Sunday, 31 October 2010

I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart. - Mike Fanelli, club coach

The Bangor North Wales Cross Country race report.

Travalled down with Adrian. This is the third time I've completed the race. The last two year had been really cold and really wet. This year it was just cold and wet. Although it did dry up in time for the start of the race and just a bit of drizzle when warming down.

This was a difficult race to judge how well I did. Quite a few people missing at the front, Chris (Telford), Darren Rowlands, Richard Roberts, T Davies, etc. However I was level with Peter Middleton (about 1/2 second behind at the end). Last year he was 8th in 29:16. I was a 6:29 pace last year. This year: 6:06 pace, much better.

The race was exciting:

1) Started too far behind. Should have pushed to the front. I was in the middle of talking to Matthew Rose when the whistle went. Stayed level with Lee Jones. 5:38

2) Starting on the big loops of which there were three. 6:15

3) Ahead of Lee, starting to pick off others. 6:22

4) Scared that the others I had taken might catch me up but managed to keep 4th / 5th position: 5:55

5) A fast finish at the end. Lapped Adrian who gave me a shout-out. Just couldn't take Peter Middleton but did well to keep with him and not get over taken myself.

Desi did well to come second and was very close to first.

Monday, 25 October 2010

No pressure, no diamonds.
Mary Case

In today's race I felt the pressure and got the diamond. Yes, two people did pass me near the end so I finish 5th rather than 3rd but those two were good runners. My time was 34:06 which was a good time for a tough 10K course. I was only 13 seconds behind 3rd place. My confidence has been boosted which was needed after a couple of weeks with a shin injury.

Here are the splits...

Mile 1) 5:16. This was flat and along the Caernarfon sea front. Beautiful scenery.

2) 5:27. Still along the sea front. At this point I was in about 7th position and catching up to the front runners. The wind was still on my back.

3) 5:24 The hard two miles were coming up. UP being the operative word; uphill.

4) 5:40 Now I was focussing on going a bit faster. I had reserved my energy and was now letting myself go for it. I like racing where I hang back, feeling good and not letting myself go full out until half way.

5) 5:36 I could see Steve Crowe and Lee Jones. I put in a good 800m effort by pretending that it was an interval session. Caught Lee going uphill but knew that he might catch me again near the end with his sprint finish.

6) - 1m - 5:26 Passed Steve Crowe. This was new territory for me. Didn't ever think I would be good enough to catch the legend in a race. I should have known at this point that he would take me at the end because he had enough energy to say hello to me.

7) 1:18(5:24/m) I was in third place, I could see Brendan for 2nd place and so I ran hard and fast to catch him. The problem was that everyone ran hard and fast and I actually had Steve and Lee sprint past me as if they were fresh daisies. It was close. 13 seconds between 2nd, 3rd, 4th and me.

This was one of those exciting rare races were I was being both the hunter and the hunted. I've done too many lone races so this was refreshing. If Lee or Steve read this thanks for making it a race rather than a hard run.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

"Level of success based on my level of risk" - Will Smith in his song called Da Butta

My training week has been focussed on three running quality sessions
mixed with easy days of
cycling, swimming and aqua running.
The aqua running has meant the shin has healed and hopefully my
Borders League road race next weekend will not be a repeat of the
Cross Country last week.
- Run strong; run long.

Highlights of my week:
- Tuesday nights tempo session:
+ Heart Rate being over 200 for the whole session;
+ Some random guy saying "Bloody hell, yer goin for it, AIN'T ya?" - hell yeah I was;
- Thursday's swim:
+ Daniel's running ability: Excellent.
Daniel's swimming ability: Could do better.
Such a contrast to my running. In the class I'm in the second to
slowest lane and most people are middle aged ladies. Swimming is not my strong point.
- Poisoning myself by eating R A W red kidney beans. I was sick and had to sleep for 10 hours that night.

Shakespeare Marathon 8th May 2011
I did a very rough 24 week plan.
It starts on w/c 21st November with a Base 6 - 8 week period full of peaceful long runs at easy pacing.
This is to obtain B U L L E T P R O O F legs that will be hard to injure when the real tough training starts.
Sub 2:30, maybe not the Shakespeare but hopefully in Autumn next year, caveat: injury free.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

"If you start to feel good during an ultra, don't worry you will get over it. - Gene Thibeault"

A quick fire summary of my 5.6mile Cross Country race today: Good, competent, adequate, fair to middling, sufficient, passable, acceptable.

The better news is that a couple of hours after the race, the shin has not swollen or flared up. Hopefully it'll be a thing of the past. Next time I race I should be able to go full on and let the fitness and speed get out; I was a bit hesitant today because of the injury.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - it's the size of the fight in the dog. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

This evening I substituted my hard interval session for an easy 6 miles due to my injury and pending XC race on Saturday.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting. 90 percent of it is slog and drudge. - Dave Bedford, English distance runner who occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training"

My First Did Not Finish (DNF) - New Balance English Half Marathon}}

Let's skip to the end. Why do I think I DNF? In order of bruteness, with the first being most brutle reason:
1) The cold rain.
The Met Office's severe weather warning for the Warrington area stated: "Be Aware".
2) Injury.
This has been an issue over the last week.

The Story}}

Travelling to the race, I felt strong, got to the race early and waited for the start in the car because it was raining heavy. Once I got out the car I got wet and cold whilst waiting for the start. The horn went to start us all off. The roads were covered in rainwater and in some places quite deep. This made the running hard. The rain also meant that I couldn't see my watch to keep pace. At about 5 miles I realised that I was slower than my target time. Then at 6 miles my injury was hurting a bit. I decided to push on but it was hard as I was running alone near the front. Once I got to 7 miles the injury was causing my quad to tighten (counteracting my shin muscles). Still I decided to press on. Then at 8 miles I couldn't stop myself from limping. There was no way I could carry on so I stopped. Maybe I might have been able to carry on if the conditions were better?

Once I stopped I got very cold. I was directed to a St John Ambulance Portakabin. They measured my oxygen intake (90mm), temperature(low 30), heart rate (33bpm) and blood pressure 110/87. This is were things started to get serious (for them). They called for their ambulance and when it came they got the wheelchair. I said "I'm OK walking".
"Not with the readings we've taken" they said.
So I was wheeled into the ambulance, clothes off, wrapped in blankets and an oxygen mask on. I wish they were around after some of my training sessions because I feel a lot worse after some of those. St John Ambulance deal with 'normal' people and not with hard-nuts like me who have a low oxygen uptake even when not running and also a low heart rate. They wanted to take me to hospital but I explained to them that I'm bradycardic all of the time due to excessive exercise. They agreed to take me back to the St J at the race HQ to be monitored. Once there I was not allowed to go until I came out of my hypothermic state. This took about an hour. They were also not pleased with my blood glucose level. Eventually I got home.

Now I'm warm and typing up this report. Thinking over this experience I have learnt that I should look after myself better. Some people before the race did not even start because of the weather. I should have done the same.