Tuesday, 27 December 2011

12 moments of 2011

- Some of my moments in 2011...

  1. One Track Marathon.
  2. Two weeks volunteered at parkrun (pretty poor really).
  3. Three PBs (St Patrick`s 5M Scurry, Elstead Marathon (5.4M), Hook 6).
  4. Four weeks ran over 50 miles (shocked).
  5. Five weeks ran less than 10 miles.
  6. Six laps of the Thunder Run completed...how many next year?? (clue = see below).
  7. Seven miles extra ran in races by getting lost.
  8. Eight Marathons / Ultras completed.
  9. Nine times ten – my target for 2012 (gulp).
  10. Ten new parkrun events ran.
  11. Eleven events already entered for 2012.
  12. Twelve hours & 9 minutes ran at SIS Lightning Run resulting in 51.43 Miles.
May the New Year bring you all you wish for.

Happy 2012 folks.

Next Up - Stubbington Green 10Km (15th Jan). My TR24 training plan starts in the 2nd week of February so having an easy January to ensure feeling all fresh & free from niggles for that.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Andover Track Marathon.

Apart from the 5 x 1 mile races & 15M practice run the other month all this running around a track is a bit new to me. I`m not a track person but a track marathon is something I`ve wanted to do for a while now - mind over matter stuff / strong minded so I jumped at the chance when I saw this event open. Plus I think the door is slightly open for 6 hrs or maybe 12 hrs track events :-)

Come race day - I was a bit concerned with the weather forecast - more concerned with possible rain than the cold. I had managed to twist Alan`s (from the club) arm & he entered too , I collected him nice and early and made our way down the M3, A303. Well talk about black clouds - I thought the world was coming to an end - lucky just after Basingstoke it cleared up.

We got to the Andover AC track really early - we had half planned to run the Andover parkrun if we had time - and guess what - we had time Well we would have got cold standing around. It was so icy that they had to use an alternative parkrun course (3 laps of football pitches) - pace was going to be very easy. It was all very social & nice to chat & catch up with folks - parkrun done in 29:05 (yes I know I need to go back a grab that sub 23 for a `new` event). After a quick change of gear & drink it was time to make our way over (talking less than 200 metres) to the track.

I have to say it was like an Ultra event - with a small, relaxed field of runners (35 runners). I looked around and saw some faces I knew & some I didn`t.

Great race briefing by Ian. It covered all the points I was concerned with - how are the laps going to be counted, am I going to run more - not that I minded too much as I`d already run a parkrun plus I don`t mind more than 26.2M anyway but it`s always a concern I guess at these types of events.

My `race` plan was not racing - somewhere around 4:20 + would be good. It wasn`t about time today it was all about head & body reaction. I did feel quite weird not carrying stuff - gels, water etc. Kit wise I went with bouncy shoes, Full recovery legs, Tec T-Shirt, Fetch vest, arm warmers, gloves, buff around my neck & hat & sunnies.

We made our way over to the start - it sure was cold when not in the sun plus a little bit icy still. After a couple of minutes we were off. One thing I was looking forward to was seeing how the faster runners would be especially towards the end of the race. There was no point in getting worried about being lapped......however I didn`t expect it to be lapped within TWO laps yes 800 metres Lets just say I stayed in the second lap most of the race - I guess it was a bit like going into the fast lane of the motorway when you first learnt to drive a car Come lap three of four I generally stopped trying to count the laps, I looked at it as no point worrying until at least maybe 4 hrs 15 mins into.

Now at the race briefing we were told about Garmins about GPS and that they should be turned off - well I didn`t. I used the stopwatch function a bit ensuing I had a gel every hour but wasn`t using it for distance travelled until later on.

Looking back I cannot tell you too much of the race itself - the laps kept ticking over - I had switched off. It wasn`t a `heads down look at the floor` race I was looking around seeing where people were, how they were running. Thanking the lap counters with thumbs up as I went past. Chatting to other runners when paces permitted. Time (& laps) soon ticked by.

