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Sunday, 28 June 2009

Dilemma

8.20am. Have woken up after a terrible night's sleep with a very sore tooth and a rather swollen patch in my mouth that made my breakfast difficult to swallow. Am thinking abscess!? Really stuck now whether to stay behind and try and find an emergency dentist or take the trip to Manchester and do this 10k race. Why do these things always happen at the weekend? This couldn't be worse timing!
And Toothy Tales of Torture...
16.45pm. Well, this Platt Fields 10k being the only road race planned for a while I set aside the tooth ache and went to Manchester to race instead. The dentist's answer machine message advising of the £115 call out fee was an additional motivator to try and live with the pain. I'm now less sure the race was worth the toothy sacrifice as we parked up at Platt Fields in shimmering heat and stifling humidity. The race was 1 small and 3 large laps around the park perimeter and incorporated the Northern Vets 10k champs. The 3 of us (me, M and old club mate Sally M) were all preparing our excuses; panicked by the heat and humidity, we all resolved to start out steady and just hoped we could get round in one piece. I was feeling less than fresh when 12pm arrived and prepared myself for a tough time on the start line but remained hopeful to be up in the prizes; by this stage thoughts of a decent a time had gone out of the window. Anyway, I think its safe to say that the race was absolute torture from the first mile. I'm not good at running in the heat and today was a mixture of baking stretches in full sun interchanged with hot, suffocating and humid tunnels of vegetation hell! Hope you're getting the sticky picture..
I ran a pretty cautious first mile but the splits just went downhill after that and I finished well down on what I'd hoped to do with a final time of 37.11. The other two had an equally tough time with Sally finishing 2.5 mins down on her last 10k time and M feeling so bad on this airless and stifling course with his dodgy chest that he had to stop 2 miles in. Times for the day were generally down by 1-2 mins for most so am trying hard not to freak out at my final result.
Reflecting on the race, the biggest challenge was to keep going, I was very close to stopping in parts, especially on this multi lapped course and quite a few didn't make it through. I was relieved to win the ladies race and I've some very nice vouchers to show for it, I also managed 10th position overall and came home with another impressive trophy for the NVAC Champs V35 prize. I'm so glad its over though, Summer racing is too hard.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

A Fine Pair

Nice change today as we ran with very good company this morning on an easy 4 mile recce of the relay route around Danefield Forest in Otley. Nigel A came over from Pudsey to act as our trusty guide and along with our mate Tricky we ran a nice, easy and very loopy route around the forest tracks. These old legs felt strangely tired but am trying not to read too much into this other than the usual pre-race panic that I'm not fit/fast/fresh enough for the efforts of a road race. I'll stop being a scaredy cat once the gun has gone at 12pm tomorrow and I've got the race started. My pre-race nerves are always ridiculous, even for really low key events so no surprises that I'm already stressin'.
Had a very welcome invite to refuel on a coffee and biscuits at Dragons club later in the morning and chewed the fat with a pair of good running pals, Kevin O and Tricky. Both are great runners and equally immersed in the sport themselves but somehow they still manage to be incredibly supportive, positive and generous towards those around them. Anyway, after eyeing up all those muffins, croissants and other devilish things in the cafe I decided to rescue that box of forlorn looking blueberries in the fridge and rustle up a delicious pancakey snack. Only for pre-race fuelling purposes of course ; )

Friday, 26 June 2009

That Friday Feelin'

So glad Friday's here at last after what seems to have been a very long week and the torture having to go to work, when waking to glorious sunshine every day. Its great to put this week to bed and after a very easy short loop for my run tonight I've enjoyed a very slobby evening eating lots of naughty stuff and watching trash on TV. Legs have felt pretty tired these last two days so am cutting down the miles at least until the race is done & dusted this weekend. A short and easy recce of the Danefield relay route tomorrow morning should preface a very chilled Saturday, doing very little except for fun stuff, enjoying time at home with M and cooking some good food. Ah, the simple comforts of home.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Daydream Believer

