Race Report: Hope 24

Prologue

Back in the autumn someone from the club posted a link on Facebook to an event called “Hope24”. It was a charity event which involved running laps of a 5 mile course, either on your own or as a team of 2, ,3, 5 or 8 people. “Sounds fun” I thought…

This started a flurry of activity, and before long the club had a bunch of teams and it had turned into a big club event.

Fast forward through my Manchester training and recovery and before I knew it it was race weekend.

My preparation had hardly been ideal. I’d done no specific training – how do you train for an event like this without compromising your marathon training aims? In the days before the event I was in Iceland on a business trip and then had to drive the 3 hours from Luton Airport back to Yeovil, to pick up Jodie and then do the next 2 hours onward to Plymouth.

When we arrived at the site we immediately went wrong, driving down a road around the perimeter of the site – a mistake several runners would make over the course of the event! We eventually found our way into the site entrance, excellently marshalled by a Billy Connolly lookalike who would prove to be a highlight later in the weekend…

We pitched our tent easily enough then went to get some carby fish and chips before settling in with my now pre-race ritual – a couple of cans of Thatchers Gold. Talk turned to the weather – at this stage of the night the sky was a little overcast but there was no rain. The forecast for Saturday was good, once the morning rain was out of the way, and we hoped for a good clear day to run in.

It was nice to spend some time with the guys from the club. I’m not a particularly social animal and meeting and chatting with new people isn’t something I’m very good at beyond an informal “hello”, so it was good to sit around with everyone and shoot the breeze.

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Jodie and I headed to bed on our comfy airbed and before I knew it the tent was getting light and I could hear the rain falling on the lightweight canvas. Bad news, but I still had my fingers crossed for the rain to clear. Thankfully it had gone within the hour and brightened up by 8.30.

Saturday

We headed to the registration tent to pick up our numbers. It was fast and easy, and gave us the opportunity to meet the event director, Danny Slay. I’d chatted with him on Facebook a few times so it was great to put a face to a name. We picked up our packs which included a free Clif energy bar, and we’d also won a couple of spot prizes! The event was sponsored by Buffwear and we’d won a couple of “Buffs”. I was the winner of one, but as Simon had gone on and on AND ON about them, I donated mine to him in order to promote (unfortunately unreciprocated) team spirit.

We “warmed up” for the event by heading to the local Plymvalley parkrun, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but my legs would later regret the extra effort which was put in.

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Once we got back, the camp site started building with energy and excitement, and we headed to the pre-race briefing. It was short and swift and before long the leg 1 runners (And soloisits) were lined up and before we knew it they were off!

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Simon headed out for us on leg one, but after he got back rather unhelpfully decided not to share any knowledge of the course with us… Not the best team work Mr Carney!

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Captain Matt Driver headed out second for us…

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… and I took over for lap 3. I actually did the teamly thing and passed on as much as I could whilst I was running past the halfway point, which is where the rest of the team Jodie were stood. This was shortly before I fell on my ass on a slippery bridge! (Which I WAS warned about in the race briefing!) Thankfully no-one got a photo of that…

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I handed over to Steve…

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… Who in turn handed over to Mark.

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The weather at this point couldn’t have been better. I just wish I could say the same about the course! It was utterly brutal. The elevation profile below tells the story, two massive peaks. I have to say though, it didn’t quite feel like it looked. There were certainly 2 very steep (And unrunnable for me after the second lap) sections but it didn’t feel like the first 2 miles were all uphill, in fact the first mile felt pretty level. But that may explain my stuggle later in the weekend, which I’ll come to later…

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Although the course was brutal, it was actually very interesting. Mostly trail, the first lap looped away from the race village along a long flat section, before winding around some muddy track and crossing a bridge over the river. You then came to a steep ascent and ran through a genuine clay pigeon shooting range! Thankfully no-one was shooting today, (Though that probably would have made me run faster). We then ran across some sort of car park where there was a group of people in a caravan cheering us on. They were there for most of the weekend, the only time I didn’t see them there was my middle of the night stint. They were magnificent. After passing “caravan alley” you went through some more muddy track before a sharp turn and the first very steep climb.

On my first lap I ran this climb all the way to the top, but I couldn’t sustain that at all. It was far too much on the legs. I think from what I’ve heard, most people ended up walking it, especially toward the end. As you reached the peak you winded around the woods and made your way back down towards the river and the cheering van before crossing the river again and leveling off for a flat grassy run back toward the race village.

