Thursday, 28 March 2013

No Regrets….

Recently I had one of those conversations that I guess every runner gets or will get at some point - yes the `injury & regret' conversation - "running is bad for the knees….you will regret it you know…".
Yeap had one of those, to be fair it didn`t start too well..
"Hey Kelv, are you still running THE MARATHON now that you are injured?"…
Of course I replied…."Yes, still running THE MARATHON (I hope they did mean London !), first run back this Saturday"
"Hope it goes well but I knew you were doing too much… know running is bad for you….bet you regret it now ?"
"Err no…. I really enjoyed those weeks, so not at all - I loved those weeks"
Those weeks I am referring to was when I ran;
9th Feb - Frimley Lodge parkrun - 21:06 (PB)
10th Feb - Wokingham Half - 01:38:00 (PB)
17th Feb - Bramley 20 - 1st 10M in 01:27:57 - 2nd 10M in 01:15:30 - 02:43:58 (PB)
23rd Feb - Moonlight Challenge - Ran all 32.75M - 05:44:11 (PB)
3rd March - Bramley 20 - Even Paced 9:00`s - 02:55:21
10th March - New Forest 50Km - Birthday Run - 05:53:20 (PB)
17th March - Fleet Half - So many great things about this race……
Not only did I have fun in those races - I love running that way but I learnt a heck of a lot about myself & those `self-limits` you put on yourself. So it was rather bizarre that I saw one of these motivational posters saying almost exactly that - have no regrets but like most of these banners they need maybe one more line….& learn from any experience…good or bad. No regrets.
*As for the `injury` - it`s a lot better so a few more days rest then the tester at Basingstoke parkrun this Saturday. I had always planned to go back to Basingstoke around this time to give the course `a bit of a go` - unsure what I`ll do now but it will be fun going back seeing so many friends again & running the course again…the best bit about finishing your parkrun - going for coffee with great company afterwards :-)
Have I minded these last two weeks of not running - not really. I have to say I`ve done a lot more Bikram yoga sessions - mainly for the calorie burn but the warm conditions must get the blood flowing & therefore (in my limited opinion) be good for sorting injuries / niggles out …I don`t mind carrying out more of this experiment.
Tomorrow (Good Friday) I`m off to watch & support runners at the Maidenhead Ten - hope it`s warmer than when I watched the runners at last Sunday`s Cranleigh 15 / 21…and I hope the `abuse` is better… :-0  (Need to find out where the nearest Costa Coffee is to Maidenhead :-) )
Next up racing wise - Saturday week - a return to the `Bolt round the Holt` - 21Km - and yes of course there is a slight twist…. as it may include running Frimley Lodge parkrun beforehand - one starts at 9.00am & the other starts at 10.00am plus a 26 mins journey time ……………..then `THE MARATHON` on the 21st April :-)

Happy running & enjoy...
(Just cos I like the song)

Monday, 18 March 2013

Giving something back, helping out & remembering..

