An update to runs and my training. Event number 3 this was Curley’s 5k trail race the second in the trilogy. My first race I was really pleased with and determined to beat the guy who came 1st in my category of v40 maybe in the top 5. In the last race I was 7th but could see 2 or 3 others in front of me on the last straight. I didn't have anything left in the tank at this point but I know on the down hill I was a little more cautious than the others near me so maybe I could make up time?! The race was on a Wednesday I was aware that I had ran 20miles on the Saturday and 12 on the Sunday trying to prepare for my ultra in June. I didn’t run Monday had as a rest day, Tuesday was supposed to be 3mile recovery run but I have become lazy, and I think a little complacent when following my marathon planner. I think the thought of a marathon doesn’t scare me in the way it did and indeed should!!! From experience of my 1st event on my 40 at 40 the dark skies marathon I should know what a horrible place a marathon can be when you’re 16 miles in and are struggling to keep moving and all you want to do is stop and go home 10 miles is a long lonely walk/jog especially if it’s all spent arguing with yourself about quitting or not. Most of the other runners giving me encouraging support really wasn’t helping I just wanted to explain it was just because I’d been ill but it’s pointless. I digress back to the race. I think the recovery run would have helped as I had no idea how my legs were going to cope (or not)with the hill. At the start I was a little further back than the week before but not much different for me to worry. The race instructions were read out. Telling us we need to make sure you run over the timing mat ect ect. We set off. It was a real battle at the front. The timing mat caused a problem for me and a few others as we tried to squeeze in to make sure we ran over the mat. I lost a few places didn’t matter I’ll make it up on the first section and the first hill. The first straight was down hill slightly not really noticeable. I just couldn’t get going in to my stride some of the time you’re looking how to overtake yet judging your own footing on the stony uneven trail then all of a sudden the person just to the side would step in front of you as they’d seen something you hadn’t. No matter I have the hill. NOPE my legs were having none of it! My quads were screaming at me. The week before I was overtaking other runners on the climb this week I was being overtaken! I did however let it go a little on the down hill more than the week before! I managed to get around a little slower but another race done.
1st week -21:00(chip) 21:04(gun)
2nd week-21:19(chip) 21:23(gun)
Regardless tho even if I’d ran the same time as the 1st week I would have been lower in positions. I still have race 3 to beat my time!
Race 4 of my 40@40 was the Radcliffe multi terrain 10k race. I really enjoyed this one. It was easier terrain than the two 5k but obviously I had to keep it going twice the distance. Yet again I’d overtake on the up hills only to have them overtake me on the down hill. I did break this cycle after a longish flat I must broke free from the group all bar one, the 1st female I’d make the gap bigger on the up then she would fly past me on the down hill she was a quality runner it was like this most of the race up until the last 300 meters where she left me for dead ha ha.
Race 5 was the final run in the Curley’s series. I made sure I was close to the front at the start. I really tried. I’m really not sure what I prefer, not knowing the route or knowing it to the point you know exactly where the hard climbs are and the bit you know you really have to dig deep especially when you can hear people just behind you.
Week 3- Chip.21.04 Gun 21.05
In the end I don’t think i did bad, I have to take in to consideration that there are runners who didn’t run all three events so are not included in the overall results but that isn’t anything I can control
Race 6. Another 5k. I didn’t really want to do this many 5k runs but due to me being ill and having to miss a half marathon, a 14 mile race and 2 10k races I’ve had to make up a little ground. Having said that tho this was one I’m glad I didn’t miss it was a tough one. Rivington Pike fell race. Apparently the oldest fell race in Britain! 🇬🇧. It started at 3pm and it was hot! I don’t really do hot weather I think I was nocturnal last year in the summer for about 3 months. Yet again the start was carnage. Please don’t get my wrong on this I am not complaining about slower runners as I’m well aware I’m not the quickest run nor do I claim to be and not all runners do this but It always puzzles me to why someone who isn’t especially quick pushes/stands at the front of a race then makes it difficult when you set off! I used to do hellrunner every year from delamere Forrest. From the start you can see the hill you’re going to run up, it is less than 200meters from the start. they legit off and 100 meters up the hill are walking, it just baffles me.