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This was about the half way point, and was the perfect location to see team and club mates for support – though what was great about the event was that everyone cheered every runner as they went past, regardless of club or team. It was 24 hours of constant support and encouragement, which was brilliant to experience.

You then crossed another bridge (Which was slippery and where I performed a text book power slide on my hip…) before heading to the second big climb. This was through some kind of peacock park. I’d never seen or heard a peacock other than in a conservation park. I’d never heard one before (They are bloody loud) and I’d certainly never seen one up in a tree, I thought they were flightless! Anyway, the long slog up the hill took you to the 3 mile mark before sweeping round for a slight decline before another gentle climb up to the peak. At the peak of this second hill was a Thomas the Tank Engine bench! Now this doesn’t seem particularly significant, but I used it to signal that it was downhill from there. Thomas became my psychological crutch in later laps.

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After Thomas it was a long rocky downhill before reaching a tarmac section and rounding the corner manned by Billy Connolly (Who I always enjoyed seeing as it meant I was near the end). “Billy” was there almost all day and night, and he was excellent in his support. Then you crossed another bridge and you were back in the campsite. The campsite was lined with people offering their support as you looped around it to cross the line and handover the “baton” wristband.

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I did my first lap in 37 minutes. A massive mistake. It felt good to be able to conquer the course that quickly, but it really did ruin the event for me. After lap 3 I really started to struggle. If you take a look at my heart rate stats you can see why I may have blown out…

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Though Lap 2 is clearly where the damage was done. I’ve never had an “Extreme Sufferfest” before, and I don;t fancy having another one…

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One of the things I enjoyed about the event during the day, was that after running our laps we could just pull up a chair and support all the other runners fom the side of the camp site. The course was very spectator friendly and chilling out in the sunshine was really lovely. Unfortunately, the stop start nature of the event ended up affecting my performance too. My laps got slower and slower and things started to become a real struggle.

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Running the course at night was the hardest part of the event for me. I ran my last daylight leg at dusk. Steve who followed up from me would have needed his head torch to get around, and my first night stint was at about midnight. It was dark but clear though with my tired legs and in the dark I slowed even more. I found that I just couldn’t run fast AND have confidence in my footing, whilst nursing exhausted legs.

Sunday

After my first night lap, we got the bad news that Mark couldn’t continue as his ankles had flared up, dropping us back to a team of 4. This meant even less rest between stints.

Speaking of rest, I was unfortunately unable to get any sleep. Every time I got my head down, my legs took a long time to calm down, and the campsite was noisy. Every time I thought I could drift off to a slumber, it was time to get up to do the next stint again.

My 3am stint was the hardest run of my life. I didn’t want to get up. It was cold and now it was foggy too.The start/finish was eerie and the wait for Matt to come in to hand over to me felt like it took an eternity. As I headed out I could feel that my legs were spent. By the time I reached the first big hill the fog had gotten so bad I could barely see 2 feet in front of me, and found that I had to look down at the floor all the time. I couldn’t distinguish between the track I needed to run on and the grass that I was meant to avoid! The course was marked with glowsticks, but these were barely visible. Thankfully the course markers were reflective and the head torches provided JUST enough light to see them, otherwise I’d have ended up in Lands End! It was so dark I didn’t even see that there were some photographers at the end of the bridge. When this photo was taken I got the fright of my life and my HR probably spiked – and I could have drop kicked them into the river for giving me that shock (If only I had the energy…)

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Getting to the top of the hills post-walking and having the opportunity to actually start running provided little respite – mentally I was shot to bits. As I ran through half way back at the campsite before turning to the second big climb, I was ready to give up. Half way walking up the hill I had to stop completely. I couldn’t even walk it.

I’m not ashamed to admit I could have cried. It felt like the loneliest place in the world, and although I only had 2 miles left to run in the lap it felt like the end was a world away. It was a very dark place (Quite literally). I wanted to be anywhere but there. There was a lot of walking that lap, and the relief I felt when I finally made it back to hand over to Steve was almost overwhelming.

Thankfully this was my last night time lap. I did one breakfast lap before my amazing supporter Jodie joined me for my last two. I was struggling big time, but having Jodie running with me really did keep me spurred on. it kept me honest, and she kept me motivated. That and my sense of male pride meant that I didn;t want her to see me struggle too much! We kept talking about how excited we were to see Thomas, who we were BOTH relieved to see. Jodie couldn’t believe how many laps we managed doing those hills! My last two laps were about 50 minutes, which I was very happy with. Without Jodie I could have taken well over an hour. She helped me so much.