The `Fleet Half` Marathon - What a fantastic event…ok I`m ever so slightly biased as it`s my local half but I`m sure you will forgive me for that.
Yes one of my favourite events, it was a shame that I wasn`t going to race this one as I had been putting in the long miles recently & had a bit of niggle so when it snowed on the Monday my mind was made up - I was going to have some fun & wear fancy dress. Now earlier in the year I had found out someone who had helped me & many others at the Great North Run had died of cancer, only 46 – so shocking young. I wasn`t there in this particular year but I always remembered a story of Mick running the Great North in a Santa Suit so to me the outfit choice was easily made - this one was for you Mick.
So come the morning of the race, the banter & good luck messages started early. Evenually I cycled over to my Brother`s who lives in Fleet & walked up to the event HQ - it started to lash down - but the weather will be what it will be - no point worrying about something you can`t change. I had kept the dressing up in fancy dress very quiet but if the weather was different I would have cycled & walked in costume, which I think would have been funny - a Santa on a bike :-) Anyway I met Adrian en route & walked to the field - wow it was muddy !! We only had 40 minutes or so to go - we eventually met with Frimley Lodge parkrunners & other Cove Joggers. While it seemed every runner was hiding under the bag drop marquee I got changed into my outfit… with minutes to go I dropped the bag off - bumped in Marie & made our way to the start line. I saw the `sub 2 hrs bus` - Brian, James & Duncan, with David & Richard. I think they liked the last minute `celebrity`  J
I moved to the back of the starting field & made final adjustments to the outfit – safety pins everywhere - & saw Catherine & Julia, I moved up with Wendy & Adrian - all Cove Joggers - we had an incredible 19 club runners listed to start Fleet plus two more (Louise & Susan –brand new Cove Joggers) were helping amazing club turn especially with a two more Cove Joggers at Reading Half too. The gun went off & we slowly moved forward - my plan was to join up with the sub 2 bus. I wished Wendy & Adrian a `Merry` time & off we (myself & my inflatable Rudolf) went….. I knew the bus would be around the 9.00m/m pace but I didn`t know how far in front they started - luckily it was only 30 seconds or so. It was James`s first half marathon which is great. They didn`t know I was joining them but with everything considered I thought a sub 2 would be ok. It was good to help Brian with the pacing & help others achieve their goal. It was also a bit fun running in fancy dress – to me it gave something back to the crowds & importantly the marshals giving them something to smile & cheer about when they stood in the rain - top effort of the marshals again. I do have to say the crowds were very responsive esp. in Fleet Town centre towards the Santa suit so many shouts, high fives - it was great.
We saw so many friends from Frimley Lodge parkrun along the High Street which was marvellous. This second mile is downhill & with a bit of showboating this mile was a bit fast but ok. We settled the pace down during mile 3 but then it`s down the High Street again during mile 4 - the crowds seemed to get louder - amazing turn out despite the weather. Again missed my Brother who was marshalling on the Crossroads….I did later see him coming back up Fleet Rd – hope the lady who dislocated her knee is ok.
As we headed out of Fleet towards the A30 and along Minley Road we compared what flavoured gel we were going to have - it was like ordering starters off a menu !!! When we turned down Blackbushe Road - the half-way point came up. Duncan & James were doing really well, ok they said they had up & downs but that`s like the course - ups & downs. My ankle / shin tendon wasn`t really liking the downs that was for sue but as the course is not known for the hills it would be ok. We passed under the M3 & up to mile 9 & along to one of my favourite parts of the course (it`s on one of the Cove Joggers longer training runs). At this stage Brian had moved up with David & Richard, who were just slightly ahead & keeping really good pace.  As we made our way along the course we counted down the mileage in parkruns terms.
At mile 10, just after the pub we had only one parkrun to go. They were still strong despite them thinking they were thinking the opposite. With 1 ½ miles to go we only had the length of Crookham Road to go – the crowds here hugely supportive, which was just great as it was slightly uphill especially towards the crossroads. I did leave the boys here as I wanted them to grab their own shouts for the finish. I did pick the pace up in this last mile, I got to the top & almost sprinted down the 400 metres or so to the finish. The organisors had tried their best but the finish strip was so muddy – good job we practised this type of finish at Frimley Lodge parkrun. I went through the finish & collected my medal from even more Frimley Lodge parkrunners – what a great feeling that is – thanks girls. I hung around to see David, James & Duncan in – they were all amazing. James had a hugely impressive first marathon (I did later note that he beat my 1st half marathon time....) so did Duncan. Later we found out so did Abby Fudge- amazing time I wonder where she gets that speed from????. After a while we collected our bags, got dry & warm & went to the pub.

Splits - 8:25, 8:46, 8:53, 8:52, 8:46, 8:50, 8:50, 8:52, 8:50, 8:53, 8:41, 9:02, 7:58, 4:44 (0.27M @17:35)*
* Forgot to stop the Garmin....what a rookie. Chip time 01:55:07

Results - Power Of Ten Results

Going to the pub afterwards rounded the day off – it`s so good to relax, have something to eat & drink & catch up with all the day`s running news. I do have to say the Guinness did go down very, very nicely….Thanks to all - A great day. One of the best I have to say.

Some Cove Joggers / Frimley Lodge runners enjoying a couple of post race drinks..Cheers

(Thanks to Louise for the photo).

Next up – well I am jumping on the bench for a while till this shin / tendon sorts itself out so Cranleigh is out & I`ve put myself down for  volunteering this Saturday at the parkrun. Rest will do me some good I think.

