Monday, May 31, 2010

Wells 10k

We arrived in Wells in the kitcar so was feeling a little windswept but ready to go.  I was running with Barry and we had our own little race within a race but I never seriously thought that I would beat him.  The plan was to run with him as he tends to make me run faster and then we would fight to the finish.
We started off pretty fast the first mile in7.54 and after the first mile I couldnt keep up with Barry and I dropped back a bit.  The course took us along a main road hot and sticky but then we diverted onto a lovely cool track through a wood.  The track became pretty narrow and it was quite hard to pass people and I could see Barry getting further away. The track ended and thats when I encountered it............THE DEVIL HILL.  I had know there was a hill but no one had warned me how steep and long it was.  But hey I've done my hill training, I have to admit that on the steepest bit of the hill I did walk just a little way but in my defense I was still running at 8 min miles and I just needed to get my breath back.  Now the best thing about hills is the top and on this one I wasn't disappointed the views were spectacular, rolling countryside and Wells cathedral. I ran along taking in this fantastic view and then an added bonus was a nice downwards hill.  I saw Barry and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill I had overtaken Barry.  The course was 2 laps so I was back on the main road.  Now I dont normally like laps on races but today I did, I knew that I would be back in the shade of the wood again before long and that bloody hill AGAIN!! I hit the hill again deteremined to run all the way up this time but I just couldnt.......I had been constantly running at about 8 min miles and it was starting to take its toll so I walked a very short distance again.  I am sure that I walked faster than I could have ran, you know when the hills are really steep and you start taking tiny little steps to get you up. I took a few large strides, caught my breath and then started running again.  I didnt enjoy the view this time round I was concentrating on getting my breath back, fighting of stitch and feeling quite sick.  But again there was the downhill.  I never used to like running downhill it would hurt my knees but now after lots training my knees must be much stronger because I can really go downhill quite fast. By the time I got down the hill I was feeling slightly better.  I felt even better when I saw the 10 k marker.  The last stretch was past a beautiful old castle and down through an avenue of trees.  This was where my hubsand was standing waiting to take some photographs but he wasnt expecting me to come through so quick and was waiting for Barry to come through first, they both under estimated me!! I crossed the line and thought I was going to be sick, the last mile at 7.47 ( go me!!) The feeling of sickness passed really quickly and I checked garmin, 52.21 OH MY GOD ........result smashed my pb of 57.09.  I was aiming for 55 so I was well chuffed with that.  The official chip time was 52.34 still a fantastic time.  I  was 12th postion in my age category and 27th lady in overall.  My overall postion 164th out of 342.  That was definatly my best race to date and it makes me wonder what I could have done if that hill wasnt there could I possibly break sub 50.  I have "battle of sedgemoor" 10 k soon and that is a fantastic course so watch this space.  I would just like to add that after astounding race I went off and cycled 17.24 miles as part of my triathlon training.

Friday, May 14, 2010

hilly 5.5 training

I met up with Barry for a short training run, completely unaware of the fate that awaited me.  We are running the Wells 10 k at the end of the month and he wanted to get some miles under his belt.  He didnt tell me that there was lots hills in store.
The first 3 miles, my lungs were on fire,  lots of doubts started to creep in..... why did I drink a bottle of wine last night, my body is full of booze, I must be soooo unfit.  Booze strips me of iron which doesnt help my anemia which buggers up my breathing Its strange what thoughts run through our head....... I even began to think that I had lost my fitness level now I wasnt marathon training.  In fact I had forgotten that my speed had increased recently, forgot everything postive and went down that negative spiral.

Three miles gone and finally my lungs forgave me, good job too as we were at the bottom of a long steep hill. ( hill sprints came to mind after reading Kate's blog but that only lasted a milli second) The best thing about running hills is getting to the top and knowing that its downhill but the added bonus running around Glastonbury is the views............
We were on the way back when Barry gave me the choice up or down.........and before I had chance to stop myself, I shouted up???? WHY ???
As we ran back down the hill I told him about Kate's hill sprints and he replied " oh I know a great place to do that"..........NO NO that wasnt the plan, I wasnt suggesting it.  Quick Michelle shut up.
Finally the last........I checked ole trusty ( garmin for those who don know who trusty is) 5.57 miles in  49 mins. 
I thought that run was a bad run and then after looking at the stats, I thought actually thats not.  I looked back on my week, Tuesday I had done 10 minute speed intervals on bike then treadmill running 8 min miles for an hour. Weds I had ran twice in the day and Thursday I swam 24 lengths. I havent even considered the fact that I have taken on extra training and how that is affecting my body.  I have noticed that my breathing whilst running has changed since I have mastered breathing properly whilst swimming breast stroke.
I feel tonights run has been a little route along self discovery of training!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Great West run 2010

I had entered this race a long time ago just after I had completed my first ever half marathon at Bristol, it didnt even occur to me that it would end up being 2 weeks after Brighton marathon.  Today was a lot of firsts for me.......the first being ( lol get it) that I would travel and complete in this race all on my lonesome.  I got there incredibly early despite getting lost and taking all the wrong turnings!!

I spent the next hour sitting in the car, watching the rain come down, thinking Ho Hum..........

I queued up at the starting line and as I was waiting the lady in front kept asking this bloke the time and he totally blanked her as actually he was deaf..... I realised this quite quickly and started signing to him.  It was brill, I dont get the chance to sign very often ( I have Level 2 she says smugly) and there we were signing away having a whale of the time when the hooter HOOTED and off we went. ( that was another first)

Within 5 miles I was actually thinking " oh my god i could so just start walking and pull out of this race " ( yet another first) and then I remebered I was this fantastic marathon runner and that nothing EVER would stop me running so I kept going.

The course consisted of 2 loops, 2 bloody hilly loops I hasten to add and it made me it better to know that the bloody hills were coming so you knew what to expect or would it have just been better for them to appear as if by magic and you conquer them and thats that. ( answers on a postcard).
Now you might all be reading this thinking " I love hills, whats up with that mentalist woman?" but actually I do like hills....... today I wasnt loving them THAT much due to the fact  that I 1)hadnt known about them and 2) I was still recovering from a marathon but needless to say I STILL RAN THEM.

The weather wasnt ideal, rain and a blusterly breeze but hey we run in all weathers and I am pretty waterproof.  I would like to shout out at this point to the supporters standing outside the local pub with the band playing at 10am  with their pints of larger and their fags!!! Yes you, you are sooo inspirational and yes look I am wearing lycra...........!?

It really shouldnt have surprised me that the last 800m would be a nasty little hill but it did, in fact it completley took my breath away but before I knew it,  there I was back on that proper running track heading towards the finish.  Here I was fab, I ran in amongst the finishers overtaking them all, so desperate to finish due to the fact I couldnt feel my hands.   There was just one bloke , he knew I was coming, and his pace picked up, so did mine, I could hear the crowd screaming so I well and truly went for it.......Knees up and gave it the best sprint to the finish that I have ever done and I mean a real full on sprint
( another first), not quite sure where that came from and crossed the line before him ( looking forward to seeing the finishing pics).
Within seconds of finishing the race, I recieved a text telling my gun time and chip time ( how bloody cool is that seeing my garmin didnt start until after a mile of the race, ok it was my fault I didnt press the start button hard enough)
Gun time 02.02.45
Chip time 02.01.24
Not enough to beat my pb, but considering everything and by that I mean those bloody hills, I am very pleased with that time and I have made a mental note to do more hill training.
All in all another race, aother medal and another t shirt, well 2 in fact but thats another story!!!