Friday, 29 July 2011
Eccleshill at the Golden Acre park Relay hosted by Abbey Runners on 27th July 2011
Well what can I say, still chasing that elusive 10k PB I travelled over to the picturesque town of Harrogate with Mick and Dawn to take part in the latest club championship race. Having never taken part in this race before I hadn't a clue what to expect and have to admit for some reason I assumed it would be fairly flat. Wrong! In actual fact it was quite undulating. The two lap course wound around the leafy suburbs coming downhill back to the start point in the town centre on each lap. The marshals and supporters were brilliant in what was truly a very well organised race. Parking, toilets and race HQ were all located conveniently very near the start/finish. Sadly upon receiving my official finishing time I was 46 seconds outside my 10k PB. Although my 54:50 time was much faster than I have done for a 10k in quite a long time. So next target is the Jane Tomlinson, York 10k on Sunday 31st July. Everything's crossed!
Meanwhile, over at Golden Acre Park the following Wednesday, the second of our relays in as many weeks proved to be another good turn out for the club. Although we didn't have as many teams as the Washburn relay we did still have 5 teams entered. Once again the team spirit was second to none as we all cheered our own and other club's runners in. I have to say the highlight of the night was definitely Mark Scott's finish. He came careering down the gravel path which took us right around a field to the finish, with a young lady from Wetherby Runners tailing him, we were all shouting at him to keep going and he ran as though his life depended on it, holding her off right to the finish, crossing the line still behind him she collapsed in a heap! Mark triumphantly strolled over to us with a big smile on his face! It was brilliant to witness. The official times are not yet out but who's looking, we didn't take part for the finishing positions : )
My thoughts are now dominated by preparations for the Great North Run, the highlight of my year when I get to spend the weekend away with my family and take part in Britain's biggest mass participation half marathon, in fact THE most iconic half-marathon on the planet. Fundraising is going well and we are over half way to our target amount for the fabulous charity SCOPE. So if you have sponsored us already, 'Thank You' and if you haven't you might just want to pop to our Justgiving page and support our efforts. Here's a link: http://www.justgiving.com/Juliemartin-Steele1
Friday, 22 July 2011
Following the success of the Washburn Valley Relay and ERR entering no fewer than 10 teams of 3 into the race we are now plugging away at the upcoming Golden Acre Park Relay. One member even stated that he had caught the 'relay bug'. I advised him to 'pass it on!!' Hopefully we may have as good a turn out for the club. The photo above illustrates just how good it looks to see so many runners from one club out in force! It was absolutely an immense feeling of pride to see so many blue and white vests at an event. I hope many others felt the same. That is one of the great things about being part of a club. The team spirit was fantastic. The heavy rain which ensued towards the back end of the race failed to dampen our spirits as the first to the last runners were cheered in and many of the competitors from other clubs too.
We didn't finish on the leader board but that didn't matter to any of us, we weren't there to win, merely to take part and we did just that!
We are still trying to finalise plans for our new Monday night training venue following the sad closure of Fitness First Gyms. Hopefully this will all be in place for the 1st August. Exciting times really, one door closes and another opens. Hopefully our new venue will open up new opportunites for all involved. Watch this space!
Training continues to go well. Club are continuing to offer a wide variety of training opportunities to our members and with the added races and relays thrown in there's something for everyone. I'm particularly looking forward to the next Enhanced Training session on 8th August. Meanwhile I have just placed the latest order with Spellsports our kit supplier and it's great to see the increase in members wearing the new matching kit on training nights and at races. If you haven't yet checked out the full range log onto the website and click on the 'online shop' logo.
Monday, 11 July 2011
The Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness persisted and if anything, was worse come Wednesday's Helen Windsor 10k race. Unsure how I would fare I stood on the start line trying to hear what the starter was saying, impossible and all I heard was 'Go!'. Off we set like the charge of the Light Brigade down the road. A sharp left sent us up the first incline and I settled into my pace, my legs didn't feel too bad. However, by mile 4 they began to scream! Nothing in them at all, I tried to distract my mind from focusing on them. Counting. 1,2,3,4, 2,2,3,4, 3,2,3,4 4,2,3,4 etc It really does work! The scenery helped too. What a lovely part of Yorkshire in which to run. The organisers had announced that there was a change to this year's route to avoid some road crossings and a hill at mile four. Taking nearly 5 minutes off last year's time I'm not entirely sure how much of it is due to the route changes but also due to my recent weight loss.
