Tag Archives: Events

New Years Eve 10K 2013

Yesterday, as I was scrolling back through my posts I saw that my first post of 2013 was a review of the New Years Eve 10K. So, to continue the tradition here is the review for the 2013 race.

After last year I was rather concerned about the forecast for rain and gales. Luckily there was no rain and the winds were only gusting at 20mph! Easy then!

The lovely bag piper who starts us off with good cheer and welcomes up the top of a hill at the end!

The lovely bag piper who starts us off with good cheer and welcomes up the top of a hill at the end!

Waiting around at the start it was chilly but the trusty bin liners helped to keep the wind at bay. There were, as always friendly people around to help park, find your way and generally cheer you on along the way. It was blowy and fairly bleak but i felt much happier with myself this year.

The Stats:

Last year:                                                        This year:

Mile 1: 7.56                                                      8.21 – far more sensible

Mile 2: 8.29                                                      8.45

Mile 3: 9.12                                                      9.02

Mile 4: 9.11                                                      8.59

Mile 5: 9.51                                                      9.30           (this the windiest and uphill part of the course!)

Mile 6: 9.02                                                       8.59

Total: 55.50                                                       55.30

Average pace: 8.55                                           8.55

I am quite surprised by this comparison. I felt about 100 times better after this years race – I didn’t collapse at the end, even feeling quite strong. I guess I ran it in a far better way. I did manage a pb (just!) but felt as if I deserved it more this year. Overall I was happy with the way I ran it.

Race Stats:

Last year:                                                      this year:

99th out of 198 ladies.                                 103 out of 211 ladies

Place: 375 out of 539 total.                           384 out of 553 total.

What is interesting about this race is the comparison between my timing and the official timing. There are no chips which usually means that the time on my watch doesn’t match that of the ‘official’ time as the timer is started when the bell goes – not when I cross the line. This year the official time  matched my watch! I wonder if that means I should take it that I actually did it slightly faster? I shall leave you pondering that one.

The best bit of the race?

Beer for all runners at the 10k race. Picture: ROB MORRIS


No medals – just bottles of beer 🙂

I just hope that the running goes as well over the rest of the year – it is going to be a big one.

5k and Marathons

I am in a bit of shock tonight as I type. The unimaginable has happened. I have got a place in the London Marathon. It was my first entry into the ballet and I got in. That is really not supposed to happen. What is more my friends haven’t got in. I am scared and excited and worried all in one go.







Anyway. Onto events closer to the here and now. A while ago I read a post about an international running event: the Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k. All WordPress blogs are invited to join in but I cannot see why anyone of you cannot join in. It is an idea that has captured my imagination. How great to be running a 5k alongside people from all over the world? Not often you get to do that.

Automatticians running a 5k in 2012

In fact you don’t have to run it – you can walk it, swim it, cycle it – in fact whatever you fancy as long as you cover about 3.1 miles. The idea is to do it on Sunday 29th  although officially you can do it anytime until that date. You then blog about it using the tag: wwwp5k.
If you are not on WordPress then you can link it back to this post.

So how about it? Fancy joining in? I shall be participating – so watch out for the post.

Refueling During Long Runs

For those of you who aren’t aware, I am running the Cambridge half marathon in just over a weeks time. I have run these races before so I know what to expect but this time I am on a mission. I had a lesson taught to me a while back (see here) and I have been training fairly hard since Christmas. I am feeling fairly confident although there is just one more area I need to explore: nutrition.

Cambridge Half Marathon 2013

When I am running a fair distance and start to get tired my head goes all sort of, well, ‘fuzzy’ or numb. I assume that it happens because my body is redirecting its energy to my muscles? Whatever the reason, I hate that feeling. Also, as a lot about running is in your mind, I wish to sort this out. I need to be mentally strong otherwise the urge to give up becomes too strong. 😦

One final push to make me want to get on top of this is the events of my last half marathon where I did really well only to fade badly on the last mile.

In the past I have ‘dabbled’ with those chalky tablets:

These have helped with my head but I have not really taken it very seriously and so probably have not got the best from them.

