Archive for August 2013

Triple weekender   1 comment

Another long time between posts. Two weeks!!!! What a slacker. Mainly because I haven’t done anything worthy of reporting. Having returned from the New Forest my knee swelled up like a… swollen thing… I battled through a few sessions, cut a few short and hobbled a few bits here and there but nothing worth detailing here.

For ages I have known that this weekend I would be embarking upon The Triple – three races in three days. Parkrun on Saturday, Newick 10k on Sunday and King’s Head Canter today (Monday). Unfortunately the lack of proper running over the past few weeks hasn’t stood me in good stead.

I hoped I could knock some confidence into myself with a good parkrun having been pretty slow at Brockenhurst. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. After starting relatively OKishly I then got progressively slower rolling home with an unsatisfactory 20.36.

Fingers crossed the not-very-good parkrun would have knocked the cobwebs out so I would be ready to do well at Newick 10k. This race is part of the Sussex Grand Prix series so I needed to do well to keep in with a chance of nabbing top spot over all. Currently my worst showing is 497 points (4th place) and I wanted to do better this time. Bob had suggested I do this race as it is usually pretty sparse on speedies so I was hopeful I would do OK. I was worried because of my lack of good preparation, fat knee and intermittently painful bum. Also I’ve been distinctly un-race-ready in the brain recently. Oh well, I was there so just had to get on with it and hope for the best. I started quite near the front so I could see where I was position-wise from the off. There was a young girl ahead of me from the gun but I hoped perhaps she might dash off and die. She didn’t. In fact she left me for dead as soon as we started the second 5k where I totally flagged – lack of consistent long runs over the previous two weeks. However I knew I was second woman so vowed to keep this position no matter what. A man decided it would be a brilliant idea to start asking me what pace I’d set my watch to as we struggled on past 7k. He did though mention that I was well ahead of the lady behind which was good to know. Alas I must have slowed down massively as DISASTER, around 9.8k Gail Nerurkar passed me!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I can’t have come all this way in second place just to lose it now. Thankfully we were so close to the end I was able to drag out a last ditch sprint and overtake her just before the finish putting me back in second place. Phew! Another 499 points for the pot and another trophy for the shelf.

Still need to work on my trophy acceptance face

Still need to work on my trophy acceptance face

No prizes for second so lucky I am old thus snaffled first vet!

No prizes for second so lucky I am old thus snaffled first vet!

Overall though I wasn’t at all happy with my running. Too slow, too hard, too much like the olden days brain-wise. A time of 43.30 showed I’m really not on very good form recently (I was significantly faster at Heathfield which was a much harder course). Most people were a couple of minutes down on their flat times but I was well over 3! Even though I know it is because of my scuppered preparation it didn’t lighten my spirit.

For some reason each year I’ve done the King’s Head Canter it hasn’t been very good and this year was no exception. This time I really felt like I was running fast, I was overtaking people and feeling pretty OK yet it turned out I wasn’t going that fast at all. Oh dear. At least I put the effort in and can’t really do more than that. It did seem though that a lot of other people’s time were slower too so I’m not sure what was going on but 20.48 on that course really isn’t good at all but I suppose it was consistent with Saturday’s effort.

I must congratulate Rob and myself though for being the only people to actually complete the triple after all the talk about doing it!

I hope to be back to usual with good things to report soon.

A change of scene   Leave a comment

Hello! Remember me? I used to blog round these parts. I have just returned from the annual Arena camping trip to the New Forest hence the gap between posts. Anyway I’m back now so here goes…

Last Monday it was off to Hove Rec for a change of scene for the alternative track session. As I was hoping (again) to take it easy I began with failure as I decided to run to the session with Andy which meant it would be 10 miles at least by the time I got home again. The run there was nice and slow (mainly because I couldn’t go any faster). Bob had measured out the various loops of the park and set us off on a 1500m route which comprised a figure of 8 about the park. As we streamed in he split us into smaller groups for the rest of the session. I was with Andy, Mark and Jason. After a few minutes rest we set off on the first of 2 x 1k. The loop was downhill and flat to flat then finished with an uphill on the last side of the square. This was a bit of a killer in pacing terms. However I was pleased to discover we were running at around 6 – 6.10mm. Repeat. Then it was on to 4 x 750m to finish. These were also completed in around 6mm pace which was good and shows that you can run fast after a LSR as long as the S really is S. I ran back with Andy and notched up just over 10 miles altogether.

On Tuesday I was collected at 7am by Julie in her motorhome as it was time for the annual Arena camping trip to Hollands Wood campsite. This meant that Tuesday was a rest day. Or perhaps erecting the awning tent counts as cross training?

JB had planned a 13 miler for Wednesday morning which was perfect as I wouldn’t want to go out on my own for fear of getting lost. He had calculated that we would run to Hatchet Pond, 6 miles away, in an hour, then come back to make a two hour, 13(ish) mile run. He was spot on! We reached the pond in precisely one hour. We went a tiny bit wrong on the way back but were never lost and got back to the campsite with a solid 13 miles banked.

On Thursday I wanted to do another LSR but JB, Paul and Julie only wanted to do a shorter one so I went out with them then when they went back I continued alone. As I was nervous of getting lost in the forest and being eaten by miniature horses I just added a few loops on the paths near the back of the campsite. I managed to notch up another 11 miles although it was hard work.

