Scottish 10k and Great Cumbrian Run 1/2


In Which I PB At Both! (Wait, Spoile… Too Late)

Scottish 10k – 22nd September 2019

I like the Scottish 10k. It’s local, reasonably priced but more importantly very FLAT, and so (after a pre-run microwave burger and a short bus ride) I found myself lining up for the race for the third year in a row.

It starts at Musselburgh Racecourse and you run 5k into East Lothian before turning back to the start, in a nice out and back route (which are my favourite kind.)

My second favourite course type is a ‘loop’ when you run in a massive circle (such as York Marathon) then my third is a ‘point to point’ where you start and finish at two different places. (Such as Great North Run.)

Scottish10K_Route-map-e1540398254354

I set off, as always, too quickly. (Do I ever learn? I do not.) And I could feel a stitch coming on around the second mile. In a race I try not to look at my watch until halfway (if there’s no pacers) and run by feel and I felt I was going to blow up.

Reaching the turn around at 5k I glanced at my TomTom and it said I’d done the first 5k in just over 23 minutes… A lot faster than expected! However, like I said, I was blowing a bit and so had to walk a little to catch my breath.

I could feel the chance of a PB though (47.57 to beat) and did my best to get my legs going. As I’d started near the front I was getting over taken by plenty of fit people and that also meant lots of encouragement as they ran by. Listening to them and trying to focus on a PB, I pushed, and grunted a fair bit too.

Finishing line in sight, didn’t seem to get nearer for a while, but then before I knew it I was done. NEW OFFICIAL PB OF 47.15!!

The rest of the day was spent with beer. Standard.

Scot10kMedal

Great Cumbrian Run 1/2 Marathon – 6th October 2019

Two weeks after the Scottish 10k was the Great Cumbrian Half Marathon, taking place in Carlisle. (Don’t think I’ve ever been before.) As it’s not local (ages away) I booked a cheap room for the night and went down on the saturday.

Numbers weren’t posted out so went to the Sheepmount Stadium on Saturday afternoon to collect it. Also realising I had no energy gels with me, I bought one I’ve not tried before, KMC Chocolate Mint Gel.

After I got my number I went and checked in to the B&B (a LOT nicer than the price suggested!) and then I went to the cinema alone like a loser and watched Joker (which is about a loner loser. Its AMAZING.)

An early night followed but I was woken at 3am by torrential rain. Not the best of signs… Ah well, went back to sleep as I can’t change the weather so no point worrying. Woke up at 8am (race starts at 10) and had my (standard carbs) of a microwave burger. (IT WORKS FOR ME).

I then checked out and made my way to the Stadium once more.

GCRsign

On this race (a loop) you sort yourself into what ever start time you fancy so I made my way into the Sub 2hr group. I once did a sub 2hr half marathon but that was in training so I don’t really count it as official. Think my official-official time is 2.02, but with the previous 10k PB I was kinda confident.

HONK! Time to go. (That was a horn, not like an angry goose.)

Turns out this route is hilly. VERY hilly. The first 5km is almost a straight line (of hills) before you start looping back around anti-clockwise. I was feeling quite good though and felt my pace was working well. Again, trying not to check my watch until halfway I waited until just after 6 miles, thinking I was running around about 9mins a mile I was happy to see it registered at 8.50 a mile.

Still felling quite good I told myself to get to 7 miles then have the energy gel and see how my legs are feeling. Handily, at 7 miles most of the hills are done with and its more or less flat or downhill until the end. (With a couple hills still, of course…)

cumbrian.jpg.gallery

7 miles flew by and then the rain came. FULLY came. It was the same sort of rain as through the night, pouring and pouring. But, I ain’t sawft so kept on keeping on. Before long I got to 8 miles and realised this was the longest non-stop running I’d done in years.

Fully preparing myself for needing a walk break, I told myself to get to 10 miles first. 10 miles came, I kept running. 11 miles… 12… chuffing hell, am I gonna run the whole route with walking any?

Too chuffing right I did!

And you know what? I did it in 1.52.44! Massive PB!

Seems my training is going quite well this year. Next up, York marathon on the 20th October. Can I get another PB? We’ll see…

GCRmedal

Either way they’ll be plenty of beer afterwards!

