Friday, 28 October 2011

Bits and PC's

So looks like I may have got a partner in crime for next years marathon. I don't think he wants to do it but I think he'd dislike it more if he knew I had and he hadn't. Now we've got the small matter of agreeing on the location. Simple right? I think not. Watch this space.

Going through the 2011km mark last week, mainly due to the regular cycling commute I have now, means I needed a solution to how do deal with my clients when on the bike. Not in the sense of having to give them rides anywhere you understand but more about being in contact. The easy answer was a bluetooth headset but then the problem comes of which phone to connect it to. I have an HTC Desire S for personal use and a Nokia E72 for work. What if the client needs something and the Wife needs me to pick up dinner on the way home? The solution is this little Bluetooth headset . The little genius connects to 2 phones at once (unlike my old one) so now it doesn't matter who try's to call an out-of-breathe, cold and wet man on a bike. I have the ability to [talk] answer.

Wednesday's thunderstorm and torrential downpour (06:55am to 07:30am in case you're interested. All but 5 minutes of my commute) meant that the waterproof ability of my lovely Carradice 18oz Cotton Duck was tested fully. JUSTIFICATION!!! Everything inside, absolutely bone dry. And that's without mudguards! Mind you, I've even ordered those now. I need to be dry through the winter so my beautiful Yolkey is slowing becoming an old commuting workhorse. I already can't wait until next summer when I can strip off all the extras!!! For now I'll accept being seen, being able to see, being dry and therefore being warm, as the way forward!

Changing the subject back to running, November's race is Survival of the Fittest which will be cool but a bit unknown at the mo. It's also my first wedding anniversary on the same day and we've booked a lovely hotel for the night away from The Boy but that means if I'm given a late start time, I'm going to bail. When I signed up, it had a start time like 10am or something but basically they're going to release waves of starters for the best part of 5 and a half hours!! I'm not going to waste my entire day on it.

With this in mind, I've found another race to do. The Old Deer Park Richmond 10k. On my birthday. Not too far from home. On a quick and flat course. Therefore, for the first time ever, I'm going into the race with a mindset of getting a PB. It's always been during the run that I've felt it was possible and then pushed on but not for this one. PB is 49:03. I want it to read 48:xx. That will be the perfect end to the year but obviously as it's planned, watch me crash and burn!!

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

I did it!

At approx 7am this morning in the middle of Epsom High St, I completed my 2011 km for the year and therefore my 2011 year target is done!

I could have stopped to take a picture but quite frankly, it was bloody freezing so I leave you with this image of what it would have been like had I been cycling through Epsom High St in 1950! Ain't that lovely!

Now I turn my attention to 2012. That goal's easy. Complete a marathon which by the way, I'm still looking for your suggestions here

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

And now for the bad...

I left the last post on a high but all in all, there's some bad news too. It all started back in May when I ran the BUPA 10k in under 50 minutes. I was utterly knackered and beaten (unlike a smiling fresh faced eatingtrees that crossed the line only a few seconds behind me) but also delighted. It was like I'd finally sped up after 2 and a half years of pretty much the same speed. I was overjoyed and did something stupid.

In 2010, I had a goal of running a Half Marathon in under 1:50:00. I failed miserably! Didn't even come close but totally unexpectedly, I acheived it on Sunday and this has triggered my something stupid.

I told myself that if I ever ran a half in under 1:50:00, I owed it to myself to try a full Marathon. The whole 26.2 miles. Every single one of the 42.2 km. I also said I had to do it in the following calendar year which means 2012 will be the year of the big one. Ah Crap!!

I have never wanted to do a full marathon. I don't have the dedication in training or ability to deal with that much pain. I also suspect I never will again but for one day only (although I hope it doesn't take the whole day) I will attempt to do a Marathon. No time limit, just completion. No word of a lie, I AM ALREADY NERVOUS ABOUT IT!!! The thought of it fills me with fear but by putting it on here, it makes it a lot more difficult to back out.

But I need your help. I need ideas of a great marathon to do. If I'm only going to do it once, I want it to be great. I want the event itself to numb the pain! I will consider any but be nice to the beginner please... the less hills the better. A few thoughts strike me... Berlin maybe? Rotterdam? What about around the lakes in Switzerland? Like Lausanne? What do you think?

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Maidstone Half Marathon Race Report - Ups and Downs

If I've learnt just one thing this year, it's that I can blag my way round a 10k and post a semi decent time. Push hard out of the blocks, get through half way and then just accept and deal with the pain that comes around 8k. Never going to be the quickest but job done. Not a problem. Today's race was a Half Marathon though. You can't blag a Half Marathon but I also know I hadn't done adequate training for this race which we were doing to 'celebrate' a friends 40th.