I looked at the Garmin - & I knew I should have asked but it said I was coming up to `20 Mile`. I had always planned a treat at 20M - the ipod A bit of music then a catch up on Marathon Talk. Before I knew it I was was thinking I was around 98 laps - I thought I better ask....only to be told I was on 92 laps - 6 out - that`s 1.5 M out :0 What was ever worse than that was hearing the bell for other runners who had one lap left !!!

Never mind - switched on ipod & listened to the show... I couldn`t believe it. I just got round to the interview with Steve Jones - well the bit with Will Cockerill & I only to be told I have two laps to go. Well packed the ipod away and enjoyed these last two laps. I didn`t mind running but I didn`t mind finishing either - it was nice to be congratulated by Matt. I was handed the goodie bag and the most unusual `medal` I`ve ever received....

I stood around talking but I was getting cold - I had bought extra clothes & a thermos of coffee - I`m so glad I did. I`ve never got so cold after a race before. I sat in the car to defrost.

If you get a chance to enter a `TZ Runs` event then snatch it (& do buy a T-Shirt)

Race Stats;

1) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 116cal
2) - 1m - 8:45(8:45/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:52(8:52/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 9:03(9:03/m) - 117cal
5) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 118cal
6) - 1m - 9:18(9:18/m) - 117cal
7) - 1m - 9:13(9:13/m) - 118cal
8) - 1m - 9:20(9:20/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 118cal
10) - 1m - 9:37(9:37/m) - 117cal
11) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:34(9:34/m) - 118cal
13) - 1m - 9:38(9:38/m) - 118cal
14) - 1m - 9:45(9:45/m) - 119cal
15) - 1m - 10:13(10:13/m) - 118cal
16) - 1m - 10:12(10:12/m) - 118cal
17) - 1m - 10:20(10:20/m) - 120cal
18) - 1m - 10:51(10:51/m) - 121cal
19) - 1m - 10:46(10:46/m) - 121cal
20) - 1m - 10:58(10:58/m) - 122cal
21) - 1m - 11:05(11:05/m) - 121cal
22) - 1m - 12:21(12:21/m) - 115cal
23) - 1m - 11:34(11:34/m) - 120cal
24) - 1m - 12:00(12:00/m) - 117cal
25) - 1m - 11:59(11:59/m) - 116cal
26) - 1m - 12:44(12:44/m) - 111cal
27) - 1m - 12:15(12:15/m) - 111cal
28) - 0.64m - 7:26(11:36/m) - 76cal

Finish time - 04:45:10

Final Garmin Distance - 27.64 M - opps but all good experience

(I`ll try to get the actual lap splits as they would be quite interesting to see)

Race Website / Results

Next up - a parkrun festive overload & (if the cold subsides) a `Sunrise to Sunset` Challenge on the 27th Dec.

Oh - The training plan for next year`s Thunder Run is coming on nicely :-)

Sunday, 18 December 2011

When in Rome, do as the Romans do - well not quite but you will know what I mean....

I booked a last minute cheeky pre-Christmas sun break to Lanzarote – I know not even Rome. I do mean last minute – I guess a couple of weeks notice. With a few days to go I decided to have a look on one of these `what`s on the Island` websites and to my surprise I only found a running race. I knew there had recently been a challenge type of race but I was really surprised there was a race on the day after my arrival and fairly local too :-)

The race itself was called the `The Lanzarote International Marathon` which was staged on a lapped course – 4 laps for the Marathon, 2 laps for the Half & 1 lap for the “Quarter”. I registered my details on the race website – all a bit odd really, and I was in. The last day you had to collect the race number & timing chip was on Saturday. The race itself was in Costa Teguise, which was about 15 mins drive from the airport, my hotel was also about 15 mins away – yes the opposite way !! I managed to blag a lift from the airport to Race HQ and collected my number. I thought the race itself was quite cheap (€20 for the half & € 20 deposit for the chip timer).

Due to resting up since the Poppy Day Marathon (meaning I missed the Frozen Fat Ass 50Km- gutted) I knew entering the marathon would not be the best idea ever so I entered the half instead – well I was going to run on holiday anyway why not pick up a t-shirt & bits for doing so. The plan was not to race but steady 9.00`s.

