Friday, 23 July 2010

Worthwhile effort...

Wycombe HM

Never ran this one before & only made aware of it only recently. I didn`t really knew too much about this one except that I could enter on the day & it was 45 mins away. I had run doubles event before - half marathons & a 10 KMs but never two HMs back to back. I would do this for more Thunder Run training than anything - a supported Long Slow Run. To be honest it was hard to get the motivation going for this one. I had easier options - club run (most of the guys I run with were at Surrey Slog), treadmill run, or go for a run later in the day.....

Got there with plenty of time - booked in, saw a couple of faces (MicknPhil chatting away, Sarah Gee checking the route). I had decided to wear my compression full legs for a change - first time I had worn them for any real distance. Went for a warm up - legs felt surprising good but it was only a mile warm up. .I guessed about 2:00 hrs (9.09 m/m or 6.6mph) would be good - I didn`t really want to see any 8:xx mile splits...

Met up with a couple of fetches (Kallywag & Footpad). Waited around for a minute or two before the big off - 10Km & HM runners starting together...

The first section is over the field = not that quick = excellent. Then turned a corner and unto a solid path. A few twists and turn - I looked up and couldn`t really believe where we were going. It was like an alpine pass - a `S` shaped route to the top. It was steep. Well at least I was dashing off! Felt for Mick at this point but from what I heard the hills ended after about a 1 1/2M

Heard the 1st mile bleep - 1 down 12 and a bit to go. I settled down quite quickly, OK I had a couple of slightly quicker than planned miles but found my rhythm well. At this stage I was running with `Too Much Water` which helped. We chatted away as the miles clicked over - I did check my garmin every so often just to be sure. It was a nice pace.

Just before Mile 6 is quite a sharp decline - too sharp for me really (One reason why I like hilly events is to practise my hill work - I`m `ok` going up but I am rubbish at going downhill (can you tell by my brilliant mile split) - I guess it was down the Munro went I got injured coming down to the finish. I make sure I don`t extend the leading foot out but it comes at a price - I lose so many places as the other runners fly past me) Of the many runners that went past was footpad - he said why...I didn`t ask anymore.

The course bottomed out and we were back on the flat. I kept the pace steady. TMW wanted to catch a breath and dropped back a bit - I had a feeling he would pass me in the later stages. Took a gel in mile 9 which was good as I found mile 10 a struggle. Stopped briefly to help out footpad and carried on. TMW came flying past.

I calculated that I would just be over 2:00 hrs - even thou I wasn`t racing I didn`t want that so I sped up a touch. It was nice that I didn`t want or need to stop - a bad habit that had crept into my recent long runs. By mile 12 I knew I had to put my foot down ever more to get a sub 2 hrs. One sharp incline left then unto the track that went around the finishing area. Unto to the grass area and through the finish.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 10:15(10:15/m) - 126cal
2) - 1m - 9:44(9:44/m) - 129cal
3) - 1m - 8:46(8:46/m) - 130cal
4) - 1m - 8:50(8:50/m) - 130cal
5) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 129cal
6) - 1m - 9:11(9:11/m) - 132cal
7) - 1m - 9:09(9:09/m) - 131cal
8) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 131cal
9) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 130cal
10) - 1m - 9:29(9:29/m) - 129cal
11) - 1m - 8:51(8:51/m) - 131cal
12) - 1m - 8:51(8:51/m) - 130cal
13) - 1m - 8:17(8:17/m) - 130cal
14) - 0.14m - 1:00(7:09/m) - 19cal

Garmin time - 1:59:40....excellent

Went through into the finishing area and was awarded with the most generous goody bag which included a technical T-shirt, a huge medal, massive bottle of water, fruit, energy bars, more nibbles, pen etc and it was a start gun to finish timed event all for (a pay on the day price of)...£15.00 - so generous...I have a feeling they feel guilty about the first mile and half.....and a cup of water from TMW - thanks

Stayed to watch the prize giving - some super times....

Saw MicknPhil finish with an inspiring and had the pleasure of chatting to then for a while - giving high fives to Phil.

An incredible event - a must do event.

