Welcome to my Blog!

A bit about me...

Just over ten years ago, I didn't run. Well, unless you count the 'dreadmill' at the gym, for maybe just a half hour. I was inspired by an old school friend to 'get outside' and I joined a group that would set out regularly from my gym. I remember my first few times and I'm not going to lie, it was really hard! I signed up for my first Cancer Research 'Race for Life' 5 km race in Warwick, so that was the goal. However, I loved running outside so much that I ended up getting carried away with training and decided to enter a local 10km race before the 5km one. I think that just about sums me up in a nutshell.

Jumping forward... I've been immersed in running club land, I've captained at a running club, I've set up my own running group and I've participated in six different marathons and what must be over 100 different running events. Events have included National cross-country, fell races, triathlon, team relays, orienteering races, night races and fancy dress races! No ultra races yet... but never say never!

The races that excite me most are ones which include rude ascents, some fun descents (bordering on uncontrollable), breathtaking views and surroundings which allow my spirit to dance. The dark and echoing tunnels in big City marathons which take you down and away temporarily from the roar of crowds is one of my weird guilty pleasures. I just enjoy that peace and quiet where all you hear is your breathing and trainers striking the ground... and races with space between participants suit me very well indeed.

I also love rabbiting on about running...whilst running, before and after! And, I love team spirit. Slight contradictions to my running solitude but I take that as a sign that I am not merely running to control my otherwise rather chaotic mindset but because I ACTUALLY love it. It has become a big part of me.

Nothing is more satisfying than that post-run/race feeling, and sharing those moments enjoyed in a race with others, to inspire, chuckle at and also wince over (especially when accompanied by a large glass of wine!) So instead of just chatting, I'm writing!

Some of my proudest moments;

- When Ladies Captain at Kenilworth Runners, part of the winning Masters team at the Warwickshire Cross country champs 2012
- Winning the Tempo Events Ilmington Series Vets prize 2015/16
- Setting up Run Warwick and organising the very successful and popular 12 Miles of Christmas Events

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Second Place :o) ..and a good week.

Well this week, was a good week. Training going well, and although the JD plan said 70% of highest mileage week..ended up doing almost 50.. when I thought it was 45! I think it must have been the double. I think building in a double at least once a week will be my only way of keeping the mileage up, and next week will be one of the 100% max mileage weeks(!) *mama (sucks thumb)*

I did what I thought was the prescribed 1km intervals in the week, alongside fellow club mates doing 200s and 400s (they were told to 'ignore' me! Lol!) I really enjoyed the session and managed to stay at least 10secs within the target time.. and the drive up and down Stoneleigh was undulating - especially up and over the bridge so I didn't think it would be easy. What I hadn't read is that the session should have included 10km AFTER the intervals... I just didnt read that bit, and after initially feeling pleased with my efforts - I then felt the session was a big fat FAIL. But then, weighing it all up - maybe the extra mileage I did in the week was enough to make up for this 'missing 10km'..although I just want my body to be doing the right things to gear up for my best time possible in Snowdon. Am I expecting too much of myself - punishing myself for not paying attention to a plan like it is Gospel. I mean people have to work, have to fit plans into their life, the plans have 'fat' built into them for possible injury and just 'life'...so yes it was still a good week. This was definitely made smilier by a 2nd female place in a local race which I didn't exactly plan for. Thats probably the reason why. I was relaxing Friday night.. watching late night TV, drinking wine, with the vague plan on entering on the day. Found myself waking up early...probably not even that well hydrated, drinking coffee and getting my kit together. So this was mainly XC... but the ground was dry, so I opted for my normal Lunar Glides.. comfort was paramount! I did a bit of a warm up, a couple of kilometers just to warm the legs. So after a briefing - which scared the shit out of me, because the words 'Look after each other' seemed to echo around my head.. steep hills and the fact my friend who runs 34 minute flat 10kms, won the race in 52mins on the last race of the Series (this was the 3rd..) So we started off on the road line - myself and about 40 or so others... including what looked like a very quick lady (you can just tell these things)...who pushed in front of my female lead after about a half km or so. I had it in my head - I dont normally lead, this was bound to happen, and with the course ahead, plenty of time to move back ahead. I guess I really dont believe I am 'in that place' in the leading female position yet. Anyway - another girl pulled ahead of me as we pushed around a corner and up the first steep hill. And this was not just an 'undulation'...this was a HILL. Almost as steep as the last hill I faced in the Hilly 100 relay race, and that almost brought tears to my eyes steep! So I remember Rich's words 'it doesnt make much difference at this point if you reserve a bit - as there is a good downhill to make up for it'... but I had been doing tons of hill training, and I found it 'OK'... challenging, but not scary. I pushed ahead of the girl that initially passed me, but the other was finding this hill 'OK' too.. and she looked like she had more muscle strength in her legs.. so I kept a safe distance between us - using my arms to power up but short strides and quicker turnover. We got to a flatter part where I pushed ahead of the guy who had been shoulder to shoulder with me... and then up the second section of the hill (it was not over yet!) Then finally the descent ... like a surfer caught in the perfect wave, I went with it quickly, and almost wanted to cry out with the fun of it... quick down through woodland, roads, not looking around, keeping the other girl in range. It was a really enjoyable section until reaching around the 6-7km point where we followed a trail to a grassy hill which steepened, and I could see the runners 200m or so ahead all slowing to a walking pace up to the summit! OK the other lady could not be seen behind me (I never normally look behind in a race - but as there could be a walking section I thought I would bend my rules!) So OK I just had to take this with as much energy as I had left - after this it would be downhill to the finish. My quads were pushing exhaustively and I just looked ahead to see what the others were doing... walking. I thought I would run/walk/run to try and break up the pain but kept an eye on how far the other lady was behind.. she was running - but a good minute or so behind. Finally it was coming to an end... the top of the hill - a corner and the road went down... muscles released and my lungs relaxed.. then a kissing gate (slammed this shut) a quick field - and again - and I could see the 1st place girl almost one kissing gate ahead.. and I could not hear the one behind me going. I tried to move up on her... but she was as strong as me, I guess the addrenalin of being in first is more powerful than fighting to get there... but I gave it everything I could until the final kissing gate and the field to the line, where I was given a shout of well done 2nd female from my club-mates! Wow what a seriously enjoyable race... a thinned out field, a tough course but NO stitch and 2nd place and the training is making me stronger :)