Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I`m running……I`m running out of races..!!!!

I think you guys know this already but I do prefer the longer distance runs & whilst I do try my hardest at the shorter stuff, and they are satisfying afterwards I do find them really hard work.      Knowing this what on earth was I doing entering a SINGLE mile race especially 13 days before a 24 hour run !!! The only conclusion I have come up with is that I am a race-addict - there I`ve said it now lets more on..

This race was the inaugural BUPA Westminster Mile race, starting in the Mail & ending just after Birdcage Walk. So a bit of a change to the 5 previous mile races I`ve done, which were all track miles - my PB, set in 2009 was 06:28 and I do have to say I was happy with that which is one reason why I entered this particular event - something different. Myself, Alison & David met at Farnborough Main to get the train up - once at Waterloo we took the `guided tour` route to St James Park via the London Eye, London Aquarium, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben & strolled through St James Park. It is here we see the funniest thing ever…a remote control squirrel - not really but it could easily have been.

Anyway we made our way to the changing / bag drop area. My race was kicking off just after 10.00 - I was in the second Wave - Blue B - I don`t think BUPA has ever forgiven me from dressing up as a Nun & starting from the top starting Wave once. I make my way over to the start (basically just down from the finishing line in the VLM in the mail). I see Mark from the parkrun & wished him well - It is not often I get to a start line & feel out of place, each pen / wave has I guess only 50 or so runners…eeekkk (Going to be a lonely race then). I warm up & I get a nod of the head from a Kenyan runner who is also warming up - this makes my day. We form into the pen. Blue A`s off first…..then it`s my turn….

As we wait to move forward I shake my legs out, jump up & down, shakes my arms a bit more & relax my shoulders…I must of seen this on TV once - feeling so out of place…. We move forward & Richard Whitehead joins our wave - how cool is that….I`m `racing` Richard Whitehead.  I form up near the back. I`ve already set my Garmin on 0.25M laps. The hooter goes….& it`s nothing I known before - it`s like running from a burning building…..trying to get past folks, folks going past…

The turn down towards Horse Guards parade ground & the Garmin shakes - 1/4 mile in…the lactic acid hasn`t quite built up yet..still trying to run in the gaps….. I see the 800 metre to go sign & get caught up in a little group (and apart from the question on why on earth am I doing here the other question I ask is why are runners listening to music in a race like this ???). 400 to go - and my legs really don`t know what's going on…a few runners go past me & go past a couple - this is so mad. 200 to go - Now it starts to feel like I`m getting no-where my legs are going round then signs are not getting closer. I try to stand tall, swing my arms faster, lean forward - I seem to inch slowly towards the line.

100 to go - Come on, how hard is this - my lungs are bursting. We turn the last corner & I see the gantry - just coming up to my `immediate One Mile retirement time` I push for the line - hoping to get it but those few metres seemed to go on & on….I stop the garmin and feel like a Busking shark by sucking in the oxygen.  My goodness that was hard - no `satisfying feeling` kicking in just yet !!!

I look at my time & I am amazed - WOW I am stunned - 00:06:06. Ali & David popped up as I hung on the railings.

Splits (0.25M) & time - 1:25.7, 1:30.5, 1:33.9, 1:32.5, 0:03.0 (0.01 @3:59) - 06:05

Garmin Connect -
Eventually I go & get my gear & wandered back to the finish where we watch more races finish. Soon it`s Ali & David`s turn…..I watch the finishing timer tick over - I see the 1st runners coming through - slight problem in this race as these guys are all wearing yellow Sweatshop tops (except for one runner !!). Anyway I see Ali coming up & manage to take a photo just before she finishes & I look up & I think to myself that bloke just behind her looks a bit like David….IT IS DAVID - blimey !! I wandered up and contract David on an awesome time.. 00:06:39 - amazing run.

Afterwards we watch the youngsters & elite races - two great races to finish on. A brilliant day.

