Sunday, 30 January 2011

Marathon miles month 1

Well that's almost one month done and the marathon miles are adding up.  In the words of the immortal bard, or in this case, Evil Coach Jim, 'I've got my proper running head back on'  and it seems to be doing the trick.  Looking at my monthly mileage chart on Fetcheveryone, it seems like I've done my best running off something like 120 miles a month (those months where I got the most PB's).
So this seems like a pretty good start to the year considering I didn't actually start training till the 6th, an this was my best month of training since July 2009.  It seems like I should just write off 2010 for running, but I'm thinking that my heart just wasn't in it for most of the year, and now (in the words of wor Cheryl Cole) 'Av got me mojo back'.

Session wise it's been a great couple of weeks.

Darth Jim has returned with a vengance, and we've been treated to a couple of pretty savage road sessions, and two very different time trials.
Club sessions this month have been:

Tuesday 11th - 5k time trial (road) - a dissapointing 24:46
Thursday 13th - 10 x 400m track session: 1:48, 1:46, 1:48, 1:46, 1:46, 1:43, 1:44, 1:40, 1:40, 1:46
Tuesday 18th - Hill session 5.4 miles up and down Springfield bank, 44:54
Tuesday 25th - Intervals on New Road, 900, 1500, 900, 1500.  4:01, 6:55, 4:16, 7:05
Thursday 27th - track session, 800 flat out (3:20) then 3k time trial 13:48

After doing the North Eastern's XC on the 8th, I've switched my long run to a Saturday, and have been using Sunday for a recovery run, so I'm on good form for Tuesday's club session.

Long runs this month have been pretty interesting routes.  Instead of planning before I've just gone walkabout with the garmin and seen where my feet take me :)

Saturday 15th - 12.43 miles (1:35:26) 2 and a bit laps round Hebburn & Jarrow, windy as hell.
Saturday 22nd - 13.5 miles (2:02:08) Windy Nook - Gateshead Stadium - Millenium Bridge - Ouseburn - Byker - Walker - Wallsend - Pedestrian Tunnel - Hebburn.
Saturday 29th - 14.5 miles (2:11:08) Felling - Wrekenton - Springwell - Birtley - Team Valley - Dunston - Millennium Bridge. 

Next Sunday I've got the Townmoor xc, but I'll prolly still do my long run on Saturday and use the cross country as a recovery run as I'm there all day doing results (and I really don't like running round the moor) 

Next month should see more of the same sessions, but I've really pulled my finger out and I'm actually starting to train harder and enjoy it.  If I can keep on the right track, according to Coach Jim, I should be a proper runner by the time I do London Marathon.

Happy running chaps & chapessess


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Saturday, 8 January 2011

North Eastern Counties XC

After weeks of doing basically bugger all, I finally got off my behind and went out on the track on Thursday.  The session was 10 x 600m, but I managed six with my bad chest before calling it a day.  I'm pretty sure that this wasn't the level of training required before doing the Northeasterns, but hey, beggars can't be choosers, so you have to work with what you've got.

As it happens I was asked to help out with the results, so at least I was inside in the warm for the majority of the day, and it was a damn sight less hectic than a regular harrier league meeting.  So what is normally a frantic dash to the start between results sheets pouring in was actually a leisurely meander over to the race start.

Actually that just about sums up my race strategy on the one, a leisurely meander ;)

I knew I wasn't going to set the world on fire with my speed, so I didn't bother with the spikes and ran in my fell shoes.  This was a good plan, as there were few really hilly points, and the sections on the flat were very comfortable in the innov8s.  I did get pretty soggy along the really swampy sections, but hey, that's what its all about right!

Once I'd settled into a canny pace it was just a case of trying to maintain my position (nearish the back) and try not to let too many go past.  Towards the end of lap one Lyn from Tynedale, a girl from Low Fell and another from Saltwell came past, so I tried to stick with them.  The Low Fell girl flew off into the distance, but I could see Lyn & the Saltwell girl just ahead for most of lap two.  This is when I started a came of cat & mouse with someone from Durham City.  She past me, then I'd pass by her.  I know I wasn't going to win the war, but it's the little battles you can try and win which makes it worthwhile racing.

I chased the Durham girl through the first half of lap two, then caught her on the hill rising up from the stream with the railway sleepers, then it was a case of her catching me then me getting away again as we travelled along the path behind the fire station.   Now we both had Lyn & the Saltwell girl in our sights,  I caught Lyn on the last hill by all the spectators, with the Durham Girl got on my heels.  I could hear folks shouting for all three of us as we got towards the turn at the top.

It was a pretty distant hope to catch the girl from Saltwell now, but I knew the Durham girl was just behind me as we turned onto the playing fields and the last six or seven hundred metres.  Her team were shouting her on, but I plucked out a last bit of effort and made it across the line.  Great effort by the two of us!