Come race morning I left the hotel fairly early – the race was due to start at 9.00am. I was one of the 1st to arrive. I found a coffee shop overseeing the start area & watched as others arrive. I dropped my bag & went for a warm up (1M @ 9:18/m pace) – which felt tough....thank goodness I wasn`t racing !!!

Just before 9:00am we formed behind the start & waited...and waited...waited..unsure what the delay was for. I think we got going around 9:20. I felt a bit odd wearing vest & shorts as so many runners were wearing Tri-suits.

I hadn`t looked at the course in too much detail and soon myself seeing the lead wheelchair racers coming towards me. Then the after 5 miles or so the 1st of the half marathon runners (well I hope they were). After about ¾ of a mile we enter the entrance of the Sands Hotel where we switched back towards the start – great when a race does that. I hadn`t realise the incline / slope from the start !! After we went through the start / finish gantry we headed out the other way – basically out along the coastal paved footpath. Just after the 23 mins I saw the 1st runner coming towards me looking more comfortable than the lead cyclist (I looked when I was returned to that point – it was just after 4.5M). We headed out to the furthest point on the course & headed back – again most of this time you could see runners coming the other was. I got a shout from a fellow Brit running from Midland Police, also a massive shout of “Come on Fetchie” from someone watching. I had noticed not too many Brits, quite a few Irish but only 6 or so Brits that I could see - inc 2 ladies who sat next to me on the plane going out there.

As I headed towards the Start Finish area I couldn`t really help putting in a faster mile – showboating I guess. Then on the 2nd lap I settled back down to near enough the pace I wanted. My foot was feeling fine but knew doing the half was the right decision. The inclines did seem to get a bit tougher but the pace stayed roughly the same. In the 11th mile it got a bit narrow & we had to move over to let the amazing front wheelchair racers coming through – quite a battle going on there. Only a mile or so left. It was nice to feel strong in the final miles overtaking other runners (but you didn`t know if they were doing the full or not). I saw about 5 or so runners in front slowly picking them off – I took the last one right on the line :-)

As we finishing the RD came over & handed me my medal & said “Well done Mr. K. from UK” & then got `attacked` by the big bear mascot. I headed through the marquee & handed my chip in & got my €20 back & collected the tec T-Shirt, my bag and moved down the line..half a banana, a sandwich or two, water, a bottle of coke, cake, ice cream. You could of had a free massage & a paddling pool had been set up to soak your feet - I headed outside to enjoy the goodies. Where I bumped into the Midland Police runners – had the briefest of chats but did say I missed the most important freebie – the beer !!! I After he went I went back in the sample that beer stuff & they did mind return trips – it was nice :-)

Afterwards I sat in the stands to watch the remaining runners finish – inc the marathon runners. So many came in were really excellent time esp the older age group runners. It was a nice way to end the day. Afterwards I headed back to the hotel in Puerto Del Carmen where I had a few more of those beers type of drinks

Good event & so glad I spotted it & ran it.

Race stats;

Split Summary
1) - 1m - 9:00(9:00/m) - 115cal
2) - 1m - 9:05(9:05/m) - 117cal
3) - 1m - 8:58(8:58/m) - 118cal
4) - 1m - 8:41(8:41/m) - 118cal
5) - 1m - 8:53(8:53/m) - 117cal
6) - 1m - 8:42(8:42/m) - 118cal
7) - 1m - 8:38(8:38/m) - 117cal
8) - 1m - 8:50(8:50/m) - 118cal
9) - 1m - 8:48(8:48/m) - 117cal
10) - 1m - 9:07(9:07/m) - 118ca
11) - 1m - 9:21(9:21/m) - 118cal
12) - 1m - 9:08(9:08/m) - 117cal
13) - 0.91m - 8:18(9:08/m) - 107cal

Next up – was a few more days of rest out there.

Next running event – Andover Track Marathon (17th Dec).