I have to admit – I was not looking forward to this race at all. The only positive thing that I had heard was from my brother who had said that the medal was great. The reports from everyone else was not good – it is running around a field in the middle of nowhere and therefore windy. Had I been a Formula one racing car fan then maybe it would be different as the race takes place on the race track. Unfortunately I am not a fan!
The start line
I then found out that the start time was midday. MIDDAY? I ask you. Oh and you had to get there at 10.30 which means leaving home about 8. This race would take all day and how was I meant to fuel my run? Breakfast would be early. As the race started, I would be ready for lunch . Yuck.
We drove there in thick fog which I took as a good sign as it meant that there was no wind so that would be one less thing to worry about. We arrived in plenty of time and sat in the car for a bit as I didn’t want to get too cold hanging around. As we were waiting for the start the sun started to make an appearance which gave me a dilemma, what do I wear? If it stayed foggy I wanted long sleeves but if the sun came out I would be too hot. I plumped for a vest and sleeves (with sun-cream on my exposed shoulders). As it turned out the right decision. The sun came out. (And I didn’t get burnt.)
This gives some idea as to the course. It looped around a lot which was nice as you felt involved with the race – you could hear the announcements over much of the course so was able to hear when people got a course record. There was also music for much of it. On the other hand there were not a lot of areas where supporters could get to so there were areas that were quiet although I found that I always had a lot of people running near me. The course itself was nice and wide so no bottlenecks. It was also relatively flat. Towards the end I did feel as if I had been here, done this before and was ready for it to finish but by then I was tiring.
So how did I do?
I got another PB of 2 hours and 49 secs. How pleased am I? At the beginning I felt as if I was going out too fast but found it very hard to slow it down much. At the start we were split into 2 groups over 2 hours and sub 2 hours. I went in the over 2 hours but this meant that I was going faster than most of the people around me. This felt good so, in the end I just kept going. The Lucozade drinks that were provided made me wheezy but no doubt kept me going. I had nothing left at the end which was good as I know that I couldn’t have managed a sub 2 hours…..this time.
Getting out of the car park at the end was a nightmare…..but who cares? I got a PB!
After last weeks confidence booster of Cambridge half marathon I was on a roll. Tuesday’s club session was the 5k handicap. I had absolutely no aches from Sunday and knew that I needed to keep on moving although a 5k ‘race’ was not the best run to start the week with. On my arrival a few eyebrows were raised.
The rules of the 5k are that if you run fast then you run in that group. The last time I got was 25.56. So despite being just 4 minutes away from 26 minutes it meant that I still had to run in the 25 minute group. I tried to appeal and say that I wanted to take it easy but they were having none of it.
Consequently I ended up with another pb – 25.51. I know, just 5 secs but I was taking it easy. Hmmmm. It seems that I am just too competitive.
I had a sports massage booked for Weds and surprisingly my legs are not in too much of a mess. Other than that I had a rest on Weds. Thursday was another club run. 5.32 miles at an average pace of 9.03 minute miles and Friday I biked to work.
I had thought that I would have a rest on Saturday but then I panicked that I needed to run a few more miles as there would be no long run on Sunday due to the last cross-country of the season. I ended up doing 6 so-called easy miles with a good friend through sharp showers. The average pace was 9.37. Not exactly the pace I was after (a bit fast) but pleased to get the miles done.
As said before, Sunday was the last race of the season at a beautiful park:
The daffodils were stunning. The run was no-where near as bad as last months – very muddy and therefore slippery and a bit undulating as opposed to hilly. I did feel that my legs were a bit tired after all the work they have done recently but I did manage to keep running throughout it. 5.76 miles at an average pace of 9.45 which wasn’t at all bad. I am just grateful that I didn’t fall over! What a way to spend Mother’s Day!
To finish a few facts for you:
Last month I ran a total of 112.83 miles which took 18 hours and 19 mins.
I biked 29.77 miles which took me 2.55 minutes!
After my run on Friday night I took Saturday off completely – I actually slept in until 9am! I think my body needed a rest!
Sunday I went to the gym which was very enjoyable. It is really more of the same although I am now moving more towards dynamic and explosive moves rather than simply lifting weights. All good for my running apparently.
Monday was another rest day – aren’t I being a good girl? Tuesday was running club – a 5k handicap. This involves the slowest people setting off first and then everyone else at set intervals behind them. My time for a 5k tends to be about 27minutes so this is where I slotted in. In actual fact I got a PB of 25.57 minutes, a shade under 26 minutes. I am REALLY pleased with this. (I also came 4th overall and wasn’t overtaken by anyone). I doubt this will ever be repeated as I expect that I wasn’t actually in the correct group (dare I mention cheating? Unintentional and perfectly innocent though it was.)
I felt really good. I set out at a steady pace and then when another girl started speeding up I followed her as I knew that her pace was a bit quicker than mine. This made it a good pace to aim for. She did pull away a bit but she was always in my sights.
On waking up today I made a classic mistake. I assessed the weather from the window. It looked calm and still (no tree branches were moving). It had been quite warm yesterday and so decided to bike. It is probably my only chance this week and I was taking a running club before work so was going in my training clothes. It didn’t take me long to realise that looks can be deceiving. There was an evil wind that was heading straight for me all the way. It was also icy, straight from the North pole. Then, to add insult to injury, it decided to start ‘snowing’. I had made the silly decision not to wear my waterproof trousers and so had visions of me getting soaking wet and then having to spend the whole morning in wet clothes. Not a nice thought! Luckily the ‘snow’ didn’t last very long at all.
I did feel good once I was all warm again but the idea of going back outside to get home wasn’t something that I was looking forward to. Luckily the sun had come out by the time I was ready and it was a far more enjoyable ride home although still a bit cold. I am pleased that I did it but still think that I was mad!
Tomorrow is another mad event – a head torch run along an unlit track. Sounds fun but also as if I am asking for an injury. There is an alternative route but where is the adventure in that? (Maybe I will have my sensible hat on tomorrow and will not want to risk injury…..?)