Thursday, 29 September 2011

A tale of three halfs

I suffered no ills following the Great North Run other than slightly tight hamstrings, just where is Peter May when you need him? Sunning himself in Egypt. "I'll be thinking of you", he said, "as I'm sat by the pool", during our conversation about the half marathon as he gave my legs a remedial massage in preparation for said race. I'm a firm believer in keeping going after long runs or races wherever possible, and nearly always find I can loosen up the legs with a steady recovery jog which is why I decided to keep pace and carry on regardless!

Last week concluded with the Horsforth 10k. Arriving down at Apperley Bridge on a very wet Sunday morning I was quite looking forward to taking part, the last time I did this race was in 2008, I'm not entirely sure why I didn't take part in the 2009 race, I clearly didn't take part in 2010 due to injury. Hoping to knock a few minutes off my previous time of 58 minutes 39 seconds for this race, I knew, however, that it isn't a pb race. Thankfully the rain stopped to give us perfect running conditions. Trailing some of the other Eccleshill runners all the way round, I caught up to Brian a couple of times but he managed to pull away on the last stretch of the canal, I felt though that I had had a really good race once I finished. I forgot to stop my watch as I crossed the line and when I finally remembered it read 55 minutes 49 seconds, I knew it obviously wasn't correct but I also knew I had completed it in a better time than previous. The results came out late on Monday afternoon, scrolling down the list I came to Brian, knowing I was a little way behind him, I scrolled, and scrolled, and scrolled, finally coming across my name with a time of 1:04:31 - how long? How could this be? I was confused, I knew I hadn't been so far behind Brian. I then realised they had given me the number 240, my number was in fact 244. I immediately emailed the organisers to raise my concerns. I received a prompt reply apologising for the Hick-up!! (Hiccup!). As yet the result has not been amended but I am certain they have mixed me up with the lady who was given my number and a time of 53:31 so I'm taking that to be my time and hoping they eventually change the results sheet.

This brings me to last Monday's Enterprise Surprise - our monthly session aimed at improving cardiovascular fitness. I find these sessions extremely enjoyable, we usually conduct it in a team manner, i.e. we split into teams and take each other on at sprinting activities. A completely false impression is created in that you have no idea just how hard you are working. That is until the next day, and the day after that, and even the day after that. Delayed onset muscle soreness wasn't in it this week.

Deciding to take on the middle option of this Wednesday's club runs, eight and a half miles, I told myself I would take it steady and once I got going my DOMS just might subside. Who was I kidding? My quads were screaming most of the way round, a factor for my determination to power up Gaisby Lane ( a steep hill in Shipley)- I think had I have stopped I would have had trouble getting going again! Usually reserved for the men folk, my lats (just above the ribs at the back!) were also complaining, anybody would think I had been weight lifting, but no just powering with my arms! It just goes to show how different sessions, though still running, work different muscles. A reason I do my utmost to take part in any alternative sessions on offer even though I know I am almost certain to suffer painful DOMS for a few days after. No pain, no gain? I sure hope so! A few days and a bottle of Peter May's Runners Rub later and I'm pleased to report the DOMS have more or less subsided.

I became aware some time ago that there were three half marathons in a six week period, starting with the Great North Run, then the Bradford half marathon and finally Bridlington half marathon. I had ideas that I would take part in all three but after a scare a few weeks before GNR when the familiar pain in my right leg returned culminating in my not running at all in the week leading up to it, I have decided against Bradford and instead am going to assist in club promotion at the race, I have been busily ordering some business cards to distribute and am looking forward to blowing the club's trumpet to those unsuspecting people who approach the table and cheering in our runners of course. I am though, looking forward to our club's Bridlington trip on 16th October with the half marathon thrown in! Two out of three's not bad.....

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