Caroline giving a sense of scale to the ravening beasts of the New Forest

Caroline giving a sense of scale to the ravening beasts of the New Forest

On Friday I joined JB, Julie and Paul on a slow/recovery 6 in preparation for Brockenhurst parkrun on Saturday. As the parkrun was only a mile or so away from the campsite we decided to jog down to get there around 8.30 so we could have a look at the course and Caroline could assess the opposition. When we arrived we discovered there was a mob match between New Forest Runners and Lordshill (shh Rob) which meant there were more runners than usual though still only 109.

The Arena team

The Arena team

We had a plan for an Arena ladies 1, 2, 3 but I ruined it by being 4th, beaten by an under 14. Oh dear. Caroline H won (of course) and was third over all and Caroline was second. It wasn’t a very nice course. Although flat it was made entirely of turns and someone had inconsiderately set a bonfire whose smoke you had to run through 4 times what with it being a lapped course. At least I have now broken my Hove Park streak. Good timing too as I had run 150 at Hove so Brockenhurst was my 151st parkrun. Full results.


On Sunday it was time to head back home but not before a final 7 miles through the forest.

Julie (and Amber), Mark and Caroline modelling the running conditions beautifully. Superb action photography by moi.

Julie (and Amber), Mark and Caroline modelling the running conditions beautifully. Superb action photography by moi.

As it was Caroline, Mark, Julie and I the pace was quicker than any of the runs earlier in the week, around 8.30mm. I was feeling good though, bouncy and strong. It was raining like a beast which made a change from all the hot runs previously.

Over the course of the week I ran 52 miles and cycled around 15 (also somehow put on almost half a stone – bloater). Not bad for yet another week of trying to take it easy. Then again I was only trying to rest for the sake of my bum but actually it feels much better now. I wonder if that’s due to more running or perhaps the spin overdosing hasn’t been helping. Hopefully the worst has passed now and I might actually be able to do some fully two-legged running soon. Off out to Hove Rec again tonight.

Rest week fail   Leave a comment

My rest week started well with me doing nothing on Monday. Yes, NOTHING! Not a shred of exercise.

It was all downhill from then…

On Tuesday I got up bright and early to go to 8.45am spin as it is excellent. For some reason it is impossible to pace myself in this class and I find my self almost dead after the first 15 minutes. I think this time this was because I hadn’t done anything on Monday so was full of unspent energy (maybe). Anyway I went in hard and found myself once more a heaving sweat bag within minutes. Somehow I managed to keep going and thrashed myself into the ground. This was good as there was a point before we started when the class was going to be abandoned because I was the only one there. Luckily another girl arrived about 10 minutes late. I did think it was an omen that I should actually try and rest on rest week but turns out I’m obviously destined not to and who am I to argue with destiny?

A short while later it was back to the gym for Core & Stretch. I feel that I do have more of a steely core now but I am still highly inflexible. Sigh. Never mind. I now have a fellow inflexible friend so we just catch each others’ eyes and snigger as we totally fail to bend in various directions. I’m sure it must be doing me good…

As Rob is on holiday and Danny is still having bum trouble there was no long run in the evening hence my attempting to use this as a rest week.

On Wednesday I had already booked in for Bexhill 5k as it is part of the Sussex Grand Prix which I am doing quite well in so off we went. (I managed to be vaguely sensible and not go to spin in the morning.) Having got stuck in some traffic we arrived with seconds to spare which meant I was full of rampant anxiety and already had a stitch before we even started. I managed to drag out an OK-under-the-circumstances 20.05 and was 4th lady so my GP points are still acceptable (just).

Jenny, me, Danny and 2nd lady Emily

Jenny, me, Danny and 2nd lady Emily

Emily was 2nd so earnt a little bit of cash for her troubles and Danny ran another sub 18 (not sure he could ever not these days).

I fully intended to rest on Thursday but was struck by an overwhelming desire to abandon the cats and go for a long run. So I did. Well they weren’t actually abandoned as James was due in later. The long run went a little bit wrong too as I was so desperate to get out I set off way too fast, having not eaten enough and totally died on the way back so it ended up being a pretty pathetic and madly badly paced 10 miler. Oopsy. Rest week fail (again). At least I managed not to go to Hove Park in the evening and join in Mark’s 800 reps session.

On Friday it was back to the gym for spin. I felt strong again probably due to having done a run earlier on Thursday than usual. It was flipping boiling once more.

As a nod to supposed rest week I didn’t do parkrun on Saturday. I did of course help instead though. Clipboard ahoy!

This morning I thought I’d try another long slow run with the aim this time of it actually being long and slow after Thursday’s not very good attempt. I set off towards the Adur with the pace screen on my Garmin foremost and made sure I didn’t stray below 8.30mm. This I didn’t but I did then get much slower getting down (up?) to 9.30mm round the river. I tried to remember this was supposed to be a slooooow run and not get too upset. It felt really hard anyway. Maybe due to the heat. I don’t know. Although it was a struggle I felt much better than on Thursday when I really had to drag myself home into the wind. I finished up with 16 under my belt. Only 29 miles for the week so perhaps I can pretend it was a sort of rest week after all…

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