Have had a the crappiest day imaginable today at work and spent half of the afternoon wishing I could just zap myself out of the office into some alternate reality where you only work when you want to, trainers grow on trees and cake is the healthy low calorie option.
I really needed my run tonight; a steady 7 from home via Draughton windmills dropping to Bolton Bridge and home along the river. Got back just in time to see the finish of our local fell race; a classic straight up and straight down route via Beamsley Beacon. Now going to drown myself in some trashy TV and hope tomorrow brings better things. Thank you world for the running at least.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

300s

An apt Spartan theme for tonight's sesh at the club I think. I felt the weekend in my legs tonight but still ran reasonably well despite the very sticky and hot atmosphere on the rugby field. The air was thick with very annoying flies which I think have more than provided sufficient protein intake today given the number I seemed to choke on through the reps. The session planned was more speed that VO2 in focus so have swapped my plans around to rebalance with a fartlek session on Thursday. Tonight's session was 12x300 reps on the grass field with pretty short jog recoveries over 100m. Though pretty tough in the muggy heat I ran steady and managed to maintain pace through the full 12, perhaps dipping a little in the middle. Pace was 5.08-5.10 min/miles which isn't too bad on the lumpy and bumpy grass though I do wonder if the grass sessions offer the same benefits as the track.
I'm still torn on this club night dilemma. Though I'm keen to be participating in club training and feel some responsibility to go down on a club night I can't help but feel that the speed and VO2 work would be better served on the track where faster pace is more easily developed. The benefits of the grass will no doubt serve me well on the cross country later in the year. I might have to bob out the odd week and try and get some gutchuckin' 800s in.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before

I must stop having time off work. Though I did have a wonderful time over my long weekend I'm now faced with the cruel reality of a full and very long week ahead. Mondays are rubbish. I know I'm being a big moaner but the week ahead just seems like such a slog and I really need some quality Runningbear time. How do those Americans do it?! I hear 2 weeks a year leave allowance is a good deal for most employees...is that really true? Sounds like torture. I suppose the glorious sunshine today didn't really help with being stuck at a desk and generally moping around the office.
Tried to cheer up a bit with a nice and steady 7 out to Ilkley and back tonight with M. After the glorious sunshine all day the weather just turned mental tonight and we were splashing through torrents for the full hour. Despite having to swim across giant puddles and squint through sheets of pouring rain the legs still feel pretty good after the rigours of last week's training. I'll stick to another pretty solid training week before the race on Sunday and just ease down a day or two before. Though I'd like to be fresh and give it a good go, I don't want to compromise the training too much now I'm back in full swing. Am slightly nervous of what kind of time I'll manage (yikes). Just have to hope I've not lost too much to avoid any major blows to much needed confidence right now. All pinkies are firmly crossed.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

The Big 100

No, 100 is not the number of Lidl treats I've scoffed since my last shop there 24 hours ago. This is a very significant number, as today a local running star will have raced 100 half-marathons since his athletics career started as a school boy. Terry L started his running career over 45 years ago and has achieved many running feats in his time. Having run a total of 100 sub-40min 10k races & no less than 100 sub-69min 10m races, today will be his 100th half-marathon race! Terry has shared his experience and passion for running with many local runners over the years. He continues to clock at least 50 miles per week, 7 days each week, whatever the weather. Here's hoping the sun has been kind for his slightly scary 2pm start at Freckleton HM today.

As for me, I enjoyed my favourite session of the week, my long run on the canal path from Silsden. I was joined by M and our old club mate Mark I for the first 6 miles. It was great to have company but the boys were less than eager to run the 16 I had planned so we parted company at 5 Rise Locks, just outside Bingley and I pressed on alone for the remaining miles. The sun was in full force but the shade of overhanging trees on the canal side and light winds made the run a treat. I was pleased with how I felt, especially after the track yesterday; the legs were comfortable running in my endurance zone and I found myself struggling to keep the pace down in the returning 8 miles; clocking a total of 16m at 7.08 pace despite my attempts to put on the brakes. I'm confident that my strength and endurance are returning; its just the speed that needs a bit of attention now. Settled in to watch the athletics again today; what a dream telly weekend we've had, what with all the 'new rules' drama, crashes and 'spikings' and exhausted athletes; who needs Arnie...

