Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Another 10k Race - Sevenoaks Weald

I have just signed up for the Sevenoaks Weald St. Georges 10k Race, which takes place on 4 September 2011. It looks like quite a hilly course, so I have absolutely no chance of getting a personal best here... but that's ok because the Sevenoaks Weald is a stunning part of Kent and it will just be a pleasure running here. I secretly love hills really.... (also it's not far from home).

It was £15 for a non-affiliated entry, plus Runner's World added a £2 admin fee.

The race falls 3 weeks before the Tonbridge half-marathon. My HM training plan calls for a 10k race around this point anyway - I'm more than happy to oblige!

I've plotted the route in RunningAHEAD so I can look closer at the elevation profile, the first half of the course is mostly downhill, so that means........ the second half is mostly uphill... YAY!! We go from 110 metres (above sea level) down to 45 metres and then back up to 110 metres!!

If anyone fancies joining me..... feel free! ;-)


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Race: Staplehurst Carnival & Fete 10km

My third 10km race, a (fairly) flat course, decent weather, good training, well rested, well hydrated, well fed - Everything was in place for a good race!

Firstly my race pack never arrived in the post so I had to arrange for a replacement number to be available upon arrival in Staplehurst. We arrived with an hour to spare, went to the race HQ and collected my hand-written duplicate race number (no.18).

There were 118 participants in today's race, it's quite nice to take part in these smaller events (I'm not a fan of the mass warm-up sessions and excessive branding you get at some larger races).

I should also mention that it was quite a hot morning, muggy and overcast up until the race started, during the race we had bright sunshine - The high for the day was forecast to be around 28 degrees Celsius.

...in the light blue shirt

The course was nice, we started off on a side road for 500 metres before going out onto the main road, being a small event there were no road closures, the main road wasn't too busy and all the drivers I encountered gave plenty of space for the runners while overtaking.

Thankfully we soon turned off the main road and onto some very quiet single track country lanes that weaved between farms, and with views of the beautiful Kent countryside. The race description said that it was a flat course, I'd say it was slightly undulating, whatever it was it was definitely flatter than the other two 10km races I've done. We followed these lanes around for the next 8km and then came back out onto the main road to head back to the finish.

I was so happy to finally reach the end

The last 250 metres or so were slightly uphill and after running at a strong pace for almost 10km it felt like I was running up a steep hill rather than along a slight incline! I had nothing left in me for a finishing kick, to be honest just keeping moving was a real struggle for most of the last 3km, but I did keep moving and my splits show that I kept an almost even pace for the entire race.

Click - ( GPS Map ) to see the map of the course from my GPS data, if you click on the summary tab you can see my splits, my GPS didn't register it as the full 10km but it has been known to be slightly out before, also I faffed around before pressing stop at the end, so the last km split time shows it to be longer than it actually was!

You've got to have the medal shot...

My official finish time was 42:07 - A new personal best..... by over 5 minutes!!

The race organisers ( Nice Work ) have a blog and have put the results up ( here ), I came in 22nd position out of 118 participants.

...and you've got to have the family shot (does that sound wrong? oops)

As always, the wife took the photos - thank you again, but this time both of our 'real' cameras' batteries ran out before the race started (silly, I know). Luckily we had two mobile phones that have cameras that we could fall back on - We had four devices capable of taking photos with us in total - and that just seems normal these days.


Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Pre-race thoughts - Staplehurst 10k

This weekend I am registered to run another 10k race, this one is in Staplehurst, Kent. According to everything I've read it's supposed to be a fairly flat course.

My current personal best (during a race) for 10k is 47.13. My goal for this race is to break the 45 minute barrier. I feel like it should be well within my capabilities, I recently ran a 20.55 5k. I've increased my mileage significantly over the last few months and I'm feeling good while running. But you never know what will happen on the day!

Today I've been in contact with the race director because my race number and instructions have not yet arrived. He has been extremely helpful and if it doesn't turn up by Saturday I can contact him and he'll have a replacement print-out of my number waiting for me on race day.

All I have left to do is a couple of easy runs and then a nice rest on Saturday. The weather forecast looks good at the moment, although it's so random at the moment it could easily change. I'm really looking forward to this one, probably more so than the others, and mostly because it's supposed to be a flat course!

I try to get a race report with photos out on Sunday evening!


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day

As it's my first father's day as the father (it still feels strange writing it) I thought I'd go off-topic with a photo of me and the little lady from our recent holiday in Eastbourne.

