Monday, 21 January 2013

New Shoes, in the news, racing blues.......

My new marathon training partner arrived in style and in double quick time! I was astonished when I logged onto my Fetcheveryone account to add my shiny new and very pink Nike Air Pegasus 29's to my kit list, I had logged well over 800 miles in my 28's - no wonder it felt like I was running barefoot on the pavements! With 13 weeks to go I'm sure they will serve me well!

Fame at last! I featured in a headline in our local paper the Telegraph & Argus' Running Log which ran a report on the Muddy Fools 2 race at Golden Acre Park, it caused quite a stir amongst family and friends as people scrambled to let me know that I was in the paper!

Mother nature has tried her utmost to scupper training and my Jantastic targets of late but I'm pleased to say that although she nearly succeeded I have managed to keep on track one way or another! Beginning with last Monday - ok, so we were unable to carry out our speed and hills session but a hardy few of us did manage to brave the icy conditions and carry out a short recovery run which was adequate since the Peco XC at Bramley Fall Park had been a rather tough affair the day before. Wednesday was a different story however. More snow had fallen. We set off from club intending to do 6 miles in light of the fact that a lot of us had the half marathon at the weekend.  Two miles into the run and I couldn't get my hands warm, we stopped to regroup and my head spun, I felt as though I was going to faint, be sick or both. I sat on a low wall and put my head down. Starting to feel better I stood up, the same happened again so I sat down again.  I asked the group to go on without me. Marc stayed behind and before long suggested we ring home for a lift.  Getting home I felt much better but worn out and deflated.  Was it a recurrence of my low iron levels of some 7 months ago - a visit to the docs for me! I kind of hope that it is iron so at least I can correct it, we'll see. Friday she nearly thwarted me again but I still got my run in on the treadmill. I was quite pleased that I managed 4.5 miles.

The Brass Monkey had been in doubt all week but understandably Knavesmire Harriers didn't want to make a decision too early and get it wrong.  It was no surprise then on Saturday afternoon when the news we were all dreading came, the race was cancelled. I consoled myself with a lovely home cooked meal,dreadful Saturday night television and the promise of a Sunday roast next day, something we don't often get to do since races or other activities get in the way.

10pm I noticed I had a text message on my phone.  It was from club mate Dawn, did I plan to run Sunday? No I hadn't not at all, I took full advantage of the race cancellation to do nothing and have a lazy Sunday, or so I thought.  I immediately got back into training mode and weighed up all the benefits of replacing the cancelled race with a run.  Instructions with the boys on when to put the roast in the oven and 10.5 miles later it was done to a turn! I know I felt so much better lazing on the sofa for the afternoon than I would have done had I not run! It also completed my 4 runs for my Jantastic target too! Result!

 Friday's run on the mechanical excuse for a road has made me determined to run outside this evening - time will tell - the holly berries on the tree in my garden are still visible, just!

Friday, 11 January 2013

And the winner is.........

