Milton keynes festival of running and another PB!

I went, I had a plan, I stuck to the plan – it hurt!

It had been a very up and down week for me post La Santa and wasn’t at all sure how I would do at this race – I really wanted to improve on my 1:45 from Bedford but being as I had thrashed myself for a week in Lanzarote I wasn’t sure how fresh I would feel, but to be fair, my legs were feeling good again by mid week so I was hopeful of a PB. This was a bit of a last minute race as I was gutted that Wokingham half got cancelled due to flooding last month. I definitely wasn’t feeling as ‘race ready’ as I did pre-Wokingham, I was genuinely gutted that race was canceled as I have never felt fitter and stronger than the couple of days leading up to Wokingham, but hey ho!

I stuck to my race plan 100% and I gave it all I had on the day – straight after the race I thought I had given it 100%, now, i’m doing that umming and ahhing thing, what if I could have pushed a little more here and there… well thats human nature isn’t it? I’m very self critical so i’ll never have a ‘perfect race’… theres always something to learn;

Lesson 1 – a sports bra makes a great place to place to stash your shot blocks even if you do look a bit uneven ;o)

Lesson 2 – when its bottles of water at aid station rather than cups, don’t go over the top – I nearly puked twice because I was guzzling it to greedily

Lesson 3 – prepare for the worst when removing socks after a hard run – I had blood blisters the size of 10pence pieces in several places on both feet!

Other than that – amazing day to be running, great race, fairly flat with a couple of hills and a damn evil long hill at the end that I wasn’t expecting, everyone groaned when saw that one looming around a corner!

Got my PB – 1:42:08, a PB by 3+ minutes. Not bad for 2 months work since Bedford!

Happy? Yes, very! And thank you to Musty who coaches me and helps me on a daily basis! I couldn’t make improvements like this on my own, Musty’s advice and training plans are helping me – a lot!

8 of 145 in category

50 of 860 female, that’s top 5% :o)

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Bedford Half marathon 2013

My ‘first’ half marathon experience was back in 2000 (had to find my GNR medal to work out when it was) when I was 23, unfit, fat and didn’t think you had to train for such events! Having taken me a ridiculous time to complete – around 3 hours i’ve decided to erase it from my race results section of my brain and treat this weekend as my first half!

So having looked for something to do after my pelvis locked up and shoulder impingement injuries of late summer were sorted, I saw a member from my Triathlon club (Shires Triers) post this race and thought it would be a good idea to give myself a base half marathon time to work with heading into next season.  Nice and local and the bonus of a cheap entry so seemed perfect.

My primary race goal was simply to get a PB, if I failed that one I would have gone and have hidden in a very dark corner…… my secondary race goal was to go sub 1:50. On Saturday I felt quite ill – sneezing and feeling full of cold, wasn’t sure if it was a cold or dust allergies from doing DiY all day so by 7pm sat night I was thinking this might end up being a training run only and not a race at all, however,  went to bed super early with a lemsip and olbas oil and thankfully woke up on race morning feeling fine.

My race partner for the day was a friend from the Tri club, Robin, for the second time this year, we were both flying the ‘shires triers’ flag at a running event!  We got there nice and early so had ages to put the world to rights and critique the weird and wonderful stretches and poses some people seem to do for warm ups – I even spotted one guy with his foam roller out on the floor of the registration area!

POWERING UP ON ADVANCED TRI FUEL

POWERING UP ON ADVANCED TRI FUEL

My race morning prep simply involved my usual bowl of porridge 3 hours before race and a bottle of Advanced TRI Fuel, slowly sipped during the lead up to the race. As I experienced stomach issues last year I have a new strategy for this coming race season which involves using nothing wheat based as I have a slight intolerance to wheat and discovered that nearly all sports energy sources use wheat based ingredients. For solid energy products this year I am using a combination of Clif products as they use rice and tapioca based sugar syrup rather than wheat derived. They are also much less sweet than the gels and bars I used last year.  For pre-race and during the bike leg of ironman I also needed to find an easily absorbed liquid energy source that was gentle on my stomach and different from I what I have used previously. This is where Advanced TRI Fuel comes into the equation. My friend Tom has been raving about this fuel since we trained together for ironman bolton in the summer but I had already been using certain products over the spring training sessions I didn’t want to swap mid season and try something new, with hindsight I wish I had…….Advanced Tri Fuel delivers a slow release of energy and contains no sugar; instead the HDA starch complex is slowly digested to release a steady stream of energy into the blood giving no stomach distress.

