Sunday, 29 July 2012

One of those weeks

Must have been having one of those weeks where nothing is easy, the runs seem that bit more difficult, and you have to put that little bit more effort in to try and just treadwater.

I had an awful session on the slagheaps (Bedewell Park) on Tuesday.  It was boiling hot, and the flies were out in force.  I must have ate at least a dozen on the first rep.  The session was 4 x 1400m, but after the first two I felt like a boil-in-the-bag rice, so I skipped the third and then did the fourth.

Rep 1 - 1.4k, 5:37 (6:27 pace)
Rep 2 - 1.4k, 5:38 (6:29 pace)
Rep 3 - 1.4k, 6:06 (7:01 pace)

I was practically jogging on the last lap round, so it's no wonder it was way slower than the first two.

On Wednesday I was going to do Elswick Cup, but I'd felt so crap on the Tuesday I thought it was a waste of effort - haven't felt like that for ages about a race, so it's probably for the best that I sat with my feet up instead.

Thursday - In the absence of Evil Coach Darth Jim, we were left to our own devices, and opted for a 3k time trial.  I finished in around 13:40 (didn't have my watch on), not too unhappy with that, but afterwards I went for one of Frankie's mega warm-downs, which was a big mistake, as his "trip round the block" turned into a two and a bit mile route march round Primrose and the Don (with more swarms of flies), at pretty much the same pace as I'd done the time trial in :S

Saturday - I was hoping to get to a parkrun after work, but cut things very tight, so Andy very kindly offered to drive me straight from work to Chester le Street, to do the Riverside parkrun.  We got there with minutes to spare, so I had no time to do a warm up.  As per usual I'd decided not to wear my watch, and just run how I felt, which for this run was to try and hold on to Kim Mathews from Elswick for as long as possible.  I managed the first lap, before she came steaming past, but I never let her out of my sight, and did my best to keep the distance between us as short as possible.

The low point of the run was a guy pushing a buggy, running past me by the river.  I didn't have enough speed in my legs to keep with his pace.  My only thought was that he must be bloody good when he's not pushing a kid round.

I could hear quite a few people shouting for someone called Ruth behind me, and she managed to catch up as the start of the last lap, but I pressed on, and aimed to keep ahead for as long as possible.  I held her off right through to the finish.  The support on the way round is great - many thanks to everyone who cheered me on!

Didn't realise it till the results came up later, that I had a new seasons best of 22:15 (my second fastest parkrun ever - after a 22:14 on the Moor last July).  Over the moon, as I didn't really feel that great while I was running.  Things are looking good for sub 22 this year.

Well done to the Birtley girls on a splendid 1 2 3 4 5 finish, and to Kim, who managed 21:59 - if only I'd managed to hang on!  Also a big well done to Mick on a new parkrun pb, and to Michelle on finishing her first ever parkrun!

Full results here: Riverside parkrun

I must apologise to Andy for making him hang around for 15 mins in the carpark while I chatted at the finish, especially since he had to get off to play golf,  though I did pay him off with a chocolate biscuit on the course later on ;)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Jarrow & Hebburn AC Round Up

A fortnight's worth of races for Team Jarrow.  Added Mick's wife Michelle in as it was her first ever parkrun - well done!

Week 23-28 July

Riverside Parkrun, Chester le Street

23 Mick JOYCE 20:19 VM55-59 76.95%
31 Vicki THOMPSON 22:15 VW40-44 68.76%
68 Michelle JOYCE* 30:40:00 VW50-54 54.67%

Newcastle Parkrun

22 Andrew THORNTON 20:26 SM20-24 63.13%

Sunderland Parkrun

75 Malcolm LEECE 28:41:00 SM35-39 46.89%

Week 16 - 22 July



1 Aiden TURNBULL 12.1  

3 Cath CLINTON 12:04 L50
13 Mick JOYCE 11:33 M55

1 Cath CLINTON 50.7 L50
1 Aiden TURNBULL 41.4  

1 Hazelle WEBSTER-COSTELLA 68.0  
4 Vicki THOMPSON 79.8 L40

Sunderland 5k

10 Andy BURN 15.57  
50 Angela HIBBS 17:44  
54 Alex SNOOK 17:54  
103 Elaine LESLIE 19:00 F40
122 Malcolm LEECE 19:43  
131 Mick JOYCE 20:09 M55
170 Andrew HUDSON 21:47  
183 Vicki THOMPSON 22:21 F40
195 David Mills 23:12 M50

Newcastle Parkrun

13 Peter FOGGO 19:25 VM40-44 70.82%
30 Andrew THORNTON 20:42 SM20-24 62.32%

Gateshead Parkrun

32 Joe PRUDHAM 25:24:00 VM75-79 75.92%

Great North 10k

99 Daniel SANDBACH 00:40:39

117 Craig DEACON 00:43:06

292 Malcolm LEECE 00:40:18

348 Graeme THOMPSON 00:43:53

Monday, 23 July 2012

fast and furious

Had a great week for running.