Weekend`s bling

Got home and checked my time and my start gun to finish time was....2:00:01 opps

Coming up - A bit of a Running Club weekend. A few of us are meeting up at the Frimley Lodge parkrun, then on Sunday it`s the club`s Ray Tapp memorial run - a 4.25M run (without any timing / HR devices) and who finishes closest to their predicted time wins. Then on Wednesday it`s the Woodland 5 and then the weekend`s Thunder Run..

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A trip down (well UP) memory lane...

Swanage Half

I was asked couple of weeks ago if I wanted to run this event in the place of an injured runner (thanks RFJ) - a legal change by informing the RO and everything. Unfortunately we never received a reply BUT the damage was done and the seed was sown could enter on the day and the race was on a Saturday

As a kid we used to camp nr Crofe Castle so it would be nice to go down to Swanage again. however the downside was that the trip would take just over 2 hours to get there so I decided that I would run if the weather was decent (beach afterwards).

With the race bag packed I was up & out of the door by 6.00am (start was at 10.00am with the entry desk closing at 9.00am) - another trip down the M3, M27 and thankfully the traffic was not a problem and got there nice and early. I drove along some of the course getting there (around the 7M mark) - and I really wished I hadn` say it was undulating would be an understatement - the race was billed as "TOUGH BUT REWARDING`

After warming up we all filled into the starting area and pretty much on time we started. Like most races I had a rough idea on my expected time, for this one it was 1:50 to 2:00 (or 8.23/m to 9.09/m or 7.2 mph - 6.6mph). Been practising not racing off too quickly at the start recently so I kept it steady - the steady incline in the 1st mile also helped to slow it down.

Mile 2 was also uphill, At mile 3 there was a decline but then a sharp incline - I wasn`t going to be fast one but still quite pleased with the mile spilts. At about 3.5M we generally dropped down & the views over the sea made a nice change.

Around the Mile 4 I saw a local club vest - Sandhurst Jogger - said hello and pushed on a bit. Nice section from mile 4 to mile 7.

Just before the turning at Crofe Castle it was around the halfway point - I notice my garmin clicked over the 56 mins mark at 6.55M. We turned off the tight busy road section & unto a single track / road - it was the hilly route I had seen on my way in. With the overhanging branches & the twist & turns it seemed that the hill just kept increasing - I took another `tea break` (walk break) - a bad habit I had got myself into recently. Just before the mile 9 marker we went downhill. The rest of the miles seemed to fly past and before I knew it we were back in Swanage. Ran along the front - Shouted out to Ian & Sandra and went through the finish line.

Through the finish at 1:51:25 (Garmin time) - pleased with that esp with those hills - see profile.

Collected a very unusual race memento - a golden trainer. It was also nice to get a choice - trainer or a glass paperweight. Never been given a Golden shoe before so it was an easy choice.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 8:26(8:26/m) - 128cal
2) - 1m - 8:42(8:42/m) - 132cal
3) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 131cal
4) - 1m - 8:00(8:00/m) - 132cal
5) - 1m - 8:21(8:21/m) - 132cal
6) - 1m - 7:49(7:49/m) - 132cal
7) - 1m - 7:59(7:59/m) - 133cal
8) - 1m - 9:49(9:49/m) - 132cal
9) - 1m - 9:22(9:22/m) - 126cal
10) - 1m - 8:20(8:20/m) - 131cal
11) - 1m - 8:23(8:23/m) - 133cal
12) - 1m - 8:00(8:00/m) - 132cal
13) - 1m - 8:19(8:19/m) - 131cal
14) - 0.12m - 54(7:32/m) - 16cal

The afternoon was spent on Studland beach - mixture of reading & napping - the sea water did wonders for the legs but did sting a bit a first.

Another cracker of an event - if you get the chance then you should enter this event - thanks again RFJ for pointing this one out to me.

Next event ......................................well I do have a Sunday free now............

Thursday, 15 July 2010

One packed weekend

A good weekend away.

