WASN`T going to fade. Tweaked the pace a little & pushed through till the end.

Caught a few of the runners who past me in the race in the final Km which was good.

Through the line in not the quickest 10 Km I`ve ever done but would say it might have been the most pleasing & constant km splits I`ve done.

Pleased I turned up in the end for two reasons -

1. I enjoyed the running part
2. Because it`s a good event.

For those who want the stats....

Split Summary
1) - 0.62m - 4:23(7:05/m) - 149bpm avge - 157bpm max - 78cal
2) - 0.62m - 4:41(7:34/m) - 157bpm avge - 160bpm max - 82cal
3) - 0.62m - 4:40(7:32/m) - 159bpm avge - 161bpm max - 82cal
4) - 0.62m - 4:39(7:30/m) - 159bpm avge - 160bpm max - 82cal
5) - 0.62m - 4:39(7:30/m) - 161bpm avge - 162bpm max - 83cal
6) - 0.62m - 4:40(7:32/m) - 161bpm avge - 163bpm max - 82cal
7) - 0.62m - 4:45(7:39/m) - 161bpm avge - 163bpm max - 83cal
8) - 0.62m - 4:51(7:50/m) - 161bpm avge - 164bpm max - 81cal
9) - 0.62m - 4:41(7:33/m) - 162bpm avge - 166bpm max - 83cal
10) - 0.62m - 4:38(7:29/m) - 164bpm avge - 167bpm max - 81cal
11) - 0.01m - 3(5:23/m) - 166bpm avge - 166bpm max - 1cal

Garmin time - 46:41

Heart Rate Zone Summary
HR Zone: 80-147bpm (Sub 70%): 3.1%
HR Zone: 147-151bpm (71-75%): 1.6%
HR Zone: 151-156bpm (76-80%): 4.1%
HR Zone: 156-161bpm (81-85%): 43.9%
HR Zone: 161-166bpm (86-90%): 45.6%
HR Zone: 166-170bpm (91-95%): 1.7%

Pace Zone Summary
Pace Zone: 6:20-6:39/mile: 3.2%
Pace Zone: 6:40-6:59/mile: 4%
Pace Zone: 7:00-7:19/mile: 14.4%
Pace Zone: 7:20-7:39/mile: 42.9%
Pace Zone: 7:40-7:59/mile: 28.3%
Pace Zone: 8:00-8:19/mile: 3.4%

Next up is the Doking 10 this Sunday - A hilly course, where I shall be running at MP in preparation to the North Devon Marathon which is also hilly so I`ve been told :-)

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer.....

Hook 10 Race Report

One advantage of doing a fair few number of races is that I`m getting to know the better events, which is why I was back at Hook this year (but without the hangover this year). A very nice local `village fete` type of event, with a number of different distance events - 10M, 6M & fun run - how can they not include 10M as a fun run???

Got there early, and met up with John (an ex Covie), along with other parkfunners - Colin & Elaine, Richard. Bumped into Foxy Lady as I was going for a last minute warm up.

The 10M race started at 11.00am, with the 6M going 12 minutes afterwards. The 10M course was generally flat with a couple of energy sapping rises, starting off in the Village, then into a small trading estate before heading into the countryside & back running the Village loop again. The plan was to go as close to a PB as possible - 1.13.56 PB - why I had that plan I don`t know as I`ve seemed to have gained a few pounds since London (half a stone to be nearer the truth - weight now 12st 7lbs).

Shortly after hearing the second mile `beep` I knew I had over cooked the start - no way I was I in PB shape - breathing all over the place. Tried to settle down to a pace I could maintain and still found it hard work - I don`t like to work hard during 10M. John soon appeared next to me, and shortly disappeared. My yoga teacher lives along the course and it was a good job she was teaching as if she saw my running then I`ll be working on my core for weeks to come - I wasn`t looking good. Mile splits were all over the shop.

Through half way in a 5M PB (only cos my actual 5M PB was set when I went rock climbing), and decided that I would write off the 1st 5M and have a better 2nd half - I think this generally worked. I went past Chris (another parkrunner) just before 6M, and John shortly afterwards.

We had to go along a flat fast road but one things the organisers did was to have a safety car out slowing the traffic down with I thought was a nice touch. Saw Elaine just before my 7M - great 5Km to go and got into steady pace and into the last part of course. Felt surprising better - would even say enjoyed the last couple of miles. I guess that I was thinking about form more - an area I had to work on. I looked out for Colin but he managed to finish his race before I could get him and through the line I went.

