I'll do a quick training catch up before we get on with the craziness!
Last week was a fairly hefty week running wise, Tuesday's session was 5 x 1mile reps, this after a 2 mile warm up, then the usual 5.5 miles on Wednesday. Happily Thursday was 300s on the track. I took a couple of days off, then did my long run on Sunday at 6am - my furthest run to date at 13.57 miles in the grand time of 2:07:49. Pretty pleased with how my long runs are going at the mo.
On with the meaty stuff....
By some strange twist of racing fate, I somehow managed to enter three races this week. To be fair though, the Sunshine Run is normally the first Wednesday in July, and it would have been last week.
Race No. 1 : The Evening Chronicle Sunshine Run
I'd been sent two race packs for this one after some clerical mix up, so I got there fairly early and sorted it out, before meeting up with Alan for a bit of a warm up. There seemed to be a pretty good turn out of folks as we jogged up and down the quayside. Saw Geoff & Prestomum from FetchEveryone for a bit of a natter, before Helen turned up and we ran a bit more.
I thought I saw a few fairly fit looking ladies, so I was guessing that I wasn't going to be in with a chance of the prizes, so I went out to just really enjoy the run. We lined up pretty close to the starting line (shy kids get no sweets and all that), so we could get a clear start.
My plan (as is normally the case with 5k) was to try and run as fast as possible without keeling over - not very scientific I know, but there's not much else you can do over such a short distance. As we got going I saw Tracy from Chester-le-Street club, so I knew I wasn't in with a hope of catching her, but I thought I'd try my best not to get left too far behind. The first few kilometres were a bit too fast to be honest, and by the time we got to the turn I was wondering if I could sustain the pace any longer.
I saw that the next lady wasn't too far behind me, being chased down by Alan, with Helen not that far behind him. I got a fair few shouts of encouragement on the route, from other runners and the marshals, which spurred me on to try and keep 2nd place. By 4k I was almost completely out of juice, but I ramped up the pace as we passed under the swing bridge - there was no way on earth I was going to let another lady come gliding past without at least a passing effort, so by the time we went under the Tyne bridge I was prolly not far off my 800m pace.
The Millennium Bridge loomed ahead - the only elevated bit on an otherwise flat course, I ran up as fast as my legs could manage and spotted the wonderful smiling face of my hubby, he was videoing my running with his new fangled phone! I pushed on, back down the other side of the bridge , and ran through the finish in around 21:30 - very pleased.
Will have to wait for the results for my exact time. Very happy with my second place, Tracy came through in just over 18 mins, so even on my best day I couldn't have caught her, but the lady in third was hot on my heels crossing the line not long after Alan. Helen got fourth lady so well done to her too! I met up with my family at the finish - it's always fantastic to have their support, and to do so well when they're there!
There's a story in the Chronicle here & I should have some piccies from my sis & Andy when they can get them to me.
Race No. 2 - Low Fell Running Club's Angel View Run
I just about had a day to recover before my next race. My legs didn't feel too bad during my warm up, so I felt quite happy to do the run as a hill session, rather than actually racing it. I managed to catch up with a few ladies I know including Jenny & Kelly from Heaton, and Geoff again (is he race stalking me I wonder ), and a whole bunch of Sunderland Strollers (did you guys get a group rate or something? hehehe. The conditions were perfect - sunny but cooler than it has been, and the wind dropped right off too.
We were off with a whistle - the fast lads dissapearing off into the distance, and I settled into a nice comfortable pace behind Jenny. The course circles up and round a small hill before heading down the path under Durham Road. I picked up a fair bit of speed there and we started to catch Lisa & Kelly (Heaton ladies). The course has a fair few twists and turns but we managed to pass the girls just before the bank up to the Angel of the North.
The next two miles saw me trying to catch Joy from Sunderland Strollers. I know I was just going to bimble round, but I couldn't help myself, she was very steady though, and I just couldn't catch up. Still managed to pass a few guys and girls before the big hill.
The track up to Wrekenton is the hardest part of the course, it's narrow, there are fast runners heading back down the hill coming straight at you, and there are french nettles to either side - it's like some mad chicken run. I saw the first two ladies coming down the hill (both form Morpeth club, swiftly followed by Vicki from the Strollers. The next girl to come flying past shouted "whippet" at me...I had to laugh, and guessed it was Bunny-Phobia (or Mel for short) from the Runner's World forums. I'd had shouted Bunny-Phobia back at her, but I didn't have the breath .
We had a quick turnaround at the top, I could see how close the ladies were behind me, so I attempted to get a move on back down the hill. Then the pain of last nights race really kicked in. My legs were still fine (all of those Coach Jim evil torture sessions I guess), but my chest was killing me - I couldn't seem to catch my breath, and every step was starting to see me wheezing. I slowed it down a touch and one of the ladies I'd passed on Durham Road came flying past. I gave chase, but didn't really had much left to catch her with. Eventually we came off the bottom of the track and back round onto the first hill again, there was only about 800m to go now and another lady came past (gutted), but I chased as best as I could and started to gain some ground again.
Joy still wasn't too far ahead either, but not close enough to catch before the finish. I made it round the last 100m without being caught by anyone else though, so I was pretty happy.
75th Joy Champion, Sunderland Strollers 37.54
76th Frances Harkins, Unattached 37.55
77th Clare Fearns, Gateshead Harriers 37.56
78th Bill Kirk, Sunderland Strollers 37.59
79th Vicki Thompson, Jarrow & Hebburn AC 38.04
As you can see there wasn't much in it, but at least Joy managed to hold off the two ladies that I couldn't
There's a full list of the results on the Low Fell site
Over the moon that I managed to get first lady over 35 again - really wasn't even considering any kind of prize after the Sunshine Run!
Race No. 3 - Northumberland Coastal Run
Well, I can't write the report yet, as it's on Sunday, but that'll be the triple. I'm really, really, absolutely, doing it as a training run - I deffo can't race again this week, and it's 14 miles over some interesting terrain including at least three miles of beach - so I'm guessing that any kind of decent time will be well out of the question.
Still I'm looking forward to it, after two days of complete rest - yay!Curry tonight as a treat - yum