After the success of running at Riverside parkrun I was all geared up for Sunderland 5k on the Wednesday, hoping that everything would come together and I'd get round without being manhanded into a bush this year. 

The plan was a pretty simple one, run as fast as possible down the first big hill, in the stampede, and then hang on till I ran out of steam.

Basically, take off like a whippet, ignore all the pacing advice and run like a loon.

It kind of worked ok too.

I got myself pretty close to the action at the front, maybe 20ft into the throng of runners (wondering if there's a collective noun there somewhere...maybe a gaggle of runners, or something similar), and waited for the whistle.  I couldn't hear a damn thing of the pre-race talk up - seriously thinking of getting a loud hailer for the Harrier League to use, but the gist of it is that it's a tight course, and if you're not careful some overgrown lout in a sweaty vest, and dirty trainers will push you off the path with both hands into a hawthorn bush.. Not that I'm bitter about the last time it happened...much ;)


The whistle went, and I took off like Usain Bolt being chased by a T-Rex on crack.  It's all downhill for at least 600m, so I took full advantage of the decent, thought I was a champion fell running nutter, and leapt forwards into action.  I reckon I must have shrunk at least an inch from the impact on each foot.  For at least the first 400m I was ahead of my team mate Mick 'the Machine' Joyce, so I'm guessing I went off a wee bit quickly. 

Reality hit home pretty quickly on the first bend across the little bridge, where my speed went from Lamborghini to Lada, but I dug in, and set about getting on with the race in earnest.  my plan (after the initial craziness), was to stick with and try to get past people in chunks of distance - so cruise for a bit, then work for a bit (we're all technical here eh).  It kind of worked, and I made great gains on the up hills and downhills, and 'floated' on the flat bits.  I managed to catch a fair few folks, and made few losses.  I even caught Marie from Morpeth (though later found out she had a cold and wasn't too well). 

The main thing was that I worked as hard as I could, did my best and managed a seasons best, by 40 seconds to finish in 22:20. 

Over the moon with that one :)

On the Thursday (in what was supposed to be easy - lol) we did a track session 8 x 300m parlaufs, 71, 70, 69, 68, 65, 61, 69, 70. Went a bit mad in the middle where I was racing against Jimmy, but was otherwise okay.

Friday was a warm up for the golfing weekend - played a great friendly with Andy and two of his golfing buddies, and prolly played the best I've ever have.  I was hoping this might gear me up for the weekend, playing Carlisle Mixed Open on Saturday, then Dunstanburgh Mixed Open on Sunday.

I absolutely loved Carlisle GC.  The course was really nice, conditions were pretty good, and the clubhouse was really nice.  I didn't really get going, but Andy played well enough for the two of us!

Dunstanburgh...sweet Jesus, the wind - it was like playing in a wind test tunnel.  I really felt for the folks running the Northumberland Coastal Run on Sunday, cause the wind was hideous.  The rough was hideous, it was up to my knees in places, and I'm no midget.  And... the bunkers were pretty hideous too, not in a Royal Lytham way, but I couldn't see out when I was standing in one.

I will never complain about the bunkers at Tyneside again!

Still, after a little coaching from Yoda Thompson, I managed to play out of the one above (with the ball pretty close to the face) first time!

Not sure I'll ever like links golf though, give me some lovely parkland, big trees and water any day of the week.

So that's me worn out...all golf and running.. I'm creaking now.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Jarrow & Hebburn AC - recent race round up

Just for the Team Jarrow folks, here's a (2) weekly round up of finishing positions.  If you're missing off my list (and run for Jarrow & Hebburn obv.) let me know and tag you on my results.