Friday, 15 March 2013

The point of a lesson is to learn……

I saw this `New Forest Running Festival` ages ago & my way of thinking was that if someone was kindly enough to put on an event on my birthday then I thought it would be a bit rude if I didn`t enter….plus it will be all good training for the Run24 in June.   A brief background about this `Running Festival` - On Saturday there were 5M, 10Km, 10M & 21Km races where the 5M & 21Km were Ladies only events and on the Sunday there was a 21Km, 20M & the event I entered the 50Km so loads of running being done on the same trials & tracks. The 50Km would be a 3 lap run, basically the same 3 laps but on the first lap we had a slight detour before joining up with the main lap. The course was 90% off-road with a couple of inclines along the way.
My race started at 9.00am so it either meant an early start or booked up something….I went for the latter & stayed in a nice pub in Burley :-) Despite getting to the race venue early I was all over the place in terms of getting ready, T-30 we had a race briefing which like most ultras briefing turned into a comedy sketch show which put us as ease. Due to Saturday`s rain the trails were very muddy & the start moved etc. After that time simply disappeared - I was still fluffing around with 5 mins to go. Luckily the start was just metres away & soon we assembled at the start.
As I said this would be training run for Run24 (since when did a 31 mile run become a `training run` ???) - my strategy was for a 1st attempt at a run / walk strategy - basically run 5 miles & walking 1 mile. Concerns were that I might get cold during the walk mile so I thought it would be a good idea to wear an extra vest (underneath my gilet jacket & over my T-shirt & compression top)…….so I learnt my first lesson very soon - carry it not wear it !!. Luckily the gilet jacket had a long pocket round the back so that`s where the vest went along with the gloves & hat. After a couple of miles my pace had settled down to more manageable pace (around 10 min /mile) even managed to run through the muddy section (miles 3 to 6 inc). As it happened the last mile in this section was the `walk` mile, which also happened to be the most baron mile - the wind was bitterly cold & so sharp.. This did allow me to finally sort some of my gear out, have a gel & a chance to tweet my progress.
Like the Moonlight Challenge I had planned to listen to an audio book - the book this time was `Life without Limits by Nick Vujicic and even though I read his book last Summer I was really looking forward to listening to it - it is an incredible book - plus you get to listen to him sing in the audio version :-)  This is something I plan to use in the Run24. Anyway after the walk mile & unsure if linked but the remaining miles in the lap were to me the best part of the course. During mile 7 & despite the 30 minute head start the 1st of the 20 milers came zooming past.  Soon enough I came to the finish of lap one, which meant my walk mile was soon upon me and lucky enough I was going faster enough for me not to be lapped twice :-)  (Lap one / 11 miles in  1 hr 55 mins).
I have to say I thought the all of the marshals were amazing with their encouraging support & smiling faces - they deserved medals not us - they must have been so wrapped up.
Again the second lap was much the same but knowing what was coming made it easier. Now because I was rushed & didn`t sort my kit out beforehand I hadn`t swopped over to my running earplugs ….and my normal ones broke :-( But this made the remaining one & half laps or so every peaceful & it was peaceful which was great - `My time` as a call it. I guess around mile 17 / 18 the leader of the 50Km came sprinting past me - amazing running. Just a bit further up along a tracked section - I`m sure I heard a `pop` from my left foot, shortly followed by a wet feeling & then a stinging feeling - yeap a couple of blisters had formed & popped. The feeling of one more lap to go was just about enough to put that out of my mind.  (Lap two / Mile 22 in 3 hrs 55 mins).
During this last lap I decided not to stick so firmly to my `walk mile` & use the terrain more unsure if I should have use this on the second lap!! I was getting tired & the feet were sore but generally I was feeling ok, I thanked the marshals as I went through their stations for the last time. Soon enough the marathon distance came up (26.2M in 4 hrs 54 mins 39 secs), then my favourite section then the last walk break going up the gate & then the nice downhill finish. As I came around the last corner I hadn`t expected the welcoming party of 30 or so Cows in the way so after a bit of negotiation & carefully manovering I managed to get through them & finish off the race.
Nice touch getting a wooden medal - another great event on a good course. Well worth doing it & what a great way to spend a birthday.

31.3 miles in 5hrs 53 mins 20 secs.
After cooling down & `jumped` into the shower - I had `forgotten` about my battered & blistered feet & hot water….again another lesson learnt which I guess what`s it was all about so mission accomplished..
Garmin Connect -

Splits -
9:02, 9:44, 10:17, 10:04, 10:54, 16:26,
10:08, 9:45, 10:03, 9:32, 9:36, 15:16,
9:37, 10:34, 10:15, 10:18, 9:53, 17:11,
14:34, 9:32, 13:12, 11:50, 10:38, 10:20,
11:54, 11:29, 13:25, 11:22, 10:57, 10:08,
12:09, 2:59 (0.30M @9:57)


Next up This Sunday it`s the Fleet Half Marathon. No point in racing this one so it`s time for some fun but also time to remember life........  


Monday, 4 March 2013

A Smile……………………can hide so much.

