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!

 

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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!)

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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!

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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!

Bradford 10k (HA!) 02/12/12


In Which a 10k Run Isn’t a 10k Run

Saturday 01/12/12

I got home from work and decided it’d probably be a good idea to have a glance through the race info that ‘d gotten through the post about 2 weeks back and only looked at once. (I’d looked at my race number about 14 times.) Sitting at the dining room table I opened a nice cool refreshing can of non-alcoholic beer (mmmm…..) and started to read.

The info booklet was about the route of the 10k (it said 10k) and what time the 10k (said 10k again) started. While I was reading, Ironman Tony came into the dining room and picked up my race number. He then put it down, went over to the other side of the room and then brought out HIS race number for the Bradford 10k (there it is again, 10k) from where he’d been hiding it. Didn’t tell any of us, just sneakily entered. That brought our little group for the 10k (10k) up to five.

Myself, Rob, Nigel, Paul (Nige’s mate) and Ironman Tony.

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Nige, Me, Ironman Tony

Sunday 02/12/12

The race was due to start at 10:00 but before hand we needed to go collect our timing chips. We got there about 09:30 and there were quite a lot of people in running gear warming up, whereas I was freezing my arse off. The weather app on my phone said zero degrees centigrade. Six months ago I didn’t run, now I get up early on a Sunday to go into the centre of Bradford and freeze to death…

Bradford-run-route-2012

Bradford 10k (HA!)

Anyway, we met up with Rob (rest of us came down together) and then after a few minutes lost Rob. After a quick toilet break it was time to line up at the start and luckily re-found Rob. (Not the hardest person to spot in a crowd.) The chimes on the town hall clock let us know we were underway. (Not with a loud speaker or anything, just by chiming ten times. For ten o clock. And a 10k.)

Straight away, as with the other race I ran with him, Ironman Tony was off into the distance. Before too long Nige and Paul were gone too, leaving myself and Rob stuck behind a massive cock as we went on Thornton Rd, on the first of our 2 5K laps. (Making….10k)

cock

Bradford City Mascot

The course then took us up a lovely hill that never seemed to end and at the top we had a few seconds of walking as my calves weren’t warmed up enough and Rob was having trouble with one of his ankles. Setting off again we turned left and downhill, then slightly uphill. Left at the roundabout where we almost ran into a bloke shouting at a steward about the course route. We then followed the hill downwards with Bradford University and a water station on our left before turning left again and winding through a few of the Universities streets.

There was a hidden hill that we weren’t aware of. (Not like under a bedsheet or anything, just wasn’t expecting it.) And although it was short, it was very steep. Didn’t see that many people run all the way up without stopping. Back down again, then on Thornton Rd in the opposite direction. We’d had quite a few walks on the way, so was surprised when Rob announced we were on for a 25minute 5k.

We saw Ironman Tony coming the other way on the start of his 2nd lap and thought we were near the check point, but the course went a lot further round than we expected, round the back of City Hall and then around the front. As we went past the halfway point the timer was 29:28. Sarah was there to take pictures of us as we went past. Spurred on we were, so we went to do the same lap again.

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Me & Rob, ready for loop two!

Not much different on this loop apart from we took water from the water station, Rob stopped to stretch out his ankle, and I WAS SLAPPED BY A GIRL!

On the hidden hill we’d just got to the top when SLAP! Right across my left shoulder. I looked around and she said ‘Come on, get going!’ As though wanting to motivate someone is a good excuse for battering them in the back streets of Bradford. Rob just laughed.

We finished the 10k (pah!) strong and met up with Sarah, Ironman Tony, Sarah’s mum and sister and the others at the finish line. I was amazed, AMAZED that my sports tracker app recorded a time of 58:16!! That’s over a minute and a half off my PB, and 8 minutes off of Rob’s! That’s fantastic progress in only 2 weeks! That’s…. that’s…. hang on…. 8.8k…?

Bradford 10k (8.8k) had ‘steward problems.’ Which meant that the steward that was supposed to say ‘turn right here’ actually didn’t say anything, and let people run straight on. When the bloke was shouting at the steward early on about the course route, he was right! They missed off a whole chunk of it! We received a medal at the end, but the medal is for a 10k and we only ran 8.8k. The medal was a bit pants too, generic picture of runners on the front and a small stamp on the back that said ‘Bradford City Run 10k.’ Didn’t bother taking a picture.

Bradford-run-route-20121

Bradford 8.8k Route

Rob sprinted faster than me at the end, which means that 2 weeks ago out of the four of us I came 1st, but this week out of the 5 of us I came last. Or as Nigel kindly put it, ‘From Champ to Chump in 2 weeks.’

After the race, we all piled into Lloyds Bar for a breakfast and beer. (Plenty of beer.) Which made everything seem a little (a lot) better.

Tuesday 05/12/12

I got a message through Twitter asking if I wanted to talk about the Bradford 10k only being 8.8k live on BBC Radio Leeds. I got the message a little after the radio program finished. Stupid Bradford 8.8k.

Next race is the Meltham 10k in Huddersfield on 27th January. Hopefully it’ll be well marshaled!