Monday, 30 June 2014

Lambton 10km

Held fully within the Lambton Estate, used by the BBC for the filming of their drama 'The Paradise', this was the fourth running of this multi terrain event.

It's probably fair to say that this is one of the lower key events in the region, but it was my first attempt at this scenic and undulating course. The plan was just to get around in one piece, starting off easy and trying to worm (that's one for those with a knowledge of North East folk lore) my way through the field, depending upon how I felt.

Conditions were good, a little overcast, warm with a slight breeze as the race got under-way.  I perhaps started  a little too far back and found it very difficult to overtake people on the narrow path as we headed down towards the River Wear.

The first 3km went reasonably well despite having to weave my way between other runners.  After this point though I seemed to be moving at more or less the same pace as those around me but still feeling relatively comfortable apart from the uphill section.  Still there was no reaction from the troublesome hamstring, so it wasn't all bad.

Between 3 and 6 km I continued to make some progress passing more runners than passed me.  But, the effort was starting to take it's toll.

After 6km I started to loose my way and began to drop back down through the field.  I particularly struggled on the up-hill section towards the end.  Dropping even further back.

But I managed to hold it together to finish in around 43 minutes.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any results yet to confirm my time.

However, it was pleasing to finish with only a slight twinge from my hamstring.  Also, although my pace was well down on what I would consider to be normal, a pace of something in the region of 6.50 miling on this course compared with an average of 6.44 on the shorter and faster Blaydon course a couple of weeks ago, I will put down as a slight improvement.

A little worrying though, in light of the Yorkshire Wolds in 3 weeks time was my inability to get up the hills!

I will provide a link to the results, when I find them.  In the meantime, Thanks, once again to Francesca for the photos.  More of which can be found here

Friday, 27 June 2014

Patched up and off we go

The hamstring tweak that I suffered during 'The Blaydon' turned out to be a little more serious than I originally thought.  This necessitated taking a few days off, followed by some gentle running as I eased my way back into the swing of things.

The plan to be back to some form of fitness for my next race therefore soon disappeared.  However, I do believe that I am 'patched up' sufficiently to allow me to run around the Lambton 10km on Sunday.  Hopefully this time its the start of the road back to racing.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Blaydon Race 2014

Last nights Blaydon Race was held in near perfect conditions and as the race got under way, although I did not go off as fast as I would have liked.  It was faster than planned and as my pace at the end of the race confirmed, obviously too fast for my current state of fitness.

Despite not wearing a watch I realised that as we approached 2 miles and recognising some of the other runners around me, that I wasn't that far off where I should have expected to have been, had I been in reasonable shape and probably on for a time of somewhere around 36 minutes.

However, any sense of satisfaction was short lived as between 2 and 3 miles I felt a painful tweak of my left hamstring.  I would like to say that the resulting slowing of pace was in order to protect said hamstring.  However, it was probably as much the inevitable slowing to my current level and so it became a question of just hanging on as best as I could to the finish.

Finishing in 446th place in a time of 38.58 gives an average pace of 6.44 per mile for the 5.9 mile course.

Full race results can be found here however the main positions were:

1st Peter Emase 26.34 (average pace 4.34 per mile)
2nd Boniface Kiprop Kongin 26.48
3rd Nick Swinburn 27.11

1st Joanne Chelimo 29.42 (14th overall)
2nd Gladys Yator 29.42 (15th overall)
3rd Rebecca Robinson 30.22 (21st overall)

Despite how the above account reads, I still 'enjoyed' the run.  After all the aim was just to have a harder workout than a run by myself would have given.  Also after not having raced for so long it felt good just to be back in a competitive situation.  Hopefully this hamstring will sort itself out quite quickly and I can get some more races in.

More photos from the race can be found here and here

As usual thanks to Francesca for photos

Monday, 9 June 2014

Decision time

The plan was to have reached a level of fitness to be able to put in a good performance at this evening's Blaydon Race.  Unfortunately though, this just hasn't happened and I have had to ease even further back in my training. 

 As Gary Dunn would say in his blog dunnrunning "The best training plans are written in pencil".  So with this in mind the decision is to still run tonight.  With the emphasis being on run, not race. 

Adopting the theory that I will run harder in a race than I would on my own.  I am treating tonight's race as a hard training run.  I aim to start well back in the field and try to maintain a steady pace, picking it up a little, should I be feeling good at any point.

Because, I will not be 'racing' tonight I have slotted another race into my upcoming schedule.  The Lambton 10km on 29th June.  So hopefully I will be in a better position by then.

Monday, 2 June 2014

A mighty fine read

As my training is still just ticking over, it has afforded me some extra time for reading.  Yesterday, I finished 'Running with the Kenyans' by Adharanand Finn, and it has to be said it is a great read.


The story is of a year spent in Kenya by the author with the aim of discovering the secret of the Kenyan success at distance running and the pursuit by the author in improving his own pb's.

I found this an enthralling book. From immersing, not just himself but his whole family into a totally different culture to the descriptions of Kenyan training along with anecdotes such as the delay to the start of the Lewa Marathon due to there being lions spotted on the course.

Well worth a read.


Talking of marathons, my last post was regarding the organisers of the Edinburgh Marathon not issuing full race results.  However, it now seems that they have bowed to public pressure saying:

"Thank you for all your feedback and for telling us what is important to you.  We value our runners and we now know that only publishing your results within your My Details account was the wrong decision. We thought that this was the runner’s preference to receive results exclusively, however we have been listening to your feedback and now understand and accept that this is not appropriate for you."

Full results of all the races held over the marathon weekend can now be found here