Monday, 8 April 2013

If you don`t ask you don`t get…….

The `ask` was a challenge both in terms of timing & performance on the day. The challenge was to run a parkrun then at 10.00am start the `Bolt Round The Holt` 21KMs at Alice Holt. The travel time (without speeding) between the two venues was 26 mins - can you see the 1st part of the challenge?? Just to add a bit of extra interest not only did I want to run both events (nearly called parkrun a race…that was close….phew) but I wanted a to beat my previous 21 KMs best (set in 2009) of 01:48:49….now my thought process was that if I needed to be in a hurry why not try to get a parkrun PB there too.
That was the challenge - run a sub 21:05 at Frimley Lodge parkrun, then get to Alice Holt in time, then run a sub 01:48:49 - like all good challenges not easy but `do-able` :-)
Also running both events was fellow FL parkrunner Richard Boese, we were quite fortunate that registration for the Alice Holt was open at 07:45am, so the plan was hatched. I would collect Richard from his house (@ 06:45) drive to Alice Holt, get our numbers & chip timer, drive to Frimley Lodge parkrun. Run the parkrun, jump in the car & drive back to Alice Holt - with all timings of a Military Assault Operation.
Just before 09:00am we all assembled on the start area of parkrun - looked like a full house which meant very busy in the 1st half mile or so on the towpath. I set off fast, hoping to hit some space - I had set my PB the week before - at Basingstoke - and ran a first mile of 06:33 - I didn`t think I would hit that pace again but if I did I knew I could just about do it. I wasn`t too worried when loads of folks passed me just before the end of the canal stretch on the 1st lap - I kept pushing the pace. I didn`t look at the Garmin when the 1st beep went off. The `mud` section wasn`t too bad - the course had firmed up. Through unto the 2nd lap - I managed to tag myself on the back of a group of runners inc the 2nd lady. A couple of this group had dropped off half way down the canal - I heard a couple of shouts from runners coming out the mud section on their 1st lap - I was so tempted to see what time it was but didn`t. Second lady had moved ahead - we went around the dog walking field for the last time I had closed the gap & stuck right behind her. Onto the last field - I pushed forward & took them both just by the goal - I pushed again. I saw Dennis on the stones, I managed to gasp a `well done, keep going` to him before I pushed for 2nd to last turn, I knew someone was right on my tail. I got caught within meters of the line….as I finished I looked down & stopped the Garmin…..

It read 21:09 - darn missed it by
5 seconds but hey I gave it my best shot so whilst a bit disappointed it wasn`t that bad….
Splits - 6:37, 7:09, 7:10 (0.04M @4.52)
I waited for Richard to finish his run before freshening up a little - pining the race number on & driving off to Alice Holt.
The Sat Nav said - arrival time 09:56….

We arrive there & park up - we are 500 metres or so from the start line. So a bit of a jog to the start whilst fluffing around with the race belt & arm warmers.. We get there for the start only to be told the start was delayed by 30 mins. This gave us chance to say hello to fellow Cove Joggers Debbie & Jacqui who were doing the 5Km race (there was also a 10Km race too). The course was a 5Km lap so what the organisers planned was for the canine runners to go off first, then the 21Km runners - who had to do an extra 1Km lap, then the 10Km & then finally the 5Km runners went off. This meant we had to do this particular climb a total of 5 times !!!!

I had planned to run around 8:00 m/m (01:45:00) pace, which should be me a bit in the bag if the wheels came off a bit. The main course was undulating - steep descents & sharp climbs with a bit of flat - I had forgotten how undulating it was !! I went through the 5Km & felt comfortable (24:26 ish) - passing quite a quite runners in the process & out unto the 2nd lap. I grapped water where I could remembering I had already ran a speedy 5Km & it was warmer than usual. The 2nd lap felt more comfortable - the legs didn't complain as much, we had more space to run in - I could say thanks to the marshals (49:53 ish).  I did like the 3rd lap as not only did it feel we had the course to ourselves but it felt you knew you were only had one more to go so you could relax even more.  Towards the midpoint of this 3rd lap - Matt King came whizzing past enroute to his victory in 1:16:22. I guess I still had a mile to go on the 3rd lap before the 2nd guy came past (he finished in 1:18:23). I hit the final lap in good sprit, however I do recall at around mile 10 / 11 feeling really exhausted - I thought this was very odd as I don`t normally feel this `bad` at mile 10….I guess it took me a little while to realise / remember the parkrun beforehand - opps. After I realised that I seemed to pick myself up. Several runners caught me before the last climb - I knew the time was close - I didn`t really want to `just` miss out again so I hung on the back of them which wasn`t easy on that last incline. We came around the final corner & through the finishing gantry. I looked down - the Garmin said 1:46:11 - yes I beat my pervious 21KM best.
Physically generally ok, my legs were a bit tight but no issues with the ankle which was good - it was a bit obviously that I`ve lost a bit of fitness but very pleased I did 16 miles in just over 2 hours 7 minutes. Richard had a good run too.
I am pleased that I managed both runs, yes it would have been nice to get a best in both events but not too disappointed - I`m glad I asked myself the question thou.
Results - Results link
Splits - 7:52, 7:51, 7:38,  8:21, 8:09, 7:50, 8:31, 8:25, 8:04, 8:42, 8:52, 8:01, 7:50 (0.86M @9:05)
Next up - Taper time then `The Marathon` on the 21st.
The plan there is still unknown - I don`t think a sub 03:35:00 is on the cards now so really looking at;

Plan A) = A PB (sub 03:39:41),
Plan B = A Sub 03:45:00,
Plan C) = A Sub 03:50:00,
Plan D) = A Sub 04:00:08 (course best) - yes I missed the sub 4hr by 9 seconds in 2011


  1. I love the idea you set yourself this challenge, it just spices up a training plan and gives you a target...great idea

  2. My bet is on plan B. Your on Fire this year!!!