Posts Tagged With: MK Half

Getting ready – plans for 2015

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Edmonton, Canada

Watching Top Gear tonight and their trip to Canada made me reminisce about my trip to Edmonton last year and also reminded me that I hadn’t written anything here for a couple of months. As my race number for the MK half dropped through the door this week it seems quite timely to update what is going on in my world.

The MK Half will be my first race of the year. It should have been the Bucks County XC Champs but as has been the case since May last year, my calf had other ideas. A common theme throughout my posts last year was my struggles with issues with both my calf’s. Although my running has gone from strength to strength (I’ve PB’d at every distance raced in the last 12 months) my calf’s neglected to join the party. Any time I run over 10 miles or a hard track session they give up, cramp up and generally cause me grief to the point I finished most of my running races nearly in tears and then need loads of physio to get me running for my next triathlon. Funny thing is, I never get the problem in a tri…

Anyway, after the MK Winter Half in December, I took some time off from running, ramped up the physio and have spent most of the winter doing strengthening exercises. Touch wood, the problem has eased massively but I’m nervous about next Sunday. It’s so early in the season and I’ve lots planned so first sign of trouble and I’ll be backing off!

Aside from my running woes everything else is going pretty well. I decided at the end of last year that I wanted to have a bit more structure to my training so have teamed up with Adam from GreenlightPT and it’s already working wonders. My time off the road has been well spent on the bike (mostly the turbo thanks to the wonderful British weather) and in just 8 weeks I managed to increased by FTP by 10%. I also decided to treat my swimming with a bit more respect, rather than the necessary evil that triathletes have to endure and have made some big gains in the pool over the last few weeks.

'Percy'

‘Percy’

I also treated myself to a TT bike. After my son started school in September I decided to up my hours at work back to full time and along with an unexpected pay rise, the extra cash was burning a hole so I now am the proud owner of a Planet X TT. It’s still sat on the turbo but as soon as the weather clears up we’ll be whipping up and down the lanes of North Bucks and South Northants. I know it’s all about the engine that drives it but to quote a well known supermarket ‘every little helps’!

So the next few months will be a lot of hard work to get ready for the ITU qualifiers, Outlaw Half and the ETU Champs in Geneva. I’m really looking forward to Outlaw. With an improved bike leg I know there’s gains to be made as long as I can run comfortably. I’ve no idea how the qualifiers will go. I’m now the baby in a new age group with the over 40s – I only turned 39 10 weeks ago so have no idea where I sit in the scheme of things, and am very conscious of the fact I got lucky with my qualification for Edmonton last year – hopefully luck with be with me again this year!

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 7 done – getting it together

A good solid week of training was achieved this week and I managed to tick every session on the plan off, although not quite gold star material as I only ran four of the five intervals I should have on Thursday (the fourth was so bad, I gave it up as a bad job!).

The week started well with a good turbo session with the GreenlightPT crew. We started with a killer of a pyramid session followed by a brick set. I was quite pleased with my running off the bike – considering I’d run 12 miles the day before the legs moved quite well so they’re definitely getting used to trauma of running straight after a ride. I followed the session with an easy 3km run which was a good way to run off the previous days run and the pain I’d just put them through.

Swimming on Wednesday was good – feel like I’m getting my swimming mojo back again after a bit of a lull – felt strong throughout the session and am relieved that the pain I had in my shoulder is lessening as the weeks go on. Can only assume it didn’t like the increase in training and introduction of core work!

As I mentioned earlier, my interval session on Thursday was not 100% successful. As with last week I had to do the intervals up and down the A5 which is not ideal. It’s difficult to get any sort of a rhythm going as you’re either running uphill, downhill, crossing a road or turning around. I’ll be pleased when the lighter nights return so I can go and use a great 1km straight we have just outside our village – could have been designed for interval work.