I aimed for 1:14:00 and finished in 1:17:31 so a bit disappointing in that respect but a good event for socially & lessons to be learnt - Need to practice more Chi running & as Danny Dryer says if you want to manage your weight then learn how to eat correctly so no more `good but bad` food.

It could also be that because I had, what I`m calling a disappointing London I`m trying too hard to get that perfect race & aiming too high at the moment....just a thought thou.

Split Summary;

1) - 1m - 7:04(7:04/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 7:20(7:20/m) - 130cal
3) - 1m - 7:44(7:44/m) - 133cal
4) - 1m - 8:01(8:01/m) - 132cal
5) - 1m - 8:31(8:31/m) - 130cal
6) - 1m - 7:31(7:31/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 132cal
8) - 1m - 7:45(7:45/m) - 132cal
9) - 1m - 8:03(8:03/m) - 133cal
10) - 0.95m - 7:27(7:51/m) - 122cal

Next up - Is the Queen Mother`s Reservoir 10Km on Tuesday (practice for BUPA 10,000)

Monday, 10 May 2010

A town called Bracknell

Bracknell Half

First real race since London (well not including the parkruns). The main aim of entering Bracknell Half was to see what my legs & CV are currently like. Other reasons included – I really enjoyed this event last year, it`s only £12.00 to enter and hopefully if like last year you get a medal, T-Shirt, water bottle plus other goodies plus you get great support along the way

Shortly after getting there I met up with Alan (aka Martin)- the other club mate. Saw Muttley - another race fan, who was celebrating his 50th birthday by hopefully collecting his 100th race medal - he did, nice one Mutts.

The course itself starts on a open road then after the first mile or so it`s mainly footpath and underpasses around Bracknell. Then by about the 5 and half mile the elevation changes to very undulating and becomes more exposed. This carries on till about the last mile when it`s downhill to the finish.

Assembled mid way into the starting area and just shortly after 9.00am we were off. After a bit of a scrum at the start (no estimated finishing time positions at the start). First mile was ok despite a bit of weaving, then as the path cleared in front the second mile marker quickly came into view, and then the third – 5Kms in about 24 mins. Felt good, legs felt good so didn`t bother changing pace. As I tried to rememeber the route the mile marker came & went – all without too much trouble.

Tuned the corner where it starts to be a bit exposed – and the rain started...nice. Started to feel the undulations now but at least the twists & turns hid the next upward part of the course. Through 10Km in about 48 mins or so (I need to seriously improve that before the BUPA 10,000). Saw Alec & Nicki – had a laugh with them as I asked if the guys in front were going the right way.

Saw Alan in front and decided I would take it a bit steady. Slowly I gained or he slowed down and just by the inappropriate sign – “Longhill Roundabout” – “Longhill - I know I`ve just ran up the blooming thing” I passed Alan. Then a downward section (I knew there had to be one), another underpass, then a sharpish corner another hill. Felt good seeing the 10 Miler click over and I did noticed my mile splits kept steady throughout the undulating section which was pleasing.

Into the last mile, and it`s true what they say “All downhill from here” – I know :-) Nice speedy last mile, and from memory I knew we had to run past the finish and then turn back on ourselves to the finish – I gained a few places there. The finish had a nice run in which was lucky as I saw the clock coming up to another minute – I so didn`t want another “just over the minute time” so with a bit of a sprint & dipped through the finish in 1.41.52...

Well pleased with that esp after a 22.50 parkrun on the day before. The `poor race of London` was put to bed. Happy days again.

Nice chat & cool down afterwards.

Splits (last year`s splits in brackets) -

1) - 1m - 7:46 (7:49)
2) - 1m - 7:42 (7:36)
3) - 1m - 7:36 (7:37)
4) - 1m - 7:32 (7:36)
5) - 1m - 7:32 (7:38)
6) - 1m - 8:04 (8:12)
7) - 1m - 8:00 (8:09)
8) - 1m - 7:59 (8:17)
9) - 1m - 7:57 (8:14)
10) - 1m - 7:55 (8:05)
11) - 1m - 8:01 (8:17)
12) - 1m - 8:05 (8:17)
13) - 1m - 7:37 (7:47 based 0.92m @ 7:09)
14) - 0.02m - 0:05

