Saturday, 27 June 2009

NE Fetcheveryone one mile challenge

Morning Campers,

Just a quick update of the weeks events, nothing too staggering on the training front to be honest - Tuesday was my least favourite session out of all the ones we do at the club - Valley View park.

The route round the park isn't too bad to be fair, but that last climb up from the stream to the top of the bank is a killer. Anyways, it was five reps with two minutes recovery. Distance is around 1200m (.75 mile) per rep. 4:35, 5:02, 5:10, 5:03, 4:52 - not too shabby as the last time we did it I managed 4:57 for the fastest lap, and 5:49 for the slowest - I must be improving!

Wednesday's run was a write off - I must have eaten something dodgy, because after a 20 min warm up I felt really unwell, met up with the guys and said I couldn't run, then dashed back to the car :S

Thursday however was a different kettle of fish altogether

I skipped the scheduled track session to take part in the one mile time trial at South Shields. Did a canny warm up with the other fetchies, and set about organising a handicap as there was a pretty decent turnout. We went off in four waves starting at 8:00 min mile pace, then every 30 seconds down to 6:30 pace.

I set off with the 6:30 folks, though I was aiming to get down to my pb of 6:26. Everyone shot off like greyhounds and I was left trailing at the back, but I just settled in for a nice steady first 800m. Geoff had kindly marked out every 400m, so I had a pretty good idea of how I was doing. With all the track races I've been doing recently I have a fair idea of how fast I can do 800m, but with the mile there's always that added little extra distance to think about.

800m came in 3:10 - almost perfect 95 sec 400s, but it meant I had to really work for the second half of the race. I put my foot down and started aiming to catch people. The next 400m seemed to fly over, and before I knew it the end was almost upon me. I'd caught up with one of the other ladies in the group, but she just pipped me through the finish. I stopped, stopped my watch and felt like I was going to be sick.

Checked the time, and I had to double take. 6:13. 13 seconds off my pb! I was over the moon :D

If it had been a timed race I could have had at least another second there too. I so, so, have a sub six mile in me. I know it. With the right conditions like Thursday night, and without a whole day on my feet at work, it's definitely there.

All of this recent speed-work has definitely paid some dividends, and I the long runs are doing wonders with my stamina - looks like I may be back on form at last - only taken 6 months to get back to where I was at the beginning of last year :S Wonder what kind of standard I might have been at without that darn ankle injury.

Still, it's great to be out there running - I have no complaints what so ever, just fingers crossed that I don't get injured for the rest of the season!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

VAANEE Track & Field Championships 2009 - Monkton

Yesterday was the North East veterans track championships - had a great day doing a whole host of events, and picking up a few medals along the way.

First race of the day. To be honest this is prolly my least favourite distance, but I really wanted to give it a go, so I lined up with the other ladies and the M60, 65 & 70s who were all in the same race. It's 3 & 3/4 laps of torture - sort of like a 400 but much much worse. I managed my pace pretty well over the first 800m, but then it was a case of hanging on and hoping to cross the finish in one piece.

Finishing time: 6:10.0 (WAVA 65.27) - a good 3 seconds quicker than my last effort in the league, but still way outside my pb of 5:49.3

Next up was the 400m, After trying this again in a league meeting a few weeks ago, I found I really enjoyed it. It's a little intimidating lining up and watching folks use sprinting blocks (when I haven't the faintest how to even do the kneeling start thing), but I just kind lent forward and waited for the gun. It's pretty hard to figure out where people are in relation to you (with running in the lanes) but that seems to fade away as I concentrated on just getting round as quickly as possible.

Had a prettty good start, then faded a bit as I passed through 200m, picked things up after the bend once I was back onto the home straight.

Finishing time: 78.5 (WAVA 65.1) - again 3 seconds quicker than my last meeting, and not far off my pb 76.2 from a few years ago

My third race of the day and probably my weakest of the days events. I was aiming for sub 3 mins, and was pretty much on target as I passed through 400m in 88 secs. Was hoping for a quicker second lap, but it wasn't to be, and I finished in 3:05.0 (WAVA 61.25) - pb is 2:55.2

Last of the days events. My comfortable distance. I could have made this the only race of the day and put a real good effort into it, but I really wanted to give the other events a go, so my 3k time suffered a little for it. Was hoping for sub 13:30 and wasn't dissapointed. I actually managed to pace myself pretty evenly throughout, and didn't take off like a whippet in the first couple of laps. Gave it my all in the last 800, and actually felt quite strong coming through the finish in 13:24.1 (WAVA 63.91). It was a lot slower than my best time from last year of 12:23.3, but I was still pretty happy, considering I lost a lot of fitness over the winter with an ankle injury.

Managed two gold & two silvers in the L35 category - pretty pleased with that. The turn out wasn't brilliant, but hey - "you've gotta be in it, to win it" Wink

A big well done to Lisa Walker from Wallsend, Lynn Marr from Tynedale, & Helen Morris from Blyth - they all had some cracking races. Also sending a virtual 'Hope you get well soon' to Andrew from North Shields Poly club (who pulled his achillies). Everyone racing seemed to have a great time, and so a big thankyou to all of the officials - the day couldn't take place without you!

Results from the days races are here

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Morning Campers :)

I'll get straight into the race reports...

Monday 15th - North East Vets track meeting 3

I'd decided to give a few more of the running events a go, just to see how I am running out of my comfort zone. So after doing the 800m at the last meeting, I put my name down for the 200m, 400, and 1500m for Monday's races. A fairly wide selection of distances, but I was thinking "What's the worst that can happen?"

I wasn't expecting much from the 200m tbh, it's been a while since I did anything this short, I enjoyed the race itself - but the lactic in my arms afterwards was really painful, even with a good 30 min warm up. Finished in 36.3 only .8 of a second outside my pb (35.5) which I was fairly pleased with.

