Wednesday, 27 July 2011

5k's all around and tumbling times

It seems to have been a week for 5k races recently, all of them good for a nice change!

After a pretty savage hill session at the club second to last Tuesday (the 12th) I had a few days to recover and look at doing a mad few weeks of racing.

It started on the 16th at Newcastle Parkrun with a decent time of 22:52 considering how awful the weather conditions were.  Results here

The I had the final VAANEE track & field meeting on Monday the 18th.  This involved doing results, and a last bash at the 300m.  It wasn't a pb, but at 56.8 it wasn't too shabby either.  VAANEE #5 results here

Wednesday 20th saw my only targeted 5k of the year - Sunderland 5k.  The start is a bit mental - like charge of the light brigade straight down hill, but the rest is a nice smooth lapped affair with nice scenery.  I was hoping for a repeat of my previous two parkrun times (22:52 & 22:49) if I could keep things steady.  As it happens I had a cracking run - felt pretty good and had a couple of targets to hang on to on the way round (thanks go to Andrea - PB Fitness, Paul West & Chris Watson of Sunderland Strollers, & Ian Bainbridge of Crook).  They managed to drag me round to a pretty decent season's best of 22:15Full results here

After the success of Sunderland 5k, I went back to the Town Moor on Saturday 23rd, for another crack at the parkrun.  This time the course was ran in reverse - what a great idea!  It's a great deal better getting the gravel section out of the way first, and I felt that even with the wind which is always present on the moor, everyone seemed to do better times.

My time was an almost perfect copy of the Sunderland time at 22:14 - which would have been another season's best had the course been accurate. Newcastle parkrun Sat 23rd results here

On Sunday I found out that there was a race on Monday 24th at Chester le Street, organised by Durham County Council.  it was another 5k !  Though this time it was a trail race, and a bit more of a laid back affair.  The course was very similar to the old CLS cross country course, with all of the twists and turns, then the run alongside the river.  It was a two lap course, which I held the ladies lead for through lap one, but then three ladies passed me all pretty much at the same time, and I managed to hold on to 4th till the finish.  No idea what my time was, but I'm guessing somewhere mid 23 mins - given how tired I was.  I haven't managed to find any results for this one yet, but it's one of three races so I'll be keeping an eye out on the Durham Trail Race Series website.  If anyone is interested the next of the 5k's is on the 3rd of August at Barnard Castle.

That was the end of my little mini-series of 5k's, but we did have 1500m reps on at the club on Tuesday 26th, so I did 3 of the 5 suggested - just to follow the trend ;)  6:35, 6:32, 6:33. 

I'll not be attending tonight's 5k - the Elswick Cup, but good luck to all taking part!

Happy running folks

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Track & Field Championships 2011 & hill session

Hello hello,

Another week, another race.

Or in this case, three races for the price of one at the NE Veteran's Athletics championships at Monkton last weekend.  I was hoping to target the 200m for a personal best, but the wind was against us in the last 100m, so that was pretty much out of the question, and, I had results to do again (in my role as the VAANEE T&F secretary), so it was like other league meetings with me running from the box down to the start line.  I did manage to get some assistance from the super lady volunteers Steph (Tynedale) and Liz (Houghton) - thanks girls!!  so at least I did get to jog around a bit before a couple of the events.

First up was the 400m.  To be quite honest I just did this as a bit of a warm up race for the 200m, so I wasn't surprised with a disappointing 4th place in 84.0 seconds.  I dunno what it is with 400m, it seems three times more difficult than the 300m, yet it's only 100m more.  It prolly doesn't help that I feel like I've got a bit of an arse & thigh weight addition over the last month or so (with my rubbish eating habits before our house move), so much so that I look like I could have possibly eating too many of Helen & Tom's MyPy produce #apprentice.  On the plus side we have moved now, so I should be eating a fair bit healthier.

The next race on the agenda was the 200m.  The wind had knocked hopes of a pb, but I do feel like I've got it in me to go a lot quicker, so I was pleased with an overall 2nd place in 35.2, and a 1st place in my age category.  Since my pb is 34.4, and I still jumped like I'd been shot by the starting gun instead of running when I heard it, I'm pretty sure I could manage 33.x or even 32.x

The 800m was only really on my list of races because I didn't have time (or feel up to) the 3000m.  Again I got round in a pretty naff time of 3:11.0, which is dire given my best time of 2:55.  Managed to walk away with a few medals anyways, so at least it wasn't a wasted effort.