This Week

Chester-le-Street, Riverside parkrun

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
36 Mick JOYCE 20:56 74.68% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M55
41 Malcolm LEECE 21:13 63.39% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M35
66 Vicki THOMPSON 22:59 66.57% Jarrow and Hebburn AC F40
83 David MILLS 23:55 61.67% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M50

Newcastle, Townmoor parkrun

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
25 Peter FOGGO 18:55 72.69% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M40
64 Andrew THORNTON 20:43 62.27% Jarrow and Hebburn AC SNR

Gateshead, Saltwell parkrun

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
40 Joe PRUDHAM 24:59 75.85% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M70

Bridges of the Tyne 5 Mile

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
37 Graham Yare 30:55 69.81 Jarrow & Hebburn AC  SNR
175 Vicki Thompson 38:48 62.37 Jarrow & Hebburn AC  F40

Last Week

Tynedale 10k

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
55 Graham Yare 39:03 68.76 Jarrow & Hebburn AC  SNR
89 Elaine Leslie 40:38 74.65 Jarrow & Hebburn AC  F40
233 Andrew Hudson 47:11   Jarrow & Hebburn AC  SNR

Gateshead, Saltwell parkrun

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
36 Mick JOYCE 20:51 74.98% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M55
21 Vicki THOMPSON 23:30 65.11% Jarrow and Hebburn AC F40

Newcastle, Townmoor parkrun

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Age Cat
25 Peter FOGGO 18:55 72.69% Jarrow and Hebburn AC M40
64 Andrew THORNTON 20:43 62.27% Jarrow and Hebburn AC SNR

Joe Prudham - Saltwell parkrun
Andrew Thornton (bright orange shirt) Newcastle parkrun

Tynebridge 5m, Riverside Parkrun, North East Harrier league information

It's all go in the whippet household at the moment, but the Great British weather is killing off some of our planned sporting activities, which is really frustrating.  I was supposed to be playing for the Tyneside ladies B team on Wednesday, but that was cancelled (cause it was hoying it down), and then Mr T. and I were to be playing in the Woodham GC Mixed open today (Saturday) but that's been cancelled too...Booo!

The jet stream needs to sod off back to above Iceland, so we can have at least one month of sunshine, and make the most of a wee bit of summer.

Still, despite the naff weather, it doesn't stop me getting out and running (thankfully for my own sanity), so I've managed to cram in a few more races!

by Flip Owen
Tuesday was the first ever running of the Bridges of the Tyne 5mile - a lovely course taking in the Newcastle Quayside from the law courts, up river to the Newcastle Business park, and then back down, past the Millennium bridge, through to the finish, not far from the Tyne pub.  It was totally flat, aside from a wee rise at two and a half miles, and so would be the fastest 5 miler in the region.  I'd have ran much better if I hadn't have eaten my dinner (lunch for southerners) too late, and felt sick the whole way round.  Aside from the feeling like I was going to hurl bit, I really enjoyed the race, and finished in a not too shabby time of 38:48.  Seeing as I did 38:15 earlier in the year, on the much windier Hartlepool course, I reckon the TBH race will be a damn sight quicker when I do it next year.

Love the piccie Flip managed to get with the Tyne Bridges & Olympic rings in the background - cheers matey :)

Results can be found on the TBH website

Today I've been out for my seventh inaugural parkrun, at Chester-le-Street riverside park.

It's totally flat, very scenic, and thankfully the rain held off, so we didn't all get wet. It's got to be one of the fastest courses in the North East now, apart from a 150m or so on the grass, it's all paths, and judging from the speedy Yared Hagos of Wallsend, good for the quicker and slower runners.  Yared must have been 800m ahead of me at the 800m mark!

We were sharing the park iwith swans, ducks, loads of dogs, other walkers, kids, cyclists etc, bu there was plenty of room for everyone to get around, and with a cafe and toilet facilities, it's like the park was designed specifically for parkrunners!

Great to see Mick 'the machine' Joyce, Malcolm Leece and Davy Mills there to represent Team Jarrow!

Position Name Time Age Grade Club Total Runs Age Position
36 Mick JOYCE 20:56 74.68% Jarrow and Hebburn AC 21 1st V55
41 Malcolm LEECE 21:13 63.39% Jarrow and Hebburn AC 24 5th M35
66 Vicki THOMPSON 22:59 66.57% Jarrow and Hebburn AC 35 2nd VW40
83 David MILLS 23:55 61.67% Jarrow and Hebburn AC 24 5th V50

I'm over the moon with my time - said I was taking it easy, then clocked my fastest time this year!

Full set of results are available on the Riverside parkrun website

Next week is equally as busy - with the final Vet's Track & Field meeting on the Monday: 100m, 3000m, 300m, and and open 400m race.  (I may give the 400m a bash), then the fastest 5k on the calendar at Silksworth, Sunderland on Wednesday.

