Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Tempo Tuesday - a small step in the right direction

Last night was warm and sunny, and saw an 8 mile run on the Derwent Walk with 5 miles at tempo. The time for the 5 miles tempo was 30.18, which, at a tadge over 6.02 min mile pace, if my math is correct, would equate to 37.44 for 10km. Which when you consider that I struggled to do 38.59 for the Newton Aycliffe 10km just over a week ago is pretty pleasing.

The first 3 miles (3.15 miles to be exact) of the tempo run is the same loop I did as a 3 mile tempo run on the 25th May in 19.25. I covered this loop in 19.19 last night, with 2 miles left to go. Doubly pleasing!

Hopefully I can now transfer this progress into Sundays 10km at Leeds and reverse the current and annoying trend of running each race slower than the last.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Half term report

Since we are nearing the 1/2 way point of the year I thought I would have a re-cap on the year so far and revise / make some goals for the next six months. So lets start with the numbers:

Miles since January - 1416
Number of races - 9
Best times this year:

5km - 19.17
10km - 38.28
20 miles - 2.15.08

9 races so far is still a lot less than I would normally run. However, when compared to an injury plagued 2009 when I only ran 9 races for the whole year, then things are looking up.

Although every race I have ran this year has turned out to be the slowest I have ever ran that distance, I have still managed reasonable positions within my age group with 3 x M50 1st placings and 3 x M50 2nd placings.

The DNF at London is still a big black cloud hovering on the horizon.

Despite the frustrations generated by all the above I am still ENJOYING my running and can't wait for the next session!

Points to consider:

- Over training
- Possible medical condition - Still having tests following London
- Just getting older
- Just getting soft?

The next six months:
1. Keep things steady until all medical tests are complete, with only a slight and steady increase in mileage.

2. Race more starting with Leeds 10km on 4th July and Yorkshire Wolds 1/2 marathon on 17th July.

3. Target specific races :
Starting with VAANE 10,000m championships - 22nd September

4. Have FUN!

Monday, 21 June 2010

A nice night for twitchers?

I was planning an easy 6 miles tonight, but fancied a change of scenery so although it was a steady run, I did it up on the moors starting at Smiddy Shaw Reservoir, so it wasn't exactly an easy run. For route see

It was though, a very enjoyable run, on a warm sunny evening. It's a pity I didn't take the camera as the views were fantastic and the number of different birds I spotted would be a Twitchers delight. There were a number I did not recognise but of the ones I did there were Lapwings, Moor Hens, Curlew, Grouse and Pheasant.

Congratulations to Catherine for completing the 5km Race for Life at Temple Newsom Park, Leeds on Sunday, in 27.00

Newton Aycliffe 10km

This is the first time I have ran this race and at two and a half relatively flat laps I think if you are on form and up for it, this is definitely a pb course.

However, I was definitely not on form or up for it as I struggled badly, to clock 38.59 (6.16 miling!) to finish 27th overall. To compound my frustrations even further, I was caught and passed by Keith Galbraith of Hartlepool Burn Road with about 8oom to go as he took the first M50 place from my grasp, finishing 6 seconds and one place ahead of me.

The race was won by James Bulman of North York moors in 32.30 and first lady was Aiveen Fox of Morpeth (38.05). Other Blaydon results:

Luke Aston 18th - 37.43
Eric Lewis 35th - 39.43
Mick Henderson 104th - 46.09
Irene Henderson 207th (2nd F60) - 56.53

Friday, 18 June 2010

Round up

Well I have eventually been able to get a hold of the Blaydon Race results.

Although I finished only 17 seconds slower than 2 years ago I was a further 24 places back in 105th when compared with 2008. I also missed out on 3rd M50 by 6 seconds. So although generally pleased with the run I know it is nowhere near what I should have been and it does serve to highlight what I still need to do to get back to some sort of form. That apart, other interesting results and results of friends and family:

Ryan McLeod 4th - 28.44 - Ryan is son of Mike Mcleod
Ian Crampton 16th 30.58 - First veteran - and continuing his fine form
Phil Walker 37th 32.20 - Ex Blaydon Harrier
Daniel Flint 39th 32.22 - First Blaydon Harrier
Mark Hudspeth 42nd 32.47 - previous winner of Blaydon
Louise Wilkinson 56.29
Anita Dent 68.55

The aftermath of London continues - I had appointment at hospital yesterday which resulted in my having to wear a monitor for 24 hrs (last nights session of 4 x 2mins with 2 mins jog recovery may give some interesting readings) and am now awaiting an appointment for an echocardiograph.

In the meantime its a steady run tonight and tomorrow in preparation for racing at Newton Aycliffe on Sunday.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Down on the track

Last night was a track session of 12 x 400m with 90secs recovery - As it is a little while since I have actually ran a track session (14 months) I did wonder how I was going to fair. So the target was to do the first six in 84 sec and then try to pick it up slightly over the final six - And the result:

85, 82, 84, 86, 83, 82,80, 81, 82, 78, 79, 78

A little ragged over the first six as I found it difficult to get the pace right but was able to pick up a little over the the final six as planned. So, all in all, happy with session and with a warm up and warm down around Shipdon Pond and along by the River Derwent a good 8 miles banked.