Then it was a quick dash back to race hq, to finish off the results with the rest of the team.

Job's a good 'un

Results will be published on the Northern Athletics website when they're available: here

Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 Review, races & results

2010 wasn't the greatest year for me running-wise for be quite honest.  I kind of lost my enthusiasm after the Townmoor Marathon in the November of 2009 and didn't really recover it till well into the year.  I also forgot what it was like to do any kind of distance after the mind-numbing boringness of the laps, leaving me with a longest run of 6 or so miles by June.  This didn't really set me in good stead for Tynedale 10 or the Great North Run, but I'd opted for fancy dress in the latter anyway, so a decent time really didn't matter.

Duffed up races I ran last year:
Any of the numerous 5k's I participated in.  The closest I managed to a decent time was 22:15 at Sunderland parkrun in April, still a over minute outside my pb.  Tynedale came in at an abysmal 1:19, and of course the GNR at 1:59, though in fairness that was a bloody good time in a ballgown.

Average runs, stuff I'm fairly happy with:
Hartlepool Marina 5 Mile  36:53, WAVA - 67.26% (Age grading percentage) (5 mile pb 36:02)
Blaydon Race  5.9M   43:04, WAVA - 68.47%
Sand Dancer 10k (trail race) 45:25, WAVA - 68.38% (10k pb 43:50)
Fetch North East 1 Mile Challenge (8)  6:21, WAVA - 68.53%

Highlights of the year: 
Well, I didn't drop the short speedwork, so my track times well pretty decent.  I managed to do a few of canny performances over 200, 300, 400 and 800m at the vet's athletics meetings at Monkton and the North East Senior league.

200m: 34.8,  WAVA - 62.34%
300m: 54.8,  WAVA - 71.31%
400m: 73.5, WAVA - 70.33% (unofficial as part of a relay)
400m: 78.8,  WAVA- 65.82%
800m: 2:56, WAVA - 64.97%

According to the powerof10 webbie I managed UK rankings in the V35 age category of the following:
UK Rankings

Everything over 800m was pretty slow to be honest, which will hopefully be rectified by the increases in mileage this year. 

One good thing about the Townmoor marathon is that I now know a couple of things:
a) I can get round 26.2 miles, even if I do have to walk the last six
b) I need to keep fit & healthy, and put in the training
c) I now have a target time to aim for
and d) London will have more support, stuff to look at, it can't possibly be as cold or windy.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year, new goals, and marathon U-turns

It's been a while since my last update I know, but to be honest I haven't done a lot of running with the bad weather and the huge workload this seems to have generated. Still, it's a new year, and hopefully that'll see an end to last years poor running performances and some new things to try out too.

I've somehow (by the power of Greyskull) managed to procure a place in the London Marathon on the 17th of April. This was not planned at all, but a moment of madness at the running club Christmas do, having been offered the final remaining club place, and sitting opposite non-other than the mighty Joe Prudham himself - the man who in his mid seventies managed to beat me in a sprint finish over the last 200m of Newcastle parkrun last month with his dodgy knees, has done 25ish London marathons, and was rather enthusiastic. This added to the support from the girls in my group, and a few of the lads, led me to going from "I'm never doing another marathon again, it was bloody horrendous" to "Oh, go on then" in a matter of less than a half an hour.

It seems on recollection that I could have made a bit more of a consideration about it, but the form is in the post now, and I've told everyone, so I do have to go through with the dastardly plan. This does also leave me in a bit of a pickle training wise, since it's been incredibly difficult for me to actually get out there and do anything. I'm going to have to pull my finger out and get some running in.

There is also the matter of golf. I'm now a confirmed golfist, having been gifted with lessons and clubs and a brand new golf bag & trolley, so it'd be rude not to give it a 100% effort. I am enjoying it, it's a different kind of challenge to running, definitely more controlled rather than an all out effort, but I'm happy that the two activities will no doubt compliment each other in the long run (no pun intended).

Given that there is a rule of threes in the universe this does lead on to my third hobby...diving. I enjoy this too, maybe with a little less frequency but definitely with a passion. I've got my weekend away in Lochaline coming up in April. Fortunately this is the weekend before London, so I should be able to taper underwater and stuff myself full of all manner of lovely carbohydrates in the lead up to the big day.

I have decided that since I've chosen three time consuming sports that it's about time that I discovered the winning lottery ticket numbers for this Friday's euro millions, so that I can duly retire and become a lady of leisure. If anyone has the winning numbers please do pass them on, I'd be sure to share the wealth.

Until then I suppose it's work as per usual, and once I'm over the chest bug that my Sister thoughtfully passed on over the New Year weekend, I'll be sure to get back on the training wagon. I managed to do the 26.2 miles once before, five times round the Town moor in the freezing cold, wind & rain, so a nice bimble round the sights of London should be a doddle shouldn't it?