Harrier League News

Last Monday was the Start Fitness North East Harrier League AGM, at the Angel View Pub in Low Fell.  As I'm the ladies secretary I was in attendance, and here's the pertinent info for the coming season:

League dates for your diary:
Sat 29th Sept - Sherman Cup/Davison Shield, Temple Park (South Shields/Sunderland Strollers)*
Sat 27th Oct - Blyth, East Cramlington Nature Reserve
Sat 17th Nov - Blaydon, Shibdon Pond
Sat 15th Dec - Jarrow & Hebburn, Bedewell Park (Monkton) **
Sat 9th Feb 2013 - Saltwell, Wrekenton
Sat 2nd Mar 2013 - Alnwick, Alnwick Gardens
Sat 23rd Mar 2013 - Tynedale, Prudhoe

Other cross country dates:
Sat 6th Oct - Minors XC - Jarrow
Sat 8th Dec - North Eastern XC Championships - Hartlepool

Sat 26th Jan 2013 - Northern XC Championships - Liverpool
Sat 23rd Feb 2013 - National XC
Championships - Herrington Country Park
Sat 16th Mar 2013 - British Masters XC Championships - Herrington Country Park

*Sherman Cup / Davison Shield (date TBC)
For the first time we will have a vets race (ran at the same time as the seniors) for Men aged 40 and above, and ladies over 35. Three vets to count per team. So clubs may enter both vets & seniors teams. (So basically register and run as per normal, but state beforehand if you want to run as a vet or senior)  Athletes will be given finishing positions based on how they finished vs either seniors or vets.  Vets teams will count towards both the Sherman Cup and Davison Shield.

**Bedewell Park is a provisional location for the Jarrow & Hebburn fixture, It may be Temple Park, but we'll let you know asap.

There will be under 11's races at all of the fixtures (inc. Sherman Cup), except for Saltwell (Wrekenton) - so that's 6 of the 7 fixtures :D

We are hoping to run to the normal timetable of events which is as follows:
12.15 Combined Boys & Girls under 11
12.30 Boys under 13
12.35 Girls under 13
12.50 Boys under 15
12.55 Girls under 15
13.15 Senior Men
14.00 Junior men under 17
14:25 Under 17/20 Women & Senior/Veteran Women*

*The times for the U17&20 women race may change to just after the U17 men, we'll keep you informed

New for the 2012-13 Season

The U17 & 20 Women's Race will be limited to around 5k.

Athletes U15 category and above, wearing the wrong number will be automatically disqualified. If you turn up at a fixture and don't know what your number is, ask your team captain, or come to registration.

Following on from this - Replacement numbers are going up to 50p. We ran out of blank numbers last year because so many people lost or forgot their numbers. It's the athlete's responsibility to keep the number for the whole season (7 fixtures including the Sherman Cup).

Photocopied results are now going up to 20p per copy, in line with increasing costs.

Costs of entry are remaining the same:
£50 for the mens and junior boys club team entry (no individual fees)
£50 for the ladies and junior girls
club team entry (no individual fees)
£4 per fixture for guests (must be registered with a UKA / SA / EA or international affiliated club - no unattached - sorry)

Cheques for club entries must be received by October at the latest

We'll be sending out lists of last year's NEHL registered athletes to each club, to amend, add to and then send back.  We're hoping to do the majority of this years paperwork electronically, so please let us know who to email if we don't have the correct club secretary on our list already.

Our sponsor Start Fitness would like to extend their league support again this year, and as an added incentive for you folks to get out and run xc (like people need an excuse ;)) they would like to offer a FREE harrier league polo shirt to everyone who participates  in five Harrier League fixtures, compete in the Sherman Cup/Davidson Shield and compete in the North Eastern XC Championships.

Thanks very much for continuing to support the North East Cross Country scene, and I look forward to the season getting underway at the end of September.

This brings me to what is a pretty sad day for the North East too - after 42 years of hosting a Harrier League fixture, Sunderland Harriers now feel that the Farrindon course is too tight to accommodate the vast numbers of folks wishing to take part.  In some ways this is a testament to the success of cross country running in the North East, but a great loss too.  I for one will miss the mad mud slide off the first hill, the twists and turns before the stream, and the 'geet yarkin big' hill in the middle.

I would just like to say a massive thank you to Kevin Carr and all at Sunderland Harriers for hosting a fixture every year since 1970 (the year before I was born!), and would like to pass on the appreciation of everyone who has finished that course covered in mud.

