Monday, 15 April 2013

Brighton Marathon 2013

I know its been a while since my last blog but thought I better blog about Brighton.  I have completed 20 weeks of training and battle the elements of wind, rain, gales, snow and ice and the occasional bit of sunshine. There have been group of us marathon training and we have been training together.  We mainly ran the same route but just a bit further for our longer runs.  Us girls, Lucy, Kirsty, Rachel and I would run ahead and then Tim and Dave would try and catch us up by doing a little extra at the start and then a bit extra on the way out before turning back to catch us. Sometimes they caught us and sometimes they didn't.  I have also completed races and got a few PB's along the way.  Also I got a pain in my foot one week and had to pull out of Thanet 20, the first time I ever had to pull out of a race. I didn't know what it was and didn't want to cause any damage. I had a massage the next day and it turned out it was tight muscles. The massage soon sorted me out and I was straight back to training.  This year I got 18 miles in rather than 20. I did manage to get in 3 x 18 miles a 17 and 16 and thought another 2 miles wouldn't make much difference to my training. Tim also joined me on the longer runs which helped him to be on his feet longer than he normally would of done. So all in all my training had gone pretty well.

The day before Brighton, Tim and I had travelled down to Brighton to pick up my number as this year you had to collect it rather than them being posted out.  Weather forecast for the day was sunshine and 17 degrees but oh no on Saturday it was a gale and Tim had great delight in saying its Deal 5 all over again!!!

So Marathon day arrived and Tim and I got the park and ride to Preston Park where we met up with Steve who was only staying across the road!! Then we were shortly joined by Dave, Lucy, Kirsty and Will who had come down to watch and cheer us on. We also met up with Mick and his family.

Whilst getting ready it started to rain, where was this sunshine? I decided to change my vest to a t-shirt which is an improvement to long sleeve which I had been previously wearing.  I gave the gang instructions on where to stand and handed over the Olympic torches for them to hold so they stand out.  Steve and I said our goodbyes and headed to our pens.

Whilst in the pen, just about to start it kind of dawned on me that we didn't arrange a meeting point.  Luckily I had my phone and told them where to meet. Phew!!!

It didn't take long and then we were off and I high fived the starter but I can't remember who it was!! First of all we did a lap around the park where the gang were standing, still with Steve at this point and we had our pic taken. Steve then left to do his thing.  After the lap around the park we headed out on the main road where the gang was and again saw them at around just after mile 3. Also saw Mick's family along the way as well.  After doing a few different loops we headed left along the seafront up towards the marina where there were many long hills to face.  At about mile 6 I saw the elite on the side and they are just so quick and made it look so easy!!  Looking at my splits for the first 10K, I was bang on target for 4hrs. 

At expo I was shown how to use the water bottles, they were floppy bottles with a seal so the water doesn't leak whilst running.  Last year Tim had a disaster by attacking Kirsty with it so knew there must be an art to it.  Anyway I picked up the water and at times it was difficult to get the water out and I squeezed harder and the water struck the back of my throat and I choked!! This happened a few times along the way.

The course was hilly and this sucked away my energy and by mile 10 I had had enough!!! I hadn't been well with a cold and had an upset stomach and didn't have any energy left.  I didn't go out too quick, done my training and really up to about 14 miles should of been quite easy before me tiring. So put it down to not feeling 100%. So from about mile 10 and onwards I did stop and walk before getting back to running again.  Along the way the crowd were great shouting out my name. The sun also came out.

The plan was for the gang to stand at about 14 but when I heard my name at about 13, I turned round and realised it was gang not quite being able to get to 14.  There were many people to get past and crossing of roads must of been difficult. I knew then the next time would be at about mile 18.  Still I was stopping to walk and to pick up running again, I wasn't going to give up, knew I wasn't going to get the time I wanted but had some hope of getting a PB still.  So at mile 18, there were the gang and shortly afterwards I saw Faith and we ran together for a little while before doing our own thing.  We were now heading towards the Power Station and there was an improvement to the crowds of previous 2 years I had done it.  I soon saw Steve on the other side and he was doing well, I knew I had a bit to go around the Power Station yet. He looked strong.   I then saw on the other side Tim's mate Steve.  He shouted and I just realised who it was when he went past.

I was glad to get out of the Power Station as then it was the final straight along the seafront. The end was now in sight. Then I was surprised to see the gang at about mile 25 so that was great and I also saw Leah on the home straight.  Yay I can now see the end and what a relief, it was all over and I got my medal. My time 4:33:50 - 1 minute course PB, not quite a PB.

I had then found a place to plonk myself down. I then saw a guy fully dressed in normal clothes with a dog on a lead. I don't how he got there as it was literaly at the finishing line. This guy was wearing a medal and security got straight onto him and to get it back off him.

