Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Summertime begins.....

Here comes Summer!

The world of running plods on, well, ok, I do! I've taken a step back and had a look at what I'm doing in relation to my training, a necessary requirement now and again.  I have to admit to feeling a little bored of late, and who doesn't from time to time? On the one hand now that the clocks have gone forward signalling the start of BST bringing with it lighter nights, we will soon be moving to our Summer training base which in itself brings new and different training routes, on the other hand I'm hungry for change but don't know what.  I have, though, decided that after picking Martin up from several of his long runs and at times, seeing the deflation on his face and listening to his negative views of running 20+ miles that I will join him for part of his training runs for the next couple of weeks as he completes his final long run and begins to taper ahead of London which is now less than 4 weeks away.  So after he had completed 10 miles I met him at Greengates to continue the route he had mapped out towards Shipley.  All went well with just a couple of wobbles which I managed to talk him through but now it's taper time I'm sure he will be breathing a sigh of relief! Not long until the big day now!

Poor Gill will be bored by the time she's finished.  Following her fall she's been fitted with another pot for a further 6 weeks so that's put any hopes of running the VLM or indeed any running on the back burner for quite a while.  Her only consolation was a sky blue pot which matches the outfit she's purchased for her son's forthcoming wedding, very nice of the hospital to accommodate her request although I'm quite certain she would rather not have had to have a pot at all. It was though, lovely to see pictures of her on the sidelines of the Bradford 10k on Sunday.  I didn't manage to see her as I was marshalling the race and stationed at the other end of the city at the turn round point of the race. Off she's popped to Bristol in preparation for the wedding this weekend so I'll look forward to seeing her on her return.

To think that this time last year as part of club mate Dawn's London marathon training several of us ran the Bradford 10k and then continued on to Bingley and back for a total of 22 miles that day! Now it's a very different story as Dawn has been, for the most part, out with injury since a fall on 1st October last year.  Fingers crossed her current treatment gets her back on the road to return.  She's sorely missed and no doubt vice versa.

Now do I do the double and go to club this evening or not, Hmmmmm.............


Monday, 19 March 2012

Paddy's Day, Mother's Day, Rainy Day, Sunny Day......

Green is the colour, leprechauns were the order of the day as several of us from club took part in a St Patrick's day parkrun.  The Bradford course just does not get any easier with it's teeny, tiny hill which has to be negotiated 3 times.  I hadn't realised what I looked like until I saw a photo afterwards but thought I had done very well to complete the race still wearing the silly hat Shirley had loaned me! At least it kept the pouring rain from soaking my hair! Bottle green tights completed the  look!  Shirley had professed she hoped her choice of costume would bring her luck as she chased the pot of gold! It certainly did as she finished in a personal best time, in addition to being 3rd Lady, fantastic! Easter bunnies may well be the next fancy dress parade!

The day of the Keighley Big 10k - the first race in the ERR Summer championship, which I decided not to take part in as it was Mothering Sunday, the weather was much brighter and sunnier. I was pleased to see the sun as I had made a request to my family that we all go walking in the Yorkshire Dales. Picnics packed we set off in the direction of Kilnsey Trout Farm.  I had originally wanted to walk up one of the Three Peaks but we decided against it as the weather forecast hadn't been very good. From there we went on to Burnsall where we had or picnic by the river and then set off to find Malham Cove, a little more planning was needed as our convoy pulled into a small village garage to ask for directions, turned out we were miles away and would have had to go back the way we came.  We decided to drive on and if we found a place of interest we would pull in.  Next stop, Ripley Castle, home of the Guy Fawkes 10 mile race.  Unfortunately signs made it clear that we weren't allowed into the grounds with our pooches, so we decided to go for a walk through the woods, I immediately recognised the path as the start of the race, on we walked in the sunshine, my grandsons had a ball. Rounding off the day with a Ripley's famous ice cream we returned home to have ourselves our very own Chinese buffet at home!
Me & My Boys!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Eventful, accidental & incidental!

What an eventful week it's been.  I'll keep on the subject of running otherwise I'll be here until next week!

Following a lovely Sunday and a productive Monday at work came the weekly speed and hills session at club.  I always go to these with the thought that I'll not put full effort in if I've raced the day before. However, I very rarely take my own advice and only on the odd occasion have I done something different, like running the 3 mile route we use for the monthly time trial as a recovery run for example.  I don't like doing this as it causes a splinter group which in itself could cause problems. Sometimes though, thankfully not very often, problems do arise,  I can count on one hand the times I remember incidents occurring whilst we have been on a run and all of those times we have analysed the situation and learnt from it.  Last Monday we were doing the Co-op pyramid, it's quite a jaunt now from Pulse Gym to the site of our mammoth pyramid session, but it does provide an excellent warm up in preparation.  The 9 reps which make up the pyramid actually amount to around a 10k distance.  Over the course of the evening I was mainly running with Sarah.  We steadily completed the pyramid and with one rep to go to complete the session we bade farewell to some who were going home immediately from the Co-op and off we went.  Returning to the start point there wasn't a soul in sight.  We pondered, had they decided to do another lap instead of standing getting cold? We waited, and waited, and waited.  Nobody emerged.  We then began to entertain thoughts that we had been left behind.  Sarah's intention was to return straight home and not go to Pulse since that was nearer for her. Nobody materialised so we decided we had better make tracks, refusing  her offer to run back to club or me to run to her house and she would bring me back in the car, I said to her that I would run to the top of the road and then she could go home and I might just meet up with the group as I retraced their steps back to the gym. Seemed like such a good idea at the time.

