Sunday, 30 May 2010

Watergate 10k, Newcastle parkrun, NE Athletics 3000m @ Monkton

Morning Campers :)

Got a few more race reports to add to the cyberspace clutter ;)

Sunday 30th May: Watergate 10k 2010

It's a funny race this one, I normally spend the entire race wondering why the hell I'm there, then after I'm thinking how much I enjoyed it. Yesterday was no different. The hills in this one are pretty savage, but a year between this time and last seemed to make me forget just how bad they were.

I met up with a couple of the Jarrow lads before the race and with Stewart - a friendly rival from several local races (we tend to do the cat & mouse thing throughout the race). Watched the juniors set off on their 2k run with Stewart running it as a warm up with his son (who did very well). Then set about doing my own warm up in the rain. It wasn't really heavy but there was a bit of a chill to it so I opted to keep my long sleeved top on under my club vest.

The whistle went off and I set about keeping a fairly steady pace (being careful with my ankle), all went pretty well for the first 5k, I lost a bit of ground on the hills, but managed to claw it back on the downhill sections. As we turned into the wood Stewart shouted at me to catch up from a switchback & about 200m ahead. I did try to respond then, but we were on one of those long drag uphill sections and my legs were really starting to curse at me for the effort. Once we made it off the main path and onto the woodland trails I really picked up the pace and started to enjoy myself. There's something about not running on gravel or pavement, just pine needles & hard earth which is really nice - a bit spongy like a running track.

We crossed a few bridges during the race, but had to actually run through the stream at one point. I kind of just 'went for it' like doing cross country, and was well on my way to catching up with Stewart and the guy who was chasing him. By 7k I'd caught the guy, and about 7.5k I'd caught S. just as we came back onto the paths and the big downhill back to the lake. We then had to tackle the big hill again where I lost ground again. Quite a toughy and I almost started walking near the top, but a bit of encouragement from the marshal there spurred me back on.

Stewart was now chasing a guy from Jarrow, and I was chasing him. I knew my time was rubbish by now, but was just wanting to finish without the girl I knew was only about 400m behind me catching up. The guy who I passed in the woods was also chasing, so I put on a bit of an effort on the last hill as we turned round to come down the flat straigh to the finish. I caught Stewart again, but told him to press on, as the guy who was chasing us caught up and flew past. Came through to the finish in a rather disappointing time, but with the hills I wasn't too unhappy.

Will post a link to results when they're available.

I had to dash off to go to work afterwards, but wish I'd been able to hang around for the presentation as I'd won 1st L35 :D

Saturday 29th May : Newcastle parkrun

I turned up for a job I was doing at 7:50am only to find out that the shop I was doing was closed for 3 days for essential maintenance, so since I was too late to get myself over to Sunderland, I opted to do Newcastle parkrun. I'd read on their facebook update that it was a picnic style event and fancy dress was optional, so I quickly grabbed my scissors, savaged a pretty pink dress and dusted off my fairy wings. It was nice to see that a few folks had dressed up too, but it was bloomin' freezing so I musta looked a bit nutty standing on the moor jumping from side to side in a dress.

After a bit of a chat with a few folks I know (and a guy I hadn't seen for years whose lost 8st since I saw him last - amazing stuff, well done Scott!), we bimbled over to the start. I wasn't really aiming for a time, but just wanted to get round fairly briskly so I could get back and get my long sleeved top back on.

I had a pretty canny run, the dress didn't hamper my stride too much, and it was all over in 22:49 - scarily a quicker race than last week at Sunderland ...what's that all about :S

I mustn't be putting enough effort in normally if I can get round the same time or quicker in a dress. Bizarrely it was my quickest ever time on that course by a good 30 seconds too. Maybe I should consider doing all races in fancy dress.

Full results are here

Really enjoyed the sushi & flapjacks afterwards too!!

Not the most flattering of images - but you get the idea (thanks to Lesley for the piccie and for securely attaching my wings)

Wednesday 26th May - North East Athletics League 3000m

I decided to do this one as a bit of a spur of the moment job on Tuesday night, as I actually didn't know it was on till then. I blame Alan Wears entirely ;) I turned up at around 6:30 (as I didn't know the start time) only to find out that there was a good chance my race wouldn't get going till at least 8:30pm, then add into that the power cut that the stadium had, and the record attendance, I should have brought a deck chair, comfy blanket and a flask :S

Still, it was really good watching all of the other events (hope the guy who fell in the hurdles is okay!) and the Jimmy Hedley Cup 800m runners were fantastic. It was actually 9:10pm when my race got started, by this time I was bloody freezing, and all thoughts of a decent time were thrown out the window. Since there were only 5 ladies we went in with the men's race (or we may have been there all night) and the only thought that got me round the 7.5 laps was that I hadn't had anything to eat since 2ish, and there was a good chance that Andy had ordered Chinese.

So with the carrot Chinese & stick mental image, we lined up and set off. I was expecting to get lapped, but I was also in last place (by quite a margin) by the 400m mark, so it was just a mental will thing that kept me going. I was trying to keep a nice steady pace and not get slower every lap, even though the leaders went past not two but three times :S At least the leading lady one went past the once :P

By the time I was on my last lap pretty much everyone else had finished, I had 250m to go and I was the only one left running, but I stuck with it and ran through to the end. Surprisingly I'd managed a better time than all of last years 3ks (13:14) so I was over the moon with that.

Results from the powerof10 website : excel sheet

That concludes this weeks racing efforts...happy running folks!