Now it was a case of finding Tim and the others. I was now stiff and plonked myself on the letter F waiting to be reunited!!! We then went to the Harvester and met up with Steve and his parents.

It was great seeing Tim and my friends along the way around the course.  I also saw Martin Burk, Leah and Chloe and also one of Tim's works mate who called out to me. Thanks to you all and also thanks to all my kind messages of wishing me luck.


Sunday, 2 December 2012

Week 1 of marathon training


After a miserable day of rain I was just hoping please stay dry for me tonight and luckily there was no rain for us. Tonight was a 5 miler with Dave and Tim. A new route, started at ours and headed up Blackbull Road which was a nice long hill and then headed into Cheriton and back.

Splits 9:25, 8:59, 8:54, 8:54, 8:39
Distance 5 miles

Tuesday - Club night

1.5 mile warm up, 2 laps of 2 miles and 1.5 mile warm down

First lap 8:49, 8:55
Second lap 8:58, 8:54
Distance 7 miles

Thursday - club night

Tonights session was hill reps which I hadn't done in a while. On the bottom hill ran for 10 minutes, long, short, medium reps. Second hill ran for another 10 minutes, last rep running 5 down hill.

Distance  6.14

Sunday -  10 miles

What a fresh morning but sunny.  Tim and I decided to run 10 miles and along the way to catch the Santa Fun run. We ran along the Leas hoping to catch the runners on Dixwell Road but we realised we got the start time wrong so we ended up running back down the Leas where we saw Sue and Kim. We stopped to see the runners and then we continued our run up the Leas again and into Sandgate and turned around close to the Imperial and then back up the zig zag path. I did find it tough today running into the wind and I wasn't totally on form as I wasn't too well yesterday.  On the way back I was very much looking forward to having water at the water fountain but no there was no water.  When we got onto the Leas we were hoping that there would be some water left over from the Santa Fun run which we could pinch and yes we saw some bottles and Tim kindly asked if we could have some. We were in luck and gulped down that much needed water.

Splits 9:20, 9:46, 9:19, 8:52, 10:11, 10:05, 9:37, 9:34, 11:55, 10:31
Distance 10 miles

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Poppy Half Marathon

After having a good time at Great South, I went on-line to find a Half Marathon as doing 10 miles in 1:23, I should be able to get under 2hrs for a half and reach my goal for the year.  There no more halfs in Kent this year so I looked further afield and found Poppy Half in Bexhill. I had a look at the race info and had to enter that night as it was going to close as nearly reached full capacity for 750 people. The info read that it was 4 laps and it was a flat and fast course and coke was on offer at the water station!!

After running Deal last week I was really hoping for some good weather. I woke up to glorious sunshine - yay!!! I was the only club runner for this one.  I arrived at Bexhill in plenty of time and sat on a bench along the seafront chilling reading my book in the sunshine.

The course was made up of 4 laps. First lap being slightly longer than the rest of the 3 laps.  I turned on my garmin and to my horror, my watch hadn't charged, showing low battery and I was gutted!!!  I was just hoping my watch would hold out for most of the race.  I was planning on running on just over 8 minute miles which would get be in under 2hrs and have got bit of a buffer if I slowed down.

I set off for the first lap and felt good, the majority of the course was along the seafront and you were running in the wind, luckily it wasn't too strong. Coming off the beach there was a little slope.  The second lap was ok but coming for the 3rd lap I was struggling.  By mile 8 I was beginning to tire.  I was running around 8 minute miles up util this point and I had now crept up to 9 minute miles and then my watch died, I was gutted. On lap 4 I had really slowed down, the finish line was in sight and I saw the clock on 1hr56 so I was pleased.

After finishing I got a print out of my result which was 1hr56:10, position 276, category 21 and gender 40. There were 750 runners. I was really chuffed that I got by sub 2hrs.

Splits 27:49, 27:54, 29:22, 31:24

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bupa Great South Run

Earlier on this year Tim, Lucy and I decided that we were going to do the Great South Run.  Lucy wanted to take part in a big race and I wanted a 10 mile race to reach my goal of a sub 1:30 and same for Tim to get his PB.  We all signed up for it and Steve already had his place.  Nearer the time Dave got a place and Rona got her place last minute and was entered in the ladies race.

Tim and I headed to Havant and stayed in a B & B the night before as we didn't want the stress of driving down on the morning and getting up so early.  At the B & B we were offered a full fry up but declined the temptation and decided on a bacon sarnie. Tim and I then got a train to Portsmouth to meet Dave, Lucy, Steve and Rona and then we headed to the race village.  Rona's start time was earlier so she had to dash when we arrived. Dave started in started in the fast pace pen and then Tim, Steve, Lucy and I started in the pen behind.  It was so cold waiting but luckily I had a top to throw away and a good old bin bag!!!

