Sunday, 28 February 2010

Roding Valley Half Marathon

So this is my first Half of the year and my first of 12 Half Marathons I hope to complete this year in aid of Scope. It's been a while since I've gone this distance and lets be honest here I'm not a distance runner. Never have been. In fact I'm not really a runner at all! I mean I did the 100m at school and even tried the 200m, but my thoughts at the time were simple; 100m is boring and well 200m is just twice as boring! Anyway, back in school my event was the hurdles, 110m I think they were in those days, and I loved it! I mean why would you want to run and just run? Where's the fun in that? But having hurdles to overcome, that is shear beauty; that seperates the men from boys! So, back to my point, I never thought distance running was for me, but as today proved, distance running is a challenge in itself. It's not a short, sharp blast of energy; it's a marriage of effort and endurance. You're not in and out in 14 secs (my 100m record) it's a lasting partnership between you and the road. Once you go for distances of 13.1 mile and beyond you're in for the long haul. 

So why have a rivetted on for so long? Simple. These were the thoughts going through my head when I started out on this race. Tortential rain, a nice sharp cold breeze, beautiful puddles of mud and undulating hills, what more could you want for a Sunday morning race that gets you out of bed at 05:00? You get my point? Needless to say I was exhuasted on the drive down and had numerous micro sleeps behind the wheel. Poor form I know, but what did wake me up is opening my eyes to find I was on course for a head on collision with an oncoming car. Nice! These are the points where I wish I drank coffee!

I arrived at 08:10, which gave me pleanty of time to get myself sorted before the race; loo and a quick change into gear that would keep me warm if not dry! The course started on the running track and once they called us out of the nice, warm, dry clubhouse, I did a quick loop and a half (excuse the pun) to warm up. From the information I got in the post I knew it was one short loop and two longer loops to make up the 13.1miles. I didn't clock that the one short loop was the warm up loop I'd just run i.e. 1.5 loops of the track; doh! The interesting bit was when we finished our track loops and due to flooding had to go through a small gap in the fence instead of feeding out through the main path. We went one by one and yes we had to stop and wait to go through! Everyone was quite jolly about it though and there were remarks like "No PBs today then!", speak for yourself! The first loop was quite uneventful; mostly uphill not enough down to mention and lots of crossing back on forth on the road. The marshalling was great at these times; they stopped traffic over a 100m section of road to allow floods of runners to cross without breaking their stride. There were some serious puddles at points and on the first loop I missed all of them, but on the second loop I lost my footing twice and drenched my right and then left foot in floods of muddy water, great! I coped well and my squelchy feet didn't bother me too much until mile 12 where I had to stop to adjust my shoes. My feet were slipping inside them and my toes were getting a bruising! The last 3.1 miles I desperately tried to pick up the pace; I wanted to come in around 2:10 and I had some ground to make up. I kept telling myself that it was only a 5k race and I needed to pull my finger out, but heck, I knew I was lying! The 200m miles to go sign was a godsend and then I really brought it home and overtook two plodding runners on the way as well. A good race all in all, now just need to see what I can do on the flat!

Rodding Valley Half 2:10:40. Next 13.1 miler? Next Sunday 07-03-10; Nike MK Half!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Three words for you; HIT THE WALL!!!

I always wondered what this term meant and tried to imagine it, but never thought it would apply to me. I mean, I don't run enough for that right? I'm not a serious trainer, my schedule has 25 miles per week in it, and how often does life get in the way of that?

Well tonight I felt it, I actually knew what the term meant and boy is it like hitting a wall, having a light bulb blow, your car battery dying, it's just zap and your gone! I couldn't even see what was happening; one minute I was running, albeit struggling at a really slow pace, and the next I couldn't even put one foot in front of the other! It happened on the last interval rep, I could see the leaders running back towards me saying don't stop moving, jog! And yet my feet wouldn't cooperate. My hips felt all stiff and although I was trying to run I wasn't actually moving, what astounded me is that I was sure that my brain was still telling my body to run, but it just wasn't happening! My face must have been aghast as I shouted back "I'm trying, I can't!" I could have collapsed right there and then, I sure as hell wanted to; it wasn't even want, it was a need, shear willpower kept me on my feet and the only thing that got me back was my other TeamMK members. They surrounded me and talked me through; just step it up a little bit, keep going, you've got to push through, not long to go now. Not long to go? I had absolutely no idea where I was, how far away we were, I remembered someone (don't ask me who!) saying we're nearly at the allotments... allotments? we run past allotments? If you've been there you know what I mean!

The fact I hadn't slept more than four hours a night since Sunday, had been completely on the go since Saturday morning and had skipped lunch that day probably didn't help. Anyway, the program for the next week is threefold; try to get some sleep in the days before a training session, eat lunch before a run (Weetabix for brekky is evidently not enough), try to rest and cut out the running for the next few days.... I'll take better care in future and stop burning the candle at both ends; I've got a marathon with my name on it you know!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

My 5k, My Way

Thursday has always historically been 'My Day'. It's the day I do stuff for me, no favours for friends, no helping out the fam; 'It's all about me!'. Since last year when I got into Tri, it's kinda gone like this; early morning 5k, work (unfortunate I know), chill at home for an hour, swimming practice, back home for a long relaxing shower, wash my hair, then a meal I prepared the day before (no cooking on 'My Day') and finally veg out in front of the TV for the remainder of the night (Thursday is Grey Anatomy or Private Practice). I've been missing that recently, the dark morning have prevented me from getting out of bed early enough to run before work and sometime to even get into work! I firmly believe that if the sun can't be bothered to get up neither should I!
This morning though, I decided to get up, get out and change all of that. The sun has been rising earlier and I thought at worst I could watch the sun rise as I ran. No such luck! By the time I dragged myself out of bed it was sticking its tongue out and laughing at me! But you know what I was so glad to see a bright morning that I just didn't care! Don't get me wrong the weather outside was not great; fog, ice and a nice stiff breeze to go with, but I'm out of bed, I've already completed one work out for the day and I know the rest of my day is gonna be great! Even if I am late for work because I decided to start my blog this morning! See this is what early morning sunrises do for me - get me motivated.
I'm a morning person, just not in the winter!
Sweets x