Friday 22 August 2014

2 Races in 3 Days!

3 days after the Birchwood 10k and I have the Capenhurst 5k.  I've been looking forward to this race.  Firstly, to see how well I can run a few days after a 10k and secondly because I really want to try and get the course record.  The current course record is the same as my pb which I got a few weeks ago at a Sale 5k race.  Obviously to get the course record means I have to win the race!

As usual, on the start line I look around me to see who's around.  No other girls starting ahead of me so I hope this is good.  The race starts and I try not to get carried away.  After about 400m a girl comes past me but she is breathing really heavily.  I think to myself there is no way she can carry that on breathing like that so I just keep her in my sights.  I run with a group of guys then overtake the other girl at about 2k in.  She's still breathing heavy!  I keep a check on my garmin 1k splits and I'm happy with how I'm running.

I probably eased off a bit for kilometres 3 and 4 but then start to push hard for home with 1k to go.  As I turn the final bend I see the finish clock which is saying 16.43.  I sprint as hard as I can and try to get past another guy who just edges me on the line!  I finished first in 16.49 which was a course record and pb by 7 seconds!  I'm so happy.  

A really good and enjoyable race.  I'm pleased with how I felt after racing 10k on Sunday and think there is definitely more there at 5k.  That's probably my last 5k now for the rest of the year as I start to focus on 10ks and half marathon distances.

Monday 18 August 2014

Birchwood 10k

Sunday morning was the Birchwood 10k.  I've done this race twice before - the last time being 2 years ago when I finished 4th.  I had looked down the entry list the night before and no names jumped out at me but that wasn't to mean I hadn't overlooked any fast girls!

The weather wasn't great - quite windy and occasional showers.  Oh well - its the same for everyone!  

On the start line I started about 2 rows back and had a look around to see what other girls were around.  There were a couple but no one starting right near the front.  The race started and I tried not to start too fast.  The first 5k is now very twisty with some dead turns (they changed the course this year).  Although this makes for a slower course it gave me an opportunity to see who was around!  It was clear early on that no other girls were running very close to me.  I felt really good and ran with a couple of guys picking off a few as the race went on.  

I felt really comfortable running today and well within myself.  Once I knew I was likely to win I didn't push myself as I had plans to race on Wednesday.  It was a shame not to have some competition to really push me but I was also quite glad as its nice to win and I did want to save my legs!

Back home and an ice bath!  I've not done this for a long time!  My 4 month old kitten was most intrigued as its the first time he's seen any water in the bath!  He decided to walk around the edges dipping his paws in until eventually he fell in!  He didn't return!!

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Never Give Up On Your Dreams!

I was lucky enough to have tickets to the final night of the Athletics for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

I headed up on Saturday morning driving in torrential rain with my friend Claire who'd come up from Essex.  

What a fantastic night with medals for England in all but one of the track events!  

Mens 4x100m Silver, Mens 4x400m Gold, Womens 4x100m Bronze, Womens 4x400m Bronze.

And highlight of the evening for Claire and I was Jo Pavey in the 5000m getting Bronze at 40 years old.  Such an inspiration and giving such hope to the likes of me as a distance runner still hoping to get better!  

Last night I sat and watched Jo Pavey in the European Champs 10000m and win Gold!  Amazing.

It's made me really think about what I want from my running over the next few years.  At 36 I'm still getting pbs at every distance I compete at and I'm very confident that I have a lot more to give in the marathon.  After seeing Jo at 40 racing better than she ever has it has inspired me to not give up on my dreams.  My aim is to get to either the Europeans or Commonwealths in 2018 for the marathon.  For this to happen I really need to start putting in place a way to get my head together to cope with these aims.  As happened in the lead up to London I just let it consume me to the point of exhausting me on race day - I can't let this happen again!

Friday 1 August 2014

Short and Fast!

Two 5k races in my start of shorter racing.  

After two false starts to doing my local Parkrun - first one I intended to do I didn't get a good night's sleep and woke up not in the right mind set so did my effort session instead.  The following week I turn up to do the Parkrun to find it has been cancelled due to an event taking place in the forest!  I had checked the website but obviously didn't look properly!  So I find myself on the start line on 12th July not knowing what to expect at this short distance!  I last did my one and only Parkrun in Delamere in September last year when the course started and finished in a different place.  Whilst warming up I'm asked what time I'm expecting to which I reply sub 18 would be nice!  Last time I was just outside of 18 minutes.  I'm then told that this is quite a bit harder than the old course and getting a sub 18 would be good going!

I start off and there are 5 of us including quite a young kid!  He didn't last longer than 400m thank god as I wouldn't want to be beaten by a kid!   So then there were 4 of us and it felt so hard and fast.  Around 2k to go we were down to two and in the last 1k the eventual winner eased ahead and I had nothing left.  Pleased to finish 2nd (1st woman) in a time of 17.47 beating my course record from last time by 16s!  A good training run!

Two and a half weeks later I head over to Manchester to do the Sale Sizzler 5k.  After the Parkrun I feel ready for the pain that is likely to be there from the start!  It starts with 500m around the running track and with a field of almost 500 runners lining up its congested!  After the 500m around the track you then head out through some gates which with that many runners is quite tight.  A few girls were ahead of me at this point and when my garmin beeped the first km I was a bit faster than planned at 3.10!  I knew this was too fast but by this point I was overtaking men and a couple of girls so although I'd started fast so had many others.  Its a good course once it thins out a bit.  I finished in 2nd place in a pb time of 16.56.  So pleased to get under 17 mins and although over the years I have hardly done any 5k races it feels like a long time coming!  

Speaking to my coach a few days later he slightly told me off for starting so quick even though I explained that if I hadn't I think I would have gotten caught up behind slower runners.  He thinks that I could have done a 16.40-16.45 with a more sensible start.  Well hopefully I'll get that chance in a few weeks time.