Happy New Year (just slightly belated!)
I hope that everyone had a really fantastic Christmas. We were very lucky as ours was wonderful. Very relaxed but we still packed quite a lot in.
I had every intention of blogging regularly last week but unfortunately I was thwarted by circumstances. I’ll give you a bit of a recap of the last week or so (you might want to put the kettle on at this point)
On Monday (was it really a bank holiday, it seems like ages since then!?) I had a gorgeous run with the lovely Carol from my running club. I’m afraid I held her up a bit with all my mince pie and booze extra baggage, especially on the hills! Neither of us live in Swanage so we aren’t as familiar with the off road routes as some people so we had a bit of a magical mystery tour. We started on familiar ground by going up the downs towards Durlston. We then took the coast path around the newly re-opened castle. It was the first time I’d been that way since the path was opened again and I was very pleased to see that they’ve done quite a lot of work on making it more accessible for the less able.
We skirted around the lighthouse and then along through the fields a bit with the intention of coming back down into the top of town somewhere. At this point we were making up the route a bit so we were a pleasantly surprised when it all worked out okay and we found our way into the top of the caravan site. We got back to the Mowlem just as a faster group got back there so perfect timing for a nice chinwag over coffee (but no teacake as I’m trying to restrict my carbs!)
On Tuesday, the day I was intending to do my mega blog entry, the huge storms hit the country and our power was knocked out at 10am in the morning. We spent a very pleasant evening by candlelight actually talking to each other for once (and eating chicken chow mein as the ‘healthy’ option from the Chinese takeaway! I didn’t want to risk even opening the fridge as the Southern Electric message about when the power would return was reporting progressively later and later times. We eventually went to bed at 10pm when the message was saying that if the power wasn’t back by midnight then it wasn’t likely to be back until the following morning. I started worrying at this point and imagining how I was going to have to take a day off just to cook all the joints of meat that are in my freezers! Luckily it came back on at around 3am and by morning the freezers were all looking very healthy again. I was a bit concerned about the ice cream etc but the mini magnums were still lolly shaped so that must be a good enough sign!
On Wednesday I decided that it would be fun to devise a picturesque route. Not that it was picturesque to run at night but one that made a pretty garmin picture. I came up with ‘The footballers Leg’ – what do you think? I was impressed! What was less impressive was that it was still blowing an absolute gale AND raining sporadically to boot (to boot, geddit???). It meant that when we were running away from the sea (most the uphill sections) it was blowing really hard, into our faces but that when we were running towards the sea we were speeded along by the following wind! It was a great run and we kept a reasonable pace throughout the 4 miles but I must admit that I was quite happy to get back to the pub. Once back at the pub I had a quick meeting about the Purbeck Marathon. This is definitely going ahead on September the 16th and I am involved with the promotion and the setup so prepare to be bored by my posts on the subject in many future posts!
I was hoping to blog when I got back but the windy conditions meant that our phone line was barely using which in turn meant that there was no chance of an internet connection
I have nothing exciting to report about Thursday night except that I spent it running around like a mad thing packing bags. Mike and I were at my works Christmas do on Friday night which meant that the kids had to have overnight bags packed for staying at their grandparents and we had to pack our bags for staying at the hotel.
Thursday lunchtime was slightly more exciting though as I got lovely new running shoes! I went again to Up and Running in Winton. I have nothing but huge praise for Simon there as he really is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful and never tries to sell the most expensive option to you just for the sake of it. I had a slightly weird moment when I took the shoes for a test run outside as I nearly got hit by a very fast moving missile! An empty cider can had been picked up by the wind and carried at least a hundred feet up in the air from where it was catapulted past my ear at a rate of knots! I took ages deliberating over the shoes as I had such a bad experience when I bought new last time. I tried the up-rated version of my current Sauconys (I still don’t know how to pronounce that) but they didn’t feel quite so comfy so I tried some Mizuno Wave Nexus on and they felt like slippers! I tried running in both shoes, then one on each foot as I just didn’t know what to do. The Mizuno’s were definitely more comfy but my sensible head told me to stick with the Saucony’s. In the end I plumped for the Mizuno’s and decided to do a 5k treadmill run on them before using outside to make sure they were okay with my knees.
Mike met me from work and we headed up to Guildford to the Radisson Hotel where we were having the Christmas Party. As soon as we got there I got changed and headed straight into the gym to try out the shoes. Boy was it hot in there and I really do hate running on a treadmill. It seems to take forever to do a 5k. However, do it I did and my knees felt absolutely fine so it was game on for the new shoes.