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I managed 7 laps/35 miles all in all which when you add parkrun on top isn’t a bad haul for 24 hours. Despite my moaning I probably could have managed a couple more laps – especially if Jodie had tagged along.

At the end I was exhausted and a bit cranky. I just wanted to go home but with 5 minutes left on the clock Simon decided he wanted to do a last lap of glory, so we ended up waiting for him. We ran the last 200 yards together and crossed the line as a team.

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The best thing about the finish was cheering everyone back in. Watching all the teams cross the line together was just inspirational. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow they were, how many were in a team, it was just a real privilege to be there.

Unbelieveably the winner, Matt Bisco, achieved 135 miles – a new course record. How he managed that is just mind boggling, the man must be some sort of machine!

We collected our medals (Which were of an excellent quality) and packed up for the trip home.

From a running point of view, I think its clear from this post that I didn’t enjoy it, but that’s my own fault. I taught myself some valuable lessons that I won;t make again. Not going out too fast, maintaining a sensible pace, walk the hills from the start, take some ear plugs. But I don’t want that to misrepresent how good the experience was. The event itself was amazing. So well organised, such a good vibe, and really, truly great fun.

Would I do another 24 hour relay? Definitely.

Would I do Hope 24 again? I’m not sure.

Writing this I am still pretty mentally scarred from the hills, the tiredness, and the loneliness. My legs are still recovering and it feels like I’ll never run fast again. I’m sure that will change over time. After all, when I crossed the finish line in Paris I said I’d never run another marathon, and that soon changed.

It was great to meet and get to know so many new people and it really brought a brilliant sense of camaraderie I’d not found before.

Thank you to Danny and the Hope 24 team for the hardest, yet one of the greatest experiences of my life.

 

 

Reflections on my Manchester Training

Back in December I outlined my plan of attack for Manchester. After a good deal of research I went for the Pfitzinger and Douglas 18 week, up to 55 mile training plan from the book “Advanced Marathoning”.

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How did I find the structure?

I was very pleased with the structure of the plan. The 4 mesocycles leading up to the race were really well designed and I found they made logical sense and flowed into each other nicely.

On a week by week basis, the balance was excellent. Mixing basic principles to do with hard days and easy days, and the balance of mileage was really excellent. Reading the book to understand this I feel was essential. It explained the principles behind the training, the reasons why there are a certain amount of days between sessions of different types, why threshold running is important. it really helped me to trust the plan, and would highly recommend to anyone following a schedule, to read the book alongside it.

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Reading the book also helped me to understand how to restructure the plan in case of unforeseen circumstances, such as my travel arrangements, and not to worry if I had to move things around a bit. Which leads me on to my next section…

Did I stick to the plan?

I tried, by and large, to follow the plan as close to the prescribed schedule as possible, but there were some areas I couldn’t make fit.

I had to get a bit creative with Tune Up Races. Around the UK, Sunday is race day, but with P&D they want them on Saturdays, and usually prescribed 8-10km. The closest I could come to reconciling this in my training, was running parkrun on a saturday morning at a “Race Effort”. Obviously these are a bit shorter than prescribed, but I also ran the Reading Half Marathon, which in my head was a bit longer so made up for the other tune up races being short. Essentially, I ran the prescribed number of race pace mileage, just in a slightly different distribution. It’s hard to tell if this had any effect on my final 26.2 result, but I suspect not.

Credit to Aime and Neil Biss
Credit to Aime and Neil Biss

In general, my Saturday runs were probably the sessions I deviated most. This was in order to keep parkrunning (The plan is for Jodie and I to run our 50th together the week before our wedding) so i tried to fit parkruns in with them, either as part of the session or a total replacement. I DID still try and do them at the prescribed intensity though. Most of these were at General Aerobic pace with some strides though, so little “quality” and don’t think they affected the result too much either.

The other area I strayed from a bit, specifically in the early days were the long runs. I already had a high mileage tolerance, so I expedited the ramp up in mileage. This affected me quite a lot, I found the early phases of training very physically demanding, and I probably wouldn’t do the same thing again. This may have left me fresher for the remaining 3 phases of the plan which means I could have performed my sessions better and netted a better finishing time.

