Wednesday, 29 February 2012


Two weeks have passed me by again, very quickly!  I've been so busy socially and running wise I hardly know where to begin! Thankfully I've managed to keep up with the running and fit in the socials too. Starting with son Tom's 21st Birthday, the campervan cake caused me a bit of headache and a missed yoga class on Thursday to boot.  It was worth it though as his eyes lit up as we sang the obligatory 'Happy Birthday' and he proclaimed 'it's mint!!'. Bowling and a meal ensued causing my only missed training run in the last two weeks. I forgive myself that after two tough races in two weeks, Golden Acre Park and Huddersfield but I'm saying no more! In anticipation of missing Wednesday's club run I completed a 14 mile run from Silsden to Apperley Bridge with my London marathon training husband in the morning.

The highlight though was last Wednesday evening when instead of going to club I attended Leeds University - 'Marathontalk Live', part of the 'Celebrating the Games' series of lectures.  If you haven't listened to the weekly podcasts put out by Martin Yelling and Tom Williams this will mean nothing but believe me there is a mountain of info, advice and just plain humour to be gleaned from these podcasts.  Tony Audenshaw also has a massive input in the form of 'Tony's Trials', hilarious and even more so live.  I'm now eagerly awaiting the downloadable version to listen again - it will be bizarre, I'm sure, to hear the actual conversations since I was there sat in the audience.  A small disappointment on the night was the fact that Liz Yelling was supposed to be there but due to her young daughter being unwell she was unable to attend.  She was, however, replaced by GB Olympic marathoner Tracey Morris who had agreed to step in at the last minute.  The name was familiar and I initially thought she was a Pudsey Pacer's runner.  It turned out she is actually a member of Valley Striders. Billed as 'fun runner to olympian' after she ran the Leeds Abbey Dash in 33 minutes and was fast tracked to an elite start at the London Marathon, Tracey gave us a frank insight into some of her races and a typical training week for her.  A very inspirational lady, she truly came across as just a club runner who 'done good'! No doubt I may have been on the start line of one or two local races in which she has taken part.  Listen on the Marathontalk website when it's available.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  You may also find yourself hooked and searching through the archives of past podcasts.  The interview with ex Eccleshill Road Runner, Diane Aykroyd (Episode 96) is particularly inspirational. Diane talks with such enthusiasm and also in a way in which 'ordinary' people can relate to. I truly admire her decision to tackle her first marathon at the age of 63.

Febulous has gone fairly well (only a small failure to hit my long run target on one occasion) and we have now moved into Marchvellous, as well as, for me, three target runs and a target long run distance each week, we now have the addition of predicting the time for a race during March.  Points are awarded for hitting the target time spot on but we are penalised equally for being faster or slower than the predicted time! Thank goodness then that my race, the Dewsbury 10k is the first of the 'double' I plan to do this coming Sunday, as I have, I think 'zipped up the man suit' and predicted that my time will be 4 minutes faster than my time for the same race last year!!  Due to Dewsbury being cancelled on 5th Feb when it snowed it now clashes with the next in the YVAA race series prompting a few of us to do both! Well there's a first for everything!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

When the going gets tough

The going's got tough this last week and it's beginning to show - it always seems that if I drop down my training it has an undesirable effect. Although I've still managed to get out each training session, after proclaiming how Marathontalk's motivation tool had really helped me to get out of the door in the adverse weather conditions last week - I've just found it impossible to keep it up this week which has resulted in my having not done my long run of 10 miles and I've now gone down the league table! I'm not entirely sure just what has been the cause of my maladies but I'm hazarding a guess at it being the bitterly cold conditions we have endured on some of our runs of late. Friday's run up Westfield Lane was particularly a probable cause as I really felt the biting wind. I'm now sporting a face full of cold sores, mouth ulcers, dry itching skin and numerous niggles. At the other end of the scale, Sunday's YVAA first race of the 2012 series turned into a near mud bath in parts due to the milder weather conditions.  Most of the ice and snow had melted and although it was still quite cold it was rather wet and muddy in places.  A rather enjoyable race though.  I played a bit of cat and mouse with Helen from club, she still managed to finish a little ahead of me! A fantastic turn out for Eccleshill meant team spirit a plenty!