Anyway, back to the race – we both set off nice and easy but I drifted back from Robin almost straight away as knew I had to pace slow and crank up over the event so get a good strong negative split and work out my pacing without crashing and burning early on.

READY TO RACE!

READY TO RACE!

First hour was really comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable, it felt no different to being out for a normal weekday run, then after 60mins I cranked the pace up, and after 1:30 went all out full steam! I passed the halfway point where they have a big clock and it said 56mins at that point so I knew I had to do a good negative split or I would be over 1:50 and disappointed with myself.  The last 45 mins I was really pushing and that felt great as I do so much low heart rate training its great to get an excuse to go full power!  Finished in 1:45:13 – yes, gutted it was 14secs shy of a sub 1:45 but also happy that I achieved my two race goals of PB’ing and going sub 1:50.  Don’t think ill ever be happy with a race result – I always know there is more I could have done or a few second/minutes faster if I have had done this……

THE FINAL SPRINT TO THE FINISH

THE FINAL SPRINT TO THE FINISH

I came 460 out of 1232 and was 63rd female.  Not bad I guess for me first crack at a half marathon!

Back on track and ready for racing……

From the Doom and Gloom of injury to ‘Back On Track’ and Race fit!

So since my ironman in early August I’ve had a fair few niggles and issues that were getting in the way of my training and prevented me from taking part in both the Helvelyn Triathlon and the Beachy head marathon.  Things are now on the up….

My pelvis locking issue is well on the road to recovery after lots of physio and help with strengthening my glutes, helping them to fire more and also working on my lower abdominal strength.   This issue is so common amongst endurance athletes and isn’t helped by the fact that I have a massive imbalance between my left and right hand side of my body.  Apparently my right hamstring and quads are much more developed than my left hand side.  This is most likely due to me favouring that side for years of kickboxing and downhill mountain biking.

As part of the process of strengthening and keeping my body working properly I have also been advised to have regular sports massages concentrating on the areas that are tightening up because of these issues.  Through my triathlon club I became acquainted with the MD of a physio company called ‘Back on Track.  Back on Track is a small team of chartered physiotherapists specialising in sports injuries and rehabilitation as well as occupational health and Ergonomics. Because the physio’s participate and compete in sports themselves they have a good understanding of the stresses and strains I place on my body and the effect that injury can have both physically and psychologically.

Over recents months Claire has become a very good friend and as a fellow Ironman triathlete has very kindly offered to help me on my road to Kona by sponsoring my regular sports massage treatments and giving my regular advice and help with injury prevention and treatment.

Because things have been looking up recently and my injuries seem to be well maintained I have decoded to enter a winter race.  Always in search of a new PB I decided to enter Bedford Half Marathon in December.  I’m pretty much guaranteed a PB here being as my last (and only) half marathon was the great north run aged 19, a lot heavier than I am now and with very little training – I’m hoping to take at least an hour of my time – now that will be a good PB!!

Its only 8 months to go now until Austria IM and I also have my half IM in Majorca earlier in the season as a bit of a warm up.  Sport pursuit has helped me so much with all my kit requirements for next year so I cant thank them enough for their help.  I also pick up my next seasons race bike this weekend so I am very excited about that.

All in all, looks like 2013 injuries and races are all behind me now and Im well and truly ‘back on track’ for a storming 2014!

What this space for a race report after Bedford half in December!

http://www.backontrack-physio.co.uk/

 

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