Finishing (Garmin) time = 1:41:52 (2009 = 1:42:56)

Afterwards & because it was local I managed to go to the gym for a steam & a soak (& I didn`t fall alseep in the steam room like last weekend)

Next up is the Hook 10 next Sunday – yippee I love 10 milers (& hopefully I will not, like last year do that race with a hangover – not clever but it wasn`t really my fault - honest guv)

Other news -

I`ve seemed have entered another marathon - Benidorm Marathon. Several of my club mates have entered and staying for a few days afterwards - seems a good way to end the year :-)

I`ve also been having thoughts AND I know we are hardly into May but I`ve been thinking about next year....this year I`m only down for one ultra (JW Ultra) ok I might sneak over the distance at the Thunder Run but next year I`ve decided to hit the ball long.....

Friday, 7 May 2010

London was calling.

Firstly sorry for the delayed race report.

London Marathon Race Report

After helping out within the finishing area last year I knew I had to do this race, and in a bizarre way it had to be my first marathon - er well stopping at 26.2M anyway but you know what I mean - don`t you?

Was lucky enough to receive a place through the ballot. Drew up a rough training which basically meant I could do most of my longer `training` runs during some local races, I figured I would get supported along the way, these included;

Bramley 20 - Result = 2.53.20 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 49mins
Surrey Spitfire 20 - Result = 2.47.18 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 40mins
Cranleigh 21 - Result = 3.02.26 - Prediction (at that pace) = 3hrs 49mins
Moonlight Challenge - Result = 6.04.56 - Went through the 26.2M point at about 10.30pm so just about 4hrs 30mins (last 6.55M used as a cool down)

(Only really `raced` the the Surrey Spitfire & as for the Moonlight Challenge that was just over-distance training)

Generally pleased with pre-London training thou.

When I applied for London I hadn`t really any experience on long runs so I estimated a finishing time of 4hrs 30mins. I went to the expo and picked up my race number - 4994 Blue Start - Pen 7 .........mmm ok that`s a bit further back than I would have liked but if I put down 3.50 / 4.00 hrs when I applied I may not been given a place....

RW pacers -

Pen 3 - 8.00/mile (just under 3.30)
Pen 5 - 9.00/mile (just under 4.00)
Pen 7 - 10.00/mile (just under 4.30)

So the plan of 3.40 / 3.45 (around 8.23m/m) was ditched as I knew I was never going to hit that pace starting from Pen 7.

Plan B became Plan A - sub 4 and hopefully that would be progressive run as hopefully as time went on in the race I would be given space to run.

Race Day

Slept well, up at 5.00am, showered & feed as being picked up at 6.00am. We were travelling up in the Sandhurst Joggers runner`s coach. Got there in plenty of time. Quick wander around, met up with Plodding Hippo for a couple of pre-fetch meeting photos Suddenly loads of fetchies appeared - photo time. Shortly afterwards the heavens opened. Q. Why don`t runners pack a bin-liner in their race bag???. Said good luck to my club mates and made my way to pen 7 - I needed to be in front part of the pen.

9.45 am came along & some movement forward, then a bit more, then a full scale walk So at 9.51 and a bit I started my VLM. At about 300 metres in we seemed to stop for some lights big cheer when they went green and off again.

As expected the 1st mile was slow, with the next few miles getting a bit quicker. Saw a few fetchies inc SarahL in her Gingerbreadman outfit, a mile or so further up went past the giraffe runner - both completely mad. Around Cutty Sark reduced the pace again. I moved through the runners fairly easily but I didn`t really notice / enjoy the route as I needed to concentrate on passing the `synchronised runners` and avoid the water bottles, I also noticed the tips of my toes were hurting - I guess this was due to slowing down and `breaking`, anyway carried on.

The gel plan was the one I normally follow - one every 5 miles plus some added jelly babies en route.

Before the race I had written on the back of my number certain reminders of key positions - Mile 13 I had to be on the left hand side, Mile 14 was still on the left, Mile 17 right hand side of the road, Mile 20 left hand side, Mile 22 Right hand side. Finish in the middle.

Just before mile 13 I moved over to the lefthand side - basically this is where you can see the faster runners coming past on the other side - their 21 miles. Missed seeing the top elites Also you get to see the fetchpoint - massive lift that - massive cheer - thanks guys Shouted out to Sarah Gee (who never looks strained or anything - just damm fast), shouted out to Jock just before I went round the corner.