 

York ParkRun and York 10k Recap


In Which You Get Two Recaps For The Price Of One! (Price: £FREE)

York ParkRun Recap – 3rd August 2019

4am. Alarm bells were ringing. Well, the alarm on my phone was ringing and it’s more of a whiny beep but you get what I mean, you’re clever like that. ‘Why though,’ you ask, ‘why so early?’ WELL:

I’d signed up to the York 10k race on the Sunday, but as I live in Edinburgh I was travelling down on the Saturday and staying overnight, to wake up fresh for the run. However, when I looked at cheap trains the cheapest ones were early in the morning, leaving around 7am from Edinburgh and arriving in York around 9.30am.

Somewhere in my little mind a voice said ‘that’s ParkRun time that is!’ But the little voice didn’t realise that York ParkRun starts at 9.00, not 9.30 like so many others. Why’s it start at 9.00? I have no idea. To be honest I’ve not even thought about it till now. Do your own research for once.

YorkTired

SO ANYWAY that meant that to get to York in time for the ParkRun I had to leave even earlier. My alarm went off at 4am, I left home at 4.15, bus to Edinburgh at 4.30, arrived in Edinburgh at 5.15, train left at 5.50, arrived in York at 8.25, walked the two miles up to York Racecourse and arrived with about 5 minutes to spare.

I’ve only ever done my local ParkRun, Meadowmill, which is a newish one and attracts 75 – 100 people a week whereas York has around 400-500. A guy with a speaker said York gets busy because people like to do a ParkRun for each letter of the alphabet and there’s only York and one other that begins with a ‘Y’. (Yeovil is the other. There’s a Q in the form of Queen Elizabeth ParkRun but for a Z you’d have to go to Cape Town (Zandvlei), Poland (Zielona Góra) or Zillmere in Brisbane, Australia.)

I lined up mid-pack (behind a few buggies and next to a dog) and then it was go time. It’s a nicely set out run if you like to see where you’re going because its a one and a half lap of the race course. (horse racing.) In that respect there’s not so much I can tell you about it except I ran in a big circle, then carried on for another half circle. I tried to stay kinda steady with my pace due to the 10k the next day and also carrying my rucksack full of my stuff for the weekend but got carried away a bit in the last mile. Finished in 27:32. (Got overtaken by a running buggy at the end but no animals, thank dog.)

Then, because York is my favourite place in the world, I walked back the two miles into the city centre, bought five books at a second hand book sale and had a wander round. I was sensible and kept my beer intake low (few pints) then carbed up a bit with a lamb kebab from a stall in the Shambles market. Spent a bit more time being a tourist and then made my way to my cheap cheap hotel which, as it turns out, was next to the race course. (So again, walked two miles up to it.)

YorkMinster

Time was getting on a bit (4pm) and I was tired from getting up so early so decided to nap. I set my alarm for 6pm and woke up at 10pm. Bugger. Luckily I’d bought a load of cheap food from Poundland so had a bit of carbs then went back to sleep around 1am.

York 10k Recap – 4th August 2019

I was awake at around 7am. Dunno why I couldn’t sleep much longer… My friend Rob was travelling from Bradford for the race so he was well on his way. My original plan was to sleep on his sofa but the hotel was cheap and figured that after the cost of York to Bradford then back to York this morning it was only costing an extra £10 or so. Plus it meant we had a place to keep our bags and then shower afterwards. Clever like a FOX.

I needed a coffee and because it was a cheap room there was no kettle, so I wandered to the breakfast area:

YorkCoffee

Full of caffeine, back to my room for a sandwich (carbs) then I walked up the road to meet Rob. After dropping his bag in my room we walked down the small field which brought us nicely out onto the race course where the 10k would start and end. (same race course as yesterday but started on the opposite side and went away from it.)

Rob wanted under 1hr 20mins and I was toying with the idea of under 50mins but it was already a hot day and I don’t do so well in the heat when walking, let alone running, so figured I’d follow a 50min pacer until I started flagging and then I’d drop back, but would stay in front of the 55min pacer. (All the tactics!) Rob went to the back of the pack and I said I’d meet him at the end.