Speaking of long runs, there were quite a few of them that were in 2 parts, as I tried to use races as training runs at training paces. Specifically, half marathons. This often meant a break between the two sessions. My final 20 miler for example saw a 7 mile warm up, an hour and a half break, and then the Yeovil Half Marathon. I think this affected the quality of the long run, and again, could have had an impact on my final result. I still like using Half Marathons as part of training runs, as it means aid staions are provided, but in future I would do the half, jog through the funnel, direct to the car to deposit any goody bag/treats and just keep going, leaving as little “rest” as possible.

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What did I like about the plan?

I liked the structure. Following a regimented plan which i understood the theory behind gave me trust and confidence to follow it in the same way I would follow advice from a coach.
I like the marathon paced long runs, they really helped build confidence that I could run at my target race pace, and I feel my legs really benefited from these too.
I liked the progressive phases concentrating on specific areas, like ramping up mileage, then threshold, then speed followed by the taper. It meant you concentrated on one straining stimulus type at a time so I wasn’t too worried about overtraining injuries.
I liked that through all the training, I remained uninjured. It means the plan is well balanced, provided you stick within their guided pace zones.
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I liked being introduced to strides these were great bursts of speed which, though I wasn’t training for 5k made me feel like I wasn’t losing any short distance speed. I think ti also helped my technique as I felt my legs were stretching longer and hopefully will aid my efficiency long term.

What didn’t I like?

The structure was brilliant, but it meant missing out on a lot of social runs with the club and the training group I run with. This meant some of my runs were pretty lonely. Its hard finding someone doing the same plan, for the same race, at the same pace to run with. Next time, I’d treat the General Aerobic runs a bit more liberally. I’d try and switch some of those to run with other people swap it out for a club run now and then.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Lactate Threshold runs.I just don’t think I liked the structure of them very well. I would have preferred doing them as cruise intervals or something similar, rather than at one stage running 7 miles at threshold. It knackered me out for days and I think I could have gotten the same benefit from 3 x 15 minutes at LT pace with jog recoveries, provided I did the same volume at LT, then I’m sure I’d receive the same benefit.

Was it successful?

I’d have to say yes.
OK, so I missed my race day target of sub-3:20 by 33 seconds. But over the course of 26.2 miles that is only just over a second per mile. Its pretty darned close. And I shouldn;t forget, at the start of the training plan, my target was sub-3:25, which I actually did achieve.
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So it delivered me a 39 minute Marathon PB.
But I also ran Reading Half in 1:30:08 – a 6 minute PB, and I set a 5k PB too (though that sub-20 still eludes me!)
I didn’t get anywhere near my weight loss target for the race, but I now have another year and a half to bring that down. Not to mention, that should make me even faster!

Would I follow the same plan again?

100% yes. I’ll almost certainly use exactly the same schedule. I really enjoyed and would definitely recommend it – as long as you read the book with it and don’t just follow it blindly!
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Plymvalley parkrun

We were in Plymouth for the weekend to take part in Hope24, a charity 24 hour running relay where I’d be running about 30 miles in 24 hours. So whats the best way to prepare for such an event? Rest?

No, it was parkrunday and the law dictates that on parkrunday we must go to parkrun!

Myself, Jodie and a bunch of other people from the event, many of them fellow Yeovil Town RRC club members, descended on Plymvalley parkrun, a National Trust parkrun in the Plymvalley woods.

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I led the troops, following my SatNav to get there, but when we arrived where it said we were meant to be, there was nothing there! it was just a narrow country road! I became a bit concerned that I had led our merry club convoy on a wild goose chase. We pulled over so we could strategise as I felt a bit lost.

Thankfully a car with a driver donned in hi-vis (A sure fire way to spot a runner) drove past, so we followed them. Turns out the carpark was literally 50 yards around the corner! Very glad we didn’t do a U turn!

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Before long we were gathered around for the first timers briefing. There were a LARGE proportion of first timers (Maybe 30?) probably about 50/50 split of parkrun newbies and parkrun tourists. This was a large proportion of the 124 runners. So quite a small event. I like the small events though, there is always a good community feel to them.

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We took in the run brief and listened to a description of the course… It was complicated. Basically its a figure of 8 with the start/finish being at the middle, but after completing the 8 you do a shorter version of the first loop. The first (South) loop was all on meadow/field.

