Sunday, 29 July 2012

Half Way There!

It's true - 50k of my Challenge is complete after today's race, though what a race it was!  In truth the really amazing thing that happened today was that I got to meet a super running hero. 

I had heard that the famous Dr Ron Hill MBE (former European and Commonwealth marathon champion) had previously attended the Idle trail race.  Having been amazed by his achievements couldn't belive how lucky I could be to be running in the same race and maybe even to meet him!  I was beside myself with excitement when I approached him to ask could I have a photograph as a memento and he agreed!

In the end up he (obviously) finished way in front of me, not surprising given his running credentials and the fact that he has a 'run every day' streak that is almost 50 years long.  This was truly the highlight of my day as the rest of it was a disaster!

Given that today I reached the half way point of my 100k challenge I should be jumping around with glee and I am so proud to have reached this stage.  The reality is though that I've been so ill this week with a cough and cold that I barely made it round the 10k Idle Trail route.  It's a real shame as I'd decided a few weeks ago, that given the race would definitely not be a PB route (more about that later) I would just enjoy this one.  With 15 races making up the challenge I thought it would be nice to just have one race that I could enjoy, not stress about time, not worry about people chasing after me or trying to catch those in front.

Well I couldn't stress about my time as I coughed and spluttered my way round.  The race was definately a trail race taking in a stretch of the canal bank but also running through cow fields, over stiles, through woods and up more than a fair share of hills.  If I had been in any doubt whether I was better suited to road racing I'm clear after today, I am NOT a trail runner, road is my bag! I got to one part which where I was directed up a set of steps which led to an uphill track through the woods and wondered what on earth I was doing there - raising funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust I reminded myself, keep putting one foot in front of the other Keri.  You can see some pictures of the route here and picture 11 shows the steps that defeated me!

I finished in a rather slow 1:15:53, so it was a good job I'd said I wasn't worried about time today!  Jonathan also did the race (56:04) and my friend Wendy who is training for the Great North Run (1:07:35) so congrats go to them.  Official results are here.

So not a great race for me personally but it was an extremely well organised and marshalled race with plenty of St Johns ambulance support plus the most amazing cake stall!  Jonathan also managed to get his hands on the Olympic Torch so everyone was happy.


Onwards and upwards now with the second half of my challenge, 2 parkruns for the next two saturdays and then the final 10k of the challenge on 19th August.  Don't forget if you want to sponsor me then the details can be found here.


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Chernobyl Challenge

Today saw a very sniffly family Wood journey over to Preston ready for the Chernobyl Challenge 10k.
I felt like I was coming down with a cold yesterday and have a strange foot arch niggle so didn't have high expectations of the race but the sponsorship keeps me committed so (with lots of whinging from me) we set off.

It was a late planned race with us only entering 5 days ago when we realised that other commitments meant the Harrogate 10k next week was a no go.  I'm keen to stay on track with the runs so wanted to get another 10k under my belt hence the road trip.

The reviews on Runners World said it was a nice undulating course and by comparison to Rochdale it was flat really, with only 2 notable inclines which were both for no more than 30 seconds.  It was a lovely race, plenty of shade to balance out the periods of sun (how is it in the wettest summer ever, every time I race it's red blumin hot)!

I noticed from my watch that I'd done a 9 minute first mile then 10, 11 and 12 minutes for miles 2, 3 and 4 respectively so felt pleased on the way round that even with a cold I'd still be back not too long after an hour.  Mile 5 was hard but that's when I pull out the thoughts that every step forward is a step towards raising the funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and that usually gives me enough willpower to keep going (there's always a few that seem to flag and walk at this point).  I was so pleased to see the 6 mile sign and with a little sprint was greeted with Hubby (finished in 50:04), Bella and My Mum (who watched Bella while we raced).

I was given a lovely little medal and most importantly some water and was told that the race results would be available in 10 minutes so we hung around.  How pleased I was to see that I'd finished the race in 1:03:56 and 12 positions from the end rather than my usual 8!  Brilliant, even faster than last two, which is great considering how ill I'd felt.  Perhaps instead of red bull, all runners should consider Beechams powders as a preparatory drink!

A couple of weeks training now and then the Idle Trail Race hopefully on 29th July which will take my challenge to the half way point of 50k.

Oh and here's the usual before and after shots......