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A Lidl Piece of Heaven

Have just sat down after a huge and delicious lunch; well earned after a hectic morning at the track. My plan this year was to build up my speed over the Summer (ready to attack the cross country season in the Autumn) but this plan has had its ups and downs, mostly downs with all the time out trying to get the mojo back. Anyway, since little miss mojo returned I've been doing my best to get in the VO2 sessions as much as is healthy for these 36 year old legs.

I was very grateful for M's company this morning. This was his first track session back after the op and the niggles of his sore tummy holes made by those pesky surgeons, (the holes got a bit infected so he's on extra strength antibiotics). He ran amazingly well and seems to have lost very little strength or speed over these last few weeks. We both repeated the session last week; 8x600m reps but with a shorter recovery (60-75 secs). The reps felt tougher this week for me at least, as was supported by my rep times which were a bit down on last week. I'm not stressing about it though, the recovery was much shorter and I've had a heavy week of mileage. I was also rather reserved in my pacing today, being wary not to push my luck and run too hard after a tough training week & I also need to save a bit for tomorrow's long run on the canal.

Speaking of long runs I've found another gem for refuelling. I dragged M via Lidl in Nelson on the way home for the usual stock of german sausages (for him), chocolate milk for me and a hunt for a new treat. It was a bonanza morning; these caramel wafers are a heavenly delight and perfect for a post track refuel in the car. They're not too crumbly and with a nice chewy (rather than oozy) caramel layer to really make your mouth water, if you like a snack with a bit of bite and texture that is. Runningbear is very happy with the purchase though I'm now wondering anxiously if the stock is sufficient to cover the week; particularly when M has also developed a taste for these fine treats. They keep calling to me from inside the naughty cupboard, what's a girl to do...they certainly top Tunnocks for any fellow wafer fans out there.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Into The Wild

Have enjoyed a lovely day off today, starting with getting all the house chores done by 9.30am and settling down to watch a DVD this morning with a pair of cuddly cats for company. Grizzly Man was loaned to me after a Monday morning chat with a work colleague discussing Into the Wild. I'm not sure what to say about this film; I'm left with mixed feelings and am still working out what I think of it. The grizzly death of its star Tim Treadwell was a very sobering start to the day so getting out into the hills was very welcome.
I opted for a bit of an adventure and the looming rainclouds didn't put me off. I drove out past Barden to just above Appletreewick at lunchtime for a change of running scene and enjoyed spectacular views across to Hebden, Burnsall and Simon's Seat. The weather was pretty wild and changeable but the waterside path at Grimwith Reservoir was pretty sheltered from the strong winds with barely a soul in sight except a windsurfer on the water obviously having the best time ever. The pace was relaxed and very easy to clear these legs of cobwebs after last night's heavy session. The views were spectacular on the track down to Raikes farm; the hills looked like the rugged shoulders of ancient beasts slumbering in the dappled sunlight. What a wonderful escape today was, life should be like this everyday. I've now collected yet another location for a future home to add to the collection. Back in our cosy house now & ready for some good food and a night in front of the telly with M. Life is good today.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Testing Tempo

Tonight was a toughie and rather than approach a 1x4m tempo effort I bottled it and went for 2x2m instead; have been feeling a bit zombie-like all day. The session planned was a 9 miler starting in Ilkley with M, warming up for a couple of miles before parting company and embarking on the first lactate threshold paced effort over 2 miles. This took me to the Burley roundabout for a quick mile recovery circuit around the village before returning for the 2m effort back into Ilkley. I wasn't looking forward to the session with the high winds and gusts all along this straight and exposed road. The mile splits reflected the challenge of running into head winds but my heart rate was the true guide tonight; I managed to maintain an effort falling between 4.9 and 5.1 for much of the way, spot on for a threshold workout. M had opted to do a different session tonight so we hooked up for the warm down miles bringing me to a total of just over 10 miles tonight. Phew, I'm glad that's done and dusted. I'm now ready to enjoy an extra long weekend. Have the house to myself on Friday with a sneaky day off and plan a day of slobbing in pajamas watching good films, except for the odd run or two of course. Back to the track on Saturday morning - it feels great to be hungry to train hard again.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Magical Misty Run

I somehow dragged myself out of bed this morning after another very late night and have yet again struggled to keep my eyes open through generally dull meetings in overheated rooms. I'm starting to get pretty desperate for a break from work and am counting down the weeks to my planned fortnight off in July. I've booked Friday off this week just to try and get some rest from the work slog and am already planning a lovely double running outing somewhere pretty.