I finally managed to get my second swim of the week in on Friday morning – I hadn’t been able to try the endurance session yet so gave it a go and was quite pleased with the outcome – all reps in under time and without too much effort expelled – it did help having two bloke ironman training hanging off my feet as it forced me to keep an even pace which is no bad thing.

With the MK Half on Sunday I only had a reasonably short bike ride to do (50km) on Saturday so tagged along with my father in law and brother in law en route to some hill training – thankfully I got to turn around before they hit the bigger hills although I was faced with my other nemesis on the way home – the wind! Made my planned fun ride home a long slog – not perfect preparation for a race the next day but hey, that’s what training is all about!

The MK Half marathon on Sunday was great – I’ll save the details for a race report but in the scheme of things, after a swim on Friday, a ride on Saturday I was more than pleased with my performance on Sunday. I ended up only around two and a half minutes off my PB and to be honest, it was only my lack of long runs (2 x 10 miles and 1 12 mile) that undid me in the end but still early days – plenty more running to come…

Quicker runner

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 6 done – up and running

After a pretty much non-existent week of training last week, things are picking up again. I’ve still got my cold (I never have one of those few day colds that others seem to have) but it’s not on my chest so pushing on with the training!

Back into the turbo session with GreenlightPT on Monday. It was a great brick session with reps on the bike followed by runs round the block. My first foray into brick training this year and the legs weren’t sure what had hit them – especially as one of the reps involved a running parachute! It must have given various passers-by a giggle. But it got me working up a sweat so must have been doing some good.

Swimming on Wednesday was hard – it looked so simple on the board, two of everything – unfortunately there was also a x4 and brackets involved…but I finished the set in one piece and my shoulder held together…

I ran my first set of intervals in about a year on Thursday. Not quite on target pace, but considering I had to do them up and down the A5 (not flat and junctions to cross) was pretty pleased with the outcome. Consistent pace throughout and definitely room for improvement. Haven’t been able to run that fast comfortably for years if I’m honest so feeling pretty chuffed with myself and really looking forward to getting the running part of my training underway properly. I just need to remember to look after my legs – stretching and rolling…

Life got in the way on Friday with a poorly little boy and a husband away with work so unfortunatetly my second swim session was canned. I hoped to make it up on Sunday evening but just never happened, just need to make my next swim session better to make up for it.

The weekend was probably my biggest yet in total distance covered.  Not my biggest ride but was the largest bike/run combination over two days. I didn’t go out with my usual group on Saturday morning. It was quite icy, even at 9am and as I don’t do ice (ever) a mile out of my village I chickened out and came home. I eventually ventured out at around 10:30 and had a pootle around the lanes. It’s always tough out on your own, the miles seem to take so long to stack up and you never travel as fast. I was quite grateful to ride for about 10 miles with a fellow cyclist who I’d caught up. We had a nice chat which made the miles go past quicker, even though the speed wasn’t so hot. After I left him in Fringford I pushed hard for  few miles to make up some time and was quite pleased with what I could do – the lack of headwind did make a difference! for the second week in a row I avoided a cafe stop, but as a result did need to stop to take a gel. I need to start to take on food a bit more on the go as it wont do the bike split much good to be stopping for tea and toast.

Sunday was a long run – I had a target of 12 miles on the plan and the DLRR club run was an hour or 2 hours 20 mins – I needed a bit in between that so ran five miles on my own and then ran an hour with the club. It was great to be back running with the guys again and I quite surprised myself as how quickly my running has come back together. With the MK Half next week it could be an interesting race. It is just a training run, and I don’t think I’m in PB shape but sometimes once you get going you feel it’s there – I’ve got my game plan worked out for a conservative start and finish strong, but I’m terrible as sticking to my preconceived plans…so roll on next Sunday.

runner

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Week 16 – London Marathon Training Review

Final week and was pretty good to be honest. I avoided the usual Monday night swim in order to rest. Tuesday was a physio session and as my achilles has been quite good I had a full leg massage instead. This meant no running on Tuesday, another gold star!