Before - The Ectopic Trust kindly sent Jonathan a T-Shirt to wear when he comes along to support me.
Me looking very pleased with the printout of the results and my new PB!  Getting closer to that 1 hour mark but who know's whether I'll get there!  I'll keep on trying!


Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rochdale 10k Quick Update

Rochdale results have changed from Provisional on the site so I'm assuming they have been corrected though I'm still showing as coming in behind a lady and I was definately seconds behind a man! Oh well, my time is still showing as 1:05:30 so I'm really pleased with the time.  The photographer (Mark Walker) also managed to get a picture of me, so in the spirit of continuing to share my adventure here you go (I did ask him on the night and he said that I could use any pictures).  See it's a full on action shot and I'm even smiling though that's probably because it was at the 2 mile rather than 6 mile point!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Torches and Tired Feet - Second 5 & 10k Race Update

I thought I'd leave the next 100k update until I had another couple of runs under my belt so here it is.

Saturday was looking decidedly sunny so another hot run was the order of the day at the Huddersfield Parkrun. My friend Caroline joined me for this 5k which had a 'The Best of British Huddersfield' theme with a couple of local torchbearers turning up to run with their torches and kindly let people have photographs with them.  This is us at the end of the race with Rob Morris who carried the torch into Huddersfield.

I'd been determined to take it sensible for this run given that I had a 10k planned for just 3 days later but somehow I came in 7 seconds faster than the first run! This felt great given that on the Thursday night I'd done a hard 5 mile training session including quite a few hills (I've been trying to avoid them but realised that it was unavoidable).

Next up, after a couple of days rest was Rochdale 10k.  This was my second 10k, was classed as undulating and it definitely was!  It was also my first (and last if I have a choice) evening race.  The evening race starting at 7:15pm meant that tea was at 9:30pm and between that and the exercise it's fair to say I suffered through the night so will be trying to stick to daytime races if possible.

The race was populated mainly by club runners and seemed to be quite a big field, 200ish I'd guess.  The first mile soon passed and led way to a long straight section of road which felt like it went on forever.  This was not helped by the absence of a 2 mile sign so I was feeling very defeated when at 25 minutes in I felt that I'd still not reached 2 miles.  All was not lost though as all of a sudden I happened upon the half way point (with a marshall that was the double of Bobby Ball) so I pressed on.  Aside of the undulating hills aka '1/2 mile long slogs' the race was mainly flat with a few downhills, though the drags slightly uphill at 4.5 and 5.5 miles were cruel.

This race had a finish that seemed to never come.  You could see the park and finish from about 1/2 mile out but then had to do a massive loop around the park before you were done.  I was really glad to reach the finish line and get my souvenir socks and a well earned drink of tea before the drive home!
As I write this results aren't yet out and it was too busy for them to give results on the night unless you were in the top 100 (here's news......I wasn't, ha ha)!  I'll post them as soon as I have them along with the link to pictures as there was a photographer present. I tried my best to do a 'happy that I've just run up a hill at the 2/3 mile stage' face - that should be funny!

Worth a mention that I had a lovely moment just before the race where a lady stopped me and said that in the 24 years since her own ectopic pregancy she has never, ever seen anyone fundraising for them at a race and that she'd be cheering for me.  It just goes to show how little is known about the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and so I wore my vest proudly, thinking that at least tonight another 200+ people had seen the logo, so another little step towards helping raise awareness.  Thanks to all those who have sponsored me so far, the total raised currently stands at £355 (including gift aid) and with £150 finishing bonus I've also been promised from people that takes me to just over £500 so far - amazing!

Onwards and upwards, I'm going to have a couple of days to rest my tired feet after 15 miles this past week then will be doing some more hilly training runs, another 5k and hopefully two more 10k races in July too so keep popping back for more updates.


NOTE:  Provisional results for Rochdale 10k are now out, though still waiting on pics but here's what they currently say - 1:05:30!  So about 3 minutes faster than the first one!

The results are apparently being reviewed and corrected over the next couple of days.  I knew on the night there was some issue with the top 100 but figured that by the last few runners they'd have been able to catch us accurately.  I think (hope) the time felt right according to my watch but the order is wrong as I came in just after a man who looked about 35/40 but there it shows me coming in after a woman (he did have long hair)?!  If the results stay correct though then it seems my placing is 8 from the end!  I've done 2 10ks now and I was 8 from the end in both races!  Oh well no shame in propping the back up, I'm improving slowly, I'm running all the way (there were plenty that walked a bit) and most importantly I'm raising much needed funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.

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