Training seems to do a good job of perking me up in an evening at least and tonight was no exception in magical and misty conditions. I forged a new route out of two oldies tonight and clocked 9 miles in HR zone 3 over a moderately hilly trail route covering a climb to Draughton windmills on to Bolton Abbey with a loop to Cavendish before returning via the riverside path to home. The misty rain eventually cleared and the evening brightened up enough to dry out my drenched running gear on the return leg home. After mulling over my racing commitments I've reverted back to the original plan and aim to complete a lactate threshold session tomorrow. A visit to the track again this Saturday should round off another excellent training week. The looming 10k in the next couple of weeks is a stark reminder of the absence of any training to maintain threshold pace so I'd better get to it. Hills will have to wait.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Training Guilt

A real quickie as I really need my bed at this late hour, especially after my embarrassing snoring noises on the train tonight, (though at least I avoided drooling over any neighbour passengers for a change). Am now feeling really guilty after some encouraging and persuasive posts from URC and Hayfella that I should have gone for the hills tonight. You were too late guys. I opted for showing up at the club to do my club runner bit and ran an intervals session on the grass. However, instead of drowning in training guilt I'm gonna change things around and move my hills to Thursday instead. How's that for flexible? They are always excellent training and I always feel virtuous for having done 'em. I do appreciate training input from fellow bloggers who can be a voice of balance and objectivity, so will take on board your feedback.
Tonight ran what equated to 10x460m efforts on very bumpy grass. A great speed & strength session though pace was hard to judge given the running surface. The reps at least were in the right training zone and it felt good to have some club mates for company. Thanks to club mate Tricky as always for his effervescent company though I don't know how he still manages to chat midway through efforts without his lungs bursting. So, hills on Thursday it is.

Monday, 15 June 2009

Hilly Dilemma

Having come off a busy weekend of good running I'm motivated to bank another fine training week with the hope I can also fit in another couple of good quality sessions before the weekend. My training plan has 8x2 minute hill efforts down for tomorrow and this is definitely the week to return to hill hell. But I'm also keen to return to training on club nights and Tuesdays are intervals on the grass with Bingley's great runners et al. Oh gawd! Feel a bit torn as I know either session will be good for me and hill efforts will be a lonely kind of hell. Maybe turning up to the club is more important to get the competitive juices flowing, frolic amongst club mates and bond with my athletic brotherhood...I ran an easy 6 tonight around the village. I'd intended to be a bit daring and try a new route but the rainstorm was a bit of a put off and I stuck instead to an old and comfy route where I knew I could hide from the thunder and lightning should it appear overhead. I'm a girly wuss I know, but an alive girly wuss. Legs felt fairly good though left achilles and calf are still a bit tight from the 600s on Saturday or maybe it was loading all those choco softie boxes into the car...
I will stretch my achilles
I will stretch my achilles
I will stretch my achilles

Sunday, 14 June 2009

It Wer' Relay Hot!

What a sizzler! Left the house at 9am to drive M to the start of leg 3 at Laycock and the sun had already started to cook the back of my neck and right cheek. I spent the next couple of hours driving the team support vehicle around the course. M had a storming run despite his fears about feeling grotty and worries about letting down the Bingley boys 1st team. All that worry was for nothing; they only went and broke the club record for their leg! Though by mid-way M was feeling the heat and questioning his sanity running on antibiotics and a dodgy week of training but he made it through and his Runningbear was very proud. He ran like a trooper and brought the team in to Silsden within the hour. The Bingley boys on leg 4 flew round pulling back two more teams to second place but P&B were just awesome on the day and took the relay title.
My run was also a tad hot, leaving Ilkley with the mass start at 1.45pm with no cool breeze or clouds for company to keep us fresh. We ran a strong leg, taking the lead of all the ladies teams and finished nearly 8mins in front. This just wasn't enough to make up the 15min lead made by Keighley over the preceding leg 4. My pair Ruth W ran like a good 'un and gave her all. We crossed the finish line fried; I'm particularly well done on my right side. A lovely event and one I hope to do again next year. This team stuff is great fun and huge thanks to Barbara C at Bingley for all her organising of us ladies and encouragement on the day.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Lapping In The Sun

