Tag Archives: snow

Cross Country

Today was cross country day. One of the first things that I do when I wake up knowing I have a run to do is look outside. Today there was no obvious frost or snow which I took to be a good sign. My biggest concern this morning was what to wear? I started off putting on 2 pairs of legging but then decided that they might be too much so took one pair off. On the top I had my new thermal skin top (bought in the sale) with my club vest on top.

Not far

It wasn’t that far for us to travel to but far enough for there to be some snow on the ground. It was held in a gorgeous ‘undulating’ park.2016-01-17 10.27.49

It was a beautiful day for a run.

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This is looking towards the start – that hill was right at the start!

There were a lot of people running and boy was it tough. I was desperate not to end up too far at the back and therefore probably set off a tad too fast. It was my first proper cross country though with logs to jump over, short, sharp ups and downs, slippery icy bits, thick oozy muddy bits. There was even one bit where I thought that I would end up in a lake each time we past it as it was muddy and sloping towards the  water.

Two laps

The route was supposed to be about 4.9 miles but my watch made it nearly 5 and a half although it didn’t really seem to pick up the GPS properly as uploading it just now I see that there is no information about the changes in elevation which I am truly gutted about. My heart rate was pretty high throughout so it was pretty tough going. I shall have to look at my sons as he did one lap of the route so will give me some idea from his watch. My activity tracker said that I went up the equivalent of 33 floors if that can be trusted all?

New shoes

This week I took the plunge and bought some second hand trail shoes. They arrived yesterday and against the little voice in my head that suggested that it was not a good idea to try them out for the first time in a race, I wore them today.

2016-01-17 10.40.57They were fab. They kept my feet dry and did quite well considering the terrain that they had to deal with. It was definitely not a PB course but Iwould go so far as to say I loved them. A great investment.

Achievement

I feel a real sense of achievement this afternoon. It was tough and I feel a bit like I did when I used to finish half marathons ie shattered, but it is a good feeling. I have pushed myself today and that can only be a good thing. I got round by thinking that “this is good for me” and I am sure it is. Yes, I know that I will have finished near the back but I did it and didn’t give up. The terrain and course will have helped to make my legs stronger. I will probably ache tomorrow but that is OK as I can have a rest day. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Hardcore

I truly believe that after today I can be called this as I have cycled and run in arctic winds and snow.

No snow or ice.

I got up this morning and was very relieved to see that there was no snow on the ground or falling from the sky. There wasn’t even any frost really. My mind was made up – I would bike. It wasn’t long after setting off before I realised that it was actually beginning to rain. As I carried on I thought that maybe there was some sleet but I convinced myself that this was how rain looked in the dim early half light.

No ignoring it

Unfortunately it got heavier and there was no hiding from the fact that it was actually snowing. Biking in snow is not nice, I had to keep my head down as the snow hurt my face. Someone asked me if I turned home but that thought never even crossed my mind. That is how hard core this girl is!  During the morning the snow eased off. At lunchtime however I heard the tell tale pitter patter of rain on the roof. I couldn’t believe it. I hung around as long as I could but finally gave in and set off in the rain again. At least it was not snow.

Gale force winds?

What I hadn’t banked on was the strong arctic wind. There were times when I was seriously worried that I would be blown off my bike. Luckily I wasn’t but it wasn’t a pleasant bike ride home.

More snow

As I was ferrying my children around to various clubs tonight it was snowing and I was seriously cold, even in my nice thick coat and jumpers. Not really the weather I fancied running in but a date is a date. I put on 2 pairs of leggings, a short sleeved top, a long sleeved top and a shower proof coat as well as gloves and ear muff. I was not going to be cold……

….and I wasn’t 🙂 I enjoyed a nice easy 5 mile jog with friends. Very chuffed and pleased with myself. In total today I have done 90 mins of exercise today. I think my legs may well feel it tomorrow. My son wants to bike with me but I want to stay warm tomorrow. I wonder who will win?

 

 

The Cambridge Half Marathon 2013

Last week was so very hectic and full of exciting things that it is only now that I have the chance to write about the half marathon I ran a week and a half ago! I ran this race in its debut last year (see review here). The organisers admitted that not everything was perfect last year and promised us some changes. They did deliver on these changes and mostly I have to say that improvements were made. Before going into that however, I shall go back to the beginning…

Race Day:

This year the race happened to fall on Mother’s Day here in the UK. When I signed up for the race I had not realised this although I am not sure that it would have stopped me running it anyway. I enjoy running so it was a nice way to spend the morning (in theory) although it did mean that there were no lie ins and breakfast in bed for me. The race started at 9.30!

When I went to bed the night before I was convinced that it was snowing which didn’t bode that well  for me although my husband was very quick to play it down saying it was falling too fast for snow (is this even possible?).   Waking up the next morning – it was still snowing. There was not much on the ground – just a bit had settled on the grass and cars but that did mean that it was cold 😦

You can tell what the weather was like from the clothes everyone is wearing. Shorts and t-shirts were not very prominent.

The Warm Up

Having been before, and living fairly local we decided to ignore the bit that said we had to arrive at the park and ride by 7.30 only leaving the village around 7.45. We still arrived with plenty of time. There were, as promised, more toilets and we didn’t spend the whole time queuing as we had last year. In fact we had enough time to do the warm up. Now I am not normally one who bothers with participating in the warm ups but today , being cold we decided it would be a good idea. There were two problems with this: 1. the field was muddy and soggy – a bit like jumping up and down in a cold puddle and 2. The bin bags we were wearing to keep warm didn’t allow for any arm movements. You can imagine what we looked like (lol) but it did keep us a bit warmer than had we stood around doing nothing!

The Start

Having enough time to get to the start this year we were able to find the correct pen and had a bit of time chatting before the race started. At last years event the course narrowed down very quickly at the start which had made it very hard to get into a rhythm. This year was much better and we were saved the dodging around people dance.

The Race

As is very easy to do we set off at quite a pace – in fact the split times for the first 6 miles were all sub 9min miles. Far too fast! That combined with the weather meant that I was finding it increasingly hard to catch my breath. My blue inhaler was having quite a work out itself as I struggled to fill my lungs with air. By 8 miles I could no longer keep the pace up and I was becoming dizzy. It was very clear that I would have to stop for a bit. I urged my partner on not wanting to hold her up too much and walked for a while. By now I was at the stage where had I seen some St John’s Ambulance people I would have stopped. Unfortunately (or fortunately) there were none to be seen so I walked for a bit and then, once I had my lungs working a bit more efficiently again I set off. Unfortunately I was no longer able to sustain my efforts and did a run – walk – jog to the end.

The Organisation

Despite not being able to find any help when I could really have done with it I really think that the organisation was good this year. There were water and refueling stations regularly placed around the course. The water that they provided was not in those silly plastic cups that you cannot drink out of  without stopping but in pouches:

These clever little pouches are easy to drink from and ‘close up’ when not needed so you do not get water everywhere. They are the perfect thing for runners. I was really impressed. I was also very grateful for a gel halfway around – the first time that I have been provided with one of these in a race ever.

Summary:

The race organisers had listened to the feedback from last year and had put the necessary changes in place. Brilliant. But what about me?

The positives:

1. I finished against all the odds.

2. I didn’t fall over!

The negatives:

1. I didn’t do it in under two hours like I had hoped.

2. I had an asthma attack and felt awful. (Paula Radcliff apparently has asthma and her lung capacity can be reduced by 12% which most people would not notice. At home my capacity was reduced by 40% and I was feeling a bit better then!)

A bit of bling like this always makes it worth it

A bit of bling like this always makes it worth it.

Close up of medal