One of my favourite events - The Surrey Spitfire 20 - a little unsure why really, maybe cos I like 10 milers & I get to do one twice or the undulating course I like or that it doesn`t feel like a 10 or 20 because of the amount of time you spend in the Aerodrome before going out on the open roads..but I do like this one. I had a quick count up & after the race I`ve managed to clock up a total of 11 laps around here - 5 x Spitfires & 1 x Tempests.
I collected the troops - Ali, David & Richard with Dave & Pete in the car behind & we make our way there without any fuss. No problem getting in or parking,  numbers & timing chip collection all without a fuss. I grab my pre-race black coffee & headed back to the car to get ready. It is prefect running weather - slight chill in the air (-3 C) so it`s compression top, marigolds, gloves, Club vest, buff….and shorts. I had gone for my racing shoes but in hindsight I should have gone for my big bouncy shoes….opps rookie mistake.Despite not racing this one I went for a 10 min warm up just really to check everything felt good. My plan was  straightforward - just a run out. I wanted around 2:55 to 3:00 hrs - about 9:00`s m/min. I certainly wasn`t going to race Ali who planned a negative split race.
We assembled at the start - the organisers had moved the start a few hundred metres down the Aerodrome - felt a lot further than that later one. The hooter goes off & we are off…..soon enough we snake our way around the Aerodrome track. Luckily there is not much wind blowing around. We made our way out of the Aerodrome & thanks to the Virtual partner setting on the Garmin I was almost spot on pace as it`s about 3 miles to get to the gates & 1st rise. Now I had been out the night before taking on liquid carbs but despite that I wanted not really to take too much on board - water or gels even thou I had 4 on me. Even if I hadn`t carried any there were loads on offer in the race - never seen so many gels on offer even at London.
It got a bit congested around 4M so I quicken the pace & made for the gaps but settled back down when going up the incline towards 5M. Soon we come to one of my favourite parts of the course when we have to turn off the main road and down into smaller country roads - not much traffic at all, more relaxed & more space to run….. However this leads towards the last quarter of the course where the hills are - at 7M the 1st set starting off with a sharp drop just to fool you, then a short sharp steep incline to get you to breathe hard. Then 2nd set, again drop & incline, around 8M is almost the same but not so sharp. I manage to keep on pace, however I do notice the legs are starting to complain a bit. Not to risk the onset of cramp I take a gel.
I get chatting to a 10 mile runner who wants a certain time & is worried about missing that so I pace her in the last mile or so - she gets her time which is great. Just after the 10M split I see Leila but before I could said hi she dives off for water & a gel - great to see her running again.
As we came around the far side of the track the wind picked up A LOT - right up my shorts, my legs were getting cold. I`m sure why I start to feel quite tired & tense. I wouldn`t say struggled as such but definitely feeling tired. I use a mantra from a yoga class - I repeat to myself starting at my head & working down….. "Relax my forehead, my forehead is relaxed. Relax my shoulders, my shoulders are relaxed. Relax my arm swing, my arm swing are relaxed"…then moving down to the ankles. This worked & a couple of miles ticked over. Around 15M, I think great - only 5 to go but by now my legs are really feeling it now. I start smiling away to myself knowing a smile can hide all sorts. I must of looked like a right loon but I do actually feel better - even up & down those two hills.
At 17 I hear two ladies behind saying "Only a parkrun to go" - that`s the sprint - breaking it down in manageable chunks. A mile further up one of the ladies pulls alongside - it`s Tracey from Frimley Lodge parkrun & someone who I was running with at the early stages of Bramley 20 a couple of weeks back. We ran together for the way in but around 18.5M we pass a local runner - Malcolm Vaughan - who is just shy of reaching his 70`s & is quite amazing. A couple of weeks back at the Bramley 20M it took me 14 miles to catch him & now this week it took me 18.5 miles to pass him, he also ran at the Wokingham Half - quite an amazing runner. (His time was 02:56:32 with a split time of 01:27:12)
As we head into the back of the Aerodrome we catch a few more runners, almost racing  anther couple down the home straight :-) The legs have stopped complaining at this late stage but I have a feeling they may get the last word in.
Ali has already finished with a time `slightly` ahead of predication - 2:36:20 (16th Lady overall & 2nd in age group), David B, Rich & Dave L & Pete all have good runs - sorry we missed the sprint finish Dave.
Another excellent event plus we finished it all off with a stop off on the way back for Sunday lunch.

Splits - 8:51, 8:57, 9:02, 8:49, 9:13, 8:42, 8:59, 9:07, 9:01, 8:27,  8:58, 8:50, 9:11, 9:02, 8:55, 8:39, 8:47, 9:04, 8:42, 5:57 (0.76M @7:52). (1st 10M in 01:29:22)

I really don`t know why the Garmin says 19.76M rather than 20M - I ran all the course inc going around `that` cone twice - maybe the lead runners kicked it back a bit :-)


Next up - Continuing in the sprite of relaxing - I`m starting my meditation course this week, planned in two sessions of yoga inc a Bikram session AND 5 running free days. Mind you next weekend it's my birthday Ultra - the New Forest 50Km - where I do plan to adopt a `Run + walk` (run 5 miles, walk 1, run 5M, walk 1M etc) plan into action. My 1st go at this so it will be interesting……….

Myself & Tracey coming down the final back straight. "A penny for his thoughts"