I set out to Nelson track today feeling a little nervous about the prospect of an intervals session in the hot sun after my most recent struggles to achieve anywhere near my former pace. I've been well off my track performances at Xmas time so was also worried that I might not quite make it through the full session. As a nice distraction I had a bit of company with local celebrity Terry L and local talent Alan B from Leeds City for company; both on the warm-up and then providing a target to chase through my reps. I resolved to do 8x600s with a reasonable recovery and had no idea of what times to expect; I haven't done this session for months but was sort of hoping to be somewhere around 2.03 mins. I enjoyed a lovely warm-up in the morning sun around the park with these two fellas for company and then after a few strides I resolved to make a start. The sun was pretty hot by mid morning so found I was working hard. Terry L also kindly shared the session as my rabbit to chase; this worked well in giving him a good head start before each of my efforts to make the final 200m a bit of a surging effort to try and pass him.

I was nicely surprised after effort #1, clocking 1.55 for this first rep, though I feared I'd misjudged the pace, being off track work for so long. Anyway I managed somehow to keep the full 8 reps all within 3 or 4 seconds of each other which was beyond what I'd expected to achieve at this stage in my fitness. I celebrated the session with a visit to Lidl for a good stock up on Bratwurst for M and Nougat Pillows & choco softies for me. They also do some great chocolate soya milk that's yummy for a post session refuelling. So, an afternoon of idle snoozing, chocolate munching and preparing for the relay tomorrow. We've plans to call by fellow club mate and Bingley superstar Sue B's 50th birthday bash tonight too. I intend to be very good and stay away from the shandy.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Meetings Smeetings

Have finally escaped after another full day of meetings; all my job seems to be about at the moment. The meetings are all with very nice, creative and passionate people I just wish I managed to do more of the stuff we talk about doing. By 3.55pm this afternoon and exactly 1h, 25mins into my last meeting of the day I was away with the running fairies imagining being outside under that bright blue sky, leaving the city and its troubles behind me, back where things are simple and easy and its just you and your trainers moving through the hills.
After an easy week recovering from my last race I thought I'd treat myself to a double today. Enjoyed a lovely, fresh and brisk 5m this morning under cool, clear dawn skies before travelling to work. Have just got out again on a balmy evening for another easy 5 with M around the Lob Wood taking in a climb to Draughton and the pretty riverbank path, taking in a pair of Herons along the way. A nice evening of a healthy dinner, some telly and maybe a big slab of cream cake for pud should set me up for the track session tomorrow; I've some 600s to get through before my stock up at Lidl for M's German treats.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Musings On Maulings

Though it was an easy day of running today I didn't get off lightly with my visit to Maggie the Mauler for a 60min massage ordeal. I do my best to try and keep on top of these niggling legs and feet. Maggie provides an amazing sports massage at half the price of her competitors and can do wicked things with her elbows and forearms - my glutes are currently quivering at the memory. I've had an ongoing achilles niggle this last week or two so thought it best to book in and was glad I had; especially after the hammering on my quads at the weekend. I've also been really well behaved since and done very little hard running and this seems to have worked a treat on recovery. So, after biting on my fist for a whole 56 mins, trying not to howl out loud or jump off the massage table I survived the mauling and called in to the local supermarket to pick up a few bits on the way home.
I've been moderately well behaved food wise this week and am suitably inspired by Tricky's blog and the sheer virtue of his pudding ducking at work. I fared less well. I was breezily nosying through the freshly baked bread when I happened upon this stunner of a cream cake, isn't he lovely? Was very taken with the bright green dome of pure marzipan loveliness, snugly hugging a heavenly light and spongy, custardy, creamy centre. Just had a huge piece to reward my bravery tonight. I hope you'll agree it was well deserved. Incidentally, I managed an easy 4 around the village earlier and plan to do a steady 7 tomorrow before a bit more track work on Saturday. Yay, its nearly Friday.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Milly Way