Wednesday was the GreenlightPT swim session. I still went as I needed to do something but dropped down a lane so that the distance and intensity was reduced. Only problem with that meant I had to lead the lane, which meant clock watching and counting reps – not my forte! I’m used to hanging at the back of my normal lane leaving five seconds after the person in front and swimming as far as they do. Anyway, it was a good session and felt refreshed at the end of it.

On Thursday I met the gang for an early lap. We ran this at marathon pace which was great, just the confidence booster I needed. That was me done. I took annual leave on the Friday so I could get packed up for Sunday and just rest although I ended up doing some shopping and housework so didn’t really pan out as I had planned.

Saturday was travelling to London and the expo to pick up my number for Sunday. I met a few DLRR team mates there and found out I’d just missed Liz Yelling and Iwan Thomas. Expo was still good though – loads of freebies and things to try or have a look at – there was an opportunity to spend a fortune but we came out with a VLM mug, bear and t-shirt – it could have been a lot worse, especially as it was Saturday afternoon and many of the stands were introducing massive discounts on stuff.

On Sunday, I had a nice long run in the sun around London, with around 36,999 other people…

Monday – rest

Tuesday –  physio/massage

Wednesday  – swim with GreenlightPT

Thursday – 4 miles

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 26.5 miles

Miles for the week – 30.5 miles

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Week 15 – London Marathon Training Review

Apologies for the late post but didn’t get a chance to post this on Sunday and then it didn’t seem appropriate last night. 😦

The penultimate training week…the tapering really took effect this week. I was a bit naughty and succumbed to some intervals on Tuesday. They were only 400m long and not particularly fast, just enough to remind my legs that I can move a bit faster sometimes and was reassuring to see I had regained some of the strength I had before my injury. My calves were a bit tight so it’s possible I did only do seven reps, kind of lost count and trying to recalculate while running a rep is impossible! Judging by the total mileage, I think I was probably 400m short but hey, life’s too short to worry about that…

I attended the usual swim session on Wednesday with GreenlightPT with the plan to go down a lane so that I could keep in line with the taper – no such luck, stayed in the top lane and completed a tough session, just a touch under 3km. I really can’t wait to do a triathlon now to see how my swimming has improved.

Thursday I met the guys and gals for an ‘early lap’ we deliberately didn’t go all out but it still got progressively quicker and wasn’t that much slower than the previous week. I was then very good and rather than go on the social run, which would normally work out at least another 5 miles, a couple of us went for a quick 1.5 mile run. Only trouble was the heavens opened and it didn’t just rain, it was a deluge and I haven’t been that soaked since the MK marathon last year! It was a rather tough 1.5. miles but doing that rather than the social run meant I kept my mileage down for the week.

This weekend was the last long run. The route planned by this weeks club routemaster was somewhat of a tour of the hills of MK, perhaps not the best run to do as a last run before London but there were plenty of drop out points so I bailed out after 7 miles and then ran the last three miles back to DL at race pace.

So after 15 weeks of injury, recovery, relapse, more recovery, illness, rebuilding and eventually almost a full return to training, I’ve actually made it to race week – woohoo!!!

Monday – rest

Tuesday –  4.6 miles (1 mile jog, 8x400m fast, 2 min rec), 1 mile warm down)

Wednesday  – swim with GreenlightPT

Thursday – 5.3 miles (4 mile early lap/1.3 mile run)

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 10 miles

Miles for the week – 19.9 miles

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Week 14 – London Marathon Training Review

The miles have started to drop off now as I start to taper for London. I didn’t manage any cross training this week although not by choice. As Monday was Easter Monday the pool was shut in the evening and on Wednesday I wasn’t feeling too good so the upshot was no swimming this week.

Now that all my injuries and niggles seem to be on their way out I did contemplate some intervals on Tuesday, but the sensible voice in me determined that this was probably not the time to start 400m reps after three months of steady running – it would probably have ended in tears, so I decided to do a 3 mile progressive run, the first one at marathon pace then each mile 20 seconds quicker.

