Thursday, 30 June 2011

New beginnings, New shoes and pitfalls....

This week has been another very busy one.
Sadly our partnership with Fitness First Gym has come to an end. We can't seem to get a correct story but the bottom line is it closes today, Thursday 30th June. So we had our last meet there on Monday and after several years of meeting there it will seem odd that we aren't going there any more. I took along a box of chocolates and a 'Thank You' card for the staff just to express out gratitude. So the process of finding a new venue to meet for our Monday sessions has begun. We have had a few suggestions which we are looking into so hopefully it won't be too long before we find somewhere. Meanwhile we will be meeting at Pulse Gym, Hanson School next Monday for the first of three Enhanced Training sessions being provided by the Airedale Athletics Partnership which will offer some top class training from England Athletics top coaches. I am really looking forward to that.

It's a fair while since I stopped during a race, I did just that recently, not for very long though! Tuesday saw the fourth race in the YVAA series at Meanwood. A lovely trail route if a little repetitive, hilly and treacherous under foot. So much so that a good few of us took a tumble, me included. Momentarily sprawled out full length on the floor, I think I actually got up quicker than I went down! After checking that a chap who I had just over taken and then went down immediately behind me was ok, red faced, cut and bruised I carried on regardless! Incidentally we over took each other another twice but he managed a sprint to the finish line! My time of 42:36 was a pleasant surprise as it felt like I had been out on the course much longer!

Wednesday's run followed a day of shopping in York where I purchased an early birthday present of a new pair of running shoes. I'm not going to mention how long but suffice to say 'long overdue'. I was glad to learn that the 10 mile route was actually only 7 miles, my bruised and battered knee wouldn't have stood up to much more, I don't think. Certainly the prospect of a rest day today is very welcome as the post fall aches and pains seem even more accentuated as the day goes on. The new shoes were a pleasure to run in and quite a jazzy colour, I love them! There's nothing like a new pair of running shoes to put a bit of spring in your step!

My weekly visit to Weight watchers since reaching my 'goal' weight last week and I learned I had lost another 1/2lb taking me to a total of a stone lost, I was presented with an actual 'stone' to mark the occasion! So I am now carrying a stone lighter around than I was 8 weeks ago and I must admit it feels great! Some of it may be psychological but it did actually feel much easier getting up the likes of Harrogate Road, up to Calverley and then up Woodhall Lane last night, let's hope it continues!

Meanwhile this Sunday sees the next of the YVAA races at Honley, for me, anywhere near the town Huddersfield spells 'hills' so we'll see if my theory is correct!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Come Rain or Shine.....

The beautiful Washburn Valley

Well what can I say? The Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k was (nearly) a total washout! My prayers were not answered and I got up (late) on the Sunday morning to pouring down rain! I knew I had to collect my number at the event due to my (late) entry and so it was we hurriedly made our way to Leeds. Got to the bottom of my road and the van's fuel light came on, cue unscheduled fuel stop, just to make me even later. Finally arriving in Leeds, the slip road to the multi storey car park was closed as were most other slip roads off the main ring road, after frantically driving round for about 15 minutes I asked my husband just to drop me off and I set off running in the direction of a few runners I could see up ahead, not a clue where I was or where I was going!

Anyway all worked out fine, I managed to find Millennium Square, got my number and got directions to the Red start area. Before I knew it we were off, soaked but off! Although I do love a busy race this it seemed was over busy. The streets were narrow, I zig zagged from one side of the road to other, up and down the kerbs, however I did feel I had made a good effort as I neared the finish, the welcome site of fellow club member Linda sent me gliding to the right, right again and....another incline, I had imagined as I race down the Headrow that I was continuing to the finish line, mistaken, I ploughed on up before turning left and finally the finish line came into view. Lesson learned, 'don't count your chickens!' So I didn't manage my sought after 10k PB but well and truly justified the reason why I hadn't. Last year's race had been so much more relaxed as I had pledged to stay with my sister, compared to this year's race I really did feel the brunt of the crowded course. Ah well, onwards and upwards there's plenty more 10k's to be conquered.

In stark contrast, some of our members were travelling over to the Washburn Valley (the following) Sunday. Holidays were preventing some of them carrying out the Otley AC reccie of the three legs of the Washburn Valley relay we are entering teams in, somehow I was 'talked into' doing the reccie along with them. Not though, a reccie of one leg, but all three!

Getting out of bed early the sun was cracking the flags. Mick and Dawn arrived to pick me up and off we set. There were 7 of us in total. Arriving at Otley we set off on leg one, it was very warm. Next, leg two, it was warmer still. Leg three it was getting on for 11 am, it was stifling. The guys set off and Dawn and I followed. We arrived at the bridge at the bottom of a gravel path and stopped for a drink. I think in the heat both of us wanted to turn back, it was however, an incline back to the car park, probably just over a mile to run back, we both agreed we may as well carry on and finish what we had started. It just seemed to get hotter and hotter. We were plagued by flies. What a difference from the same time last week. You wouldn't imagine you were in the same country, never mind postal district! Amazing.

All the times I have run around Fewston & Swinsty reservoirs I have never noticed the lovely Fewston church, those of you who have run around there will know that there's a point where you need to come off the banks of the reservoir out onto the road and then back down again. The church is just as you get to the car park to go out onto the road. Stunning, can't understand why I've never noticed it before.

It felt really good to finish and I hurried to the ice cream van to buy myself an ice lolly, an orange lolly never tasted so good! So hopefully, one leg at the Otley AC reccie will seem like a walk in the park. Oh and the race the week after? A little more effort may be required, let's hope it's not so hot!

Fewston Church

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Flying time and racing by....

The eve of the Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k and it seems only yesterday that I ran it with (my sister) Sue, her first ever 10k and also (my son) Marc's first year of stepping up to do the 10k instead of the family fun run for which he had become 'too old'. How time flies!

I am able to look back with a feeling that it's not such a bad thing that the last year has passed me by. My patience and determination to stick to regimes devised by my previous physio and current masseur have meant that I'm now back to a relatively good level of fitness and have taken pride over the last few months in gaining PB's in some of the races I've done, most notably at 5k and 10 mile distances. So I'm looking forward to tomorrows race and although I know I should without doubt better my time from last year, I also know that if I can put the effort in and not be hampered too much by the crowds that I have a real chance of a 10k Pb on that course. We'll see....

Training for the Great North Run is going well and I'm really looking forward to our yearly trip to the North East. Just need to get the fundraising for Scope moving so if you can find it within you to part with some of your hard earned cash visit

Club race wise, we are now in full swing with the Yorkshire Vets races, three of this year's series have already been run at Horsforth, West Vale and Pudsey. Like the cross country races earlier in the year, there is a certain camaraderie attached to the vets races, they are always well attended by all the clubs and most of them cheer in the runners at the finish, the atmosphere is electric! Of course there's the post race presentations and food too! Most of all though, they are usually very challenging courses, great for your fitness and afterwards you get a real sense of achievement, a feeling you have really put in some effort and of course been part of the team. We at club, will be rallying round for the next race as lots of people are on holiday so it's going to be doubly difficult to get those teams out.

Next on the agenda though for my weekend is indeed the 2011 Jane Tomlinson Leeds 10k in the morning, followed by a meeting with Capt' Hogan to sort out the teams for this year's Washburn Valley Relay followed by the monthly ERR Committee meeting tomorrow evening.

Then the start of a whole new week which I'm sure promises to be eventful!

Now before I retire I may just pray for good weather to be bestowed on tomorrow's race : )