The organisers of the Peco XC races decided they would stage a 'Muddy Fools 2 race' (Muddy Fools was originally held on April lst last year as part of the Peco presentations). We were told that runners were to be handicapped according to their Peco race finishing times for race one and two of this year's series.  Totally unaware that this would impact on my handicap I ran the first XC race hungover following my Great Nephew's 18th Birthday party, I decided it was better to plod around with Dawn who was doing her first race back following injury than sit at home nursing my hangover. On turning up to register for the Muddy Fools a few weeks later I learnt that my handicap was slightly less than it might have been had I run race one at my usual pace or indeed had I been able to run race 2! Slightly embarrassed I was set off in the second wave, I'm not totally sure but I think the fastest runners were set off some 20 minutes after me with various time delayed waves in between. I was soon in the lead having overtaken the first wave (Hilary).  I drove on, putting all I had into the race.  I do not find it easy to run at Golden Acre park, aside of the uneven, muddy and hilly terrain, I have great difficulty navigating the place, thank heaven for marshals! Glancing at my Garmin which read 2.5 miles I immediately heard footsteps behind me, a pleasant rather fast looking athlete said 'well done' to which I replied 'well done you'! Mentally writing my blog I 'wrote', "I stayed in the lead for 2.5 miles", with that more and more speed merchants passed me by, I surged on thinking I had done well to stay in the lead for so long.   Round and round the park I ran, through the bogs, up the hills and through the woods as fast as my legs would carry me. Coming up a hill the lady marshal shouted at me "keep going, you're still in the lead". I was puzzled to hear this when suddenly I heard a familiar voice (that of Liz Jones of HPH) shouting at me to 'do it for the girls' and that I was doing brilliant.  I knew now that I was heading to the finish and with renewed vigour I bounded up the field and then down to the start area, around the perimeter and then up the finish funnel. I had 'won' the race and into the bargain there was nobody else in sight! It was a good five minutes before the runners started to come in thick and fast.  I was totally amazed.  On the one hand I knew that I had received my handicap by default but on the other hand I also knew that I totally gave the race all I had in order to finish where I did so I'll wallow in the glory a while longer if you please!  That's quite likely the first and last time I stand amongst the prize winners!
Race to the finish!


Thankfully I seem to be finally getting my head around the fact that I really do need to start thinking about marathon training or should I say getting a plan - whatever level - I realise that it really is a necessity to have some sort of plan in place to guide you through the process of increasing your mileage or the time you are going to be spending on your feet.  I have come to the conclusion that I will be more than happy if I can get to the start line in London once again and feel satisfied that I have done the preparation to the best of my ability and of course, if I can shave anything at all from my 2010 time I will be ecstatic to say the least. I have also joined Marathontalk's Jantastic Spring motivation challenge, setting up a club team, Eccleshill Eagles, join in now by clicking on the link.

All that in mind I happened upon a tweet from Martin Yelling recently which mentioned VLM training and in a light bulb moment I decided to tweet him and ask his assistance in finding a suitable training plan to which I was surprised (not sure why but felt a little star struck!) to received a reply enquiring as to my level.  I replied that I had completed London once, ran three to four times per week and wanted to try and beat 4 hours 30 minutes.  He pointed me to an 'improvers' 16 week plan on the Marathontalk website.  So a week or so in and I'm feeling much more positive, new trainers are ordered and should be here any day now so onwards and upwards.

I received my Brass Monkey number yesterday, on reflection the race doesn't really fit into the marathon training plan so I'll do my best to hold back and not over do it.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

Well that's the Christmas and New Year celebrations out of the way! I really don't think I've let my work and social life get in the way quite so much as I have over the last month or so.  Happily I seem to be back on track. Oh wait.....I have another 18th Birthday party tomorrow.....Hopefully then I will stay on track.

Dazzled on our ERR Christmas lights run 21/12/12

I have though, run twice this week already, clocking up almost 17 very wet and windy miles with the lovely Dawn for company.  Despite missing tomorrow I will achieve my three runs this week as I am planning to race the Muddy Fools 2 at Golden Acre Park on Sunday.  Sounds like a bit of fun.  Apparently only those who have taken part in one or both of the recent Peco XC races can take part in the Muddy Fools 2 race since we are to be handicapped based on our time for the XC. Thus, there are to be teams A through to J and we are to be placed into said teams which will determine our set off position, therefore, allowing a head start for us 'slower' runners. Should be interesting. Golden Acre Park is not one of my favourite places to run, I don't mind a training run around there but races always seem to be much tougher, maybe it's a state of mind but alas I will be giving it a go for the sake of the Eccleshill team spirit!

I'm guessing our visit will be a little more muddy!
Marathon training is now on the agenda for Marc and myself, I am currently studying training plans to find one I think we can realistically stick to - no point whatsoever in having my head in the clouds and trying to follow something which may turn out to be impossible, so I'm not rushing into anything just yet with 16 weeks last Sunday to go before London I figure we've got time to tap into something in the next week or so, being regular runners we aren't complete beginners and I for one know what is expected of me. Marc on the other hand, may be in for a shock!