I would like to think that at least some of it was down to weight loss having now lost a total of 17lbs on the Weight Watchers programme I also gained my latest PB at yesterday's Eccup 10 mile race. Elated wasn't in it! A cold and chilly day met us at Adel yesterday morning for the race. It was soon all change though as the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Baking hot was putting it mildly! It made each incline seem like a mountain! I plodded on though to finish in 1 hour 33 minutes - our Eccleshill Team all did really well and posted some great times. Abbey Runners (the organisers) always excel in trying to provide something a little bit different as a memento, past years have yielded a mug, a rucksack and yesterday's race was no exception as we were rewarded with an etched glass 'trophy' bearing an engraved plate with the race details on - all that was missing was my name!!
Following the race we had planned to go out for lunch not least to celebrate mine and Sophie's Birthday's this week - and loverly it was too, we (Me, Lisa, Gill & Ian) ended up going to the Fox and Hounds at Bramhope just a short distance away. Sophie would have remembered it well as she had to make an unscheduled stop there last year during one of our marathon training runs! Sadly she announced on Saturday that she wasn't going to be able to join us for the race or lunch due to planned Birthday celebrations by her partner James, she wouldn't, she said be able to commit as she didn't know what he had planned. Sadness turned to joy though later in the day as she phoned me to say that James' secret was a hotel, a meal and a proposal! "Fantastic news", I screamed down the telephone when she rang! I'm sure the club will join me in wishing the two of them every happiness for the future! That's a date I'll remember as today is mine and my husband's 30th (Pearl) Wedding Anniversary, they have a little catching up to do!
Next on the agenda is the Washburn Valley Relay, the reccie last Friday gave some members the chance to find out what's in store for them at the end of the week! We have ten teams of three runners entered, should be a sight to behold getting so many of our Members together for such an event filled with fun and camaraderie. Look out for the team photo!
Monday, 4 July 2011
My theory about Honley on was indeed correct! The YVAA race number 5 course was extremely hilly and extremely hot to boot! Arriving in the pleasant surroundings of Honley, the home of the race organisers, Holmfirth Harriers, the sun was beating down and it was obviously set to get hotter as our Sunday morning progressed.
After two laps of the cricket field we were off up into the woods, and up and up we climbed. The hills were wicked! I'm sure a lot of the runners had the same train of thought as I did, 'what goes up, must come down'. The further we climbed the more varied the route became. Stiles, fields, gates, cows, alpacas, yes alpacas! I spotted them in a field but didn't actually realise until I scaled yet another stile that we were going to end up in the same field as them! Fortunately they just stood and gazed at us, probably wondering what the heck we were doing invading their space. From that point on the descent began. I wasn't wrong, what went up, certainly did come down! Scaling the final stile (hole in a wall!), the cricket pitch was a welcome site. Once round and we were finished..... What a relief. Today, at least, I had managed to stay on my feet, just.....
Following the tough race yesterday I didn't feel too achy this morning. Just as well as I have been looking forward to the first of our three Adult Endurance courses run by Airedale Athletics, of which the club is playing host. Racking up at Pulse Gym/Hanson School I admit to being just a little apprehensive. I had my reservations after having heard Sophie mention the England Athletics coach Ilona and how she was not shy of shouting and making her charges 'do'. Starting out with circuits we stayed at each activity for 30 seconds before moving on and then jog around for 2 minutes before then going on to do 1 minute on each. Ilona did indeed, assert her authority and guide us through the correct manner in which to undertake each activity. Following the circuits we went outside to do some drills and then progressed to sprints.
All in all a very tough 2 hours session but extremely enjoyable. I am now very much looking forward to the next session on 8th August.
I am now frantically trying to stave off DOMS in the hope that I can put in some kind of effort at the Helen Windsor 10k on Wednesday. The theory is that if I carry out some stretching and gentle walking the aches and pains might well be lessened.