We parted company and I was alone. It felt quite late.  I then began to think about the journey ahead, I hadn't thought about the rows of shops down Swaine House Road where the kids normally hang about and quite often ridicule us or try to run alongside us.  I began to regret my decision to go it alone.  A van drove past and a kind soul hung out of the window and let out a blood curdling scream, I jumped out of my wits and my heart began to pound.  I carried on wishing I had my phone so I could phone home for a lift.  Dramatic it may sound but by now I was scared witless and even more so at the thought of having to go down past those shops to the gym! Note to self: run with phone in future! All's well that ends well, no harm done!

Wednesday's run passed without event thankfully! Another hilly 10 miler banked.

Next encounter was Friday as we undertook our 'social' run of the week.. Social was a good way to describe it, we had chatted all evening as we ran the twisting, turning route.  About 3 miles in and we turned a corner to go continue on our way, all of a sudden Gill fell to the ground.  Flat out.  My heart sank, I rushed over to her and as we all tended her, I advised her not to move and established where she was hurting, despite it looking like she had broken her arm, the position it was in, she said her ankle was hurting, we gently helped her to sit up but remain on the ground.  The swelling around her ankle was immediately visible.  Shirley immediately said she would go and get her car to get Gill back to club.  She did.  The club provided a bag of ice for her to put on it and we made her tea, allowing her to relax before making an attempt to see if she was going to be ok to drive home, thankfully she said she was.  On attending A & E later that night though they said they didn't think she had broken it but that it was unstable and so put her in a pot and asked her to return the following Tuesday.  We wait to hear  the news and hope it isn't broken.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Podium finish

The whirr of the treadmill is quite annoying as I sit and write.  I'm glad I'm not the one on it.  Martin (aka marathonman as I now like to call him) is completing his last run of the week as he gets ever closer to the London marathon and chose, on this beautiful Sunday to do it on the treadmill.  Rejecting an offer from me to do another double whammy.  Having returned from the beautiful market town of Otley, the home of the final race in this year's Peco cross country league, Spring was definitely in the air, the sun shone with only a light breeze making it feel a little cool. He refused my offer to accompany him on an outdoor run in favour of the treadmill, each to their own. The course at Otley, although a tough, hilly one, was set in the beautiful surroundings of Chevin Forest Park (although it was stated to be held in Danefield Park? 'Googling' it didn't reveal it's location so I was baffled when we arrived to find that's where it was.  I may stand corrected but I've never heard it called that before.  Anyway now it's done I can say it was a lovely race and Team ERR have pledged to come back and run round there on a training session - not sure how we'll get on without all the lovely marshals and the thousands of pieces of red and white tape to guide us!

The final Peco race also heralded the final race in the club's Winter championship.  Summer and the light evenings it brings with it really are on their way. I'm really excited and proud that the culmination of the season's hard work has yielded me the honour that I will be presented with Ladies first place for the first time ever! I've been awarded trophies for taking part, 2nd and 3rd  - never in nearly five years of being at the club, have I earned a first. I can't describe what it feels like (akin to a podium finish I imagine!) but something like 'a kid in a sweet shop' will come close.  Maybe I'll have a better description when I actually get my hands on the trophy!

                                                             My treasure trove so far

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Unzipped but doubled!

In terms of achieving my 'Marchvellous' race time I'm afraid I well and truly didn't 'zip up the man suit' as much as I thought I had!  There was I boasting that I had predicted a time 4 minutes less than my time for the same race last year and although I didn't particularly have a good race for one reason or another I comforted myself with the thought that I had almost hit my target - in fact just 22 seconds out having predicted 54:19 I finished in 54:41 - however, when I logged onto the Marathon talk site to log my race time I soon realised I had in fact entered 56:19. I'm not entirely sure what happened there, whether I got cold feet or made a mistake - who knows. I could of course send a whingeing email and beg for my time to be altered or.......maybe not!  So I will be penalised for going too fast when it comes to the end of the month and my total score emerges, well at least it's better than being too slow!

That aside I was pleasantly surprised that after a mad dash from Dewsbury back to Bradford I did in fact manage the 'double' even if it was made all the more dramatic as it started to snow! It didn't dawn on me until I got back that I had just 15 minutes to dash home, get a very quick shower, change and pick Paul up as promised at 11:10 to meet the rest of the runners at Morrisons at 11:20.  Only a few minutes late I was surprised at the amount of people who turned up in the awful weather.  That's team spirit for you!  The 1 pm YVAA race at Otley was much more pleasant than the town centre Dewsbury run despite both been run in relentless rain, perhaps it might have been the absence of running past some of Batley's hot spots - the Frontier and a myriad of different shops and mill buildings. It did feel warmer in the afternoon.  It also carried so much more of a team spirit as these races usually do - along with the Peco cross countries.  It's so much nicer when the team are there cheering in each runner up until the last.  We even hung around to cheer in an Idle runner and friend Anna.  Getting home tired and weary I had a long soak in the bath and made the rest of the day a PJ day, not that there was much of it left.

                                       The famous Frontier (formerly the Batley Variety Club!)

Next morning I was pleasantly surprised to find I felt really good.  I longed to run with club in the evening but alas it was the monthly 3 mile time trial of which I am usually chief timer. I do love it though being able to announce that the runners have run something like 4 minutes faster than last month, it's such an achievement to some, it's not an easy course and has countless roads to cross too. Maybe I'll try and get a short run in today at some point, if not I've got the lovely Gaisby Lane to look forward to for tomorrow's club run.