The countdown was on, then we were off. York 10k is a funny route that takes in plenty of the local sights, but has a fair few turns. Like so:

York10kRoute

I kept the pacer in my sight but took me the first couple of kilometres before I caught up with her properly, as it was hard to navigate through the field of runners until we all leveled out a bit. I was quite warm and sweaty already so told myself to stick with her as long as possible, but not to over do it. I was carrying a bottle of water with me which was a good thing because I completely missed the first water station (3.5km), somehow managing to avoid the dozen or so volunteers thrusting water towards parched runners.

Running over the river for the first time, we approached the minster and a nice supportive crowd cheering everyone on. Then 5km went by and I still felt kinda good. To be honest, the motivation from the pacer was the main reason (COME ON KEEP GOING). Constantly shouting support at everyone around (EVERYONE DOING OK?) and giving advice such as pour water on your wrists instead of your head helps cool you down quicker, massive massive help!

Cliffords tower was the next landmark around about 6k and I got into conversation with the pacer who told me shes trained in Rio for the Olympics (!) and would also be pacing at York Marathon in October so knew I was in good hands (feet?).

7k approached after a long straight stretch along the river (IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING FIND AN ARSE TO LOOK AT AND CONCENTRATE ON THAT) then back over the bridge for the first of two quick out and back sections (IF YOU CHEAT I’LL BREAK YOUR LEGS) and then 9k went by.

Deciding to try finish strong I sped up as much as I could and got over the line in a 2nd best ever time of mine of 48:45! I’m not a dickhead though (not much…) and so made sure I waited for the pacer at the end to thank her for getting me round in such a decent time. Made her have a selfie with me, because that’s the age we live in.

YorkPacer

I hung around for Rob who finished a LOT quicker than he expected too, in 1hr 9mins. Then, obviously, we went for celebration beer. (After using the hotel shower and getting freshened up obviously.) Another great thing about York is the amount of pubs. We managed a few…

YorkMedal

YorkBEER

Next Up: Darlington 10k on the 11th August!

 

3 Weeks Away and 17 Weeks Away


In Which I Make A Motivational Poster

3 Weeks today until the British 10k in London.

17 Weeks today until the Yorkshire Marathon in York.

“But!” I hear you say, “You’ll be fine! After all, you’ve been eating healthy and not drinking beer!”

You’ll be disappointed in me when I say this…

I’ve not been eating healthy.

I HAVE been drinking beer…!

***SOB!***

That stops NOW. (Not NOW, because I’m planning on eating unhealthy and drinking beer tonight as one last night of excess before the seriousnessnessness of training starts.)

“How are you going to stay so motivated?” You ask.

AHA! I reply.

I made this to stick on my fridge!

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Marc’s Marvelous Marathon Plan!


Stats

Original Weight: (Jan 1st) 15st 7lbs / 217lbs / 98.4kg
Weigh-in (Jan 29th) 15st 5lbs / 215lbs / 97.5kg
Gain/Loss In Total: -2lbs / 0.9kgs

In Which, With 9 Weeks To Go, I Sort Out A Training Plan

As you can see from my weigh in, I’ve put a few lbs back on! That’s in the wrong direction! Ah well, I was more than expecting it. I had an operation to take out a wisdom tooth on Friday and then had the following three days off of work not doing much apart from watching TV and feeling sorry for myself. Also, the Royal Rumble was on on Sunday night so watched that and drank too much beer which probably accounts for the weight gain by itself!

Back to it now though, and in a big way!

Finally (FINALLY!) I wrote up my training schedule for the Blackpool Marathon at the start of April. That’s right, the one just over 9 weeks away! I had a look at a few 12 week and 16 week training plans, and most of them build up to a long run a few weeks before the marathon of 20miles or so. As I’m planning on walking each water station (every mile-ish) I’m not that bothered about being able to run 26.2 miles in one go, I’ll save that for the October marathon where hopefully I’m not hindered by Snow/Flu/Operations.

People manage to finish marathons in well under 4 hours using the ‘walking through water stations’ method so I don’t see any reason why I can’t use it to finish in under 5 hours. That’s my target for Blackpool, with my ‘hope against hope’ target being under 4 1/2 hours. (I’m saving the Sub 4 hour run for October too!) The longest training run I’ll be doing will be 18 miles, and that’s gonna be a mixture of walking and running.