Results - Power of Ten LINK

Unto Bank Holiday Monday now & for the 4th time in a row it`s was the BUPA London 10,000 (please do NOT mix this up with the London 10Km as these are two different races). This BUPA event is a fantastic event - ok a bit expensive but it`s so worth it.

Like the day before we meet up at Farnborough Station - Ali, Lou, Dan, Dave, David, Dennis, James, Maurice & myself - the pre-race chat buzz is just great. We take the same route to get there - it`s the same set up as the previous day (no remote controlled squirrel though).

(Why do I think of this song.... YouTube LINK )
As we walk past the pens I see the `Tesco` boys & girls (Andover AC) & stop for a chat…I lose the others.. After a while I go over to the baggage area after saying hello the Chineham & Basingstoke lots - glad we got there early!!!! As I walk down to drop the bag off I see Tracy & Mike - who met at this race 4 years ago & this year got married so it was great seeing them. I go for a short warm up in the park - less than 5 minutes WU I guess. I wandered past the pens to see if I can see the others & wish them well. As I wait out my pen & bump into Ali, Dan & Dave & in hindsight we should have move in before we did to get a place near the front. We hear the wave in front go off…we move up…

The `hooter thing` goes off - and thank goodness the starting pace is not like yesterday…we head out under the - so this must be the 3rd route the organisers have tried out. I see Dennis & Maurice supporting - they shout out. We head down the Mall & left into a connecting street before the Embankment I see Dan goes past….a couple of moments later I see Dave chasing him…those two were not to be seen again…

This is good as I could tell that pace was a bit too quick - I try to keep the same pace going as we head down the Embankment. I grab a water - only really to throw over me. We go up & round to the 4 Km mark & hear this massive cheering coming back towards us - Mo flying past & Phil Wicks giving chase….it`s kind of like a Mexican Wave but a running version.. I like the next bit of the course as twists & turns through the market. Martin from Andover come past me - well he did start a wave behind me. As we head back we pass the runners going out - I love courses like that - I see Lou & give a shout (iPods got to love them…)

I didn`t look at the garmin but I felt I was running faster on the back half of the course - the space had opened up to run in. The downside was that I felt I was going too fast - I see I had 3 Km to go. My thinking was a gently 7 Km, then pick the pace up towards the middle / end part of the Embankment, round the corner to the 9 Km mark & go for home…sounded simply… I couldn't wait till the 9 Km mark then round Horse Guards parade ground & then seeing the 400 Metre sign… I hit the corner with thoughts of smacking down the Mall - instead I saw the tiny gantry way in the distance & my legs instantly gained 4 stone…how far is that !!!. I felt so tired I could hear the crowd pushing us on. I saw & heard Dennis. Long finishing straights should be banned….

I eventually made the line & I think never have been pleased to finish a race…it was indeed my last proper race in my training plan for Endure24 - I do plan to jog out Yateley 10Km a week next Wednesday or maybe do a bit of pacing.

Garmin splits & time - 7:10, 7:07, 7:11, 6:51, 6:58, 7:00 2:02 (0.30@ 6:54) - 44:22

I waited near the goodie bag area to see the others coming thorough - I missed them all except for Maurice who came down to chat.  After a while we headed to the baggage & changing area & met the others. Another great race. All the Cove Joggers do well.

Afterwards we headed back towards Waterloo stopping off at a pub - just to break the journey up a bit & then it would have been a bit rude if we didn`t stop at Dennis`s club - Jubilee Club for another pint & a bite to eat - I do have to say I am enjoying these post-race do`s almost as much as racing then.....

Garmin Connect -

Results - Power Of Ten LINK

So a brilliant Bank Holiday weekend starting out with an excellent Friday night, Westminster Mile on Sunday & the BUPA London 10,000 on Monday.

As I write this it`s only 10 sleeps till `No Sleeps`……ENDURE 24 - Website LINK
As it`s says in Dean Karnazes`s `Ultra Marathon Man – Confessions Of An All-Night Runner` book - "Sleep is for wimps` ~ Christopher Gaylord, underground ultra-endurance legend.  


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