Nice change tonight, travelled over to Laycock to recce the 3rd leg of the Millennium Way in preparation for M's run this weekend in the Bingley men's team. The route meanders down the hillside taking in lovely sweeping views before crossing the Skipton road and curling around the hillside above Silsden to the change over. I measured the run at 8 miles & ran at a very easy pace though this scenic route is littered with stiles making for lots of interruptions to rhythm along the way. M seemed to manage the distance though he's still not quite himself and seems to still be struggling with fatigue which might be a sign of some kind of virus after the hospital stay; his heart is playing similar tricks to how mine behaved during the overtraining patch. Hopefully he'll get over this soon and be back to enjoying his running and training by my side.
I plan to run leg 5, the longest of the legs with club mate Ruth W. We'll be running from Ilkley Moor across and down into Bingley back to finish at my club's base. My own legs felt good tonight and seemed to be recovered from the mashing of Saturday's race. The Skins are going on to stimulate recovery and I've a massage scheduled with Maggie the Mauler tomorrow; just in case I haven't suffered enough this week.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Achy Breaky Legs

You might be concerned to hear I've been struggling to get about these last few days. As a result of Saturday's race my gait seems to have evolved into a sort of wooden legged but girly John Wayne. The particularly problem seems to be walking/running downhill or approaching any stairs facing forwards. Essentially I've had to descend stairs backwards and avoid walking down any hills. Where avoiding hills has not been possible I've had to resort to a sort of sideways skippy motion to protect my POOR LITTLE ACHY QUADS. Heavens knows what I've done to myself! Had I not raced on Saturday I'd be entertaining the possible explanation that I'd been drugged and attacked by a psychotic rounders team around the mid thigh area specifically. I have two excruciating patches on the outer side of my upper quads that seem to scream when the laws of gravity are applied. So, no doubt you will be very proud of my decision to behave and recover good and proper. I Have of course paid due attention to proper refuelling, (now alarmingly low on choco softie and general goody supplies; Lidl calls readers). I've stuck with very short and easy runs these last couple of days, staying in recovery zone pace. This discipline has certainly paid off as I managed to descend a flight of stairs today without biting my fist or yowling terrible swearwords. I progressed to a more ambitious aerobic run tonight on the familiar Strid route. Managed 9m at 7.25 pace. Felt pretty good despite the HM if a bit heavy on the hills. A relatively easy week ahead now to ensure I'm in a fit state for the Millenium Way relay this weekend. Bring on the massage later this week.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Elvis Legs

Have spent a rather dull day catching up on chores after neglecting everything for the last few weeks with M being ill and work being so flippin' busy. House is now sort of clean and tidy and after buying in some food today have scoffed a giant dinner and finally sat down and rested these very achy, shaky Elvis legs. Those descents got the better of me and have spent most of today avoiding downhills and descending the stairs backwards. Managed an easy 4 around the village first thing and had planned to do something later on but my quads wouldn't have thanked me. Sat down to a great film with M instead, Once. What a lovely, gentle Sunday afternoon treat. Felt teary all the way through but in a sweet and good way. So, a good night's sleep I hope ready for another full on week. Where did the weekend go?

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Doubly Dizzy Heights

Woke up this morning to rain hammering on the Velux and felt less than enthused about the prospect of racing, particularly as M had pulled out after struggling to overcome the effects of his surgery in recent weeks. The weather didn't really improve but gladly my mood did and off we ambled to Threshfield for the start of the Wharfedale Off Road HM. The race start was 11am so I managed to stay in the car huddled and shivering in front of the blower until 10.55am when M kicked me out to get on with the race. So, fitted with bum bag and trail shoes, shivering in the chilly winds and rain, I lined up on the start line ready for 13.1 miles of hilly pain. After the first few mins the race nerves evaporated and I was happily climbing out of the valley and taking in the views along the Dales Way footpath with just a handful of men in front, hoping I wouldn't lose sight of them and lose my way. The course was very runnable though the high winds were a battle on some of the most elevated and exposed paths. I was pretty much running on my own by Conistone village and approached the climb up Mastiles Lane with nobody in site until I neared the summit; where a few of the guys in front were stealing a sneaky walk! Walking in a race! Fancy that. Anyway, I seemed to gain on those in front on the climbs whilst losing out on the descents, the usual problem for these road trained legs.
The course was fab and I was slowly catching a very fit young chap half my age but in my fixation on passing him I missed the two unmanned checkpoints (as did he!). Oblivious, and obsessed with breaking the pretty boy I passed him on the final descent taking 5th spot overall into Threshfield, completely missing the turning to the rugby club and running an extra long cut adding at least two mins to my time. The young chap will be gutted as he followed me home but I was relieved to find I'd only dropped one place, such was the gap between runners. So, finished a frustrating 6th runner overall and 1st lady but managed a new course record by 12mins or something. Reckon I could take at least 3 more off that next year without the accidental extra long cut at the finish and the high winds.

