Monday, 21 June 2010

Forgot to mention the ups

North Downs Way

It`s a good job I do not name events as I would have called this one `The North (Up Down, Up Down, Up) Down`s Way`.

Not having run this one before I thought it would be good practice for North Devon Marathon – and it was a case of “just be careful what you wish for” – my goodness I found it tough but a great event.

I had only done one previous 30Km race before. I had to beat 3:34:56 (I know) so I guessed around the 3 hour mark (6 mins per Km) - easy to work out too.

Got there nice and early, had a wander around, saw Mrs BooBoo, Mr Boo & Too Much Water which was nice. After a short warm up it was time to assembly. I was testing out my marathon gear - new camelpak (Camel Rogue 2ltr), gels, sweets (Randoms - are great btw), patch up kit, sunnies, - I was all kited up.

The course started off with a lap of a nearby field - great nice and flat & can work out the pace - bit fast but not too fast. Then out onto the road & through the nearby golf course. One advantage of being a `km` distance is that the garmin beeps come around quicker. Found the first hill at around the 4Km marker - that got my pace back on track. Just after the 5Km marker we had a bit of a wait for the first of many kissing gates (at least a minute) - but still on track. One thing that I hadn`t worked out was my gel strategy - I normally take them every 5 miles - quick mental bash around and all was ok. Went through the 10Km at spot on the hour - great. Bugger forgot to take the gel. Opps..

At 11Km found a whopping great hill in the way - first walking point :-( Kept it steady after that - bouncing around the 6 min km mark. Went through 15Km in 1:32 – knickers two minutes down. I thought to myself do I catch up now or wait and have a strong last 10Km - best not to burn out...faster last 10Km it is then. At around the 17Km point we went through this field - it was so nice. Open field full of corn with a few poppies growing in between - we were on this small track of course but the wheat was growing so close I could run with my hands down sweeping through the corn ears - an inspiring moment - I could not help but to think of Russell Crowe in the Gladiators in the corn field..

A real motivating moment - "At my signal unleash hell” I was ready, bring it on.....

....then like a kid with the tv remote I suddenly thought of this.....

...The moment had gone...damm my upbringing.

Never mind - I did laugh at that for miles to come.

I was nearly back on track then at 19Km another hill - it was quicker to walk - but gutting I knew the minutes were ticking over and I don`t like to walk. Through 20Km in 2:04 or something - mt garmin had lost 0.25Km somewhere under the trees.

The next few Kms were great, I especially liked the section through the vineyard. Then a killer hill at 23Km. At the water station at 24Km I practically had a wash.Right 5 Kms to go – well that`s a not actually. Well those last few Kms through the field & then over the golf course were tough. At least you didn`t see the finish somewhere off in the distance.

Through the finish in 3:06:05 (pleased I got that obligatory 5 seconds in)

2nd PB of the week – nearly 29 mins Still more to come off that thou.

Watch the prize giving (1:48 flipping heck that was fast) & chatted to BooBoo and TMW at the car.

Great event, well marked – almost to the point of every large stone or tree root w, happy & friendly marshals. There was water & Isotonic drinks, gels & jelly babies at the water stops esp at the key points. Tech T-Shirt, Medal & Cakes (as many as you like). Great start & finishing area – even a free swim afterwards if you wanted it (which I did) - free car parking. It`s almost a case of "what kissing gates" or "really - stiles you say" - "nope never saw any hills" – well maybe not. Thanks Istead & Ifield Harriers.

Split Summary
1) - 0.62m - 5:28(8:48/m) - 77cal
2) - 0.62m - 5:24(8:42/m) - 81cal
3) - 0.62m - 5:25(8:45/m) - 82cal
4) - 0.62m - 5:57(9:35/m) - 80cal
5) - 0.62m - 6:43(10:50/m) - 77cal
6) - 0.62m - 7:22(11:53/m) - 78cal - wait for a kissing gate
7) - 0.62m - 5:40(9:08/m) - 79cal
8) - 0.62m - 6:12(10:00/m) - 84cal
9) - 0.62m - 6:15(10:05/m) - 81cal
10) - 0.62m - 5:58(9:38/m) - 80cal
11) - 0.62m - 6:47(10:56/m) - 77cal
12) - 0.62m - 8:09(13:09/m) - 72cal - hill
13) - 0.62m - 6:11(9:58/m) - 84cal
14) - 0.62m - 5:58(9:38/m) - 83cal
15) - 0.62m - 6:29(10:27/m) - 80cal
16) - 0.62m - 6:07(9:52/m) - 83cal
17) - 0.62m - 5:30(8:52/m) - 85cal - through the cornfield
18) - 0.62m - 5:52(9:28/m) - 82cal
19) - 0.62m - 6:03(9:45/m) - 79cal
20) - 0.62m - 7:51(12:40/m) - 75cal - hill
21) - 0.62m - 6:27(10:24/m) - 76cal
22) - 0.62m - 5:49(9:24/m) - 81cal
23) - 0.62m - 6:14(10:03/m) - 82cal
24) - 0.62m - 6:54(11:08/m) - 87cal - hill
25) - 0.62m - 7:05(11:26/m) - 82cal - washed & clean finger-nails
26) - 0.62m - 6:17(10:08/m) - 84cal
27) - 0.62m - 6:29(10:27/m) - 72cal
28) - 0.62m - 6:16(10:07/m) - 77cal
29) - 0.62m - 5:56(9:34/m) - 81cal
30) - 0.37m - 3:18(8:55/m) - 48cal