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The terrain was rough, potted, puddley and quite uneasy underfoot. It was however very flat. The second (northern) loop took you out along a canal in the woods which was very pretty and on stony path. It was flat until the turn at the end where you climb a short steep hill before it levelled off along some road (Not sure how they got that through the risk assessment, unless the road is closed on Saturday mornings?) and you run level back parallel along the canal, with the canal below you. Then you dropped down back toward the start finish before a smaller loop of the fields.

Thankfully, the route was well signed and marshalled so you can just run from stake to stake and follow the guy in front of you!

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As we had Hope24, I took it very easy and was able to take in some of the very picturesque surroundings. It was undeniably a very beautiful parkrun, as all the NT ones I have visited are. Though there was no amazing National Trust cafe, there was a coffee wagon on site. I had no need for the toilet so I’m not sure if there was one or not, though I think not!

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Jodie and I cruised round in a little over 30 minutes in bright sunny weather. The above photo was taken by a friend, not a volunteer – I would never think to be so rude to a volunteer! I think everyone from our club who attended enjoyed it.

Scanning was a breeze under a bridge, though my token didn’t scan (One of the sticky replacements which are notorious for not scanning too well) so I was manually recorded.

Unfortunately we had to get back to the Hope24 site so we weren’t able to have the usual post run coffee and cake, that will have to wait until next time.

This was run 45 for me and my 19th different event, which means I am only 1 away from the “Most Events” page on the parkrun.org.uk website! Where shall I go next?!

Thanks to all the volunteers at Plymvalley for another brilliant parkrunday.

 

Race Report: Glastonbury Road Run (10k)

The Glastonbury Road Run is a series of races from a fun run through 3k, 5k and 10k in the town of Glastonbury, home of the Abbey, the festival and the Tor. The 10k flavour we were running is essentially a large undulating loop around the mystical Glastonbury Tor.

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I wasn’t exactly feeling fresh, the marathon still ringing through my legs but I thought I’d give it a decent crack nonetheless. There was a medal and a tee shirt, so what wasn’t to like!

We arrived in Glastonbury and parked up at Tor Leisure, a local leisure centre where we were recommended to put the car, as it was only a short walk to the HQ. It wasn’t exactly well signposted, and it advised of the road being closed ahead – which strictly speaking, it was… But it added an element of confusion. a “Race Parking” sign might have been useful next to the “Road Closed” sign.

One of the things we noticed headed to the start was all the “Millfield” students in different coloured tee shirts. There were hundreds of them! Millfield is the local private school and it turns out each Millfield boarder MUST take part in one of the races. I guess “house” pride and personal glory is at stake. We witnessed the start of the 3k – testosterone fuelled teenagers sprinting the first 50 yards – no doubt they blew up early on and ended up walking most of the race!

The finish was right outside of the race HQ. The problem was, getting to the HQ meant you had to cross the course, go all the way around the back of the finish funnel in order to get your number. Not ideal. When we eventually made it into the registration area, it was a bit chaotic, with advanced entry packet pickups being separated by Surname – but no signs to indicate who should queue up where. When you did see the signs (They were on the table, which meant you couldn’t see them from the back of the queue) they didn’t necessarily equate to the packets that were there!

Anyway, we eventually sorted all of that out (I had number 111, which looked like a barcode! Which I thought was pretty cool but no-one else agreed…) and headed for the start. According to the race information there was a special starting zone for club runners, right at the front! I was quietly impressed, I’d never been invited to start from the front before! (Yes I know its hardly a GFA or champs start ha ha). Only problem was it didn’t actually exist, so there was no starting areas based upon pace. But not such a big deal really, there were only 600 or so runners.

As we lined up to the start the sun started coming out, which we thought would be a blessing! That lasted about 1 mile before I was moaning about being too hot!

Unfortunately the race was delayed as one of the Millfield buses broke down on the way to the race, and we had to wait for them to arrive. I couldn’t (and still can’t) understand why when there are 600+ people waiting to start, we had to wait for 40 odd people to arrive. it was chip timed after all! But never mind.

Before long we were off. From the start we headed down through the high street through the finish before heading out of town. The support was BRILLIANT! The streets in town were lined 3 deep, cheering people on. It really was a great atmosphere. We then progressed on a large loop around the Tor – Not that I actually saw it!

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The loop took us out into the countryside along some undulating country lanes, and despite it not being a fully closed roads race, I think I only saw two cars. It was pretty undulating though, and had 80m elevation gain, which is quite a lot compared to other 10ks I’ve raced!

