Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Wise old saying....

Be careful what you ask for; you may get it...

Has proved right. Opened an e-mail last night and thought `OMG`

Have I bitten off too much???? ....going to fun finding out :-)

More to follow next week !!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Great South Run

Great South Run..

Trouble with entering races from a year out is that come race day it may not fit your programme. Which is exactly what happened here - a flat 10 miler, big event, chip time, plenty of support etc etc etc and I couldn`t race it - well I could have but I think I would have broken myself - gutted really. Unlike last year when I (successfully) challenged the white zone number I was quite happy to run from the 2nd zone - I had decided on 9.00/m (1:30) - easy on the head and hopefully easy on the legs.

The feeling of de ja ve ...... another early dark morning, scrapping the ice of the car, moon still hanging around the dark skies, promise of clear blue skies but with a nip in the air...

Soon enough the dark skies cleared to a bright blue sky, the sun so low that the sun visor was almost useless - still very nippy thou. Got to Gosport (despite missing my junction on the M27 - opps in plenty of time to spare !!!). Parked up and got the ferry over and walked over to the starting / finish area.

A quick look around and nipped over to the changing area (basically to keep warm). Bumped into Big John (Ex-Cove Jogger now Sandhurst), whilst getting changed Tiptoes & martinthemedic came over. Told them that with Abingdon last week & Athens this week that I wasn`t racing. Fingers in ear job. Saw & wished Euan (Basingstoke parkrun RD) happy birthday & saw Richard. Soon enough it was time to venture out into the cold. More for leg muscle protection rather than warmth I wore my full leg `skins` & a vest. Met up with Sue & Lynn (her first 10M).

Got in the `zone` - I do mean of course the white zone rather than THE ZONE, soon enough we shuffled forward and crossed the start line and we were off.

Just Mile 1 spot on, just before mile 2 we went passed the Victory (or `Nike` as I will be saying next week - did you see what I did there???). Without the `racing` head on it did mean you can look around more - read some of the messages on the various running tops - TBH I struggled a bit there. Quicken the pace a little during the next mile as compensation I guess. During mile 3 you start to see runners coming past the other side. As I moved over to the side & I saw `RLTW` - a GNR runner - in front of me (names on the back of tops, as well as front work). Had a brief chat & pushed on. Got shouted at by Sue A little bit fast during these miles but it so hard to keep a slower pace when getting loads of support from others runners & spectators.

Through 6M & you get to see the faster runner nearing their finish (I so wanted to be there racing). Pushed a bit through 7M & then 8M. Missed out on the showers & didn`t drink during the race - wanted to practise getting hot & running. Around the corner and into the final two miles, will admit on pushing the pace a bit here - through the BUPA section. Backed off a bit at the 800 metres to go sign & giving out high fives where I could and through the finish. Nearly ran into the back of Sue, Andrew, Ian, Jon, Nick, Philip and a couple of others who had shortly finished before me.

Split Summary

1) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 138cal
2) - 1m - 9:15(9:15/m) - 140cal
3) - 1m - 8:29(8:29/m) - 141cal
4) - 1m - 8:54(8:54/m) - 140cal
5) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 139cal
6) - 1m - 8:40(8:40/m) - 140cal
7) - 1m - 8:36(8:36/m) - 139cal
8) - 1m - 8:29(8:29/m) - 139cal
9) - 1m - 8:18(8:18/m) - 140cal
10) - 1m - 8:12(8:12/m) - 140cal
11) - 0.15m - 1:03(7:01/m) - 19cal

5 Km = 00:28:20
10 KM = 00:55:25
15 Km = 01:22:04

10M = 01:27:48 (Garmin 01:27:36)

(What is an acceptable tightness of mile splits anyway????)

Entries are open now for GSR 2011 but will (try to) resist as running in October 2011 has already been earmarked (& it means unable to run the Basingstoke Half too) !!!

During the run I did have the thoughts of becoming a guide runner....will investigate more I think but if you know anything please pass it on.

Afterwards had fish n chips on the beach - tis a great way to end the day.