Next up – North Devon Marathon this Sunday. Which is going to be tough but I`m so looking forward to it. I might even have a pint of cider afterwards

Getting there.....

Forest 5

Been looking forward to this event for weeks. Why, you might ask - well a couple of reasons - firstly and despite the number of events I do I had not entered this event before and secondly my 4 previous 5 mile races had been over the same hilly (x 4 hills) course so my 5 Mile PB is very weak (41:55) so weak in fact I normally beat during every race.

I had looked up my 5 mile split time during the Tadley 10 (36:25) & Brass Monkey Half (37:15) so even thou this course wasn`t flat or on road like those two I thought 38:30 (7.8 or 7.42m/m) would be achievable so that`s what I wrote on the back of my number (7.42m/m - 7.8).

Got there early as my mate wanted to run to, and after a little warm up. Loads of folks I knew - Jock, Gymfreak, Corona, several of my club mates were there plus a couple of folks from another local jogging club :-) I had been over Swinley Forrest before so I knew roughly what was to come.

The start was a bit tight and I got a bit caught up - but the steady start might pay off later. Saw the first mile marker go past (7.52). The tracks seemed to open up during the second so it was a bit faster (7.28) - slightly ahead. During 3M I was passed by a couple of runners I knew (inc the Club Secretary) we turned down this track and came across the first hill - not good. Clicked through 3M at 8.00 - ok to my thinking I was there or there abouts. Found the next mile hard - not really the course but by the numbers appeared to be passing me - clocked at 8.12. At this rate I thought I was going to miss my PB let alone my target. so I pushed in the last mile - gained a few places which is nice (plus the course appeared to be down hill) - caught three or four runners near the line. Looked down at my watch - 38.37. Glad I took it steady at the start.

Seven seconds - how I got there was more luck than judgement but a PB is a PB.

I`ll be back next year as it`s a good midweek trial race - never been given a key ring before as a memento.

Getting there but still looking for a flat 5M road race as I know I can get lower.

Next up is the North Down`s Way - a hilly off-road 30Km event - highly rated by RW last year.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A quick round up....

A quick round up then...

Yateley 10Km

So after running the BUPA 10,000 on Bank Holiday Monday, I was running the Yateley 10Km on the Wednesday night. Didn`t see this much as a major problem as the year before I ran two 10Km three days apart (oddly enough the Yateley 10Km (45.34) on the Wednesday night & then the very flat Dorney Dash on the Saturday - 45.12 my current PB), however the differences in this year`s training programme is hugely different (note I`m not mentioning the age thing).

So come race night and my quads are rock hard - even warming them up by cycling the 6 or so miles there didn`t release them - I thought to myself "tonight is going to be fun". This is a great event as there are so many people I know there. Settled in the starting position, chatted to a couple of people from the parkrun and off we went. Don`t know who it was but the fast chap at the front zoomed off and was it clear space in no time - looking at the results I guess he was caught up. The race plan was simply - see how fast I could run with tired legs - essentially I was using this as Thunder Run training - laps of 10Km in a relay event. This event is also a big meet up for my Club - ok mainly in the supporting role but it`s good to see support out on the course. Their support place was next to the pub - Cove Joggers - top Athletic Club don`t you know! I went passed & nearly got hold of someone`s beer - would have been a tough call if I had got it. They were still there when I went passed with half a Km to go. All about endurance I suppose!!

Anyway an enjoyable run - chatting to so many folks along the way, looking at the garmin when it beeped rather than looking at it for a time. Kept it steady, free running in the best way. Went though the line - semi pleased with race time would have liked a quicker time but legs were heavy - but afterwards it was the splits I was really happy with;

Splits - 5:04, 4:55, 4:43, 4:31, 4:47, 4:48, 4:52, 5:03, 5:03, 4:49, 0:32 (0.08m)

Time - 49.07

Cooled down by cycling to the pub - I do like the Yateley 10Kms series. Great event.

