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.