We had a great party but didn’t get to bed until gone 3am so were both very very tired in the morning. Our window didn’t open either so were very very warm (we’re used to a bedroom with no heating and a window always ajar). The excess alcohol had absolutely nothing to do with it at all. Honestly occifer…….. Saturday was most definitely a rest day. We wandered around the shops for a while (wish I had lots to spend…lovely shops – particularly the cook shop over 4 storeys!) then drove to Mike’s folks house to pick up the kids (who’d missed us SO much that they didn’t want to come home) then home. I pottered around tidying up (from the mad packing evening) and unpacking, doing the washing etc. I did remember to do my plank, clams and dips but that was all I was fit for!
On Sunday I was up bright and early to **ahem** get things moving before the Milborne 10 – a nearly 10 mile race run around the very picturesque villages of Milborne St Andrew and Milton Abbas. I’ve now got to the point where I have to have 2 very strong coffees in quick succession, can only manage a granola bar and then still have to take an imodium before the race. Most annoying but at least I have a way of managing it these days. I seem to be okay with the torq gels still which is lucky because at least I can top up with one of those.
Milborne isn’t a club championship race but is part of the Dorset League. I wasn’t doing it to represent the club (i.e. as in gaining any points) as I’m nowhere near fast enough. However I wanted to do it as I’ve been suffering a lack of confidence lately and seem to see really athletic and fast runners whilst I am driving to and from work and they make me wonder why I bother!
Tish offered to give me a lift so I met her at Corfe and we headed over to Milborne St Andrew. We left really early as we needed to register and we were very pleased we had as the parking situation was a bit hectic to say the least. Then the race was oversubscribed so they were considering turning runners away.
We wandered up to the start and we were just milling around waiting for the safety talk when BANG, the start gun went off and we were off! A bit of a shock to the system, another shock was how hilly the first 4 miles were. I did do this race last year and remembered that the first 3 were hilly but had somehow forgotten the worst hill at mile 3 that was hideously steep and seemed to go on forever. I must confess that in the first couple of miles I thought that I wouldn’t be able to finish the race. I did power walk up a fair bit of the worst hill but when I started running again after that I felt strangely okay and all my confidence came flooding back. I was nearly at the back of the field but I was doing it. I was running and I was enjoying it and I felt like I would be able to finish. It did get a bit tough a few times after that again but I carried on feeling good. I had a gel just before 7 miles as I knew there would be a bin at the water stop (I hate carrying the empty, sticky, case for too long!) and it definitely gave me a boost. I ran a good part of the race with Carol, although she managed to run the whole thing, including all the hills! At around mile 8 I started to think how glad I was that I was running with her as it was really keeping me going. Just as I thought it she said exactly the same to me. It’s amazing how much a bit of mutual support can help in a race. I know without a doubt that I would have slowed right down at that point if it hadn’t been for Carol. With about half a mile to go Carol told me to go on. She could see that I was itching to catch up the two ladies in front. Unfortunately I misjudged how far from the finish we were so didn’t quite make it and caught them right on the line. Doh! Never mind, I was just really really happy to have got to the finish in one piece and feeling really good. One annoying thing was that there were no marshalls on the water/coffee/crunchie/medal table – apparently they’d accepted all the entries over the 300 limit who’d turned up…meaning that us slower runners didn’t get our hot drink, chocolate or medal. No-one was even there to explain. We wandered back to the village hall where they’d laid on hotdogs and tomato soup (there was still some of this – hurray!) and I spoke to an official about the fact that there were no medals at the finish. She explained that they’d never had so many entries and would send on the medal. She was a bit short with me as I think she thought I was complaining but I wasn’t! Just asking if I was going to get one later!
As part of my marathon plan this year I’ve put easy recovery runs in on the days after my long runs. These can be dropped if I’m too sore but I wanted to try and train my muscles to get used to running when already really tired. So lunchtime today found me on the prom…plodding along to get another 3 miles under my belt. It wasn’t particularly pretty and it was very slow but it’s all miles under my belt! I did feel really quite achy afterwards. My new shoes do seem to make me run a bit differently, I noticed in the race that I was ‘slapping’ down my right foot. Either my lower calf or my achilles on my right leg (not sure which) is really tight and I don’t normally have that issue. I think I’ll switch back to my old shoes for the club run on Wednesday so that I can wean my legs off them slowly!
Right, if you’ve got to the end of this then congratulations and sorry for waffling on so much!
Anyone done any good races lately