Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Lightning sometimes does strike twice......

Quick round up since the last blog – January ended with stats of 174 miles or as I am preferring 25:36 hrs of running with & 6 hrs yoga which was quite pleasing. Confidence was boosted by the two PB`s gained. To me January was always going to be quick miles working on speed & tempo with the following months working on longer runs.

So to February and after what seemed a slow start to the month – basically I took a Sunday off running but knew it was probably the best thing to do. The weekend just gone was Frimley Lodge`s parkrun 3rd Birthday so I felt it rude not to give it a bit of go plus I think it will be the last time for a while I`ll be able to do a bit of a speed session with big Sunday runs coming up.  So after the prize presentation we made our way to the start line – I got near the front of the start line (still feels a odd mixing it up the fast boys & girls). The `hooter` went off & I found myself around 15th spot as we ran up the canal towpath – I did think to myself it would be rude to overtake a 2:44:XX runner so I backed off a bit :-) I tried to keep on the back of fellow Cove Joggers - Dan - but he pulled away towards the end of 1st mile – instead of my head dropping I thought “right let`s try not to widen the gap”. On the long straights & around the field I could see him in the distance so it gave me something to aim for.
One the second lap I heard my number being called out by Maurice “21st" – blimey !!! I kept pushing with a few runners overtaking me – I also managed to overtake a couple myself J. With about ½ mile to go no-one was going to pass me & if they did I was going to gain my place back – thankfully it only happened once but I did think he was going to re-claim that position on the line. I pushed towards the line & stopped the Garmin – I was amazed when I looked down......21:06 – an incredible 45 second PB. I `knew` I could run 21:30 but 7 seconds short of a 20:xx – WOW. I made sure I had double helping of birthday cake J

Big thanks to all the team & volunteers at Frimley Lodge – well any parkruns really as they are truly wonderful events.
The next day was the Wokingham Half…..
I do like this event, I`ve ran it several times. The weather is often terrible, the start area is always a bit confusing, if it`s rained the mud around the baggage area is always there……these all add to the event itself in my eyes. The facilities at the start / finish, the marshals & first aiders around the course is spot on. They even put this event back on when it was snowed out one year. The course itself is flat - ok a couple of motorway bridges & a slight incline around mile 11 & shaped in a rough `6` shape - out & back with a loop but I think it`s a fast course - similar to the Brass Monkey course in York….well in fact 20 seconds faster :-)
Come race day & the rain all weekend hasn`t stopped - it`s going to be wet. Myself & Dave from the club get there in plenty of time as the car parks are quite away from the Race HQ - so do not arrive late as this race otherwise you will miss it. We grab a coffee & get under some shelter, one thing I do like about this one as its local I see a lot of familiar faces - some from other races, some local club runners, many from parkruns. I chat to `Muttley` who I`ve not seen for a while, I see Lisa - the lady who bashes my legs to bits - she is looking good despite her comments about not running well…blah blah blah - I know she is going to smash the course (& she did). Just before the start we make our way through the `starting time positions` - I catch words with Mike, Ben, Mark, Darren, Jonathon, Garry as I`m moving along…. then I spot an old face* in the crowds - it`s Heather - which is absolutely great to see her at a start line again. Always good to catch up with Lee too. We didn`t have to catch up before we were off  & out under the starting gantry. Heather is off like a rocket - I think no worries I`ll catch her later on somewhere….
Now my race plan was a little undecided - race it / hard effort / paced run. Could I race a half ….I wore my club vest, compression vest, marigolds & gloves & shorts - with the Garmin under the marigolds…..which meant I couldn`t see it. So the plan changed to a `feel as it`s goes` run - which I guess isn`t a bad thing. We headed out unto the course - I`m still wearing my clear bin liner (cheapest waterproofs I know), I get into, what I think is a good pace but still runners are streaming past me…...inc what seemed like a bus load of Sandhurst red vests. Lisa H. goes past & I wonder what time she is after…
I guess because I`m running in a relaxed way i.e. not worrying about the mile splits or keeping on schedule I enjoy the course & look at other runners. I notice, unlike a lot of races I don`t seem to be in the same group for long - not that I`m chasing runners down but seem to be moving well. I hear the odd chatter of times around the course but generally not playing too much attention to it  At around mile eight I chat to Jon & Faye from Andover & have a little chat there & see Dave up in front - but just before I could pass him he dives off into the bushes - I`m sure he knew I was gaining on him!!! He catches me back up in a little while anyway. We chat & ran together for a couple of miles before he pulls over again……
At this stage we are on the part of the course where we head for home - I decide I`ll pick up the pace in the closing miles & take the bin bag off just before the last mile. I see so many local club vests to chase. I caught loads who went past me earlier which is always good. The incline section caught me out as I got blocked in a bit - what a rookie mistake !!! Now it`s around this point I think "Where`s the f*ck is Heather" - a bit like that song "Who the is f*ck is Alice" but with different words - this does actually make me run a bit faster…she must be around here somewhere…….I`m sure I didn`t pass her…
Two miles & a bit left and I pick the pace up again - I see `targets` come and go but still no Heather…. At mile 12, just on the bend I rip off the bin bag & give it to a marshal & went for it (OK, it did help that there is a slight incline there). I pass the section where you can see the back of finish area & the take a look at the Garmin…..Mile 12.4 the Garmin says 1:33:xx - I think "Wow I could just about do this but where the f*ck is Heather??...."    I take out another target - I have three corners to go…..two corner to go - I see Mick n Phil on the side encouraging runners through. I gasped a "thank you" I pick the pace up again - it feels I am in full sprint mode….still no Heather thou (but to be fair I could have passed all my family in this section & not noticed)…around the last corner - I could not catch my last target…..as she has already finished…
I did congratulate her on a fantastic run - I looked at the Garmin & had to think…was that a PB or not……to be fair I was a bit fried. I`m sure it was - at it happens it was a PB by 20 seconds.

