Monday, 30 July 2012

Stepping it up again

Another easy week following my run out at the Yorkshire Wolds half marathon saw 36 steady miles banked for the week.

A month or so ago I decided to adjust my training from a 7 day cycle to a 10 day cycle to aid recovery and hopefully to allow for more quality sessions.  However, since then things seem to have conspired against me and my new routine has not really got of the ground.

So, despite going away on holiday fairly soon, I intend to start today once again with the new routine, with the longer term view of next year in mind.  That's not to say that I have given up entirely on this year, just that I intend to avoid planning for short term fixes for impending races.

 I am still going to race but just accept that they are a training tool and anything I get from them by way of improved results is a bonus.

Although it is not running I also have another target for the new year, which is still endurance based.

 As a result my training for the rest of the year will also have to take into account the need for some long distance walking/trekking as a group of 7 of us from Blaydon Harriers are going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in January.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon - Results

Phil Taylor leads the field out


Mens race
1st Phil Taylor of Bridlington Road Runner - 75.13
2nd Ryan Barker of Halifax Harriers - 81.41
3rd Simon Lambert - Unattached - 83.09

An easy start towards the back of the field

Taking it easy

Ladies Race
1st Lucy Thompson of Stainland Lions RRC - 95.50
2nd Cathy Wood - Scope - 97.39
3rd Aileen Baldwin (also 1st F50) - Stainland Lions RRC - 103.24

1st place - Phil Taylor
Full results can be found here  Interestingly the results are a part of a spreadsheet which shows everyone's results for the race since 1992.  Which, if you are that way inclined, allows for easy comparisons to be made.  Mind you, the first thing that struck me when I looked back over the results was - how it charted my decline over the years!

2nd place - Ryan Barker
As I have posted previously though, this is one of my favourite races and looking at the spreadsheet a couple of times stand out, in particular the 71.40 in 1992 (sure I have ran faster on this course - will have to check back through pre -1992 diaries) and the 73.18 in 1997 when I won the race outright for the second time (this is still the M40 course record).

3rd place - Simon Lambert
4th Steve Middleton (Thirsk & Sowerby) and
Andrew Meskimam (Dewsbury) 5th and 1st M45

The race is usually held as part of The Bishop Wilton Show, which this year was, unfortunately, cancelled due to all the recent rain we have had.  But, any way it is definitely a race I would recommend and when the Show is on a good family day out.  Oh and I almost forgot - the beer tent is usually about 10 yards from the finish line - you couldn't ask for more.

content with 23rd place

Think link to the results above also gives a link to a route map and elevation statistics for the race.

Photos courtesy of Francesca

Monday, 23 July 2012

Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon

If I had to list my favourite races, then the Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon would have to feature high on the list.  This is probably reflected by the fact that I have ran this race on over 20 occasions.

Following my 'little episode' three weeks back and the subsequent easy running this has resulted in, there was no way I was in good shape to race a Half Marathon, over what some would call a tough, but definitely hilly course.

But, not wanting to break my sequence of turning out for this race, Saturday morning saw me on the start line for the 2012 Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon at Bishop Wilton.

Aware of my current standard of fitness I started well towards the back of the 300 plus field, so as  not be tempted to go with the leaders and even allowed more runners to pass me as the race got underway.

The first three and a bit miles are flat but I was surprised to find that I covered the first mile in 7.30 at what felt like a painfully slow pace.  Resisting the temptation to pick the pace up, the second mile took 7.28 and I was now starting to pass one or two people without any increase in pace.

Shortly after 3 miles the course starts to climb up to the six mile point.  Still keeping the pace constant I found I was steadily working my way through the field.  Mind you half way up the hill when I could see a stream of runners ahead, I started to wonder just how far back I was.

By the top of the hill I had worked my way further up the field but there still seemed to be  plenty of runners ahead of me, except now they were running in groups with gaps between rather than a steady line.

I caught the first group as we started the off road section of the race which heads back downhill,  another group by the time the bottom of the hill was reached and the next group as we got back onto the tarmac just before 9 miles.

As we hit the next climb, just after 9 miles I passed a young Pocklington runner who responded by picking up his pace and we worked our way through the field together.  Until about half way up the last hill, just before mile 12 when he gradually pulled away or was it that I started to fall away?

