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Sunday, 25 July 2010

Lazy Days

What a lazy week it has been since breaking up from the office over a week ago. A flying visit from a southern friend was swiftly followed by a bit of shopping for a new bearmobile, (to replace the broken one) and then a few days generally getting my head round not being at work. I'm now facing week two; the days are whizzing by, gradually being filled with trips to the vet and ideas of sorting out that peeling paint on the front door... if only the sun would come back.

Running wise the training has been low key, except for a trip to Blackpool on Saturday; a rather lonely 3k for the club in the BAL Cup competition. The best bit was the warm up in and around Stanley Park; what a great place. The event felt like more of a time trial than a race with an easy win by nearly a minute over the 3k but  it's a speed session in the bank at least.

A return to a bit of mileage for this coming week, starting with a nice long Sunday run. As M and I skirted Kilnsey Crag and climbed the road to Kettlewell, thoughts turned to the Burnsall race in August and our first inspiring introduction to Old Runningfox, a fellow adventurer around these parts. This area has got to be one of the most beautiful places in the country and the running is spectacular whatever the weather. The Burnsfall Feast Sports day is a firm Runningbear favourite and offers something for everyone, whether its road running or fell racing or just lots of cake and silly games by the river. It's a nice day out in a truly gorgeous spot; get it in your diaries.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

The Great North 10k 2010

After a bit more of an adventure than we'd bargained for these last twenty four hours we're just back home. I'm too tired to blog right now, especially after the long ride home in a recovery truck [don't ask!]

For those very eager followers I've posted some event pics below. I think they capture the wild Sunderland weather (no fast times today) and the highlights of our elite quarters in the players' area at the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC...you might spot the odd star in the 'Players Lounge' too. I finished 5th lady overall, which more than made up for the slow times on today's undulating and windy course. My new scarlet T6s were a dream to race in and looked magic with the spangly laces, even if I  do say so myself! It'll all be on the telly next week and as I write no chip times up but initial gun time results here. Laters...

Saturday, 17 July 2010

On the road

What a long week its been getting ready for a break. No time to blog but at last its the start of the holidays; two blissful weeks of sweet freedom. 

First stop; Sunderland. RB is back on the road starting tomorrow with the Great North 10k. No real expectations, just hoping not to be last. Its a great elite line up so I can enjoy doing my thing and racing myself back to fitness...a demain. 
@~@~Sent from my BlackBerry~@~@

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Track Jams

The track training plan was seemingly doomed yesterday. After a forgetful Friday of failing to phone and check out the bookings we arrived at 10am to find coach loads of kids being emptied out at Carnegie... the tiny little ant-type creatures were crawling all over the place for their school sports day and would have presented a serious squishing hazard. After a bit of dithering we discovered the little blighters had taken over South Leeds track too;  the planned session just wasn't going to happen. 

The drive to Seedhill was just too far in the wrong direction and the morning was hotting up as we panicked thinking what to do. At this point I should confess that we were less than keen to stray too far from the most-wonderful-deli-in-the-world. It makes the best, most gooey and chewy chocolate brownies that are, by far the finest reward  for the virtuous afterglow of a tough track sesh. So, some quick thinking took us to the Uni playing fields for some grass intervals. I revisited the site of an old cinder track, (now rugby pitch) that was incidentally the venue for my first school 800m medal...

The track target had been 14x400m reps with a short recovery and pacing at 75s. We opted for 75s intervals with the same short recovery, though a bit of adjustment on speed would be needed for the howling wind, the blazing sun and the change of terrain; the not quite so springy grassy grass lacks the bounce and mesmeric feel of the track.

I was glad to have Ms company as we set out at a pretty fair lick, sub 5 minute pace felt extra tough in the conditions. The efforts rolled on and by number 10 we were both feeling spent. We pushed to 12 before drawing an end to the session. My absence from grass training was taking its toll as the funny sore bit of my right foot that caused my DNF in the winter XC came back to grumble at me. A good session in any case with reps all on target; encouraging given the conditions. I've even created a pretty chart just to celebrate. The post run cake was well deserved.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Xmas Is Early

My new kit arrived safely, delivered by Mr Complete Runner personally. A boxful of goodies included lots of great summer gear to keep this Runningbear training cool but also some more racers and trainers; T6s and Glycerin 8s which are my all time favourites. Brooks seem to be the only brand of shoes that keep my feet free from blisters, sore spots or calluses however many miles I race or run. They've also got a great shoe advisor online, check it out here.

A new addition to my fine collection this time is a pair of Brooks' Cascadia Trail shoes. I've had my eye on these for a while and am looking forward to trialing these on the trails this weekend...
Other than pressies from Brooks (thanks Martin), the week's been a tedious one with too much going on at work and no time for owt else. Training runs have been a rush to get out and back before the evening light disappears so I've just been hanging on for the weekend and space to breathe and relax again. I'm now very glad its Friday; two full days ahead with space to run, breathe, eat and sleep, all in that order. Tomorrow is track work again, accompanied by my trusty M; we'll be flogging ourselves with 400s. Yay.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Kit-tastic Day

Have just received notice from Mr Complete Runner that a big box of kit is coming my way... Brooks are ace! I am SO excited; I'll have the new T6s just in time for next week's 10k race!

 @~@Sent from my BlackBerry@~@

Sunday, 4 July 2010

The A Team

After the highs of a 3k PB this week I've been training hungry and as motivated as ever to get back on track. The rest of the week has featured some more fine deposits in the fitness account but with the added bonus of Mr T for company (more fondly known as M). His previous week of rest saw him more than ready to get back to it; it was a welcome change to have company on some key sessions, and what a great running team we make.

A return to the track on Saturday brought some pacey running with super speedy training partner, Becky L of Skipton. Becky has a big race next weekend and her own wow-some 3k PB last Tuesday indicates she has a fine run in store, particularly if her form at the track is anything to go by. 

Coach Scobie made sure we delivered another fine 400s session; 12 reps all ran at well under our 3k race pace. M joined us too and easily hit sub 5 min mile pace on all the reps; a positive reinforcement that the speedy strategy will provide some fine road racing this autumn. So, a bit of race planning is now underway to make sure we bag some fine times to follow on from the speedy summer  A half marathon and a few 10Ks should do it before some more thinking about what 2011 will bring...
A return to the long one on the road today; 17 miles at a steady pace to keep the endurance base topped up. Though I'm still a bit puzzled at how much strength and pace  I've lost in only a few weeks, I'm at last feeling a bit more forward focused and the strength is returning week by week. I'm back to a healthy mileage and enjoying the running again. No racing for another week but plenty of training to do. Yay.