The true spirit of cross country!

Kevin had this to say:
Thanks Vicky for your kind words on the ending of the Sunderland Harriers Farringdon Harrier League. It is nice to see that the difficult decision to bring the event to an end after so many years has not gone unnoticed by yourself and the league. I can remember our first league race in the Barnes Park Extension in Ettrick Grove in 1970 when my father, a joiner, used to make the stakes and I myself, on my own, marked out the course. It was in 1978 that we decided to move to Farringdon and we continued there untill 2011!

If you do want to give the course a go this year, Sunderland Harriers are hosting their open XC relays on the 8th of September.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Percentages, Running, golfing, life is good.

The percentages are still improving in my WAVA scores, and more importantly my times are improving after last year's disasters.

The Age Graded Tables were developed over a period of years by the World Association of Veteran Athletes: WAVA (now the WMA World Masters Athletics), the world governing body for masters track and field, long distance running, and race walking. The tables are used by WAVA to award prizes by age graded performance, rather than time by age group as is usually done at local races. The tables are graded by age and sex and correspond approximately to world record marks for a person of that age and sex:

100.0 = World - Record Level
over 90.0  = World Class
over 80.0  = National Class
over 70.0  = Regional Class
over 60.0  = Local Class

My highest ever grading in a race is 72.93, but I'm happy with mid 60s.  Compare that with Kath Stewart of North Shields Poly who has a score of 94.23% for 800m last year, and you realise just how well some people can run, even in their 70s !

07/07/12 Gateshead parkrun road 5km
23:30 65.07%

02/07/12 VAANEE Track & Field - 800m track 800mt 3:02 64.02%

23/06/12 VAANEE Track & Field Championships - 1 Mile track 1M 6:54 64.18%

23/06/12 VAANEE Track & Field Championships - 800m track 800mt 3:09 61.65%

20/06/12 Newburn River Run mixed 6.5M 51:58 63.09%

I had a poor run at Newburn, was way too hot, and well outside my PB, but I'm pretty happy with the two 800m races and the mile at the Vet's Championships at Monkton.

3:02 is only 7 seconds outside my best ever time, and I know I have it in me to get under that.  It's just getting the conditions right, and the timing perfect (like not running from the results box to the start line as a warm up)

Kath Stewart - 300m
Mick Joyce - 800m
Had a bit of a disaster at Gateshead Parkrun, in what can only be described as a schoolgirl error, though in fairness I'm going to blame the design of the shoe laces.  I held the lead for the first three laps, but as I was going up the hill to start the fourth, my laces came undone.  This isn't the first time it's happened with my racers, and they were double knotted, so it's the laces which were at fault, not me :P 

I must also add in that I haven't just been racing - I do train occasionally too ;)

Evil Coach Darth Jim set this lovely session for the track on Thursday: 3 x 400, 1 mile 3 x 400, with 90 secs recovery between the 400s, then a 400 jog recovery before & after the mile.  The twist was a 5 second reduction for each of the 400s after the first. ...are you following? ;)  We runners like it simple, too much thinking is bad ;)

Anyways, after several attempts at my explanation we all got it, and these were the times:

102, 97, 92. 6:57, 107, 96, 90

The mile was a little slow, but I did manage the 5 seconds off each 400. 

While all this training has been going on, I'm somehow also managing to fit in golf.  As I haven't yet won the lottery I'm squeezing it all in around work too.  This is causing some races I'd normally do to be pushed off the calender, but not as many as I'd thought it would because of all of the lovely mid week summer races :D

I play at Tyneside Golf Club, having started with a whole bunch of ladies who had never played before.  It's great fun, social, time consuming, frustrating, and as competitive as running.  I'm not brilliant at golf, but I am improving, and willing to give it a go, and in some kind of moment of madness I volunteered for the club team.  I'm happy enough that my first ever match wasn't a complete whitewash (and the lady I was playing against was lovely). 

I've got a competition today, so I'm hoping to do okay.  If I can play under my handicap I'll be very happy.  Just hoping that the weather holds out long enough to get round without getting soaked.

That's the real difference, I don't mind running in the rain, hail, wind and mud, but golf should be played in the lovely summer sunshine which we seem to be lacking.

I'd like to book in a few weeks of sun at least, sometime in August please, with no rain for the whole week. 

I think I probably have more chance of winning the lottery

Happy running / golfing / diving, folks !