On Thursday I met the early group for our 4 mile ‘early lap’ and not quite sure what got into me but I was flying and felt really good. In fact all of us ran really well – just pushed each other along, so much so the final mile was a 7:17! I haven’t run a mile that fast in years! Overall the time was only just over 10 seconds off the fastest I’ve ever run on that route and at the end I still felt there was some left in the tank – I even went out on the main club run afterwards and that too was one of the quickest I’ve run that route.

This is all great confidence boosting stuff. I feel that I’ve managed to get some of my flat speed back, but I’m conscious the long runs I missed in January and February mean my basic endurance is still a bit lacking. Two 20 milers in two weeks will have helped loads but with only two more long Sunday runs to go I’m not got any chance of pushing the endurance further.

The club run on Sunday was billed as a three hour run as most are aiming for the MK marathon but for London this was a bit too long so I ran the first 8 miles with DLRR and then retraced my steps back to our starting point. My legs felt heavy today. I guess the last couple of weeks are still sitting in my legs but I found it quite a struggle. As I was on my own for the last 6 miles I thought I’d have a go at marathon pacing for a few miles to see how it felt and despite how my legs felt, it wasn’t too much of a problem. Doing that for 26 miles may be a bit more difficult though…

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 4.6 miles (1 mile jog, 3 miles steady, 0.6 miles warm down)

Wednesday  rest

Thursday – 9.2 miles (4 mile early lap/5.2 mile DLRR Social Run)

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 14 miles

Miles for the week – 27.8 miles

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Week 13 – London Marathon Training Review

This was my highest mileage week so far and probably will be of my marathon training this season. After the 20 miles in the snow last Sunday, I actually didn’t feel too bad the next day and the long swim that evening really helped ease the muscles. We still didn’t get the full hour in on the swim session so I’m pretty confident that I can swim at least 3km in an hour. I could really do with an hour and a half session to get at least 4km in, just for piece of mind really with the 5km swimathon coming up but pool opening times and other commitments are limiting me at the moment.

Tuesday held a visit to the physio. My achilles has little pain now although it does feel tight now and again so it’s a useful session to loosen it up plus with my knee a bit niggly I’m keen to keep on top of it. They had a quick look at my gait and seems most of my niggles over the past year are due to flat feet and even stability shoes aren’t doing the job. Post marathon it looks as if orthotics may be on the cards, but to get me through the next few weeks with as  few problems as possible, I have more padding in my shoes to try and alleviate the problem. It was a tough physio session, perhaps the most brutal so far.  I did go out for an easy run (an agreed compromise with the physio) but part of me wishes I hadn’t as it was hard work and still quite slow.

Wednesday was swim training. Slightly different session to usual with pyramid sets but felt really strong for most of it. I’d had a rubbish day at work and it would have been quite easy to miss it but I am always glad I’ve been afterwards and boy do I sleep well on Wednesday nights!

Thursday night I met a few guys at the club for an early 4 mile loop. I thought I’d give my new trainers a go, with the insoles from my old trainers (plus padding) to ease the transition. I wasn’t sure how I would run but we agreed about 8:30 pace which was still quite fast for where I am at the moment but thought I’d wing it. Well, the first mile was 8:30 ad then got quicker and quicker finishing with a 7:46 – quickest mile I have run since before Christmas! Just goes to show, sometimes you need to be pushed outside your comfort zone! That gave me a bit of a boost for the second main club run and I thought I’d carry on in the same vein and run it reasonably hard so that I got some sort of a reasonable tempo run in. With loop backs I managed a further 5.2 miles.