Mind you I can feel it in the legs this morning and my hamstrings are rather tight, but it is a beautiful sunny morning and a steady 6 tonight should sort them out.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Retail therapy

Sore knees and parental obligations meant that running this weekend was curtailed to a, mainly off road, hilly 8 plus miles on Saturday afternoon. Starting on the Derwent Walk at Hamsterley before dropping down into Lintzford then up through Chopwell Woods, before dropping down again and passing through Blackhall Mill. It was then along the valley side and through the bluebell woods before going up the Chare into Ebchester. This was followed by a climb back up to the Derwent Walk, followed by a climb up through the Dene and over the fields to Allendale Cottages, before dropping down to High Westwood and then a climb back up to Medomsley. For a map of run see .

As for the retail therapy, well that was Anita's influence. Doing the Blaydon Race has got her all enthused about running again. And (of course) this necessitates new shoes, top etc. This therefore meant a visit to Start Fitness in Newcastle and since we were going down to Preston to move Francesca's belongings out of the Halls at UCLAN a trip to the New Balance factory shop at Shap.

At least we MIGHT look the part this summer!

When I am co-opted into moving Francesca back down to Preston in September I hope to link the trip up to doing a race in the area. If anyone has any suggestions as to a good race, please let me know - Thanks!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

"Aw went te Blaydon Races......."

Not quite the storms of 1862 (not that I was there) but it was a cold wet night, which was not too bad for running once you warmed up, but must have been pretty miserable for spectators.
As usual for the 'Blaydon' it was a fast start as we set of to the ringing of Jackie Browns Bell. I decided to be a little conservative and try to keep it steady. Going through the first mile in 5.55 I estimated that I was probably not in the first 100. Picking it up slightly the 2nd mile was reached in 11.32. It was about here that I noticed Mark Mc Nally of Elswick up ahead (Mark finished 3 places ahead of me in the North Tyneside 10km in April) and Gordon Dixon of Morpeth (not sure if he is in the over 50 age group yet) caught me. As we carried on along Scotswood Road and reached Paradise (bridge) Gordon started to pull away, but I had caught up to Mark.
However, by the time I had crossed Scotswood Bridge (see photo, courtesy of AmcD ) Mark had pulled away again. The next 2 and a bit miles turned into a game of cat and mouse, as Mark and I kept passing each other. However, reaching the top of the flyover just before Blaydon, with about three quarters of a mile to go I finally got a gap on him which I maintained to the finish, which I reached in 35.32.
So basically I ran the 5.9 miles at an average of 6 min a mile. My time was 17 sec down on the last time I ran two years ago, so am reasonably pleased. I am now looking forward to building on this, starting with the Newton Aycliffe 10km a week on Sunday.
The race was won by Cherop of Kenya in 27.41, with last years winner, Ian Hudspeth, 3rd. The ladies race was won by Justina Heslop of Clapham in 31.25. I have not been able to see a copy of full results yet so this is all the details I have at the moment.
I would like to mention all the hard work put in by race organiser Bob Houston and his team for ensuring another successful race. I know Bob has been putting in about 16 hours a day.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Weekly round-up

A modest increase in mileage this week resulted in 50 miles for the week. With regards to quality Tuesday's session was 4 x 5mins with 2mins jog recovery; Thursday a hilly fartlek run and Saturday a 35 min tempo run. Tuesday's was a great session which I enjoyed very much, with Luke and Alex making me work very hard. Despite a slight problem with knee pain, things seem to be progressing quite nicely, so it will be a couple of easy days and then see how things go in the 'Blaydon' on Wednesday.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

The Blaydon Race

Next Wednesday, the 9th June sees the 30th running of the Blaydon Race (currently 5.9 miles). The race follows as close as possible the route described in Geordie Ridley's famous 1862 song 'The Blaydon Races' which most people will know, is regarded as the 'National Anthem' of our region.

The song commemorates the Blaydon Races (horse races) that were due to be held on an island in the middle of the River Tyne at Blaydon, but were called off when a heavy storm made it impossible for the horses to 'plodge' their way across to the race course. The storm is recorded in the last verse of the song and most of the other events that are described in the song actually took place a year earlier in 1861.

The modern day version sees 4000 runners line up outside Balmbras in Newcastle city centre and make their way to Blaydon. The list of winners reads like a who's who of local athletics, with a number of overseas winners in the latter years thrown in for good measure. Last years winner Ian Hudspeth was the first regional (and indeed domestic) winner for 11 years. Ian is again a favourite to win this years event. However, I am hopeful that ex Blaydon Harrier, Mathew Armstrong (now running for Coventry Godiva) can spring a surprise after some recent good performances and steady progression in this race over the last two years (17th in 2008, 8th in 2009).

As a matter of interest the last of the original horse racing events at Blaydon took place in 1916 but had to be abandoned when a riot broke out following the disqualification of a winning horse.

As for the Geordie Ridley's song well here is the first verse and chorus:

Aw went to Blaydon Races
'twas on the neenth o' Joon
Eighteen Hundred and Sixty Two
on a summers afternoon
Aw teuk the bus frae Balmbra's an'
she was heavy laden,
Away we went alang Collingwood Street
That's on the road to Blaydon


Oh me lads ye shud a' seen us gannin'
Passin' the folks upon the road
Just as they were stannin'
Thor wes lots o' lads and lasses there
All wi' smillin faces
Gannin' alang the Scotswood Road
Te' see the Blaydon Races