Glad to report no issues with the legs or feet. Looking forward to an easy week - 4M Tuesday & 4M Thursday.

Next up is the Athens Marathon this weekend.

* BTW `Nike` is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nike_(mythology)

Monday, 18 October 2010

A six months wait finally over.

Abingdon marathon - My 2nd road marathon.

My 1st road marathon was London, where I was running to and planning a 3:40:00 (8.23/m) attempt so when I ended up with 4:00:08 I was very disappointed .... OK, I know it was London and I had started in the 4:30:xx zone - I was not even bothered about those 8 seconds - thought that was funny - I just knew I could do much better.

Come race day I really didn`t have a clue about what time / pace I wanted I run, I didn`t think I was in Pre-London shape but did manage to squeeze in a two week taper more to do with the couple of marathons coming up so I really settled around 3:50 (8.45/m) - I know huge window.

The race started at 9.00am which did mean a very early start to the day. Awake at 4:50 ish but at least breakfast was out of the way, could not really tell what the weather was up to as it was DARK. Slight delay driving out as I had ICE on the rear screen - it was blooming cold & dark !!!!

Arrived at Abingdon - at least someone had turned the lights on but not the heaters - it was chilly. I had decided on a vest with arm sleeves (if I got warm then at least I could tie them off). Met up with loads of folks I knew and that was even before I got outside. Got outside very late - no real warm up (mistake). Chatted to Kelly & wished her well for her big race, saw Ruth and ask what time she wanted & she replied 3:50... Anyway before we knew it the gun went off and over the two sets of mats (which one do I start my watch on???). Around the lap we went and out of the gate...

First mile down - it was a bit fast. Saw RachE & heard Gobi :-), through the 2nd mile also fast. I saw OS at about 3M, I guess I settled down after 4 or 5. Saw Ruth & Alan ahead, I resisted the urge to chase them down as I knew they were running faster than they had planned to. Through the 5M mark at around 40:36 - still up but OK. Now I don`t normally get any pains but my Achilles was giving me a bit of grief (no warm up I guess) anyway shorten my stride, imagined lifting my heel up in the wheel - it seemed to be OK after a few miles (a good warm up). Caught up with Ruth & Alan around the 7M mark. Alan dropped back a bit so carried on running with Ruth. No problems there as I had run with Ruth before, we were going OK, no strict time plan just wanted to finish strongly. Went through 10M at 1:20:54 (40:36, 41:18). Then we turned into the trading estate & I saw the balloons for the 1st time - hundreds of them. Around the corner & we were spotted - they went mad. The noise was deafening, didn`t stop - so couldn`t really say who was there but thank you all - what a buzz and that `Fetch wave` carried us for a few miles. As we turned down the track I said we needed to steady the pace as we still had quite a distance to go.

Didn`t really look at the halfway split or the 15M split but looking back it was 2:01:55 (40:36, 41:18, 41:01). We kept a steady pace with the miles ticking away nicely. We used the small undulations well when overtaking other runners, had some fun at the water-stations. One thing I had learnt that Ruth wasn`t that good at taking the cups at water stations. I ended up giving her marks out of ten. At one station, and to be fair to Ruth the water marshal did offer the water quite late....not much water left in that cup then - score 6/10 :-) This kept us going for a few miles.

The Fetchpoint seemed to come around quicker than before. Saw Mick N Phil who sadly retired but they were there cheering through the runners. Shortly afterwards I roughly work out that 20M split - 2:43:13 (40:36, 41:18, 41:01, 41:18) - which was a 20M PB by about 5mins - odd how the mind works as soon as I worked that out I felt very tired. We had picked up 2FF, during the next mile I dropped back a bit - loo stop & then stopped to remove the sleeves (didn`t want to drop the garmin). That 2nd stop was a mistake as it was a bit of a struggle to get the momentum back up again so dropped back even more. The small subway was horrible. I saw a lady that helped me during the Dunstable Downs 20M so I encouraged her to stick with me. Saw TracyB & Mike during this last bit...out of nowhere the 25M sign appeared - great but what wasn`t so good was a runner fell over a raised man hole cover but luckily enough MOAT was there & helped her back on her feet. Back into the college ground, then a loop of the outer fields which dragged on & on & on - I switched screens on the garmin to one screen - run time in BIG numbers - I didn`t want a 3:40:and a few seconds - imagine the grief so I sped up a bit and finally back into the track......

