Saturday, 24 November 2012

Four years & 31 half marathons later....well I did say I`ll be back !!

Gosport Half

Despite only really back in training for 2 weeks (just under 30 miles per week) plus race week after CC50 I was looking forward to returning to Gosport & running this half marathon. My previous outing here was in 2008 & was in fact my 2nd Half Marathon & on that day I ran what was a PB of 1:48:22. A couple of reasons to look forward to this one was the big club turnout - 9 of us went down...and the pub lunch afterwards.....oh and of course the running bit.

From memory it was a very similar day - weather wise - very nippy & blue skies but still going with the Club Shirt & shorts (as it happened I went for the vest). I picked up Dennis - who wasn`t running but fancied a day out - and made our way down. Got there & almost straight away bumped into Dave, Dan, Tony, Anthony & Pete from the club. Drank coffee & fluffed around a bit, collected the timing chip, dropped my bag off & went for a warm run (0.87 M @ 8.16/m pace) where I nearly ran into Alison & David (again from the club). During this warm up I thought about the race plan - I knew I was on for a seasonal best - Fleet 2:07:XX - but a week before it was a sub 1:50:XX, during the week I had added 5 mins so a sub 1:55:XX, however down there & warming up I settled back for a sub 1:50 - with a super top goal of a course best...

We made our way to the start - the new start position - & found ourselves pretty much at the back. Hooter goes off & Dave manages about 20 metres till he gets `bored` and runs off - I`ve tried before to go with him & learnt the hard way so I hang back with Dan & Tony. 1st mile pops up & we are about right. 2nd mile was a bit fast - "easy tiger." We enter the dreaded Aerodrome - now the only good thing when in here is that we you see the faster folks running towards you - always impressive. Loads of Tesco`s runners doing well. Soon enough if was my turn to head out.

As the miles ticked over - the trouble with this course & for me it`s `too flat` - once settled into a stride my mile splits were very much the same. Back into the Aerodrome for a mile or two. Again saw the faster runners - saw Dave looking strong, I wondered where Alison was???? I went past Tony & Anthony a couple of miles back & saw Pete, Garry & David on the switchback parts & could see Dan in front but couldn`t catch him. As we headed out of the Aerodrome I felt my legs getting really bit tired - come on only a parkrun to go....

I expected the course to be along the promenade for a couple of miles then up a bit of incline & then home so it was a bit of shock to see Alison waving at me & coming towards me - I bet the confused look I gave was quite impressive. This kept me wondering for a mile or so. The course had changed - we had to run a small loop & then dropped down to a small path by the beach - during this mile I did feel myself slow & the group I was trying to tag unto moved further ahead. I tried to pull the pace back during the last mile but didn`t quite have in the legs - I did know a sub 1:50:XX was pretty much in the bag.

I saw Brian (Cove Joggers Ex Secretary) on the last corner, then Chris from Farnham Runners - both cheering me on...... 500 to go - I saw my target ahead. I don`t know if he had realised but he put his foot down too - and I now can confirmed that I am NOT a 400 metre runner but I gave it my all up the final part of the course. I went through the finish & nearly collapsed in a heap - it took me a while to catch by breath & stop my head spinning. I thanked the finishing area marshals & made my way through the finishing area. (btw I didn`t catch him).

Splits - 8:23, 8:09, 8:13, 8:01, 8:10, 8:12, 8:10, 8:07, 8:21, 8:21, 8:20, 8:38, 8:28, 1:01 (0.14@ 7:27)

Finishing time - 1:48:41 - 19 seconds away from my 2008 time - very happy with that esp as this is one of the few times I`ve actually felt like I`ve been racing this year and 3 minutes from my best 2011 time.

During the home straight I saw & heard Dennis so I made my way back down the him, chatted for a while before getting cold, so I headed back to the school to collect my bag & get showered. After we got changed we all met up & headed off to the pub for a Sunday lunch - which I have to say was very enjoyable. If you are looking for just one reason to join a Running Club that`s its there.

Weight wise - definitely getting rid of the `ball` - more running plus doing a lot more yoga - I guess up to 4 hours a week.

Next up - Sunday week it`s the `Hog`s Back Run` - and not wanting to pre-judge this one but they have changed the course from a really interesting 8 miler to 11.5 Km so we shall wait & see what`s that like.....

Monday, 12 November 2012

The results are in....

Yes the results are in from the Caesars Camp 50M run & worth waiting for.

I was one of the 45 starters than ran the 50 mile course in conditions & I quote from Henk "the worst they have ever been" & from the 29 who made it to the end I finished in 19th place.

Results - Link thing

I could be a bit negative to say that if I`d finished 7 minutes better I would have gained 3 places but I will not – it was tough, I learnt a lot – quite a lot about me & can honestly say I enjoyed it.

I guess the big question is - which will be next 50 miler or next year`s CC50 race?? :-)

Next up this Sunday – Gosport Half. Unsure of the actual race plan but thinks a seasonal bests is on the cards.

Oh yeah I`ve been making plans for next year...... ;-)

Life is good - thankyou  K