I decided with four Sundays to London I could afford another really long run so felt 20 miles would be about right. I’ve been a bit naughty and not had a recovery week as you’re supposed to but felt as I’d had to build up really slowly I could probably manage another week before I cut back. The main club run was due to last about 2 hours 35 minutes so I figured I’d need to do a bit on my own at the end. I felt really comfortable the whole way round and averaged just under 9 minutes a mile for 20 miles. This included several shoe lace stops and a stop at the car to refill my bottles when I forgot to stop the watch, so possibly a bit quicker still. My penultimate mile was an 8:30 so it would seem still have something in the tank for the last six miles when they come and am actually now running better than I was this time last year…just got to stay healthy….

Monday – swim 2.7km

Tuesday – 4 miles easy

Wednesday – swim session (GreenlightPT)

Thursday – 9.2 miles (4 mile early lap/5.2 mile DLRR Social Run)

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 20 miles

Miles for the week – 33 miles

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Week 12 – London Marathon Training Review

Still building on the good work last week but with one little glitch.

I was quite tired from the 18 mile run last Sunday so decided to give the Monday night swim session a miss so the first bit of training this week was a run on Tuesday night. So far most of my running has been easy or at best steady with no variety, mainly because I’m trying to manage my injury and also because I don’t feel confident about doing anything beyond straightforward running in fear of causing any more damage but I decided to throw caution to the wind and try some intervals for a change. Nothing too fast or short but just something to mix it up a bit so I went for 4 x 1 mile not for any set time, just to stretch my legs. None of the miles were particularly quick, perhaps marginally quicker than a couple of miles in the half a few weeks ago but that was about it.

Only problem was I started to get a bit of a niggle in my right knee. It feels a bit like the infamous ‘runners knee’ that most people get at some point. No real pain as such just discomfort. I suppose it might be  result of my right leg compensating for my left leg and I do have padding in my left shoe so might all be linked. But some icing seemed to help and I thought no more of it.

On Wednesday I helped out with the beginners group at work. They’re split into groups according to how far they run and I took out the most advanced group who ran 5km. It was a nice run with a chance to chat while running and got a few more miles on the clock. Both my knee and ankle felt ok so I wasn’t too worried about either.

Wednesday night (get me, a two session day – and I did a full 9 hours at work, plus a DLRR MutliSports meeting!) was the usual GreenlightPT session. As well as the warm up was a 12x100m set – hard work but still got a good bit of rest as the end of each rep – looking good for the tri season – not that I’ve booked anything up yet.

I couldn’t run on Thursday as the other half had to go out but I did plan a quick run on Friday. As it turned out by the time I’d finished work and popped to Tesco it was pouring down, almost verging on sleet so decided another rest day wouldn’t hurt, especially with the Oakley 20 on Sunday.

The rain on Friday turned to sleet and then snow with lots more forecast, plus icy temperatures and high winds. Upshot was the Oakley 20 was cancelled on Saturday morning along with virtually every other race in the area. It was a shame as it’s a really good race and always a good test. It was also going to be my longest run this year. Not too many weeks ago running 20 miles was just wishful thinking so I was gutted not to be able to run it, but in true DLRR style the Sunday club run morphed itself from a 9 mile off-road run into a three stage epic to enable us Oakley deprived people a chance to get 20 miles under our belts.

To do this meant an early start, 6:30 am breakfast, out defrosting and clearing the car ( a couple of inches of snow overnight had frozen solid to the car) at 7:30 am and then the journey to David Lloyd in MK to meet the others. To be fair apart from the roads in the village they were all pretty clear – only dodgy point was getting out the village – up a steep hill covered in solid ice that no other cars appeared have driven over – traction control was having a ball!

About 20 of us turned up for the extended run. We ran about 3 1/2 miles to Newport Pagnell to meet the rest of the DLRR crew. It wasn’t too bad running on the snow, much of it hadn’t been walked on so gave a reasonable footing. Normally I’d have worn trail shoes in the snow but 20 miles in them would be pushing it a bit so had to be careful. There were a fair few waiting for us in Newport and had a bit of a cheer as we arrived – a bit later than planned, but 3.5 miles in the snow takes a bit longer than normal! We then followed a great route along the old railway line to New Bradwell and looped back towards Linford Wood before rejoining the old railway line again and heading back to Newport. From there, after a quick group photo – Sunday run tradition – the longer run group set off back to David Lloyd.

