Monday, 12 April 2010

Sanddancer 10k 2010

Yes, it's that time of year again when the folks of the North East trip down to the seaside and romp around the leas. I'm talking about the South Shields Harriers - Sanddancer 10k (so named because the folks of Shields are called 'Sanddancers')

The race is a favourite of mine, I absolutely love running at the coast, there's something about running in the sea air which makes you feel alive, and the course of the race takes in the leas which is where the Great North Run finishes (and the Pier to Pier starts), a lovely strip of National Trust land running a few miles from Shields up to Marsden.

The weather was glorious again this year, like a summers day, a little cold at the start, but otherwise perfect. I did my warm up with Micheal Bunn (from J&H), and then set off for my 5th loo trip :s It seems that despite having run more than a hundred races I still get the pre race jitters :(

We set off from the pub (also called the Sanddancer) and headed along the promenade and up onto the leas. There's only one real incline and that's in the first mile, then there's a few uppy-downy bits, but nothing too horrendous. We had to make a wee bit of a diversion to avoid the cliff collapse at Frenchman's Bay, but I'd rather go long, than headlong off a cliff ;)

It was a southerly wind, meaning the wind was in our faces on the outward part of each lap (on the cliff-side path), then behind us as we headed down the grassy path along the middle of the leas. Once we were out of the wind I started to really roast and was glad I'd opted for shorts & vest.

All in all I had a pretty steady race, I knew I was ahead of the two Heaton ladies I'm normally chasing, and just behind one of the Blyth ladies I'm normally miles behind. So I was pretty happy position wise. I'd tagged onto a guy who was doing roughly the same pace as me, and we tag-teamed it round the last two miles, with him pulling ahead as we rounded the quarry and the final decline back down to the promenade. I couldn't catch him even once we rounded into the stadium, so I just did my best not to get caught in the last few hundred metres.

I'm over the moon with my time - still nowhere close to my pb, but still 45:25 - my quickest 10k since 2008 :D

I also managed a bronze medal in the VAANEE 10kMT championships (L35), so a good day all round :)

Will post a link to results when they're available

Friday, 9 April 2010

A non running related update...

Well, there was some running involved in the week, but none today.

No - this update is all about Jane Smallcombe's exhibition at the Mushroom Works in Newcastle.

I met Jane a few years ago *cough* ok...more than a few ;) on my first day at senior school which I guess was September '83, guessing because thinking about it that's actually 27 years ago...omg I feel old :S. Anyways...She was always very good at art, and this exhibition goes to show she's never lost her touch.

Applique Originals is such a perfect name, as every one of the pieces on show are all unique little bundles of creative needlework. I'm happy to have been along to the exhibition with my sister to catch up and take a mooch around the gallery to see her work.

Cheers Jane and all the best!

Jane's Bird

Jane & Vicki

Applique Originals is at the Mushroom Works from Saturday 10th April until Saturday 1st May.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Hartlepool 5m & North Tyneside 10k

It's been an interesting week, firstly starting with a rather 'breezy' race at Hartlepool last Sunday. It was the Hartlepool Marina 5 mile, incorporating the VAANEE 5 mile championships, so I thought I ought to go down and give it a go. When Frankie and I arrived it was blowing a proverbial hooligan, so I thought I ought to just pick a time and hope for the best.

37 mins was the target, but after a bit of a battering during our warm up, I knew it wasn't going to be every (wo)man for themselves, but everyone verses the elements.

The course itself is a cracking little out and back route with a few switchbacks thrown in where you can see who is in-front and behind you. If it wasn't for the savage crosswind it would have excellent pb potential.

We got started and I could see there was going to be no getting into a decent pace, so it was just a case of pick a person and hang on, try to pass or use them as cover. This tactic seemed to work pretty well overall, and I felt quite strong going round the second switchback and return back to base. I'd counted 20+ ladies in-front of me, but I knew a couple didn't have numbers (the race quickly filled up the last remaining places on the morning of the event), and so I spent the last couple of miles trying to catch and overtake some of the ladies in-front of me.

I caught a couple and managed to hold on to 19th lady overall coming through the finish in 36:54. Very happy with that considering the conditions.

Results are available here

The rest of the week wasn't to great though. On Wednesday I somehow managed to get food poisoning, amazingly not from my own cooking, but from a shop bought sarnie Undecided, so three days in bed and more than a few trips to the bathroom didn't really make for the best preparation for the North Tyneside 10k.

Still...looking on the bright side, I did manage to watch an inordinate amount of crap tv including some random FBI dog movie, Flash Gordon, infomercial tv, and The Sound of Music which I saw for the very first time, and..I lost 4lbs - life doesn't get much better :P

I left it until this morning to decide if I was up to the task of actually getting round the NT10k (rather than actually racing it), and I'm glad I did.

It's a pity I wasn't fit, because the conditions were perfect - little wind and a nice cool clear day. Andy (my hubby) dropped me off and headed off to see me en-route, and I did my warm up with Micheal Bunn from my club, then met up with a few folks I know online, and then Jenny from Heaton at the start. I'd promised a couple of folks I wouldn't go mad and I did'nt :)

Unlike previous years I didn't hurtle off like a whippet, and I feel better for it this afternoon. I met up with Catherine - CC2 speedygoth (she caught me) on the quayside and we had a bit of a chat & natter until the water station at the 3 mile point, then she headed off and I settled in for a bit of a bimble through to the finish.

I was hoping for any time under 48 mins, and by my watch I managed 47:30 so I'm not at all unhappy with that.

Cracking goodie bag as ever - cheers NT council & Start Fitness!

Happy running folks :)