Christ was it cold this morning though. Up at 6am ON A SUNDAY and then had to de-ice the car before myself, Mrs HMC and The Boy could leave. That's not what you want come race day.

We arrived just before 8:30 for a 9:30am start and Mrs HMC and The Boy headed off into town to find a coffee and somewhere warm. At that point I decided I was going to run with my arm warmers as I only had a short sleeve and you cannot quite understand how grateful I was to have packed them the night before.


I met up with eatingtrees and Paul and headed down to the start as we were discussing guestimated finishing times. I guessed 1:56 - 1:57. This was based on my recent 17 ish km run and using that pace plus a little bit for the additional distance.

A quick note about the route,  a dull first half along the side of the A20 and undulating throughout but a pleasant and countryside based second half with less pavements to trip on than the first made it a pretty good overall course but not a favourite. The marshaling and support was second to none though. Thanks to everyone for their encouragement.

The start horn sounded and we plodded along but the route was very crowded and very soon I decided to take to the side of the road and paths in order not to lose too much time. The first mile was recorded in 8:08 which delighted me and then the fear came. I'D FORGOTTEN THE NIPPLE TAPE. NOOOOO!!!! Oh well, too late. The shower was going to hurt later! Along with a second mile of around 8:00, I knew I was setting off fast but I didn't want to slow and then fail. I at least, wanted to push as much as I could and then crash nearer the end if that's what was going to happen. I just carried on and generally hit the 8:10 mark.

I ran through 6 miles in 48:4(? something) and I was happy with that. Not far off my recent 10k times. I then decided that I would go through the 7 mile mark and add 54 minutes and that was my time to beat. Knowing how much I'd slowed on the training run, I thought this was a good guess. 7 was done with the clock reading 57:3(? something). OK, time to beat was set at 1:51:30. It would give me a PB by 3 minutes and so I plodded on up and down the undulating route but I had a nagging thought of what if...

8 miles completed and now a new target. I knew sub 1:50 was a possibility but I would have to push really hard and give it everything. I did and as the miles ticked on, an energy shot was taken on board and the sodding hills never stopped coming. The downs becoming worse than the ups as the legs were starting to burn. I just wouldn't stop though. Now I knew sub 1:50 was a maybe, I knew I'd be absolutely gutted with anything less.

When I did my first Half, I forgot about the extra .1 of a mile you have to do. I wasn't going to make that mistake again. At 9 m/m, that .1 takes 54 seconds. That could make or break it. 12 mile mark. 1:41:28. I only had to run one more 8:30 and then I'd have a minute for the last .1! One last push.

The 13 mile mark came round in no time and my watch read 1:48:52. COME ON!!!!!! Look down, keep the legs moving and probably look as though you're dying in every photo. Here comes the finish line. A KERB!!! WHO PUTS A SODDING KERB 20 METRES FROM THE END! Up the kerb into the tape, over the mats, stop the watch, check the watch, collapse sideways in the dirt. I'd done it. 1:49:41. I was now a sub 1:50 half marathoner, had a PB by 5 minutes and 10 seconds and I was and am, bloody delighted!! Even the shower wasn't as painful as it should have been... There's only one problem with my time today but I'll save that for next time. I'm going out on a high with this post!


Sunday, 2 October 2011

There's something going on around here...

Well there was yesterday anyway. Knowing the heat was going to get to me if I went out later in the day, I decided to get out of the house at 7:30am for a long run. The Maidstone HM is now only 14 days away so I thought I better start the training at some point and it seemed as good as any. I pulled on my trainers and headed out on a 15.4km route I'd been doing earlier in the year.

As I don't listen to music when running, I sometimes need something to keep my awake and today was VW counting. It seems there was a show on somewhere as by the time I'd finished, I'd seen 21 classic VW campers and 8 classic Beetles. There really are some dedicated people in the world!!!

Anyway, the route is an undulating little fellow that always tests my legs and 5-10km I could really feel something in my knee. Not a pain so much as some discomfort. Oh dear I thought but as with the majority of my running hypochondriac-ism, it settled down a bit as I was coming back along the road to home after around 12-13km.

At this point my brain decided that it would be good mentally if I could get 17km under the shoes as leaving only 4km extra to do on the day would just be a case of pushing on mentally so as I got closer to home, I suddenly took a detour and headed up another hill. The High St was coming alive now as it was close to 9am but I continued up the hill, past the other end of my road, up another hill and the started the steady descent back to home. Then the knee did it again but this time with pain. I slowed right down an got back and then id A LOT of stretching and touch wood, this morning it seems OK if not a little achy (along with the rest of my legs).

My pace was a lot slower than my recent 10km outing but 17:3km was completed in 1:32:55 and it's just a relief to have done some distance. It's not going to be quick but at least I know I should be able to complete it now.