What a weekend - a 21:06 parkrun followed by an expected 1:38:00 Half.

Sometimes good things do happen when it`s not expected or planned.
I saw Dave finish, we collected our stuff, after a shower we & headed off to the pub for a relaxing chat & Roast....again getting soaked in the process.  All in all a very good & unexpected weekend.
* That will teach you & those 35 seconds ;-)
Splits - 7:36, 7:42, 7:35, 7:42, 7:32, 7:34, 7:24, 7:31, 7:34, 7:35, 7:50, 7:10, 6:58, 0:12 (0.03@ 6:42) - Ave 7:31 min / mile.

Near the last corner....

Other stuff – Weight wise & recent increase in speed – I do think this is down to weight loss (was 84 KGs now 70 KGs), I feel better, fitter, faster. I am training better too but another main reason is that changing the way I think – becoming more positive / looking at things differently.  Just to recap I started to notice this weight loss around December time, and  while this is a good thing it was also worrying so much so that in mid January I went to the Doctors, who recommended blood tests. A week or so later the results came back – and I was amazed at the number of tests they ran came back with nothing wrong. 
Also around the same time I had been in contact with an old friend, which hasn`t worked out & can never work out now – there are always two sides to a story but trust & honestly are so important to me & I do deserve better….something I had chosen to ignore & disregard.
Another big step around December time I started to work, basically with a `Life Coach` – and I guess I could ask 100 folks about what their thoughts are about that & I would get 100 different views back.
I know it`s a bit `alternative` but I like that - I gave up smoking through hypnosis.....next month I`m looking forward to my first meditation course. It fits in with my belief system.
Now a couple of things that is changing is how I`m dealing with sorting out my `old cupboard` - dealing with the new stuff at the front then digging out the stuff at the back.

The other & has already changed to a certain degree is my thought process – it is quite amazing what happens when you think differently. I certainly have noticed this in my running esp at that point when you are tired & can easily slow down or cut a run short.
This is why you are seeing so much `Positive thought / inspirational` phrases being shared on my FB page – all I say & I know it`s not for everyone but try it before you knock it - it works. Even a listening to a `positive thought`  podcasts on long run helps too…..and makes a difference to hard banging house music.
I also recommend that you read Brian E. Millar`s blog - his latest blog is brilliant - see `My Blog List`

“Your words have power. What you tell yourself throughout a day can be one of the most important conscious choices you make in each moment. Be mindful of what you say to yourself. Think about what words you use in quiet moments with yourself. Be selective and work on empowering, self-coaching and loving yourself !”
“The fastest way to become the master of your thoughts and emotions is through challenging situations. If your life is going along fairly smoothly, there are not the same opportunities that enable you to strengthen your determination and will over your own thoughts and emotions.

It's when we're challenged that we see exactly how much control we have over ourselves. One way to get back in control is to distract yourself by focusing on something else, and keep distracting yourself until you feel much better. keep doing this until you can return to the challenging situation and only feel optimism about it – “ From The Secret Daily Teachings by Rhonda Byrne.
Anyway enough about that.......Next up – This Sunday it`s the Bramley 20, another local race set on an enjoyable course. This will be a progressive (5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 2) run - so I will have some fun there.

My Endure 24 Charity Page - LINK


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