...Around the track & through the line......a six month wait was over.....Clock time - 3:39:41

Saw Kelly almost straight away after I had finished - she had a cracking race and finished with a 3:28:30 - a great time, pleased for her. Saw OS - who took some great photos and made my way to where Ruth, Gymfreak (another PB), RachE & Gobi were - got a big hug from Ruth and saw Alan come in. Shook hands with Ben (storming time) who somehow knew already about my PB. Martin & Mark were there too.

Great facilities afterwards - great viewing area, tea & coffee, hot showers, cheap massage area, BBQ, clothes stall, even the walk back to the car parking area helped ease the legs....ohh we got a medal, T-shirt, water, mars bar, pen.....

So many wonderful memories from the day - the lady with the speakers on her bike, the numerous helpful & happy marshals (SE cheering us past), the wonderful company I had for over half the race, the smiling faces of finishing runners, some with PB`s - so many memories that I`ve forgotten half of them - sorry.

On the way home Alan & I were trying to find areas where they could improve things...we were struggling & couldn`t find any.

Basically this is an event that every marathon runner should do at least once.

Splits -

1) - 1m - 8:00(8:00/m) - 139cal
2) - 1m - 7:51(7:51/m) - 141cal
3) - 1m - 8:03(8:03/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 8:19(8:19/m) - 142cal
5) - 1m - 8:23(8:23/m) - 140cal
6) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 141cal
7) - 1m - 8:26(8:26/m) - 139cal
8) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 141cal
9) - 1m - 8:13(8:13/m) - 140cal
10) - 1m - 8:11(8:11/m) - 140cal
11) - 1m - 8:08(8:08/m) - 141cal
12) - 1m - 8:06(8:06/m) - 139cal
13) - 1m - 8:03(8:03/m) - 142cal
14) - 1m - 8:26(8:26/m) - 140cal
15) - 1m - 8:18(8:18/m) - 140cal
16) - 1m - 8:20(8:20/m) - 140cal
17) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 141cal
18) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 141cal
19) - 1m - 8:17(8:17/m) - 140cal
20) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 141cal
21) - 1m - 8:16(8:16/m) - 140cal
22) - 1m - 8:14(8:14/m) - 140cal
23) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 138cal
24) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 139cal
25) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 139cal
26) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 140cal
27) - 0.28m - 2:20(8:19/m) - 37cal

Pace Zone Summary
Pace Zone: 6:40-6:59/mile: 1.7%
Pace Zone: 7:00-7:19/mile: 2.8%
Pace Zone: 7:20-7:39/mile: 7.1%
Pace Zone: 7:40-7:59/mile: 18.1%
Pace Zone: 8:00-8:19/mile: 21.5%
Pace Zone: 8:20-8:39/mile: 16.4%
Pace Zone: 8:40-8:59/mile: 11.2%
Pace Zone: 9:00-9:19/mile: 7.1%
Pace Zone: 9:20-9:39/mile: 3.8%
Pace Zone: 9:40-9:59/mile: 2.7%
Pace Zone: 10:00-10:19/mile: 1.6%
Pace Zone: 10:20-10:39/mile: 1.2

Pleased with time - just wished I finished stronger. I can use that magnetic race time strip from VLM.

Next up - A sports massage tomorrow night, then easy runs on Thursday night & Saturday morning, then the Great South on Sunday - again easy pace. Then a little trip to Athens which will be bitter & sweet.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Soaked but happy

Autumn Spitfire 20

I was actually thinking should I really be doing a 20 miler run a week after the JW Ultra .....????? I justified it as if I could do this then I could do Abingdon marathon on the 17th & then two weekends later the Athens marathon plus I wouldn`t be going flat out. I did think I could use the `5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 2` running plan but then I settled for straight 9.30/m so aiming for 3 hrs 10 mins or thereabouts - nearly planning a PW time !

