Goodness me, I had a sleepless night worrying about this race. It’s been on my mind for a while and here was the morning. We collected Kirsty and Danny (2008 Race Flashback anyone?) an hour earlier than we would have liked due to the clocks Springing forward and before we knew it we were parked in our usual space in Cranleigh! Continue reading
You might not realise but I am training for the London Marathon. I got a place last year which I deferred and then this year I deliberated long and hard about taking up the place but decided to at least give myself the option of getting on the start line.
Anyway, I have been trying to keep to my Hal Higdon Schedule (novice 1 if you’re wondering) but things have conspired against me a little. However, here we are, 6 weeks away. 18 miles on the schedule. I’ve only run 13.2 miles before. In my head, if I didn’t do this 18, there was no way I could even contemplate standing on the start line at London.
David has blogged about what NTLM is, so I shall not do that. I had been very nervous about 18 miles, it’s quite a long way you know ;) Anyway, off we set. My plan was 11 minutes per mile, I had to really not set off too fast, which is my habit. I ran most of the first 2 laps with Emma, caught up to Ann and Jan, then along came Anna and Deb, who were a little bit late, so I ran with them for a while…kept trying to send people away as I didn’t want to slow them down but they wouldn’t go.
The miles ticked on by, I was having some gels and sports drink, before we knew it (ahem!) we were on the 5th lap. I really should have had my 4th gel about a kilometre before I did but there you go, that’s what you do these practise runs for I guess. So, last gel, then off we went onto the 6th lap. At 16.75 miles I lost the plot a bit and threw my toys out of the pram! I sent everyone away (what goes on in my head to do that?) and plodded on – still on my target pace though. Before long, Deb came back for me and I had done it. I had run 18 miles. Average pace was 10:54, so perfect.
David had whizzed along for his 18+ miles and greeted me with drinks at the end. I was feeling a bit wibbly wobbly, so drank some milkshake, got some warm clothes on and after a chat in the sunshine, headed off home. Thanks so much to Anna, Deb and Ann who ran with me for much of the time (or tried to before I banished them!).
Things went a big wrong at this point, I felt awful in the car, didn’t know what to do with myself. TMI Alert: Got home, in the front door and threw up! Luckily only into my hands as I ran up the stairs and not onto the carpet ;) All the stuff I had consumed after running, gone into the toilet. Rats. Tried to drink something else a bit later, once again down the loo. I don’t know why, there’s been a few suggestions made, I will try other things. Either way, I felt rotten for quite a few hours.
I am trying to take the positives from this run, currently the throwing up experience is over-shadowing my delight at running 18 miles…but I will try and let the delight back in later tonight :)
Sunday morning, race morning. It hasn’t been race morning on a Sunday very much for me in the last couple of years – but David thought we should enter this to get into the Triathlon Show “free” (included in the race entry) and get a technical tee shirt (not that I need any more running kit!)…oh and run a 10k.
We arrived early, milled about a bit and went for a warm-up, it was pretty chilly too. On said warm-up we ran around the Parade Ring and I was instructed by David that when I ran around it in the race, I should do my best “Showing Horse” prancing and parading. Ahem. Soon enough, we were outside and waiting in the blustery drizzle for the off. I decided to go for the “triathlete look” of a visor (without this I wouldn’t have been able to see with the rain) and arm-warmers (wearing only a vest it was colder than I would like). I was obviously at the back, with no real race plan as the course looked a little tricky. We whizzed down a hill, leapt over some puddles, ran up another hill, through the stables and past the horse showering area (really!), around the Parade Ring (where yes, I pranced as instructed, I know it was a race but it made me smile), along some bark chippings, then down again to the turn-around and unfortunately back up again By the time I had was heading up the horrible hill for the first time, the lead guys we flying down. Wow! They really do fly! I came through the finish area and off for a second lap – at least I hadn’t been lapped. I went through half way in 28:25.
I thanked the marshals as much as I could – and the marshal at the stables told me she loved my arm-warmers – and went around again. I dug in as best as I could, determined not to let the lady ahead of me out of my sight, as she’d been a little bit ahead of me for the whole race. I got to the top of the hill which really truly was not very pleasant, went past her and pushed on for the final bit to the finish. She went past me again (and was the only person who overtook me through the race after the start had settled down) and we were there, over the line.