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Not sure how well it’ll turn out in pictures, but I wrote a key on the right of the first pic. So on Sun 3rd March where it says W2W, R-LRH, that means ‘Walk To Work’ and ‘Run Longer Route Home.’ Makes sense to me, but I came up with it all so good luck.

Also, finally found some hi-viz tape to put on my Rucksack for the run/bike home at night! (H for Hemingway!)

image (1)

Hope everyone else has had a good January and stuck to your resolutions (like I… err… didn’t.)

Next run is Mad Dog 10k in Southport on 10th February.

Day 8 of 365 – Progress


Stats

Weigh-in (Jan 8th) 15st 3lbs / 213lbs / 96.6kg
Gain/Loss Total: -4lbs / 1.8kgs

Miles I Should’ve Done To Date: 44
Miles That I Have Done To Date: 38.82
Difference: -5.18

Ran: 5.84
Cycled: 21.8
Walked: 11.18
Swam: 0

In Which I Set My Sights High

THAT’S more like it! Closer to my average than I was last time, almost caught up to it in fact! I have a rest day scheduled for tomorrow though, so that’ll widen the gap again, but I now know that I can catch up where needed, especially seeing as though I’m over my flu. (Thanks to everyone who sent me messages of support!) Also, I’m running home tonight a distance of 3.5miles which means I’ll only be about 1.7 miles short.

4lbs weight loss is quite good for a week! I read somewhere that on average you can lose 3lbs a week due to exercise and healthy eating. Wouldn’t want to lose more than 4lbs a week though, as I don’t want to be a crash dieter.

After today I’m off work for two whole weeks (due to not taking much holiday days last year) and I’m working on a training plan to get in the extra miles while I have the chance. I want to up the run millage to more than match the cycle miles, but will also be going on one or two long(ish) rides to get the practice in.

I cycled the 4.5mile route home the other night, and then something went wrong in my head (probably still ill) and decided to go out for a 1.2mile run to finish! (Technical term: A Brick. I think it’s called this because afterwards my legs felt like stone.) It was a strange sensation, going from a bike to a run in a short period of time, but I managed it!

Signed up to the British 10k run in London in July, in part because it’ll be nice to get away for a few days and do a bit of sightseeing, but mainly because you get a very cool medal, PLUS a spring/summer technical top AND an autumn/winter technical top!

photo

Conversation:

Me: I don’t think I want to do a marathon. I enjoy 10k runs, but didn’t really enjoy that half marathon I did last year. I think I’ll stay away from marathons and stick to 10k runs for most of the year.

Rob: I’ve signed up to the Blackpool Marathon in April.

Me: That sounds like fun, I’ll sign up too!

10 minutes and £30 later, I’m in it. Also, booked a hotel for the weekend in case I can’t walk afterwards. I was supposed to be doing the Lincoln 10k that day, but decided on this instead. (Yes, I checked, there’s a medal.) This means that I need to be upping my miles week on week to get the proper training in. Most marathon plans are 16weeks, but it’s only 12weeks away.

I think I’ll find a plan and just start on week 4, that sounds sensible…

In similar news, it’s announced today that they are starting in York Marathon in October this year, so I’ve gone from ‘No marathons for me!’ to ‘Signed up for two in two days!’

Awesome.

(As always, if you fancy leaving me a review on my blog, click the amazon link on the right. You don’t have to sign up to the kindle blog to review, so it’s free to do. Thanks!)

Day 4 of 365 – Lagging


STATS:

Weigh-in (Jan 1st) 15st 7lbs / 217lbs / 98.4kg
Gain/Loss Total: ——–

Miles I Should’ve Done To Date: 22
Miles That I Have Done To Date: 5.27
Difference: -16.73

Ran: 1.4
Cycled: 0
Walked: 3.87
Swam: 0

In which I’m not where I hoped to be

Ah. As you can see, I’m on Day 4 and already close to 17 miles behind schedule. In my defense, however, I’ve been quite ill. Ill enough to be sent home from work early on the 2nd Jan. Slightly annoyed that the illness chose the start of my 2013 in 2013 challenge to show it’s sickly head, but what can you do about it? Nothing. Apart from keep coughing up mucus (lovely), sweating into the sheets all night (sorry wifey) and over-dosing on throat sweets.