Mile 14 I was looking out for a brolly...a prearranged sign where I would see my Brother & his wife...and it worked and I saw them, which was a boost

As the miles ticked over I felt strong but knew the weaving & change of pace was going to wear me out, hopefully I wouldn`t go pop... At Mile 17 I moved over for the Runner`s World Point..saw the 1st group & for some reason I didn`t (couldn`t) stop for my goodies - knickers just fancied a lift. Pinched a few jelly babies off a couple of speculators. At Mile 20 saw my brother again & saw Chris from the parkrun.

Mile 22 - the fetchpoint - been looking forward to this all morning and it didn`t disappoint - massive thanks guys - made sure I waved & chapped everyone there. Pull into `Team 7` pitting area - the plan was a quick hello and a quick kiss & a hug with Elaine & Colin - this didn`t go to plan as I got a kiss off Colin too.. Being serious - thank you ALL for being there you were stars.

Anway only a few miles left now and in one way disappointment but in another thank god.

I have never ran in a race with so much support - some places it was so loud you almost ran harder to move away from it all (All meant in a nice way thou).

I guess I did find the last part quite hard, no more gels just water mainly to throw over the back of my neck. Also thought about my posture. One thing I found hard to get my head around was that the garmin became out of sync distance wise to the mile markers so I just dug deep, reminding myself of the longer runs I had done & my future plans.

I looked at my Garmin in one of the final miles - it clocked 8.24 m/m that`s my marathon pace - I did smile at that as better late than never

The final part of the course I remembered from last year`s BUPA 10,000 so I knew the finish wasn`t too far off now.

Saw & shouted out to Moat - so good to see someone I knew so near the end.

Massive cheers from the crowd...and crossed the line and knew it was just over the 4 hours mark. (4.00.08).

Chatted with Clubmates who were helping in the finishing area which was really nice. Finally made my way to the baggage reclaim, got changed and made my way to the pub for some post race light refreshments - what a Fetchfest that was.

In conclusion - Not bad & had some fun with the training. After a week of thinking about it, starting off with disappointment I am warming to the idea it wasn`t a bad run after all but I know I can run closer to 3.40. One of main positives I took out of it was that my legs did not feel too bad during & were ok on the Monday & Tuesday so that looking good for endurance running.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 127cal
2) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 131cal
3) - 1m - 8:39(8:39/m) - 130cal
4) - 1m - 8:36(8:36/m) - 131cal
5) - 1m - 8:55(8:55/m) - 130cal
6) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 131cal
7) - 1m - 9:12(9:12/m) - 130cal
8) - 1m - 8:48(8:48/m) - 131cal
9) - 1m - 8:31(8:31/m) - 131cal
10) - 1m - 8:35(8:35/m) - 131cal
11) - 1m - 8:44(8:44/m) - 131cal
12) - 1m - 8:57(8:57/m) - 130cal
13) - 1m - 8:56(8:56/m) - 132cal
14) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 132cal
15) - 1m - 8:43(8:43/m) - 131cal
16) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 125cal
17) - 1m - 8:55(8:55/m) - 130cal
18) - 1m - 8:46(8:46/m) - 133cal
19) - 1m - 9:47(9:47/m) - 157cal
20) - 1m - 9:06(9:06/m) - 137cal
21) - 1m - 9:29(9:29/m) - 131cal
22) - 1m - 9:39(9:39/m) - 131cal
23) - 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) - 132cal
24) - 1m - 8:58(8:58/m) - 129cal
25) - 1m - 8:24(8:24/m) - 100cal - MP...ohh how I laughed
26) - 1m - 9:28(9:28/m) - 131cal
27) - 0.57m - 5:19(9:19/m) - 75cal

START TIME - 09:51:35

5K - 00:28:38
10K - 00:57:04
15K - 01:24:45
20K - 01:52:23
HALF - 01:58:23
25K - 02:19:59
30K - 02:48:08
35K - 03:17:41
40K - 03:47:13

Only 10,980 runner beat me

Next up - after the week of non-running (ok it was 6 days), it`s the Bracknell Half on Sunday, then its a busy month with a couple of fun 10 milers then back to London for the BUPA 10,000 at the end of the month (not dressing up as a Nun this year thou.).

Next marathon is the North Devon (Woolacoombe) on the 27th June - better pack my knotted hankie.