I had tried quite hard and recorded a watch time of 56:59, with a gun time of 57:14. Either way, I was quite pleased. I was most pleased with how hard I had tried and how I had managed to just about hang onto my pace for a second half of 28:34. Originally I thought I had done a negative split – but that was on gun time – so I haven’t. Ah well. Still not bad for me to only “lose” 9 seconds over a tough second lap of a 10k.
Apparently they are good for you (according to some coaches/runners) apparently they reduce your immune system (according to others) and apparently David likes to torture me. Whichever you choose to believe, I was greeted on my arrival home from my longest ever training run on Tuesday with a bath of cold water. Nice. I have to say, my legs were much better afterwards even though I only managed 5 minutes in it, I think it’s meant to be minimum 10 minutes.
G’Day! This week Sharon and I found ourselves far far away on the other side of the world for the 8am Saturday morning start of the St. Peters parkrun held in Sydney Park, in a lovely city called Sydney, in Australia!
As we approached the end of an amazing long holiday we found ourselves at the start courtesy of our friend with a car, fellow triathlete, occasional parkrunner and now Sydney local Grant.
It was an early start for us after a great dinner/beer/wine combo the night before but parkrun is a priority, right? For us it must be as we had to change our flight back to London a few months ago so that we could take part in the Sydney event. This weeks training has been non existent with my last run being a week ago as part of the Christchurch Saturday Runners group in New Zealand.
Sharon and I (and Grant) rolled up to the starting area armed with our parkrun barcodes and proudly wearing our 100 Club t-shirts. This was the fourth running of the Sydney event so the idea of a 100 club probably meant nothing to probably 99% of the runners there.
I introduced myself to Paul, the run director and he commented our on tops. Nice. At about 7:55 we all moved to the start area and he described the route and what to do at the finish. He pointed out the first place runner from the previous runs and suggested that we just follow him!
I didn’t bother with my GPS watch this morning instead just running to feel (that is, feeling unfit) and with a close eye on what was happening around me.
Right on time the run started courtesy of a loud shout of GO from a child who’d been drafted in for this very important volunteering role!
We all headed off (just over 100 of us) into the park, we then turned a sharp right and then had time to settle into things. Gentle undulations were the order of the day. Next thing were were on the pavement (or is it sidewalk in Australia?) and running around the outskirts of the park. I had a few runners close by to me and was in 4th position. No idea of times/pace.
After running around most of the park you head back in to be presented with “Heartbreak Hill” – shortish but tough with a lovely little downhill on the other side. It was here I heard someone come up close behind me. You then run around a cricket pitch oval and during this part I dropped back to 5th position. Course marking was normally through big chalk arrows drawn on the tarmac paths (which were great) or a marshall.
The weather was mostly cloudy but very warm but the main difficulty for me was the humidity. It was incredibly muggy out there and really hard work. Then again hard work is the underlying theme of 5k running so you just have to get on with it knowing that it’s not too far to the finish. Looking at a weather observations website at 8am it was 20.1 degrees with 86 percent humidity.
I managed to hang on to 5th place (fairly comfortably) but certainly without really pushing myself. Within seconds of crossing the finishing line I was offered a glass of water from another young girl which was bliss. Thank you.
If you have run a parkrun before then every event I’ve done feels like your home run. We were given finishing tokens which were the same as back ‘home’ and the timer/scanner equipment was the same. An efficient queue for barcode scanning and happy marshals made for the trademark parkrun experience.
I then chatted to some of the volunteers and then watched Grant and then Sharon come into finish. After a chat we headed off to the cafe which is really close to the start/finish area and sat down with a drink and reflected on the pain that was Sydney parkrun. On the way to the cafe (kiosk) Sharon and I posed for a photo with our lovely black 100 club tops.
Sydney Park is beautiful and a fantastic place to run. The course is by no means easy and the Australian summer weather does little to help that! The event seems to be growing rapidly right now after some great publicity during the week. The only thing I do worry about is that the park was super busy with dog walkers this morning. I didn’t hear any complaints but if runner numbers continue to grow it won’t be long before some conflict appears. I’m sure both the runners and dog walkers can use the park at 8am on a Saturday morning together, but there may be a few bumps on the way.
With the success of Sydney parkrun as we saw it today I can see the need for another parkrun in one of the other city districts coming real soon.
It was a great morning and everyone seemed really friendly. As I sit here writing this post somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en-route from Sydney to London (via Auckland and Los Angeles) it was so worth changing our flights around and paying a little extra to have the chance to experience a truly international parkrun.