This was such a great race; lovely nosh in the club afterwards and prizes galore too. The organisers were very forgiving of my mistakes and some fine upstanding blokes were happy to vouch for my run route. Apparently a large number of runners missed the checkpoints later in the race today; though no excuses for my double dizzy episode. A good day in all and can't wait to do it next year; especially with M on the start line too. Hope fellow bloggers URC and Hayfella are as happy with their outings today. Milly Way next week for me so easy miles to come.

Friday, 5 June 2009

8 Day Week

Feel like I've been very neglectful of my blog these last couple of days but have have had a nightmare busy time at work and am so very glad it's Friday. After a 16 hour day yesterday I didn't even have time for a short run and rolled in frazzled and ready for bed. Could do with more days in the week to fit all this other stuff in. Another mad day at work again today meant that I only managed a 3 miler but am relieved to find that my legs still remember how to do this running thing. It won't do me any harm after a continued achilles niggle this last week and I should at least be partially recovered from the harder sessions in time for the race in the morning. It's a comfort that the weather seems to be cooling down too. Legs still feeling a bit niggly but no pressure tomorrow for times and am hopeful I can just enjoy the event and the amazing scenery along the way. Fingers crossed these old pins survive the hills.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Famous For 15 Seconds

Quickie tonight as have a basket of dim sum steaming on the hotplate (mmm...fresh dumplings from a visit to the Chinese supermarket today). Ran an interval session at the club for the second week. Again it was great to be part of a group training hard, (even though I was near the back) and it was even better to be mixing in such talented company to inspire me on. The session was the perfect compromise as I couldn't decide whether I needed something short and fast or long and sustained; we did a pyramid of 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute efforts with shortish recovery. A great session to leave a bit in my legs for the race on Saturday . Though I did feel pretty heavy legged tonight that's no surprise after the quality runs at the weekend. I'm planning to just run very steady stuff for the rest of the week.
Breaking news...just heard from very kind and thoughtful chap Julian M that I've found fame (albeit hidden somewhere on the Bradford T & A sports pages) following the run at the British Masters relays. Runningbear hits the local news! Shame about the ugly pic; extra loud & embarrassed eek! from me.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Chocolate Pillows

I've not been completely honest with you dear readers. Since my trip to Lidl on Saturday I omitted to share a full and frank account of my shopping sins. In addition to the choco softie restock and my weakening for a bag of chocolate bears, I also came across a new and very naughty cereal; Nougat Pillows. These have to be the baddest cereal ever made. They are literally Nutella type chocolatey goo wrapped in a nice and crunchy chocolate pillow casing that doesn't go too soggy even after sitting in a bowl of milk for a few minutes. They are heavenly. I've been telling myself all weekend that they are the perfect post run refuel. The box comes in a giant size and each chocolatey pillow alone must weigh in at 10g each. There. Feel much better now I've confessed. I've nearly finished the entire box bought on Saturday; I just can't stop dipping my hand in for a dreamy chocolate pillow every time I stick the kettle on.
To balance this food fixation I did a couple of runs today. Serious I know. I did a short one; 4 miles at recovery pace very early this morning before work. The morning was glorious and I was already wide awake from 5.30am. The early run made tonight a bit easier as the general fug of heat was less than inviting after work. I managed another short loop around the village tonight which felt hard work in the heat. Averaged 7.13 over the 5 bringing my total to 9m today. Just enough to justify that second handful of choccy pillows with my cuppa. Why is naughty food so tasty!?