Next month`s one will also be a toughie to race.

Other news

Due to the forthcoming marathon I needed to get some long runs under my belt, so a couple of Saturday`s ago I was out the door at 6.40 am (!!!) - all dressed up in marathon gear for a long run before the local Frimley Lodge parkrun. So along a very quiet main road and up past the golf course and unto a smooth long footpath. Did seem to go on a bit but soon enough it was time to turn onto the canal. I do think the canal is great place to run esp when its early & quiet so much wildlife if you keep your eyes open. In what seemed no time at all the 5th mile beep went off - great .... breakfast time - a smart GEL - my favourite . Carried on, keeping the pace steady. I wanted to go around the 9.10 m/m pace - not great pacing but close-ish (6.5 / 10), Took a couple of photos @ 7M and stopped @ 10M to look across the lake to enjoy the view & another gel. Got to Frimley Lodge just over the 1hr 50 min (11.92M) with half hour or so to spare. Chatted to a couple of club runners I knew before the start. A good run - a progressive run (25.41) and 2 miles home. A good start to the day - 17 miles all before 10.30am.

I had planned to run in the Alresford 10Km on Sunday but I still had the effects of Friday`s LSR in my legs (19.98M) so it was a DNS - a shame but I think a sensible decision (left hamstring thanks me for that) but I did pop down to support...and eat ice creams - well I had to do something while I waited :-) So pleased I did pop down as you see events in a totally different way - it was just fantastic to see

This week - a couple of unusual distances - tomorrow`s 5M & Sunday`s 30Km which I`m looking forward to. Then next week off to sunny Devon for a long weekend to see the sea and do a bit of running. Then it`s Wimbledon time :-)

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Breaking the habit....

BUPA 10,000

It felt quite good to go back to London after April`s race. It was my 2nd time doing the BUPA, last year, due to the re-arranged Wokingham Half I didn`t race it but this year it was different even thou I have lost some of my speed compared to where I was last year I just had to beat 48:19.

Met up with WTS & later on RLTW in almost the same place as last year - no lucozade freebies as the ques were far too long. With about 30 mins to go we made our way to the baggage drop & the starting area. Stopped off to chat to Ian (& Katie, Sue & Lyn), arrive in my pen still in plenty of time - chatted to Tiptoes before the start. Clapped in the elites - big cheer for Mo.

So the plan was to get as close as I could to my PB without racing off like a loon at the start. Basically in the 45 - 46 area It was pretty good start, maybe a touch fast but I felt in control - I adjusted my pace after hearing the 1st Km beep rather than being forced to slow down. Kept think about the lean forward, shorter strides, loose ankles. Saw Alison (another Covie) some when before the 2Km marker & kept behind her - I could have caught her but I would run my own race, kept thinking lean, short strides. Just afterwards I passed her - OK maybe a bit too fast. Slow down.

Huge amount of support along the way and we hadn`t got to he water station yet - massive cheers for Fetch there (thanks), up the slope - that helped to slow things down, maybe too much. I always seem to run on the left hand side of the road - near the supporters as you get so many shouts along the way.

Over the 5 Km mats in around 22.30 - not too bad, close to my 5Km PB of 21.53 but I would struggle with hitting the 10 Km PB as I worked out 22.30 x 2 + 1min = 46 mins, damm. Meanwhile as I was running along working this out I was losing pace - foot down time. Swinging those arms, lean. The next few Kms passed by - running out of Km markers. Passed the outgoing runners on the other side - massive cheers, kept pushing forward. Passed 9 Km around the corner & up past the pub (Lord Moon of the Mail) seeing Trafalgar Column (Q. Were there any more sights along the route to see ??? lol ).

Didn`t think of the "I`m not a 400 metre runner` as I went past those signs, pushed through till the finish as I knew it was close....

Was funny as I stopped the said 46:08 - another 08 finish at London - bugger !!!

Splits - 4:17, 4:19, 4:29, 4:44, 4:41, 4:51, 4:36, 4:40, 4:36, 4:37, 0:20

Garmin - 46:08:67 (Chip time - 46.05 - 5Km - 22:53 - they`ve had a few problems)

Didn`t really mind too much about being over 46.xx (ok slightly under would have be better) but my running recently hasn`t shown any signs of that pace so I`m pleased.

Afterwards met up with Sue & Lyn and WTS & some more new & old friends for a RW `s social in the Lord Moon...

Great event - and I`m in again next (might be doing Edinburgh so that would be fun thou !!!)

Next up is Yateley 10Km tonight !