But then on one of my posts, I got this comment:

I always run (or ride) through colds and flus unless it’s the second day (where even my hair hurts). I believe that getting my body temp and heart rate up really shortens duration and severity. I could be wrong but I’ve been doing it for years and am happy with the results. – bgddyjim

All day yesterday I was thinking about it, thinking about going for a run but still felt crappy. The more I thought on it, the more I wanted to go. At the moment Sarah is working split shifts most days (Cabin Crew in the Summer, Care Worker in the winter) and so I mentioned to her the comment on my blog and that I was thinking about going for a short run. It’d been almost a month since I last ran!

She said ‘If you do, why don’t you wait an hour til I go to work?’

‘I might fall down ill and die though,’ I said, ‘and won’t be able to get in touch with you!’

‘That’s true. How long will you be?’

Hang on.

That’s true? What a lovely thing to say to your new husband! In all honesty, it didn’t cross my mind at the time, only now when I’m recalling the conversation. I’ll tell her off when I get in. Might set the kitten on her toes. (He loves attacking toes!)

Anyway, off I set. Since moving I’ve not run once, and don’t know the area fantastically well, so decided to do a short loop that I figured would be about a mile, maybe a mile and a half. (Turned out to be 1.4!) I did a quick walk to the main road as a warm up, then I set off at a slow pace. The route goes slightly uphill, then curves to the left and goes down hill, then a short, sharp uphill to finish.

As I set off I felt fine. No trouble breathing, no aches or anything, so upped the pace a bit. I passed a Policeman who nodded and said ‘Good lad’ as I went by. This made me smile and going into the downhill, I went a little quicker still.

I thought I was holding about 10:30min per mile, so was chuffed when my sports tracker app read out a pace of 9:22min per mile! I actually finished the 1.4 miles with an overall pace of 9:14min per mile, so very happy with that.

It seemed to clear my man-flu for a while too, until I went to bed and it all started again. I felt ill still this morning, but not as bad as previous days, and so to keep my millage up I decided to walk to work. I actually got out of bed at 07:30am (unheard of for me, normally 08:30am!) Even had time for a coffee and a sit down stroking the cat before I set off.

3.8mile walk took just over an hour. Tonight after work, I’ll be running the same distance home, but it’s mostly uphill on the way back so I’m sure I’ll get a good work out from it!

On another note, I’ve started with healthy eating too. Instead of a dozen coffees through the day, I’m allowing myself one in the morning before work, and one before lunch at work. Green Tea (Apple and Pear flavour) is my tipple of choice now. Had an apple this morning for breakfast (instead of no breakfast, or McDonalds) and have made a healthy salad for my lunch.

Bring it on 2013!!

‘Tis The Season To Be Lazy!


Tra-la-la-la-laaaaa, La-la-la-laaaaaa!

My last run, it turns out, was on the 4th of December. Over two weeks ago. Doesn’t really bode well for my 2013in2013 challenge, if I stay at that consistency! I do have an excuse, however, as we got the keys for our first house on the 7th December and only just moved in on the 17th, what with decorating/cleaning/buying housey things.

Also, we get married in four days (lucky, LUCKY Sarah!) so been quite stressed busy with wedding plans.

The main reasons though, are probably down to the weather and the time of year. Who want’s to go out for a run when Elf is on? (SANTA! OH MY GOD I KNOW HIM, I know him!) Would you rather go for a bike ride or see if Kevin’s parents leave him Home Alone yet again? (Seriously. call the social services.)

I’d much prefer to see the Muppets singing ‘When the cold wind blows right through you / chills you to the bone’ then actually be outside with a cold wind blowing right through me and chilling me to the bone!

I’m a member of a gym near work, but haven’t been for months on end. Turns out there’s a gym near our new house (behind a pub… dangerously tempting…) which opens 7am-9pm weekdays and 8am-8pm weekends so I could get in there on the (exciting) treadmill a few days a week and they also have a swimming pool, so could give that a go.

Also, it’s just under 2 weeks til the 2013in2013 challenge and my friend Duffy (not the singer) has also taken up the challenge, so will have a bit of moral support! If anyone wants to help, please can you click on my amazon blog button thing on the right of the page and leave a review of my blog? You don’t have to sign up to the Kindle blog to review it, but all money raised from it goes to charity towards my £2013 target.

Big BIG thanks to the reviewers that have already reviewed after they viewed.

Happy Christmas!