This week I have done a bit of research and found out some interesting things:

  1. The body can only cope with some energy in the form of sugar. Too much gives you nausea. (One of my fears.)
  2. When running the idea is to replenish some of the energy that has been lost, not all. Research suggest that this should be 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour for runs over 60 minutes.
  3. It is recommended that you should take a large swig or two of water or sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. (I have looked at the importance of water even in cold weather here.)
  4. A pre-workout snack can give you a mental boost.(Trouble is I know that you should eat before already, maybe I need to look at what I should be eating?)
  5. The carbohydrates you eat in the build up to a race will be stored as glycogen. This gives your muscles energy. The carbohydrates you eat an hour before your race goes through your bloodstream, giving you proper blood sugar for mental energy.
  6. Good practice seems to be  to eat a snack an hour or two before or a meal three to four hours before your run. The snack should contain plenty of carbohydrate for energy. The meal, in addition to carbohydrates should also include some protein  as protein is essential for muscle repair. Clark suggests either eating a 100-200 calorie snack  20 to 60 minutes before exercise or waking up early to eat a larger meal, even if that means going back to sleep for a few hours. This way your blood sugar levels will be normal because you will have re-fueled your liver glycogen, which depletes overnight.

All the above makes perfect sense to me but this last bit of advice is practically the most useful:

A general rule of thumb is to take in about 100 calories after an hour of running, and then another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that.

I can do that 🙂

Last week when I went on a 12 mile run I ate 2 jelly babies after every mile (from about 4). This worked really well for me, keeping my head with me. The biggest problem with this is carrying them. They are quite big and bulky. One of my friends suggested taking Kendal Mint Cake as it is probably almost pure sugar – a good idea except for point number 1 maybe?

This week I bought myself some ‘proper’ running gels. I have always been put off buying these in case they upset me and also because I mistakenly believed that I did not need to take on fuel when training. (WHY???)

Having overcome all that nonsense I took one of these at 7 miles. It gave me an instant hit (once I got over the sticky, sickliness of it that is) and boosted my mood no end. I then took another one around 10 miles which probably helped me to keep going through the last 3 miles, especially when I thought that I was not going to make the time that I had wanted to. Far too easy to stop and give in I am afraid, but I didn’t. I still felt very tired but I do think they made a difference. The gels I have contain 80 cals per pack so I feel justified in having one after 30 minutes rather than waiting the extra 10.

To summarise this I shall be running with a bottle of water (an extra-large one bought especially this week) as well as the 2 remaining gels I have. Maybe with these I shall finally run the race of my dreams? (I will not be holding my breath on that one!)

Do you use anything on a longer run? What works for you?


As always, click on the pictures to be taken to the image source.




Ely New Years Eve 10k

Yesterday I took part in my final race of 2012. It is a race that many people I know have run before but that I had always failed to get into before. The day before I heard that 2 of my friends had dropped out which I found to be rather sad but I was determined not to be put off (by that or the weather forecast!)

Now many of you will know that I live right on the edge of the fens and the fens are very flat.

This is the view of Ely Cathedral across the fen from where we were.

This probably shows the type of day in a better way.

Being very flat and open means that there is no wind break. This was a bit of a shame as the weather was a little blowy but at least the rain held off.

The Start

Parking in dedicated car  parks was limited so there was a lot of street parking. This ended up working in our favor as we were able to nab a place really close to the start :). Collecting our numbers was easy and there was no queuing for the conveniences!!

At the start there were some bagpipes which then moved to the top of the hill towards the end to encourage us up. (Despite being very flat there were the obligatory ‘hills’ of course.)

The Course

I had been warned that the first part of the course was fast being down hill. Which it was. I did the first mile in 7 minutes 56! No doubt my fastest ever. Here are the rest of my splits:

Mile 2: 8.29

Mile 3: 9.12

Mile 4: 9.11

Mile 5: 9.51 (this the windiest and uphill part of the course!)

Mile 6: 9.02

Looking at these I am fairly pleased with myself. I did an average pace of 8.55 min miles which in the conditions was very acceptable.

I really enjoyed this race although towards the end I did have to dig deep. I felt that I did myself justice (wahooo!).

Here are the official stats:

Time: 55.50.

99th out of 198 ladies.

Place: 375 out of 539 total.

23rd out of 42 in my category.

A great way to start the New Year if I do say so myself!