It was a hard 3.5 miles back, the weather had got colder, the wind more biting and had started to snow again but we all got back in one piece and had at least 20 miles on the clock. I’m not sure exactly how many miles I completed as I’d forgotten my Garmin, and although I’d got my phone and was using RunKeeper, for some reason between Linford Wood and the railway walk it stopped working properly. Based on the route I know we took it was a straight 18.1 miles, but I know I did a fair few loop backs so I’m pretty confident I did the full 20. I’m not used to running ‘naked’ but it was quite liberating in a way as you can’t get hung up on pace or how far you’ve gone. It was nice to just concentrate on running and for a long run like that when time and pace wasn’t particularly an issue that’s perhaps no bad thing….

Anyway – 20 miles (at least) in just over 3 hours in the snow means it’s coming back together. No issues with my ankle, bit sore the last few miles, but so was everything. Knee was a bit sore, but not too bad running, just afterwards but I’m due a physio visit this week so will see if it is ‘runners knee’, and if so at least I can get it taped to ease the pain.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6.3 miles (1m easy, 4x1m fast, 1m easy)

Wednesday – 3.8 miles easy/swim session (GreenlightPT)

Thursday – rest

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 20ish miles

Miles for the week – 30 miles

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Week 11 – London Marathon Training Review

Another positive week. Got a good endurance swim in on Monday. Still only got about 50 minutes in the pool but managed a good 100m more than last week. These are relatively easy sets but are more about getting used to swimming constantly for a length of time. On that sort of pace I should be able to get the 5km swimathon done in about 1h 45mins.

I took the run on Tuesday quite easy as I had raced on Sunday but did try a quicker mile towards the end although it was still slower than my quickest mile on Sunday. Since I’ve been running slowly deliberately to help with my injury I now have trouble getting up to speed on my own. No bad thing at the moment really with a marathon coming up, but need to get back on it once the 5 and 10km races come up in the summer.

Wednesday was the usual GreenlightPT session. It was hard work this week, but we completed 3km made up of a lot of reps, some quite quick (for me anyway!).

Thursday was DLRR club night and on the early 4 mile lap it was great to welcome back my running buddy who’s been out injured for five months. Her timing is great as it coincides with me starting to quicken back up a bit too so between us we should start to pick up a bit over the next few weeks but still be mindful of self-preservation. The second run was a bit slow, but it always is with the first two miles steady uphill and loop backs. By halfway though I started to feel quite good and picked up a bit although the legs were tired by the end.

This Sunday was the Milton Keynes Marathon Training Run. This was an organised 18 mile training run with a bit of a talk beforehand with tips for the marathon then two 9 mile laps run covering much of the marathon route. There were also pacers covering every minute and half-minute from 7 to 10 to help people pace their runs. I decided to run with the 9:30 pacer for the first lap then thought I’d quicken up for the second lap, except as usual after a couple of miles, I changed my mind and a group of us ran the first lap at 9:20 pace. I then upped the pace a bit and ran between 8:34 and 9:09 for the second lap. I felt pretty good and managed the whole run in 2:37 which bodes really well for Oakley next week. I think 9 min miles might now be possible which puts me almost where I was last year…finally getting it back together.

Monday – swim session (2.5km)

Tuesday – 4 miles easy/steady

Wednesday – swim session (GreenlightPT)

Thursday – 8.6 miles steady with DLRR

Friday – rest/physio

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 17.4 miles

Miles for the week – 30 miles

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Milton Keynes Half – Review

Bit later than I planned but here it goes…

The MK Half is traditionally cold wet and windy and this year was no different although rather than rain it snowed most of the way round. MK can be quite a windy city and with a route that included Campbell Park and Willen Lake we were never going to escape it.