Today it's Peter May to the rescue, I hope, at least for the aches and pains and maybe the oil will help the dry skin! Monthly massage day seems to have come around at just the right time again!

I'm desperately in need of a little TLC I think! The choccies are already received from my Valentine and I'll have to drop some hints for some pampering I think. We are all guilty of taking our bodies for granted and then we are surprised when it comes to a head and we begin to suffer for our neglect.  I'm definitely going to try and pay more attention or at least get someone else to!

I'm booking next Wednesday off to attend a lecture at Leeds Uni hosted by the Marathontalk gang of Martin Yelling, Tom Williams and Liz Yelling which is part of the 'Celebrating the Games' lecture series.  Looking forward to that, Marathontalk Live! I just hope they don't have the motivation scores in front of them!

Well at least I'll be able to run the chocolates off tomorrow - oh I do love Valentines Day!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Absolutely Febulous!

The week that was! The Monday before last's speed and hills session (following my horrendous Brass Monkey Half Marathon) was a busy affair. Lots of members, old, new and returning turned up to take part in the 'short interval' session.  Arriving at the start my intention was to run the 12 1/2 minutes out and back steadily as a recovery run - I counted the runners down and off we went. I, though, soon came to an abrupt halt! Looking down at my watch and trying to switch it from recording miles to recording minutes I ran straight into a lamp post! I literally saw stars and shot off like a bat out of hell! Someone remarked when I got back that I had run off quickly, 'yes, due to the shock' I replied! However, I did complete the interval in 25:07, just 7 seconds out - I joked that I had spent those 7 seconds hugging the lamp post! I don't though, recommend running into lamp posts to improve your speed! I did go on to have several more mishaps that week so was glad to see the back of it!

I promised myself I would get up early to run on Friday morning as I was unable to train with club as I was visiting St Mary's school in Menston to watch my niece perform in their production of 'Sound of Music', awakening to the dark, cold morning I decided against it! Thinking to myself that I'll fulfil my Marathontalk 'Febulous' target with the Dewsbury 10k. The 'Jantastic' target for January was somewhat more attainable since you just had to state how many runs you would do each week, now we have to attain the same number of runs and in addition set a target long run distance. I had done the distance run but was still short in the numbers.

The first snow of Winter fell on Saturday afternoon, right on cue, the forecasters were right for once! Having planned to attend a meal to celebrate my cousin's 50th Birthday I began to worry if we would make it.  I agreed to drive since I had the Dewsbury 10k on Sunday morning.  The snow continued to fall but having made the decision to 'carry on regardless' we set off in earnest to pick up my Aunty who lives up one of the steepest roads around this area, long term Eccleshill members will be familiar with it, Averingcliffe Road, part of the Eccleshill Tuff 10k route - a race I only ever got to marshal. Anyway the trusty Terios got us to her house without too much trouble - even if our hearts were in our mouths the whole journey! We had a lovely meal despite the very late arrival of the Birthday Boy and being a little short of the numbers booked in to eat at the Three Singhs.  I began to wonder whether the race would be on but having checked the Dewsbury Road Runners website all day they were adamant the race was going ahead, all well and good if there was little or no snow in Dewsbury but could the runners from out of town get there? Alas, around 9:30 pm I received a text from a fellow Road Runner to say that the race was cancelled.

Getting up early on Sunday morning, everywhere was white. I studied my options, fail for my first week of Febulous or get out and run.  I decided that I would take Dave and go up to Calverley when Martin went to feed the chickens etc and then run from there or run walk whatever was possible.  To my surprise as I got dressed into my running gear, Martin pulled his out of the wardrobe and announced he would come with me.  He too was going to be short for his Febulous target.  How's that for a motivational tool! Despite thinking on many occasions that I hadn't really challenged myself - the thought lurked there in the back of my mind that I would let the Eccleshill team (and myself) down if I didn't hit the targets I had set. What a very rewarding run we had, everything is so much more beautiful covered in snow and the frozen canal looked amazing.  The ducks waddling along to find unfrozen water! Amazingly we managed over 9 miles - mission accomplished!

It's a little late to join now to score for the team but if you wanted to you can still register and set your own targets for the rest of February's Febulous and March's Marchvellous- just log on and register it's really easy! Good Luck and keep your eyes on what the team are doing!