Managed to successful switch off the auto-drive on Saturday morning and so instead of turning off at Basingstoke on the M3 I ended up on the M27 and arrived early at the Eastleigh parkrun. It was good to go back. For some reason the course seemed longer and it was good to see just under a 100 runners there now. Anyway the race plan was to run 8:00`s. I finished in a (non-train delayed) time of 24:48, which was no where near my course PB of 22:49 but pleased with general time as it was my 1st real race since Devon. Good coffee & cake in the cafe afterwards too.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 7:55(7:55/m) - 130cal
2) - 1m - 7:58(7:58/m) - 133cal
3) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 132cal
4) - 0.1m - 41(6:50/m) - 12cal

The reason to run Eastleigh was that I was running in the New Forest 10 the next day so it made perfect sense to camp over - last minute test out for all the gear for the Thunder Run too. Camp site was OK - def set up for the younger camper. Pitched tent in record time & like the true pro I plonked a hankie on my head & fell asleep in the sun. In the evening I took the `bike from the boot` (SF-FDB-2000 Bugatti Royale - LOL) & set off for the Chequers Inn. Very nice Pub - watched the semi-finals and a good fish n chips. Cycled back. The plan was to get an early night....there was a slight flaw in this plan. As then the fireworks started !!! after they had stopped it was the music, shouting etc - I guess I woke up 8 or 9 times. At roughly 5.00am the people in a nearby tent went to sleep !!!! Then the rain started !!! Thankfully it stop after a hour or so.

Finally decided to get up, have breakfast. Luckily for me the clouds cleared & the sun came out & dried off the tent. So I packed up my gear & drove the few miles to the start line & I was coming in from the other thus avoiding the delays at Lyndhurst.

I found out late on Thursday that a friend of mine was also camping in the New Forest...they were staying less than half a mile from the start line AND on a very much quieter campsite. They had deer & singing birds on their site - I had rottweilers & pit balls...!!! (Their campsite for future reference it was the Long Meadow Campsite)

Anyway ran to their site as a warm up. Met up with them and show them where we would be running & which side I would be running. Their daughter had been practising shouting "Come on Kelvin". Finished off the warm up & got ready. Met up with Ruth, JohnJ, Monty, Sue, Richard & Lynn and got into the starting area. With the start time of 11.15 am - It was getting hot already.

I had ran this event before in 2008 - it was my first 10 miler. I almost cried when I had to hand back my race number in 2009 due to injury so I knew the course - a bit of a slow start through the gate, then a smallish track then onto Forrest, with a small road section where we had to make way for the four legged wildlife then back into the Forrest.

We set off & I made sure I didn`t go off too quickly - out of the field and saw my friend with his daughter on his shoulder - as I approached the corner to the track all I could hear was her voice shouting out "Come on Kelvin" even when I had past that`s all I could hear - I think she was shouting that at everyone but it was great to hear. Briefly met up with helly d - we compared future battle plans - she won with her trump card - Ridgeway 85 - blooming looney !

Made our way unto a track - 1st down @ 8.33 - mmm a little slow. I wanted about 8.00`s (1:20:00) so increased it a little. Marshals seemed to be everywhere. Just settled into a good pace - saw Ruth in front & going well - wasn`t tempted to chase her down just running at my own pace. I past her at the 2.5M water station and onto the road section. Great to run along - open woodland either side watching the horses graze. (Yeti - I spoke to a Bournville Harrier but forgot your surname - mind you she didn`t give me long as she sprinted up an incline just before 4M mark). Saw James - a Sandhurst Jogger and played cat and mouse for a while.

All going rather well till about 5.5M - Ruth passed me (no connection) and then I had to stop for `water out` - maybe a bottle of Lucozade just before the start wasn`t the best idea ever. Found it tough to get going again but did overtake a few runners again. Really enjoyed the water spray around 6M. At the last water station (7.5M) I decided to stop & drink rather than drink on the move. I was looking forward to mile 8 - second to last mile. Soon I could think only a mile to go. Went around the corner and saw a short sharp incline - quick walk.

Then the final mile & unto the same track as going out. Past the final marshals & into the finishing straight - I did give it all in those last few metres - good for the folks watching (cheers for the shout out Monty) but it shows I had more to give during the run.

Through the finish in 1:24:28 & collected the horse brass (nice change to a medal) - afterwards we had a very nice picnic with fizzy wine & everything (said no to the bizarre beetroot thou) - thanks Sue, Lynn & Richard (parkrunners) for that.

Ok 11 minutes over my HM PB but with a bit more work I shall be there again...