Full results are available here on the Sportsoft website

Watergate 10k was on my list of must do races for this year, but since it fell on the Sunday after we moved house, and I'd left Andy in a sea of my junk & boxes on the Saturday, I thought it prudent to fore go the race in favour of a morning sorting out rubbish & furniture.  This was a pretty good plan, as we really needed to find certain important items amidst the chaos. 

We found time to play in a couple of golf comps recently including a mixed competition on the Sunday afternoon, and a Texas scramble on Monday evening, played like a muppet on Sunday ('cause I was knackered and aching from humping boxes around) and the ok-ish on the Monday.  Both were canny though, and although I'll never be as good as the guys playing in today's little competition in Royal St George's, I am improving.


My favourite session.  Springfield Bank (Field Terrace).

It's a not-too-savage hill session we normally do in the winter, but Evil Coach Darth Jim must have decided that we've already had our summer, and that hill training is back on the menu.  My aim was to keep with Mick 'rapidly returning to form' Joyce for as long as possible, without letting Frankie 'the machine' Devlin lap me.

Set off at a steady pace, running alongside Mick for the first 4 reps, but then he managed to get away from me on the fifth hill, and I was unable to get the distance back.  I did manage to keep the gap no more than 50m though, so I was happy enough with that, and the finishing time after 12 reps of 31.49.  Last time we did it I got round in 32:10, so at least I haven't lost too much fitness, or I'm getting back.

Well done to the rest of the gang for working well and completing the session :)

Just waiting now to see what crazy session we'll be doing on the track tonight!

Happy running folks!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Valley View

My least favourite session, this involves reps around Valley View park in Jarrow.

It's a lovely park, there's a play area for the kids, basketball/football courts etc, and some lovely flowers, and a sweet little stream (the Don - Tyne tributary) running through the middle of it.  There even used to be a paddling pool there (when I was a kid).  All in all a beautiful place to be.

Sounds pretty idyllic right?

Unless you're running

There's a one lap route around the park, which takes in the top path by the play area, to the edge of the park, then down Butcher's Bridge road, back up into the park, up past the parkies house, then up and down the North path, down to the stream, and back up to the South West corner.  It's hideous.

Not just because as you're climbing back up the path from the stream at the finish, you can see nothing but the path (It's that steep), but also because of the swarms of little flies you have to try and hold your breath as you run though the North path, or the overpowering sickly smell from the roses on the South path.

I think that Evil Coach Darth Jim may have been doing that kind of 'Muhahaha' evil genius laugh when this route was devised, because it just doesn't improve, no matter how many times you run round it.

Anyways, down to business.

The session was 5 times round (and yes there were cries of protest at the number), with 90 seconds recovery, with the aim of doing all of the laps in a consistent time.  I managed to stick with Micky rapidly-returning-to-form Joyce for pretty much the whole session, though I did lose it on the last bank on the last two reps.

5:01, 5:02, 4:56, 5:05, 5:06

Not quite sure what happened on lap three, but I'm not complaining at the timings.

Well done to Peter, Frankie, Mick, Anne-Marie, Helen, Barry, & Rachel - Go Team Jarrow!  - at least the portion of the crew who haven't swanned off to Spain to go to the horse racing ;)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Boxes of stuff

Today I should have been waking up in my new house, but it's been delayed a week, so here I am living out of boxes for the next seven days, wondering if I can keep washing the same few items of running kit over & over.  I don't mind if I'm seen sporting the same two t-shirts for the next week, so long as they're clean when I put them on.  Still, it's going to be worth it when I'm sitting in my new garden with a cup of coffee next weekend before bimbling off to do Watergate Trail Race.

The box situation has also posed a problem for my up coming diving exped. Some of my kit is in my dive bag, but my suit is in a box, and I need to get my wrist seals sorted before the 22nd.  I know this is leaving it a bit last minute, but I was expecting to have it unpacked today or tomorrow

On a more positive note my new cylinders are ready to rock & roll :D

Many thanks to Tommy & his custom made twinning bands!

Back on the running front it has been reported that I won the ladies race in the Sunshine Run (in the Chronicle no less)  this is not the case - Angela Hunter was the clear winner (by some margin I might add) in a super time of 18:55, I did claim my second place (38th overall) in an official time of 22:18 - though I'm sure it was less than that by my reckoning, but I'm still not gonna argue with a season best.

 Here we are!

I'll be putting the super orange racers back in action over 5k at the Sunderland 5k on the 20th of July.  It's a cracking fast course, so get your entries in here on the Sunderland Harriers website

Before then I've got the vet's athletics championships next Saturday the 9th, and then Watergate 10k on the 10th - looking like a busy weekend, it's just as well I'm not doing Tynedale on the 6th or I'd be well worn out.