Pier to Pier, Clive Cookson 10k, & Sunderland Parkrun

Okay, Okay...I know I've been a bit lacking in recent updates, but I have been really really busy with work recently, so I do have a reasonable excuse. I need to keep myself in pennies for all my race entries ;)

I do have a couple of race updates though, so I'll crack on with the reports:

Sunderland Strollers: Pier to Pier (7miles)

Again the Stollers must have said their prayers to the sun gods as there wasn't a cloud in the sky. Temperature was perfect with a light westerly breeze, excellent conditions for the run. I'd decided to wear my innov8s with the beach & grass sections which turned out to be a good choice, they had just enough cushioning for the promenade section and excellent grip for the sand on the beach. I set off pretty steady, and just aimed to keep a canny pace throughout. I did manage to pick it up for the last 2 miles passing more than 20 runners, but my initial pace must have been a bit too slow as my time really didn't come close to my time from 2008 of 50:44.

Finishing time: 54:06 (5th L35) full results here

Clive Cookson 10k

Wow...don't think I've ever ran in more humid conditions. It's an excellent race with really good PB potential (if you're fit), but with the Pier to Pier still in my legs I couldn't really give this race the effort it deserved. I got there in plenty of time to warm up, and felt ok before the race, but I kind of flagged just after 5k (22:49) and the second 5k was a bit of a struggle. I'm working on getting back to form though, so hopefully I'll have a better crack at this one next year. PB for this race is 43:52 so I was a bit dissapointed with my time.

Finishing time: 46:15 (3rd L35) full results here

Sunderland Parkrun 5k

I had a couple of days off after CC10k to rest and nurse a bit of a bruised ankle (not sure how or when I did that), but I thought with the continuing heat which was forecast I'd ditch all attempts at a long run this weekend and concentrate on just doing a couple of tick-over runs. I popped over to Sunderland and it was pushing 22 degrees even at 9am. I thought I'd just give the run my best shot and run steady.

By about 3k I'd caught the lady in front of me, but she pushed on once I caught her, and I couldn't match her efforts. She managed to get away by 3.5k and I aimed just to hold onto my current position. I came through the finish as third lady in a not too bad time. On the results though I'm down as being 1st Lady - this isn't the case, but the two ladies who finished ahead of me mustn't have been registered. I'll not count it as a victory, hopefully the two involved will get their times sorted out.

Finishing time: 23:22 (3rd Lady (1st Lady) 1st L35) full results here

Other than those three races I haven't done a lot recently - I did play golf on Sunday which was fun (at the TeeTime @ Tyneside event), and I did manage to get to the club last night for half the session - my ankle was niggling a little so I decided to cut it short. It seems to be worse going downhill and doesn't really hurt at all on the flat or uphill.

Tuesday session - 3 mile warm up 26:20, 3 x 1000m - 4:04, 4:14, 4:16

I'm in two minds whether to do 3k on the track tonight at Monkon as there's an athletics meeting on - will have to see how I feel later on!

Happy running folks :D

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

April round up

Morning Campers,

I hadn't forgotten about you, just been really really busy with work and some other stuff. Will do a bit of a round up for last month and plans for May Smile

Ok April was a really busy month for races

4th - North Tyneside 10k: After a decent run at the Marina 5m the week before I was hoping for a canny run at NT10k but a bout of food poisoning put pay to that. At least I managed to get round in a fairly mediocre time of 47:30. Was worth it just for the goody bag ;)

11th - Sanddancer 10k: Had a really good run, enjoyed the race and seemed to have pretty much recovered from the week before. Finished in 45:25

17th & 18th - A weekend double! On the 17th I thought I'd have a crack at the Sunderland Parkrun, chased Alyson from Strollers most of the way but couldn't catch her at the finish and came home in 22:15 (third lady & a season best). I know I can do at least 21:30 on the course but I'm carrying too much weight and I'm just not fit enough yet.

18th - Wallsend 5m: I never seem to have a decent run at this race, but the sun always shines on the Rising Sun 5m so it's a canny morning out! Went over with Frankie (who had a storming race) and I came in in a fairly disappointing 37:05. Still somehow managed to get 2nd Lady 35, but couldn't stop for the presentation.

The next weekend could have been the Blyth 10k for my next race, but I was up at Lochaline diving - had a cracking weekend there and really enjoyed the break. This has really inspired me to go diving some more.

On with this month...

1st may - Sunderland Parkrun: I should have been going to Carlisle for the senior league, but I was working on Saturday and couldn't make it, so I nipped over to Silksworth to do the parkrun instead. I met up with Mick for a warm up jog, then got stuck into the race.

It was actually much warmer than I'd expected so I think the guy behind me was a bit startled when I stripped off my tshirt on the first downhill and chucked it at a marshal! I set about just keeping a nice steady pace and trying not to slow down too much. I did start to tire a little on the second lap of the lake, but dug in and kept going right through to the finish. That last uphill to get to the finish is a killer but I came through in 22:33 (1st Lady).

I'm guessing that if I can keep going with my speed work and lose half a stone my times should start tumbling back down again.

There's no races for me this weekend (shock horror), but I do have the Pier to Pier, Clive Cookson 10k and Watergate 10k this month so I've got plenty to keep me out of trouble ;)

Best of luck to all those who have entered the ballot for London 2011. I was on my 4th refusal, but have decided not to enter again after my disaster on the Town Moor. Give me the short stuff any day!

Happy running folks Smile