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This did mean my pacing was shocking though. I was targetting a sub-42 (rather optimistically), and though I went through halfway just about on target, my marathon fatigued legs soon started falling apart. I had my eye on Simon ahead of me and whilst I was gradually catching him (He was also not having a particularly good race) I had nothing in the tank to catch him. I was overtaken by Chris from the running group and club after about 8k and managed to keep in in sight to the end.

As I got to the 9k mark there was the Glastonbury equivilent of “Heartbreak Hill” and my word it was tough! There was some support here as we were back in town, and someone event shouted “Come on parkrun guy!” but my legs were screaming! I gradually made my way to the top where it levelled off for a bit.

What do you need when you’ve just rinsed your legs at 9.5k? Oh yes, a photo op! But always one for a posing opportunity, did managed to do the “double thumbs” (I need a new pose) and make it look like “It wasn’t that tough!”

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This was followed by a long downhill finish into town and more magnificent support. It was the best finish for a local race I’ve ever seen, rapturous cheering, and a cheeky “After the marathon this should be easy!” from @bentimmo. But believe me, my legs were in bits. If I had anything left the finish would have been fast and enjoyable but instead it was a miserable sufferfest!

0111bbLooking at my splits you can see the gradual decline – although it looks like the downhill helped me a bit!

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Coming through the funnel we earned a medal (Though it was the same as last years apparently, no date embossed anywhere so a bit “generic”) and walked over to get something to drink. I saw Simon, and we both agreed it wasn’t a great deal of fun! Though I think that was largely due to our own lack of conditioning at the moment.

We then headed back along the course to cheer Jodie in. She, despite running London last week and the course being tough, managed to PB – so I was very proud of her!

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Although I didn’t really enjoy the event, I have to say the race was very good. I think with a few small tweaks to make things a bit more streamlined it could be really excellent. More organisation in Registration with a couple of signs, better parking directions, and a better planned finish area to make it easier to get in and out of HQ would be a good start. I’m also not a fan of the medal and prefer something more customized year on year. Pre-registrations also received a free technical tee which was nice, though the colour scheme wasn’t to my taste, training tops are training tops!

The crowd support was amazing though sparse on the back end of the course, and the course was undoubtedly pretty. Its not PB friendly but does have some character. At the moment, I’m not keen on running it again, but they may yet change, as I think I have a score to settle with it!

 

 

 

 

Monthly Review: April 2015

April was marathon month. Little to report from an effectivity of training point of view, given that I tapered, raced and then recovered from Manchester! But lets look at how training went compared to plan anyway.

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Everything went to plan all until I went to Dubai for work. it was an amazing experience, but the timing of it was a bit wrong. I missed some sessions, and ended up on a treadmill a couple of times which I both hate, and have no idea how effectively calibrated it was… But that said, I did get in a lovely run around the marina.

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Thankfully the week in Dubai was in taper, so I was only really doing some easy running, but the travel element did take its toll on the body a bit. But never mind 🙂

Of course the big news this month was my result in Manchester, completing my second marathon. I set a nice PB though just about missed my target.

Writing this I have had a week of no running and have had 2 runs and an interval session. All three of which have been much harder work than they should have been, but I’m still recovering.

Lets have a look at the targets I’ve set myself, all of which I have failed!

  • Run a sub-20 minute 5k – We went to Reading parkrun where this was meant to happen. That’ll teach me to recce the route better first! This was all off road and I thought it was tarmac. So it was much tougher than i thought.
  • Reach a weight of 13st13lbs for Manchester – I got to within 2lbs, but a week away in Dubai on company expenses meant I drank and ate more than I would have done at home. With my recovery week this has now gone up further, so need to knuckle down this month and get it back under control.
  • Run a sub-3:20 Marathon – I was 33 seconds away. But still a good return and I am happy to have come that close.

Looking ahead to the next month, I have a variety of things going on, and no real structured training plan to follow. All I know is, I want to break that sodding 20 minute 5k barrier! Unfortunately, with a 24 hour relay race coming up, I’m not convinced I’ll be able to recover quickly enough to do it at the upcoming Yeovilton race this month so have come up with some alternatives.

  • Set a course best timeat Yeovil Montacute parkrun (Ideally, sub 21)
  • Get my weight back under control, so I’ll set myself a sensible 1lb per week target for that. Reach 14st2lbs
  • I have the Glastonbury 10k on Sunday so I think I’ll try and have a crack at a PB there, though I’m not convinced I’ve recovered enough for it.