With all my injury worries leading up to today I wasn’t really looking at this as a race, with London looming I feel quite under prepared for the marathon so was hoping to use this as a stepping stone and confidence booster to make the most of the next four weeks before I start to taper (although not sure how you taper when you haven’t done a lot in the first place!).

As I’m quite behind with my long runs I planned to do an easy three miles before the race to give me a solid 16 miles for the day. I’d parked in Campbell Park itself and ran down to the canal and looped back round.  It was quite slow but everything felt ok so with a quick change back at the car I jogged over to the club meeting point for our traditional pre race photo. We had over 120 guys running in this race and a good 60 turned up for the photo shoot in the ‘Food Centre’. This was right next to the start so it meant we could all stay in the warmth until the final few minutes.

The start itself was a bit of a damp squib really, no obvious countdown or klaxon, just lots of people moving in the same direction really slowly but managed to jog over the line and get going. I had planned to take a least the first 8-9 miles at 9:30 pace then see how I felt for the rest, but the first 2 miles was all downhill so I was running at 9 min pace without even trying! All still felt ok so I thought I’d keep it steady for another mile or so and see how it went.

The course comes off main roads after about a mile and after a quick jaunt through a housing estate hits the redways of MK. We then rejoin one of the old roads (from before MK took over) and followed this all the way to Willen Lake. Before reaching the lake was the DLRR cheering point where loads of fellow runners and their families were waiting to cheer us on. As a club we really do have the best supporters in the business, it was seeing these guys at this race last year that made me want to join DLRR and so far I’ve loved every minute.

The lake was windy, as usual, and with the snow falling was hard work but I hit 6 miles a bit quicker than I’d planned but felt strong. As the route came away from the lake we came into Broughton differently to previous years and ended up with a bit of cross country as the path we should have followed was flooded –  quite concerned about my trainers! I had a stop in Broughton to stretch my achilles – it wasn’t hurting but felt a bit tight and as I wasn’t racing wouldn’t hurt to stop for a bit.

After the stretch I felt pretty good. As we reached 8 miles and headed back towards Woolstone I thought I’d try to push the pace a bit to see how much my leg would take – quite a bit as it turned out! The pace went up to 8:30 miles and no reaction. I passed the DLRR cheering crew again and then back towards Willen Lake to do a final stretch along the canal before the final mile through Campbell Park.

I was passing people left right and centre now which is always a good feeling but decided to not increase the pace any further. I’d proved to myself I could run 13 miles at marathon pace and a bit quicker so didn’t need to do any more.

The final mile went back up through the park. It rises gradually for about 800 meters then the final 400m or so is straight up to the Beacon which is the highest point in MK. I normally love hill running so gave it a good bash although I did need to reign it in a bit as hills and achilles don’t really mix.

I finished in 1:57, a good 15 minutes off my pb but today was never about racing. I got round in one piece without any after effects and was buzzing.

The race itself is ok, I only do it each year because it’s on my doorstep. It’s billed as a festival of running’ but there isn’t a feel like that to the event. Several thousand runners take part and there’s a 10k and 5k race as well but the whole set up doesn’t really have a big event feel. The medals were handed to you in little bags, there were drinks on offer at the end but no goody bag so you’re having to carry it all. They did have space blankets which was a nice touch, but tucked away in boxes that you had to help yourself to – getting one of those wrapped round yourself while holding two bottles and a medal in the freezing cold is no easy task. The route is great. It’s quick and even with the hill at the end many of our club got PBs.

My achilles has been feeling a lot better the last week or so, I’m still very conscious of it but with careful management of it I’m still able to increase my mileage without too much of an issue. It’s frustrating not been able to run completely free but I’m in a much happier place now than I was a few weeks ago when I had to seriously consider if London was actually going to happen but with support from the guys at my club and a lot of stretching and icing I think I’m well on the road to recovery – so much so that I think it’s reasonably safe to say – we’re off to London baby!

Medal and T-shirt

Medal and T-shirt

20130315_232828(1)

Categories: Injury, Races | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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