I had run this route before in March (Surrey Spitfire 20) so I knew the set up & the course - it is my PB course @ 2:47:18. I`ve not done too many 20 milers but I do think it`s a fast course. Two laps of 10M, starting within the Aerodrome then out unto the local roads, fairly flat with a few lumps here and there - one near the front gate (2.5M & 12.5M), then one at 6M (16.5M) & one at 8M (18M)*.

* This time the start / finish line had moved to the far side of the airfield meaning the loop of the baron airfield was the first few miles and the rises moved out by approx 2 miles - I like it. Great improvement & made for faster course as not blown around when you are tired.

One thing I didn`t like this time around was the weather report - heavy rain !!!! But if it rains for your A race then it`s all good practice I suppose. Collected number & warmed up....not in the normal sense but by turning heater up in car - only venturing out of the car at the last possible moment :-) To be fair the promised rain wasn`t failing at that stage and clipped away by cap (handy having a race belt as you can hang all-sorts of stuff on it). Anyway after a bit of a surprised start (or was me not paying attention) we were off - it was a steady but a little fast first few miles - I wanted to be slower.... I knew where the 1st rise was so knew I could ease the pace there. Hit my target pace with 3 miles - nice but still up by 90 seconds. Ran with runnaholic for a few miles, chatting about parkruns, local races, mad races etc. Past the water stop at 5M - near enough on target now.

Great support from the marshals - but I did feel like a bit of a fraud really when they shouted `Looking Strong`, "You can do this", Enjoyed the steep rises at 6.5M & 8M - kept the workload the same rather than dropping pace. Unto the far side of the course. A bike race was also being staged and to be honest I would rather be running then cycling as it looked liked a couple of them had taken a tumble in the wet conditions. Told a couple of the 10 milers to chase down runners in front & finish strongly, which they did. Past the pub & through the back gates and one lap done. (10M split - 1:33:41)

As soon as I passed the half way stage & out onto the open track the rain became to fall a lot heavier - typical !! I was running a touch too fast esp the open part of the course. Got the pace right around 14 M & 15 M. At 16 miles I was about 90 seconds up against the predicted 3:10. At 16.5 M it was the first rise - a bit of a sharp incline really - I thought it would good to whack the speed up, so I pushed up this rise, along out onto the main road, just about managing to grab some water at the water station and
push on. Down a sharp ish drop, then around the corner and pushed up the longer rise at 18 M. Kept the pace constant which was pleasing. I looked at the garmin - I was around the 8 mins mile pace - COME ON !! I was loving this part. Heard shouts from this car that I had seen at several places around the course..."Come on Mr.K - you are going faster and faster" - I wasn`t really but a great shout out. Into the final mile and kept pushing the same effort and passed the old & crashed `Top Gear` cars and through the finish line.

A pleased run esp happy with the last 2.5 miles.

I would like to give the 10 miler event a crack as I`m sure it`s a PB course but when there is a 20 miler race there........a great, well organised & well marshalled event (thanks for standing out in the rain), water & gels offered at the water stations, chip timed. Well worth getting soaked for and a huge gong for a finishing medal.

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 8:41(8:41/m) - 137cal
2) - 1m - 9:09(9:09/m) - 139cal
3) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 9:48(9:48/m) - 141cal
5) - 1m - 10:00(10:00/m) - 142cal
6) - 1m - 9:48(9:48/m) - 143cal
7) - 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) - 141cal
8) - 1m - 9:25(9:25/m) - 140cal
9) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 142cal
10) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 140cal
11) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 139cal
12) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 138cal
13) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 140cal
14) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 142cal
15) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 141cal
16) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 141cal
17) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 139cal
18) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 143cal
19) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 143cal
20) - 0.81m - 6:27(7:58/m) - 114cal

Garmin Time - 3:02:08 - Chip time - 3:02:03 (10M split 1:33:41)

A good boost for Abingdon.....but still not fully decided on pace as I need to be mindful of Athens on the 31st.

Next up - `Taper` time...a bit like `Hammer Time` but without the colourful trousers. Abingdon on the 17th.