Friday, 13 October 2017

Cross country

This weekend sees the start of the cross country season, his weeks event is at Acklam grange. I really enjoy the cross country as it's a welcome break from all the road running we do all year round. I have done fairly well in cross country events until recently, these sort of races are a good leveller. After last weeks marathon I'd be surprised if my legs lasted the whole 10k with some nice hills thrown in but it will make a good training run and also another opportunity to put on the NYMAC vest which I love doing. There are a few new members trying cross country this week so it will be good to see how much they enjoy it.

Back to the norm

The next few days after my longest ever run I felt ok, wouldn't say the same for my legs, they Knew  they had gone a long way and were not going to let me do anything for days. Keen to get moving again with the cross country season and the Yorkshire coast 10k inside the next ten days it was back to a normal NYMAC session for the first time in weeks. Paul's sessions have gone down really when since he took over and tonight there was again a large number in attendance. As we headed off on our warm up run to the cycle path my legs started to feel human again. Once at the path and few leg stretching strides later we found out the hills rep location had been claimed the session changed to one mile loops with a short rest between. I managed a full mile rep at a decent pace but the second soon had me slowing down and I used the third as a steady plod as my legs were feeling the miles from 4 days earlier. Overall an enjoyable session and it's good to catch up.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Yorkshire Marathon

After weeks of training through all types of weather it's finally arrived. Almost a year ago I remember being nervous about whether or not I could complete the Great north run, I've completed it twice now so the Marathon is the next challenge upwards.
We manage to get a seat on a mini bus arranged through friends of Chris, it's nice to not to worry about driving there and finding parking etc, I've enough to worrry about today. Were dropped off literally on the course and have to walk up to the university campus where the event is staged, what's most notable for me is how much of a uphill trek the finish line is, not what you want to see after 26 miles of  running. Once inside the campus we bump into the other club members taking part today, most are looking relaxed and ready, more than I am anyway. Simon, Mark, Catherine, Richard and Jack are here and after wishing them well it's time to head to the start.
Both Chris and I agreed a few weeks ago the best way for me to see out the distance was to try and stick to 10 min miles, that's the plan anyway. The race starts and finishes on the same road so the uphill finish I mentioned earlier is also a downhill start which doesn't help runners who are constantly reminded not to go off too quickly, we were passed by so many runners inside the first mile but we had a plan and had to stick to it. Just before reaching York Minister we reached another club member Richard Coates who was also running his first marathon. After the large crowds in the city the country lanes were a lot quieter and it was nice to get into a steady rhythm knowing it's a long way to go. Our pacing was going well and with gel and water on board we reached the first of two out and back sections, Stamford bridge. There was a huge crowd here with loud music playing and I got a little carried away by speeding up a little, after a reminder from Chris we settled back into pace and headed out again into a long drawn out uphill section which wasn't helped by the fact the sun had now appeared and the day was warming up.
Once passing the half way marker it was noticeable how many runners were now struggling and were now walking, you could certainly tell who had put in the training miles. The second out and back section was a long drawn out 3 miles starting around 17 mile marker. This seemed a good time to look out for the others passing on the other side and also helped pass some time away, we managed to spot Catherine and Mark who looked comfortable and when we were coming back up we also spotted Richard again. After the busy out and back section the course turns back towards the city from the 20 mile marker, this was now unknown territory to me as I have never ran past 20 miles before but hopefully the holding back in the early miles would help me through. A lovely quiet stretch through some small villages passed away the miles and it was now noticeable that we were passing lots of runners who were walking and hardly anybody had passed us for a long time. By this stage there were plenty of runners who were struggling and several were receiving ambulance treatment.
By 23 miles my legs were very tired but Chris was still going well and it was trying to stay with him that kept me going as we headed into town. In the distance I could see the petrol station we had passed at the start so I knew we were almost done with just the uphill section to go. I had to dig deep to get up the hill but once over the brow and passing the 26 miles it was all downhill and suddenly the  legs come back alive again for a comfortable jog over the finish. Our average pace for the whole run was 9:51 min miles which was quicker than planned and it found me out in the latter stages but we were never in trouble at any time and I'm more pleased of the fact we ran every step of the course which was our aim. Although Chris was comfortable he never left me behind which helped me keep going and it was great to finish together.
We managed to catch up with most of the others afterwards who had all done brilliantly well and were very pleased with themselves. York was a great marathon and one I will do again someday.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

London ballot

All over social media it's been non stop this week of the result of the London ballot. I did enter the ballot and like most wasn't surprised when I didn't get drawn in fact I've only spoken to one member who is actually in, well done Paul. October seems to be the time to make plans for target races and fit some nice races around them, make sense to me and at least you have a few nice races to look forward to which I think you do when your not in as many as others. I've got a few races in mind but I think I will see how Sunday goes first to decide any future plans.
There are a few others running the marathon Sunday and they have all worked hard to get to this point and I wish them all the best with what they hope to achieve, and me, I just want to cross that finish line!

Slowing it down

Tuesday evenings regular meeting place for NYMAC members has in recent weeks stated to become a little busy, regular planned sessions and a new hunger to the training is attracting large numbers to the club nights and tonight is no exception, sadly for me the club sessions are again not an option as we are still taking it easy ready for the weekend. Tonight we ended up running a reverse tees Pride 10k route and are joined by Dave and John who are relaxing after good results at the Redcar half last week. The pace seemed to be a little fast for my liking initially but it soon calmed and was pretty much perfect by the end. This run will probably be my last now before York as I need to rest these legs.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Redcar half marathon

Seems a little strange to discuss the Redcar half this morning as I didn't actually take part. After a lot of thought I decided it best that I didn't enter with the marathon a week away. The race is very popular amongst NYMAC runners and for many it's a highlight of the year. The race had already set off when I arrived so my first glimpse of NYMAC vests were when the runners returned to Redcar for the first time after the excitement of the trunk road. Looking very quick up front was James and Paul then a large group followed with Phil, Darren and Jack all going well. Many more NYMAC vests streamed through after and most had time for a wave on our unofficial NYMAC supporters corner. I moved further up the road for the final return of the runners who had all run fantastic races and it was good to be able to put a few faces to names. NYMACs James Fahey finished sixth overall and Paul and Phil not much further behind. Plenty of PBSs behind them including another club record from Laurence and another PB from Dave Robinson. From a personal point of view i actually enjoyed watching the race which I didn't think I would as I wanted to run especially as I enjoyed the race last year but I have a bigger target to aim for this week so some things have to give.

Cold mornings are back

After a few weeks away I returned to Stewart parkrun for a planned gentle jog around catching up with some familiar faces. This week I drove to the park as I wasn't planning to do many miles this week. Stepping out of the car was a little reminder that summer is over and them fresh Parkrun mornings are back, must remember my gloves next time!
Numbers seemed down this week probably due to tomorrow's Redcar half and the fact that yet another parkrun has begun in Middlesbrough. I think it's now five parkruns inside a ten mile radius, very strange. The run itself went to plan and was very enjoyable and best of all, no aches or pains to report, well no more than usual.