Wednesday 26 November 2014

Conwy Half

I raced at the Conwy Half Marathon last Sunday.  After my 10k race the week before I'm actually feeling pleased with my performance at Conwy.

I have done nothing but steady running for the last few weeks with no fast effort sessions and my longest run has probably been a little over 10 miles.  I went into this race with a much better attitude than last week.  I had decided that my lack of speed work and just steady running will suit me better for the half than the 10k and to use it as a race to see where I am now when not on form and know that by March all being well and injury free I can see a big difference.

I started off with a girl I've raced against before at half marathon but decided the first couple of kms were a bit quick so I backed off.  I was now in 5th place but feeling ok about it!  The race starts out flattish then goes around the Great Orme which is uphill all the way up for over 2 miles then of course down hill back then flattish back to the finish.  3rd and 4th place were about 150m ahead of me by the time we got to the Orme.  I took it fairly steady going up and ran within myself.  2 men caught me and were breathing hard.  Every time we hit a flat bit I would overtake them then they would come past me going up the steep bits - all the time breathing hard!  As soon as we hit the down hill I just let myself go and dropped them!  Half way down I caught 4th place and flew past her which was a really good feeling.  I didn't put the brakes on once going down and my feet were slapping the ground.  I could see I was catching 3rd place so just focused on her.  Onto the flat and at the 9 mile mark I caught her.  I ran with her for a bit as I wondered if I had just had a better down hill part and if she was still feeling good.  I listened to her breathing for a bit and decided that she was in pain and it was time to pick it up!  

I had a good last couple of miles and picked off a couple more men.  So I finshed in 3rd and was just 60s behind 2nd (who beat me by just over 60s at last weeks 10k)!  I was really pleased and feel there was more there but I ran the race right for me with a strong second half.  It made such a nice change for me to do a fairly hilly race as so often I pick races that are flat to try and get a fast time. 

Thursday 20 November 2014

Racing Unfit

I hate racing when I'm not fit!!  In the past I would only race if I was 100% fit or there abouts.  This year though I've tried to do a few races knowing I'm not in the best shape (far from it) and hope that I will be stronger mentally from doing this. 

My first unfit race was the National Cross Country Relays on 1st November  I wasn't too bothered about not being fully fit as it was so short (just 3k) so I reasoned that it was 39k shorter than my favoured distance of marathon running and it was a fun event and a chance to race with and meet some new team members of my new club Stockport Harriers.  I was quite pleased with how I ran.  I haven't run a cross country race for over 8 years and the course was very undulating, twisty and very uneven under foot.  I was a bit of a wimp in places and very stuttery with my stride length!  I need to do a lot more off road, technical training runs!  I was on the 2nd leg and managed to hold the 5th place that the first leg runner had come in at.  Overall we came 6th which was a good result.

I then raced at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k on 16th November.  Originally when I'd entered this I was hoping to be in pb shape but after the injury and break I had to accept that this wasn't going to be.  I also got asked to represent the North of England which I didn't want to turn down as I've been asked a few times and its always clashed with a marathon in the past.  I was gutted to be in such a high caliber race knowing that I wouldn't be at full fitness as I would really  have liked to go against the other girls knowing that it could bring out my best.  During the race I started off too fast!  The 1st km was a touch quicker than my 5k pb time and normally this wouldn't feel too quick I would just know I needed to slow down, this time it really hurt!  I had 3km of pain before settling down.  To be honest I lost my  head a bit because so many girls had gone past me and I felt like crap!  I settled into a pace that by 7km I felt I could probably run a half marathon at the same pace!  My finish time was as expected with current form but I was gutted to finish 29th.