My aim for the race was getting a sub 1:30, I wasn't particularly hopeful as I haven't put the training in and also I did Cross Country the day before which was tough.  Lucy also wanted to get a sub 1:30 and wanted to run with me which was great.  So we headed off together and we had to dodge the runners in front to make our way through.  We both waved at all the cameras in the hope of making it on the telly.

We soon reached the dockyard which was my favourite bit and was running at 8 minute mile pace which was great. To get a sub 1:30 it would of been 9 minute mile pace and was pleased we were running a whole minute under.  At about mile 4 there was a loop so we could see the faster runners on the other side.  We were looking out for Dave first and we worked out he would of already gone past and then we saw Tim and his yellow gloves.  We both gave him a shout and a wave and managed to get his attention. Then I saw Iwan Thomas.  At mile 5 we were still running at 8 minute miles and we were both doing ok and on target to get a PB and had a bit of a buffer! At around mile 7 I was getting tired but we were still under 9 minute miles.  We saw a purple telly tubby and for a stretch we kept hearing look there is telly tubby!!  We just had to get past we couldn't get beaten by a telly tubby!!! Between mile 7-9 was when I was tiring,  Lucy kept me focus and we were picking people off, we picked men in pink Tuto's and man with a backpack.  We then got to mile 9 where there was a blast of music and then jelly babies which Lucy loved!! Now we were on countdown and the end was in sight and seeing the final stretch I was able to pick up a bit and we crossed the line together. I loved the experience and it made it even more by running around with Lucy.  We did amazing and I got a PB by 11 minutes and finished in 1:23:49. When we crossed the line we saw Sally Gunnell and Lucy and I stood behind her when she was being interviewed hoping we would make it on the television.

Now we had to find the others at the meeting point.  Tim, Dave and Stephen were there getting changed and when I told Tim my PB he was gob smacked!!! Tim did amazing too and got his PB by 9 minutes so I had great delight in getting a bigger PB lol. Tim finished in 1:07 and Stephen finished in 1:15 and Dave finished in 59 minutes and got the times we all wanted.  We now had to find Rona and heard she was in the VIP tent.  Reception was really bad because of the shear number of people and we had to get her attention by standing right up at the window.  Rona got us all inside and got us a meal of Shepherds Pie!!!  Whilst having something to eat, Mokoko the winner was being interviewed.  Mokoko is South African and Rona really wanted to meet him.  So Rona, Lucy and I went out to grab Mokoko and we got our pic taken with him. Then Jo Pavey was next to be interviewed and we had a club photo with her and the same with Dame Kelly Holmes (Tim is on first names terms with her) and actually shouted out KELLY to get her attention!!  This finished off the day fantastically as we were all together.

8:19, 8:16, 8:06, 8:09, 8:11, 8:10, 8:19, 8:25, 8:27, 8:34, 7:32
Distance 10:12
Time 1:23:49

Friday, 20 July 2012

Rye 10k Series

After not having a good run the week before I wanted to do another 10K race to improve my time and to reach my goal of getting a sub 50. Lucy and I headed to Rye together and the heavens had opened. When we reached Rye the rain had stopped but when we were warming up we could see grey thick cloud in the distance together with the sound of thunder!!! When we set off the rain started and was raining quite hard. It was good as it was very refreshing which I didn't mind. The route was straight out and back and flat.  All throughout the race I felt comfortable and wasn't dying compared to last week. I was running under 5 min K's with 30 secs to spare and after 6k I was getting less time to spare to get my sub 50. When I reached 9k I was 1 sec over to get sub 50. So for the last 1k I pushed it to get under.  I got to the finishing line and got my sub 50, 49:57 so I was very happy!!!  Lucy did great too and got another PB, getting 3rd lady, 1st senior and being in the ladies team so she took away 3 bottles of wine. Party round Lucys I think!!

Time 49:57
Splits 7:48, 7:59, 8:06, 8:11, 8:19, 8:08. 7:29
Position 3rd Senior Lady

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Romney Marsh 10k

We have had a lot of rain and was just hoping it will remain dry. When we arrived we were directed to park in the field and when I opened the car door I landed in bog which was a not a great start having wet feet!! Oh well, as soon as we set off the sun came out. The course was very flat but was quite windy going through the country lanes. I found it tough and just felt quite full from having a curry the night before so not the best preparation for a race and not the best of runs today.

Time 52:27
Splits 7:42, 8:20, 8:27, 8:25, 8:51, 8:54, 8:37.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Canterbury Relay

Canterbury was the last relay to be done. I was in the B Team with Kylie and Sophia. It was a quick course as it was flat.

Time 18:02
Splits 7:13, 8:30, 7:45