Second race of the night was the 1500m (my target race), I felt comfortable on the way round, but a tad slow, could have prolly aimed to go a bit quick, though saying that with a 6:14.0 finish I was actually a lot quicker than my last 1500m (6:22), though I'm capable of 5:45.

Really enjoyed the 400m, was the last race of the night and I was wishing it'd been the first. Felt strong till 150m, dipped for around 20m then picked up the pace again. I reckon I could make vast improvements at this distance with some strength training and short reps on the track - maybe next year after my marathon. I finished in 81.3 (pb 76.2) which isn't too bad after two other events.

Wednesday 17th - Newburn River Run

I always really enjoy this race, it's very scenic and the second half is a bit more challenging that the first so it's a bit of a challenge to keep your cool for the first 3 miles, then start the hard work.

It was great to see 4 other Jarrow ladies there (practically unheard of Wink) managed to catch up with Anne-Marie, Maria, Rachel & Alison just before the start, but I'd kinda set myself a bit of a race plan to help pace Jenny from Heaton, after we did our warm up and she said what a horrible race she'd had last year. So, my plan was to get her to halfway, then back down the south side of the river and not go daft myself.

We started near the back of the pack, but once we got going, managed to weave our way round quite a lot of people in the first mile. A girl from Wallsend Harriers joined us running a fairly even pace so I tried to work with her over then next 1.5 miles (she'd actually make an excellent training partner but I didn't catch her name). We did pass Caroline from Wallsend at just over the two mile mark too (sorry Caroline Wink). Jenny was running well. I asked how she was just before the bridge, and she was fine, so time to work our way down the narrow trails. It seemed to fly over pretty quickly on the south side, but there was a guy who was heavy breathing right on my shoulder and it was starting to do my head in, I moved to one side several times to let him past, but he just stayed there. After around 2 miles I slowed to the point where he had to go past - very annoying.

We caught the girl from Wallsend again as we were running along the trail through Ryton golf course, and both Jenny and I went past. It was starting to get very humid - lots of puddles there from the rain we'd had earlier, but it wasn't as muddy as I thought it was going to be so I was glad I'd opted for my racers.

By the time we hit the gravel path opposite side of the river to the start a girl we knew from Tynedale came cruising past. Jenny told me to make a move, so I gave chase. She was ahead as I crossed the bridge, but Jimmy from my club was on the other side shouting at me to get a move on "come on it's only 800m, you can catch her".

I know I can run 800m pretty quickly from my recent track efforts, so I just thought "sod it" I might as well go full tilt and try and catch more than one. I cruised by the Tynedale lady as a guy from her club gave her some encouragement, then managed to catch a couple more. Then a quick dip down to the finish line in 49:58 - slower than I can do on the course, but I think I enjoyed the race more than I have before.

Had a good natter to the girls from J&H (well done ladies), to some guys from Low Fell, Heaton & Wallsend Harriers.

Results are available here

And now for the murph...

My sis took this pic, it shows just how big Murphy is for a border collie - he's actually right at the top end for height for the breed standard, and he's deffo a collie - I have his full pedigree sheet, but boy is he large (and heavy)

Vicki & Murph

Sunday, 14 June 2009

On a happier note....

Had a canny week of running, and a few things to blog about.

Tuesday 9th - 10k - 56:55

Everyone but Mick & I were either working or off to the Blaydon Race, so instead of the planned Springfield hill session we did a pretty long warm up and then the time trial route.

Wednesday 10th - working

Couldn't make it to my usual run due to work commitments, and popping out for food for my Dad's birthday. Was also our wedding anniversary, but Andy in his wisdom, decided to organise the knockout for his singles golf comp on the evening :P

Thursday 11th - track session 10 x 700

Quite a little tough session, but the weather gods were smiling upon us, with no wind and light showers - perfect running conditions. Pushed on as best I could and managed to finish after saying I'd only manage 8 at the start.

Friday 12th & Saturday 13th - work

Didn't manage to fit in any running at all due to a pretty hefty workload. Hoping next week will be much better! Least we managed to get out for curry on the evening :)

Sunday 14th - The highlight of my week

Was invited down to South Shields to run the senior ladies "doggy mile" by Tony Carlisle, who organises the Butcher's Great North Dog Walk. I've done the full 5k in previous years, but this year I fancied having a bash at the one mile. I was gutted that Meg couldn't have been down there to take in the atmosphere, and started to fill up when I had a chat to the very nice folks on the Border Collie Trust stand.

I was there with my Dad to run with my folks' dog Alice, a Hungarian Visla - very very quick, so I was expecting a canny time. Rkid (my sis) & pete, and my aunt & uncle turned up with their dogs too to cheer me on.

After some confusion about the location of the start (at the Marsden end) we eventually found it and I was off like a shot. Alice is a very good running partner, but she does tend to get a little distracted by all the other dogs, so I took a route straight down the leas, trying to avoid the majority of the other walkers. We almost came a cropper with a couple of guys with dogs on extending leads (for which read trip wires), but we managed to get back on target and romped home in 6:26 - equaling my one mile personal best....sweet!

Will post some piccies when I get them :)

Feeling a lot better about Meg now, but still have the odd dodgy moment. Hopefully that'll ease over time, I just wish she was still here.

Friday, 5 June 2009


Not at all running related, but I don't think I can't blog about this.

Our beautiful border collie puppy Meg had a seizure yesterday morning, and after spending the whole day to and from the vets, she had to be put to sleep. To say I'm gutted is a total understatement. She was exactly six months old yesterday, and I was expecting another 15 years with the little bundle of fun.

You couldn't have had a nicer temperament in a dog, a loving, playful, loyal companion.


I'm missing her terribly already, what a damn shame Cry