Thursday, 6 December 2012

The power of the mind........& a bit fun.

Things have been going well since Gosport, amazing what happiness & a good run can do for one`s confidence. This had got me thinking about my year`s running - generally not the best since I started this game. I hadn`t pushed myself, distance or pace wise since the comeback - definitely a case of holding back for fear of a repeat injury - unsure if this is normal or not but I guess it is. One season`s best I wanted to beat was my parkrun time - my season`s best was 23:56 - I simply had to do better but was running out of events.

So with that in mind I decided that the 8th Dec was the time to give it a bit of a bash. I eased off the miles in the week before, no 3 mile warm up, head was in `racing mode`. Kit was chosen - Club vest, shorts. Ok I hadn`t planned the weather being so cold (coldest this year) so the `marigolds` came out. Half mile warm up, I made my way to the dizzy heights of the front of the start line !!! Now I know parkrun folks don`t want to call it a race but raced off when the hooter went off. The plan was to sit behind Alison until I got spat out of the back as that should still give me a SB`s time. Within 0.5M I had gone past Alison - opps but running quite well. I was overtaking more folks than being past - all good. I didn`t look at the Garmin when the mile bleep went off. I did find myself slowing, but each time I leant forward a bit more, shorten my stride - thought of the wheel & pushed on. Back on the canal path for the second time & I went past a long time target. Now it was a case of just waving to acknowledgement to the marshals rather than saying "thanks a lot ". In the last mile & I could hear ladies behind me (cough thing) - I thought it was Alison sitting on me then storming past in the latter stages - well that`s what I would do. She pulled along side - it wasn`t Alison.

A marshal said words of encouragement - then said "Well done Jo, 1st Lady".....well that`s sorted then - I can beat 1st Lady (it doesn`t happen that often) - taking my chance I picked up the pace for the final bit & raced, screamed towards the finish line. I stopped my watch & collected my token - position No. 34, then checked the Garmin - I was actually shocked - initially I thought my Garmin had stopped during the run as I could not really believe the said `22:18` That`s ridiculous - that`s only 25 seconds slower than my PB & 20 seconds from my course PB set back in April 2010. Bizarrely my legs were not that tired - nothing left in the lungs but legs fine. Amazing what you can do if you set yourself up do to something & let go any fear or doubts. I did enjoy my scrambled eggs on toast down the post-parkrun cafe.

Splits - 6:56, 7:31, 7:24, 0:26 (0.07 @ 6:05) - Ave 7:16/m

The next day was the Hogs Back Road Race (racing two days on the trot - just like old times ;-) ) A local race, l did like this one but they had changed the course - no legging it up the Hogs Back road from Guildford avoiding the traffic :-( but for Health & Safety reasons totally understandable. Myself & Dave got there early - one cup of tea later & a short warm up it was start time (9.00am). Like normal I hadn`t really looked at the course so it would be a bit of surprise. Race plan as my legs were suffering from previous day speedy parkrun so it was a case of `Have a bit of fun" that was introduced. We started near the back but soon found the pace was too slow so were found the gaps & pushed ahead. Amazing what people wear - far too many folks wearing too many clothes & getting too hot too quickly. The hills towards the end of the 1st mile thinned out the runners but as I like going uphill it wasn`t a real problem. After about 2 miles we headed downwards - now letting go down hill is something I`ve been working on - I let myself go & flew down the hill. I eased up & waited to Dave to come back alongside.Then the course became very interesting - a good mile of twists & turns & up hill climbs. Myself & Dave almost stride for stride. Then came the flat at around 3.5 mile stage...and Dave took off....but didn`t disappear off in the distance as is the norm with him. After what seemed a long time we arrived at the top of the Hogs Back - it was all downhill from here. OK going downhill towards Compton on icy roads wearing my racing slicks (Brooks T6`s) isn`t great & was a bit dicey. We went past where I helped man a support stop at the Pilgrims Challenge earlier in the year.

Despite the tired legs, the distance between Dave & myself wasn`t increasing. At around mile 5 & I guess the 1st time in any race I was very cold in the `shorts department` - painfully cold. I was actually thinking "could I run at this pace with my gloves shoved down the front of my shorts??" I had worked out I only had at best just over 15 mins of running time left - I could manage that. The last mile did go quite quickly, I closed the gap with Dave - nearly in striking distance - maybe 400 to go but then he looked round. I couldn`t believe it - he hadn`t looked around for 4 miles - and sprinted off. I tired to catch him - we overtook several runners in this closing stage but I couldn`t get that distance back. Crossed the line & I wouldn`t like to use the phase "Warmed myself up" but I did feel better. Again really pleased with the finishing time - just by having a bit of fun & letting go.

(Instead of a mug or medal - the freebie was free photos - see above example of the sprint finish)

Splits (& guess the hills) - 7:53, 7:57, 8:53, 8:13, 7:07, 7:29, 7:38, 0.23 (0.06@ 6:15) - Ave 7:52/m

Next up - a bit of R&R & then the Haslmere Boxing Day Run on er Boxing Day - a serious race complete with a beer stop :-)

Have fun & enjoy.

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