Saturday, 14 June 2014

Wollaton Park 10K

Today I returned to the scene of my first ever 10k for my 6th leg of my #2014_10kChallenge.

To be honest I've given up on chasing that sub 50 time since signing up for the Marathon, if it happens it happens, I have bigger fish to fry.  But today's effort on an undulating course gives me hope that there may be a sub 50 10k in me.

I wasn't really expecting a PB or anything today, I was just going with the flow, if I felt good after the uphill start I had every chance.  The Wollaton Park 10k is set in parkland surrounding the famous hall that some of you may know as Wayne Manor from the latest Batman movie.  It's not a flat course but neither is it very hilly, undulating describes it well.

When I ran here in 2012 on my first ever 10k I set a time of 52:35 which until today stood for those 2 years as my PB over 10km.  I set off up the hill from the start line at a reasonable pace and descended the first drop rapidly, at 1k only 4:10 had passed.  I knew I couldn't keep this up but it felt good, the second kilometer was covered in similar time.  Then the biggest climb came at 3k, that knocked the pace down a little, but at the halfway point I was something like 24:20.  A sub 50 on the cards?

No, I was sure I wasn't going t o make it as I'd hit the first 5k hard to give myself a shot at the PB, I just had to hang in there now to go under the two year old record.  And that I did, the second lap of 5k was hard but with a good time on the cards I kept going.  The last kilometer cam  and I knew I had to run it in less than 6 minutes for a PB, it was in the bag, just get to the line.  I stopped my Garmin on 51:10 but when the results came through I had a chip time of 51:07, and new PB!

As usual this was a well organised event put on by Bluecoats school who neighbour the park.  I'll be back next year.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Leicester's Big 10k

Well fingers crossed my ITBS problems have passed by, 2 weeks rest was frustrating but appears to have worked.  I have also had a physio session to work out what could be causing my problems.

So today saw May's leg of my #2014_10kChallenge.  The hottest day of the year so far was suggested by the weatherman last night, so any hopes of a PB were put out of my mind.  In fact I shouldn't really be hunting for PB's at all, Marathon training precedes all other ambitions between now and November 2nd!  But is was a good day and I'm in my best form since returning to running after over a year on the sofa.

Leicester's 10k is set in Abbey Park, a nice place with the river Soar running through it, well worth a visit if park walking is your thing.  Another well organized event, with plenty of water at the two stops, a blessing in today's heat (20c at 10am).  As usual my 1st mile was too fast, 2nd better and 3rd at 9 min pace as I realised I'd be cooked if I kept pressing 8:30 pace, mile 4 and 5 were better after a slower mile 3.  Although no PB attempt was made I easily achieved my best time of the year over 10k's, 53:15.  Still room for improvement I'm sure, but the Mara is definitely my priority.  Maybe next year I'll go for a sub 50 10k.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

ITB Blues

Training has frustratingly come to a halt due to me suffering with ITB syndrome AKA runners knee.  I'm no doctor so here's a wiki lesson on what it is

The upshot is that I'm currently taking 2 weeks minimum off from running.  I'm 10 days in and getting frustrated.  It feels much better but I know I can't rush it.  I've been foam rolling, K Taping and taking glucosamine  in an effort to heal it.  I will also be running with an IT Band above my knee to help prevent it from returning.

This has made me realise how important it is to get everything right for New York, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise...  I've been and had a gait test at Sweatshop and bought some properly fitted running shoes.  I was very interesting to see how my feet and ankles aligned and moved around whilst running, I'd recommend a proper gait analysis to anyone who is thinking about taking up running seriously.

Fingers crossed my first run back this weekend will be ok, I'm taking it back to basics and starting at week one of a half marathon training programme.   One step at a time is the key to this from here on.

Beacon Easter Bunny Run 10k

A bit late blogging this one, didn't get round to it for some reason...

The Beacon Easter Bunny Run was my April leg of my 2014_10kChallenge.  I entered this back in December knowing that the start of the race was at the bottom of a hill which led to the highest point in Leicestershire, Beacon Hill.  I naively thought one climb of the hill would be all that was included, that would have been enough for me....

The day came and I arrived at the site to be greeted by the local scout group managing the car park, I couldn't believe how many people were there!  I'd read during the week leading up that it was a record entry for both races, the 10k and a 3k family fun run.

The race was well organised, plenty for spectators to do.  There was a coffee stall, BBQ stall doing bacon and sausage sandwiches, there were a few brave runners tucking in.  They even had a massage tent giving free leg massages to runners, I figured they would be busy after the race so I took advantage and had a free pre run rub down.

The race was soon underway, and after a 100m start straight we were heading upwards, one full mile of incline got us started, followed by nearly a mile downhill, we then turned back up the hill....

2 climbs!

I reached the summit for a second time, this was hard work.  We then headed downwards again, I was hoping that things would soon level out for the second half of the run.  No! We turned uphill again!

3  CLIMBS!!!

The third assent was in stages but not enough time between them to recover fully.  I was on for the slowest 10k I'd ever done, but this one was strangely satisfying.  The last couple of miles were downhill/flat and quick, in fact mile 5-6 was my quickest segment of the race!

59:19 is a shocking time for a 10k for me, but this was probably the most enjoyable 10k I'd ever done.  A very well organised event hosted by the Loughborough Beacon Rotary Club in only it's 3rd year, this event is sure to become a well attended regular on the East Midlands calendar.

Next up Leicesters Big 10k in May.

Friday, 28 March 2014

2014 TCS NYC Marathon

To my utter amazement I have been drawn to run the New York Marathon this November.  I had entered the ballot fully expecting not to be successful but I'm In!

As you may be aware this is to mark 10 years since Mum died.  I wanted to do something amazing as a tribute to her, I guess this will do....

It was never intended as a charity event but as people have asked I've set a page up for it - Money will go to Macmillan Cancer Support who helped Mum and her family in her last few weeks.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Rushcliffe 10k

The Rushcliffe 10K is a well attended event with over 700 runners this year.

A mostly flat course around Rushcliffe country park, although there is one stretch which only slightly pulls upwards but goes on for what seems ages...

It was a chilly and breezy morning in the exposed country park, luckily it was close to home so I could time my arrival to not be hanging about too much.

The gun went and I was off, far too quickly, first kilometer covered in about 4:50, too much for me to maintain. K's 2 and 3 were spent settling myself in and climbing that slope.  Certainly by kilometer 5 I was sorted and in my rhythm.

At no point in this run did I feel good, don't suppose a Chinese takeaway and 2/3rds of a bottle of wine were good preparation.....  By kilometer 9 I was really feeling it, but hitting that final K always lifts me, and once Strava had told me I was over 6 miles and I swung round to see the finish line I almost broke into a sprint, almost.

Another well organised event, heavy on freebies at the end which is nice, but I'd rather they gave it to their nominated charities, a cheap medal is all that's required in my opinion.

So the outcome on this event which saw me cover 10k 10 seconds slower than last month is that I really ought to prepare for these runs and really should start following some sort of training programme for that Marathon later this year.