Sunday, 17 March 2013

Ghost Running: Les Witton 10 Mile, Dartford

On my journey to recovery it is going slowly and I am trying my hardest not to get too carried away and make my back worse but also not take it too slow that it jeopardises my marathon in the summer. I figured one way to get some distance in my legs without giving up was to enter a race. The Dartford Les Witton 10 mile race came along just at the right time. I have run the race twice before but I needed to not think about race times or previous pacing and just go out and see what I could do. My plan if I struggled was to walk if necessary but as long as I finished then this would be a big step. Time was not important.
Partially for this reason I decided to almost Ghost the race - okay not quite as I did enter properly - but I neglected to mention it online in any way so I could go completely free of any pressures. The plan was not to race, not to pace, put a smile on my face and get it done.
Prior to the start I bumped into Martin and had a nice catch up, I was good to be back on the race circuit as I realised I haven't raced since Brussels last October which for me is a fairly long old time. We also got chatting to an ORR named George, then I realise, this was THE George as I exclaimed, "Are you Jerry's George?" looking slightly alarmed the blog and ultra infamous George said that he was. Moments later I realised I should have in fact introduced myself then my slightly starstruck-ness because clear and I seemed a little less crazy.
Heading the the start line I felt a bit sick and pretty cold, rain was expected so I had my waterproof but I knew I wouldn't need it for long, 1 mile later it was round my waist where it would stay, nuisance!
It was a tough effort for me and a pretty hilly/undulating race but I kept plugging away and in the second half I bagen to slowly pick off a few runners as fewer passed me. By 8 miles I was pretty shot and wishing the end was closer. At mile 9 I suspected I may be about to suffer a horrendous bout of runners trots - luckily a 30 second walk cured this or I don't know what I would have done. The closer I got to the finish the old competitive spirit kicked in and I pushed up the pace as much as I could which wasn't much but I didn't want anyone pipping me to the line. I finished in just under 1h 37mins, a personal worst but felt amazing, I knew I wouldn't have done the miles by myself, the support of a race was what I needed so I was delighted to have got round in one piece  I bought myself to a cuppa only having £1 on me but someone took pity and treated me to a bacon butty. 
All in all good results if not in time; ran 10 miles, got a medal, avoided runners trots, felt good, got a free butty!!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

"You don't want to see me in Lycra"

So this week I have been back on it (training wise) and seem to be doing better than expected. However I am still disappointed to not have magically dropped all the extra pounds gained in a mere week. Currently I am having a bit of an Alan Partridge problem.... worried about my weight, "carefully concealed in baggy clothing but you do not want to see me in lycra".
Bad times, especially as lycra is the go to must for runners. Goodness only knows how people run in full on sweat pants and hoodies... mental!
Despite all this today I managed to swim this morning and ruin  this afternoon - the weather outside was very cold and snow kept trying to fall so I wussed out and hit the gym for some treadmill running. So with my ipod blaring I knocked out just over 5 hilly miles and watched the swimmers.
I also was given a shocking reminder of how much Matilda (cat) loves my swimming costume post swim as I found her rolling around with in in the kitchen, I must remember to hang to dry out of reach!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Back to Basics

Post holiday I feel like someone pressed my reset button, I am starting from scratch with my fitness but also my mental state has somewhat improved after spending some really good time just relaxing and not fretting.

On Sunday I ran and I wasn't best chuffed but I was running and that is great news after 7 weeks of inactivity (swimming and recumbent bike just weren't reaching the levels I normally do in training). Then last night I added in a bonus and reintroduction to personal training - we worked out and the time flew by all the time conscious of my back we worked out what I could and could not do comfortably. Most uncomfortable was facing a mirror while doing squat jumps but I made it through and felt more motivated to claw back the fitness we had worked so hard to achieve.

This morning, still buzzing and slightly concerned that DOMS may appear as the day progresses I got up early and headed out for a run. I wanted to run a little further than Sunday and also try to push a bit harder. I did both although the last mile (of a 4 miler) felt like the final miles of a marathon. It will take some time to get back to my higher mileage but I tried to think back to when I first started running - every time I came through the door after a run I was so excited to have gone just that little bit further. I remember reaching 2 miles and being over the moon so I will channel that energy and excitement and keep working on it. At least this time I know its possible because I have been there and will come back stronger.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The road back to mediocrity

As a runner I am nothing short of mediocre, I have slowly and steadily increased my speed over time and knocked an average of 10 minutes from each of my PBs for 10k, half and full marathons since beginning running (almost 4 years ago). I will never be great but I have discovered that I have good stamina if not great speed and am well positioned mentally and physically to give ultra's a good go. There is, however, a lot to be said for mediocrity and without it the truly great would not seem so great.
My first solo 12 hour race was scheduled for 3 weeks time and training was going well so imagine my frustration when nearly 7 weeks ago someone rear-ended me and I injured my back. I am now slowly getting back to running and was torn today as I returned from my run... trying not to do too much too soon I did a 3.5 mile run, on roads and into the woods but was saddened when I arrived home to see my pace had been much slower than it felt. 
This has cemented the decision that I will withdraw from the 12 hour lightning run and focus on getting back to full fitness in time for the Mont Blanc Marathon in the summer.