Whatever the case, I maintained my place to the top of the hill and down the steep downhill to the finish.  Crossing the line in 93.06 for 23rd position.  Winning the Over 50 category despite being in the M55 age group.  So all in all a pleasing run and an indication that I should perhaps start getting back to some proper training.

I have not been able to find the full results yet but the race was won by Phil Taylor of Briddlington Road Runners in around 75 mins.

Hopefully a set of full results and some pictures from the race to follow.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Armchair athlete

My running may not be going too well at the moment, but it has allowed me the time to watch the wealth of athletics related programmes that are currently on TV due to the immanent start of the Olympics.

 Last night I watched The Usain Bolt Story and a programme about the 100m at the Seoul Olympics. Over the weekend BBC's Faster Higher Stronger programme covering the history of the Olympic 1500m was very good and tonight there is the 'Olympics most amazing moments' to watch.

Also over the weekend I watched the Diamond League coverage from Crystal Palace and was impressed by the performances of two local athletes, Laura Weightman of Morpeth who finished 4th in the 1500m (4.08.19) and Gateshead Harrier,Ross Murray  who was 2nd in the Emsley Carr Mile (3.52.77).

Not to mention Mo Farah's penultimate lap in the 5000m.

Friday, 13 July 2012


Having listened (for a change) to those around me, and still feeling rather flat I decided to give Tuesday's race, The Bridges of the Tyne 5, a miss.  This was the first running of this event promoted by the recently formed Tyne Bridge Harriers and I had been looking forward to it.

Well I suppose there is always next year. 

Results for the race can be found here

So it has been mainly steady running, once again,this week.  Unfortunately, it still feels as though I am running with the brakes stuck on.  So a decision on racing next week is still pending.

Last night I decide I would have to try to do a little work rather than just steady running so the session was a hilly 7 miles along the Derwent Valley (Elevation gain 592ft loss 589ft) with efforts on the uphill sections (a total of 5 hills).  I must admit he efforts were an effort, but at least it's a start.

Following the session we retired to The Black Bull in Blaydon for a couple of pints as is our usual habit.  A practise that is followed by many other runners following club night but also a practise that has been frowned upon by some.

However, I read today that moderate beer consumption can be beneficial to your health.  The 6th Annual Beer and Health Symposium, held in Brussels, and entitled 'From Myths to Science' looked at among other things; Is beer as good for your heart as wine? Is beer good for our bones? and is beer effective for rehydration after sports? Their findings were published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  You can find greater details of their findings here.

As part of his delivery, a Professor Costillo said "Beer quenches the thirst and is frequently consumed after practising sport or exercise.  Beer is mainly water but also contains alcohol.  Research into whether alcohol content prevented adequate recovery and/or rehydration found that neither a specific nor negative effect could be attributed to the intake of beer compared with the intake of just water.  In conclusion, at least in healthy, young adults, beer in moderate amounts is as effective as water for rehydration and recovery after exercise.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Not Impressed

After two weeks of very very easy jogging, as per doctors orders, I returned to the hospital yesterday for further tests and the doctors verdict was music to my ears.  No problems with my heart were identified the only thing that was still showing up was that my blood sugar levels are still high and as a result, further blood tests, but nothing significant to worry about. Magic!

So today, by way of celebration I thought a hilly run out down to Blackhall Mill, through Chopwell Woods, Lintzford and back up to Medomsley would be just perfect. However, things didn't turn out the way I had planned.

I found that large stretches of the route were still under water from the recent flooding.  Normally I would have thought nothing of this, just accepting it as part of the fun of the run, However, today they were nothing but an annoying nuisance.  But worse still was the feeling that someone had put some sort of speed restriction on my body, no matter how I tried I could not pick the pace up.  The end result, even though I felt that I was going flat out, it took me an hour and six minutes to do just 7 miles!

When I got the results yesterday I also thought that I would just pick up where I had left off with regards to my race schedule over the summer and that meant the Bridges of the Tyne 5 on Tuesday, the 3000m a week on Monday and the Yorkshire Wolds Half Marathon two weeks today.  Now I am left to ponder whether this is a good idea.

I must admit at this moment in time I am not impressed with my body.