Basically if you get a chance to enter this one then do so - it`s a great event with nice scenery, loads of cheerful marshals, fast enough at the sharp end of things, fun runs to keep you busy, plenty of parking, space & time to stay on afterwards, nice horse brass but it does get hot thou.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 8:33(8:33/m) - 128cal
2) - 1m - 7:50(7:50/m) - 132cal
3) - 1m - 8:04(8:04/m) - 132cal
4) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 131cal
5) - 1m - 8:07(8:07/m) - 131cal
6) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 130cal - er `water out`
7) - 1m - 8:17(8:17/m) - 132cal
8) - 1m - 9:12(9:12/m) - 129cal - stopped for water in
9) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 127cal - quick walk
10) - 1m - 8:10(8:10/m) - 125cal
11) - 0.03m - 10(5:42/m) - 3cal

Next up - and it`s really not my fault - I might be doing the Swanage Half marathon this Saturday (I know a Saturday race). I`ve checked out the comments from last year and it`s billed as a `tough but rewarding` event. I would be doing it as a training run. I can enter on the day (too late for postal entries) but I need to be all parked up & signed in by 9.00am at the latest........but Swanage is 2 hours away !!!

I did also played with the idea of going over to Kent and watching the mad folks doing the Kent 50 - if I do, then I hope I (& the runners) don`t get dizzy as it`s on a 6.5M lap (same course as the Moonlight Challenge in Feb)

Also what about the Wycombe half on Sunday too - again can enter on the day???

Decisions, decisions, decisions....will come down to weather I think.

Looking forward to the Thunder Run at the end of the month - One BIG race or loads of smaller races???.

(PS I didn`t run Yateley 10Km in the end - so that`s two races I`ve DNS this year :-O must be getting sensible in my old age)

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Nearly a photo finish.....

North Devon Marathon

Looking forward to this event for such a long time, as I`ve been to Woolacombe so many times before on boys weekends that when I saw this event I knew I just had to enter.

Training wise - from what I knew from the area I knew that I wouldn`t be running all of the course but feet time would be important. I was also hoping some of my long runs from VLM would carry over. My actual long runs were - 17M (with a parkrun in the middle), a 20M & a very hilly & warm 18.3M (30Km) Plus Doking 10 & the Bracknell Half - I was fairly happy with that.

I was staying at a friends parent`s cottage - in the middle of nowhere. Stayed there before - didn`t see Johnny Kingdom :-( in the local pub On Friday afternoon I managed to miss all of the Glastonbury traffic which was great so made good time. Saturday I spent on the beach at Saunton Sands & roaming around the local area. It was going to be hot.

I`d plan to be at the starting area on Sunday at 9.00am so all fairly normal there. Parked up in the main car park (£5.50 per day). Arranged to meet my Mum there (who was in the area - holidaying) which was cool. Fluffed around a bit before the 10.00 am start. .

Basically the route (and to include the half) was a figure of 8 with Woolacombe in the middle - 1st half going over to Croyde way & the second half was over Mortehoe, Lee area - I didn`t know this part of the course !!!

Soon enough we were herded into the start area. Saw a few folks I knew - Gymfreak & Foxy Davy. Said hello to Muds (who had a great run). Gymfreak pointed out some of the 100 marathon crowd including Brian Mills - who has completed over 720 marathons!!!

We were off - we were given a 10 minute head start on the Half Marathons runners.

Kept it steady for the 1st few miles (did go a bit fast during mile No. 2 - opps). Saw the front runners already opening up a very impressive lead. Just before my 3rd mile the first half marathoner came flying past - he was quick & had a good lead. Gladly we didn`t have to go up the Pole. Even this early into the event the views were just impressive - took your mind away from the terrain. First lady came past - wow! Down into Croyde - took a gel at 5M and Gymfreak came along side. Then in a bizarre turn we were sent across the beach - sand running - Ohh good I read about sand running in my Chi book. Anyway across the stream, over more sand & unto the rocks - so that`s Road, track, grass, sand, water & rock - we had just made it to 6M point. !!!! Walked up the hill. We followed the coast road which looks towards Saunton Sands. Then about mile 8 we had to go up the first of the major steps - not a lot of fun. Then along the top of the ridge - you could see all around the local area. One of the half marathoners asked me if I was doing to the full event - I said "yes, only because that way I get the most out of my car parking fee".....time for a couple of jelly babies I think.