It's a bit like a wordless Wednesday, but there are words and it's Sunday..


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Parkrun No.2

Today (Saturday 11 June) I dragged my poor wife and daughter out of bed at the crack of dawn to drive up to Banstead Woods to run my second ParkRun.

My goals for today were to beat my previous ParkRun (5k) time of 22:03 and to possibly get somewhere near my PB of 21:35 (from last November).

Right from the outset I wondered if it was going to be 'one of those days' - The baby delayed us by, let me just say, needing an emergency nappy change just as we were about to leave. Then as we were driving along the M25 I missed the exit I needed and had to travel to the next junction to turn around!

We eventually arrived at Banstead Woods 20 minutes before the race started. Which would be fine except the baby was asleep and once awake we needed to grab all of her things, put her in the baby carrier etc.. and then there was the 10 minute walk to the start!

So we got to start line with 4 minutes to spare - I had no time left for a warm up, although the walk up to the start line probably helped, I was still a little worried to be racing on cold legs.

After the customary pre-race announcements we were off!

Stopwatches and GPS devices are GO GO GO!!!

This time I managed to secure a spot fairly close to the front of the pack, the first lap went by quite fast, I was starting to feel quite uncomfortable (par for the course in a 5k!), as I passed the half-way point one of the marshals was calling out everyone's times. 'Ten-fifteen' he shouted as I passed - It sounded pretty good but my head was focused on the hill that I had just started to climb and I soon forgot about trying to work out a possible finish time.

The second lap seemed to last for ever, I kept turning corners and finding that I was still not on the home straight. Then I turned the last corner, I could hear people cheering, I knew it would be over soon. I knew I had worked hard because I had fleeting moments of nausea throughout the second half of the race. Finally I saw the orange cones that channel everybody into the finish area, I tried to push herder but I was already at 100%. Passed the finish line and was relieved that it was over!

The last few metres!

One of the volunteers gave me my position chip and said 20th - I was pleased with that.

I was hoping that I had gone sub-22, I looked at my GPS for a rough answer - 21:05, and that was a few seconds after I had crossed the line.

I had to wait a few hours for my official time to be emailed to me, but just after noon I received my result - 20:55!!

Not only had I gone sub-22, I had actually gone sub-21 and earned myself a new PB! A full 1 minute and 8 seconds faster than two weeks earlier on the same course, and 40 seconds faster than my PB from last November!
  • 20th position overall
  • 18th male
  • 2nd in my age group (SM30-34)

Time to set a new 5k goal - sub-20!!

Thanks to the wife for taking the photos! (again) :-)


Monday, 6 June 2011

15km run

Yesterday (Sunday 5 June 2011) I did my longest 'long run' so far - 15km.

I was slightly worried yesterday afternoon because my left Achilles was feeling quite tender. I think I may have run up too many hills last week and the long run (also with hills) pushed my Achilles to the edge!

However it is feeling slightly better today - Today is a rest day so I'm hoping that it'll be back to normal by tomorrow.

Back to now... I'm sitting here in work and I can feel that my thighs are slowly developing my favourite post-workout feeling... DOMS!!! I haven't had DOMS in my thighs for ages.. I'm going to enjoy this while it lasts.


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Beachy Head

This week we spent a few days down at the South Coast, in Eastbourne.

Eastbourne sits just to the East of the stunning cliffs of Beachy Head. Being so close to such amazing scenery was too good a running opportunity to let pass. As a bonus we had the most glorious weather I have seen for years!

Where the Seafront meets the path to Beachy Head

I started off from the hotel at 5.43am (day 1) and 7.07am (day 2) and ran along the seafront to the start of the steep uphill section. It is so steep that I had to slow and walk on more than one occasion. I still can't believe I was awake so early on the first day of my holiday!

A section of the path (with a man for scale)

On day 1 I had one aim - To get to the top! So I took the most direct path. Spent a short time admiring the view and continued back down via a slightly different route. I got back to the hotel showered, had breakfast. Then headed straight back up to the cliffs with my wife and daughter for a hike (and to take these photos).

The View from the Top of the Cliffs

On day 2 I thought it would be fun to explore the lower parts (still very steep) of the cliffs. Although I didn't go all the way to the top I actually ascended more metres over the course of the run.

More paths (and more people for scale)

Running in such a beautiful location makes all my usual runs seem very boring, It's hard to imagine ever being bored of running on these cliffs.

The Coastline (you can see part of the path I ran along)

It was awesome!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...