Race 7. Joes cup fell race. I was sure I was going to do this one but as it was the first weekend In May I thought I should. I didn’t know who joe was or anything about the race other than it was around 6 miles long and had 1000ft+ ascent and whoever joe was, they had a cup. The run wasn’t too far from where I lived. Although I didn’t know the area. I knew it by name through work. I put the post code in my sat Mac and followed it blindly, it didn’t take me the way I was expecting. I was completely disoriented I recognised places I thought I was miles away from. When talking to some of the other runners who had done the run before when talking about the route kept mentioning “great hill” I took it from the convention the word ‘great’ in its name was more a reference to size opposed to good. It dawned on me where I was and which hill they meant,it was close to a few of my favourite runs. I had never ran it but I had walked it years ago. The run was a brilliant run. I loved it, the people at the event where really friendly. As I don’t run as part of a club nearly every event I do I turn up knowing no one (not like that bothers me) I also look at all these club runners and think these all look like they are good and I’m out of my depth. I think that’s why I still get a little nervous at the start of race! The race is road start ...and down hill at that! Then on to the trail/fell and up great hill and back. I always like seeing the front runners on their down hill return, it always amazes me how fast they are. Plus I get to see how far in front of me they are!!! On my strava I claimed 2x crowns for 2 sections, brilliant top yes TOP plus my fastest 1 mile and fastest 2 miles sadly this was only because I didn’t turn my watch off and did 2 miles in the car! (All corrected now tho) my time was 50.29
Race 8 Now I wasn’t going to do this race as I didn’t want to fill my 40 events with short runs that didn’t seem like a challenge. But after discussions with a mate it was decided that to start do them especially when they are more frequent and I get a head I can be a bit more picky and do the bigger ones or the ones that are more appealing! The other reason was I needed to fit a run in that evening as I hadn’t ran in the morning, and the run was about 2 miles from my house so seemed silly not doing it! It was a 4 mile run in my local park/woodland of Haigh Hall. This was a down hill start around and back up the hill! The person I saw at the registration was a gent I’d been talking to two days before at the joes cup fell race. A nice run around a place I run all the time so there was no surprises, but a run is always going to be hard if you go out holding nothing back I suppose. My time was 28:15. position 19th and 2nd in v40.
Aaaaaaah race 9. The Excalibur marathon! Set in the beautiful welsh hills just out side of Ruthin in the Clwydian range. Now I have history with this event well to be more accurate the half marathon back in 2016 around 3 or 4 weeks after the High of my one and only London Marathon and it was a high. I have to say for the time between London and Excalibur I lost a little enthusiasm to getting out to run, I think I ran twice in those 3 or 4 week both being short runs I mean I’d just ran what was a PB in a marathon so I’ll definitely still be fit 4weeks later for just a half! ...right? It was the hardest half marathon I had ever done! Still is the hardest half. I remember getting told by a fellow runner “there is a bit of a sting in the tail at mile 9” I can tell you now that the “bit”of a sting was a 3 mile climb up to the top of Moel Famau. my mate who ran with me had many a curse word hurled at him. Normally I would be a head of him on runs this one he was in front of me the whole climb. I caught him up on the top we finished the run together side by side it’s still my favourite end of a run to-date. We said then maybe we should do the full. Well around Christmas time when planning my 40 events the Excalibur marathon came up in my research. I sent a copy to my mate via WhatsApp with the text “I’ll just leave this here...” unknowingly to me he booked it there and then yet nothing had ever been mentioned for months infact it was April till it came up in conversation, well I couldn’t back out so here it is race 9. Unfortunately my good buddy had been mad busy with his Thaiboxing club taking a team over to Thailand and some local shows he hadn’t been able to do much training so dropped down to the 10k.
At the start line i was very nervous it was a hot day with lots of experience runners and I just felt under prepared. We set off up a steep hill and I don’t know how but apparently a good 20 of us ran straight past the turn and continued up the hill for about half a mile! This was not the only time myself and others would fine themselves either going the wrong way, or unsure if we were going the right way. I had to ask a runner behind me on two occasions to find out which way to go. Towards the end of my marathon walk I kind of knew where I was as I remembered the hill and the monument at the top of the Moel Famau. Only this time I knew we started lower down the hill so where we would have finished is now still about half a mile away. I know this yet why did part of me still keep saying “it might be just around this bend!” As I knew it wasn’t, well it wasn’t, dam my stupid head!!!!!
Well to finally finish and finish 14th (ok only out of 62) it was now my slowest marathon or just over 5hours but at over 6,000 foot accent I’m having that. I said I’m not going to do that again in a hurry. It was hard yet the week after the event my buddy and I were talking about next year!!! Just to put me through it and in prep for my ultra marathon I ran 10 miles the next day.
Race 10, harrock hill race, this is a 5.3 mile trail race just out side wigan there is 4 races in the series one every month. Another race where the start can make or break you regarding position. You start on a hill and a BIG hill at that. It was a good run and im looking forward to the next one, although as mentioned im not sure if its better knowing the route.
Position overall- 36 category v40 4th
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