Beforehand I was guessing I`ll be through half way in around 2:00 - 2:10 but I knew it was going to be later, we run the same bit of the course from about 11M so I guessed around 2:20. Picked up a Lucozade (Fuel & Focus) - I thought I was be pretty sick of gels & water during the 2nd half. As I ran through the start / finish area it was great to hear your name being called out. Momentum carried me through to around 15 - then I had to stop due to the scenery - took out the phone & took a couple of snaps. Saw Sammy the Seal sunbathing on `The Point`

At this stage it was like one of the Ultras - running by yourself, maybe seeing the another runner in the distance. The course got harder from about 16 with the ups & downs, `steps` and then the small hill around 18 that seemed to go on and on and on.....(Lee) but with water stations every two miles or so there was always something to look forward to - the marshals were just great - they knew what we wanted. I can`t actually describe in words how my head felt when I squeezed the sponges over it or how it felt when I put back on a soaking wet cap - let`s just say it was one of the many great memories from day.

There was a nice section by the Water Reservoirs along the disused railway line, however it was slightly uphill but I ran next to a chap who was a bike (I felt like a slower version of a Boxer & his trainer). At the water station at the top the lady said only 6 mile to go - which actually I thought was a shame. What seemed only a stone`s throw away the next water stations appeared - only 5 Km to go :-( Just follow the road down and up into Woolacombe. Great feeling to see the finish in the distance. As I ran along the side of the hill I heard a massive cheer - I guess England had scored...well I didn`t think it was for me :-O I did take my England flag from the Camelpak.

Down the final hill and unto the road we had started - half mile to go and I get a bit of cramp in my left calf. Well crap to that - carried on and through the finish.

As it happened my Mum was behind the finish line with the camera - instead of taking a photo she took a small video of my finish with my name being called out and everything....

Saw the prize giving and headed over to the Red Barn to watch the remaining second half of the England game. It was packed - enough said about the rest of the afternoon I think.

On reflection - it was a great day and maybe even the best event I`ve done this year. Also despite running further on three occasions this was the hardest marathons I`ve done esp the second half - and yes (IMO) even beats Caesars Camp Midnight 30.

I`m hoping the next marathon would be easier. *

Final Time 5:46:37


1) - 1m - 10:01(10:01/m) - 126cal
2) - 1m - 8:44(8:44/m) - 130cal
3) - 1m - 10:14(10:14/m) - 132cal
4) - 1m - 10:28(10:28/m) - 125cal
5) - 1m - 9:17(9:17/m) - 129cal
6) - 1m - 10:40(10:40/m) - 128cal - Croyde beach run.
7) - 1m - 12:09(12:09/m) - 119cal
8) - 1m - 16:30(16:30/m) - 113cal - 1st steep hill,
9) - 1m - 12:20(12:20/m) - 118cal
10) - 1m - 11:22(11:22/m) - 122cal
11) - 1m - 11:44(11:44/m) - 121cal
12) - 1m - 10:22(10:22/m) - 127cal
13) - 1m - 10:30(10:30/m) - 128cal
14) - 1m - 13:22(13:22/m) - 114cal
15) - 1m - 16:27(16:27/m) - 114cal - Photo point
16) - 1m - 17:43(17:43/m) - 112cal - Photo point
17) - 1m - 20:21(20:21/m) - 101cal - Steps
18) - 1m - 21:05(21:05/m) - 99cal - Lea Hill
19) - 1m - 19:07(19:07/m) - 92cal - Hill
20) - 1m - 16:17(16:17/m) - 101cal
21) - 1m - 12:53(12:53/m) - 118cal
22) - 1m - 17:37(17:37/m) - 104cal - Walked / Ran
23) - 1m - 13:30(13:30/m) - 111cal
24) - 1m - 12:46(12:46/m) - 116cal
25) - 1m - 10:35(10:35/m) - 121cal
26) - 1m - 9:25(9:25/m) - 128cal
27) - 0.13m - 1:07(8:39/m) - 15cal

Next up is Elstead Marathon *

(OK hands up time here...the Elstead Marathon is an off-road 5.4 mile event with a river crossing and I only ran to get my trainers back on - completed it in 45:06)

Next one is the tomorrow night - Yateley 10Km (jogging) & then Sunday`s New Forest 10 which I am looking forward to.