End of Year review

Today was my last race of the year (funny that as its Dec 31st!). I travelled up to Clitheroe for the Ribble valley 10k,things did not go according to plan………..

First mile went well although i started a little further back then i should of after mis- judging where the actual start line was! I ended up weaving a fair bit to get round runners,trod in a puddle,although the puddle was a bloody great hole and a rolled my ankle ,i rolled the same one and XC earlier in the year and panicked (read spat my dummy out),turned round ripped my number off and started to limp back to start.

My wife was taking pics a few minutes away from where i went over and after reaching her and having a right royal moan and a toddler tantrum she asked me what i wanted to do.I noticed all the other runners trying their hardest running past,clubmates asking if i was ok and i felt a little bit of a fraud,the ankle was sore but not as bad as i first thought.I slowly pinned my ripped number back on and told her i would see her at the finish. The next five miles are a mix of pain and rage,i was so angry with myself for taking silly risks,no one needs to make stupid moves one mile into a 10k and my reward for such foolishness? my slowest ever 10k since i began racing! but hey at least it wasn’t a DNF!

The only upside was seeing my teammates and friends having much better luck thani,with a couple grabbing P.B’S to end their Year!

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Can anyone spot the trip 😉

 

Anyway that’s the end of 2017,a year filled with massive ups and crashing downs,I ran my first (and only) sub 3 at Manchester marathon,ran London and Liverpool marathons and then spent most of the summer battling the injuries that came with Three Marathons in 8 weeks. I ran for the first time on the proper fells in the lakes including an absolutely fantastic club roadtrip to run the grisedale horseshoe

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At the end of summer i ran the amazing Peak skyline and if i had not entered Lakeland 50 i would be back there again in 2018!

I also grabbed a 9th place at the Pendle half marathon which shall we say was ‘undulating’ My teammate Neal Emmerson took the win that day by five minutes!

Winter gifted me a 10k PB at Wilmslow and at the Stockport 10 miler so the Good has more than outweighed the bad!

1191 total miles has left me well short of my 1500 goal but ive had fun along the way.

Im hoping for a little more consistency next year and to FINALLY bullet proof my bloody left calf!

 

But for now i’m going to sample a decent single malt or maybe five!

 

See you on the other side !

Spring has Sprung

Its March, i’m stood in Chester in the form of my life and i’m ready to attack the Chester 52 mile ultramarathon,The sun is shining,the birds are tweeting and all is well in the world…………..

Well not really and in the words of the great Craig David let’s ‘Re-ee-wind’………

It’s actually a bloody cold night in December and i’ve got Eleven weeks to go before my biggest race to date. i’m already over christmas,the mountains of food ,gallons of beer and my nans gift of socks (I lie my nan is pretty cool and usually gets me a nice bottle of whiskey).

Visualisation can play a big part in your race buildup,especially over longer distances.All too often we give up before we are ready ,I especially have been a victim of this more than once and in playing race day through my head a hundred different times i’m hoping for this event i will be a little bit better prepared Mentally than i have been in the past.

All my training for Chester ultra is being logged on a google sheet and for those interested it can be viewed here Training.My plan is not set in stone and like any good plan it is open to changes,missed sessions extra rest days etc etc.Plans should be just that,not a ball and chain around your neck that makes you hate running!

Now don’t get me wrong just imagining a good race does not mean you will run one,if that was the case we could all just imagine being a billionaire and pay someone else to run for us!

Training will be tough,winter in England is not pretty although there is something to running these winter miles that make the three sunny days a year we have a bit special!

I currently Have two weeks off work and bar the big day itself i intend to do some form of training be it running or cross train rather than sit on my backside watching reruns of only fools and horses and eating celebrations!

Whatever your plans for the Festive period,have a very merry Christmas and enjoy the miles!

 

Stockport 10 Report 2017

This Sunday was my annual pilgrimage to woodbank park to take part in the Stockport 10 mile road race.

For those that know me I never hide my love for this race, it was my first ever event and this year will be my fourth visit, Its a real end of season test and usually is a good indication on what i can achieve in the coming spring.

Each previous effort has been faster than the year before and last year’s 63 minutes dead was going to take some beating especially as I hadn’t ran 10 miles in either racing or training since October!

For those of you who have never heard of the Stockport 10 ( if you live in the north of England you are missing a treat!) This year’s race t shirt sums it up pretty well 24172752_1763766096980695_5099317550614704998_o

 

It is however one of the best organised races I do each year ,the organisation from Stockport harriers is in my opinion spot on . The Facebook and email posts on the way up to the event are always entertaining and the race doesn’t take it self too seriously .

Twenty of my clubmates also did the event and unlike a normal race day meeting I disappeared to warm-up alone ,headphones in to get myself psyched up,I felt a little bit of a git but sometimes you need every advantage you can get . I was still riding a little bit of a high from last weeks 10k in Wilmslow and was chomping at the bit to get going !

Standing on the start line i was more than ready to go,and before i knew it the gun went and off we shot! the first few miles are fairly flat with a lap of the track and surrounding park before hitting the mean streets of Stockport. 

My goal was to keep around a 6.10 min/mile average for as long as possible,first mile however beeped on my watch as 5.52! i knew i had got caught in the adrenaline of everyone around me but i was in a pack now and committed.

The course itself isn’t particularly scenic,a lot is housing estates and at around 2.5 miles there is a little out and back ,this is where i spotted my teammate Neal right up with the leading pack and running like a Gazelle!! (He went on to finish twelfth!!)

Like i said the course isn’t flat but today it sure felt fast! the first hill comes around mile 4 and the first year i did this my mate Rob ran me round but had to wait while i took a walk break up here,this year however i glided up barely even noticing the bump that was in my way of my PB.

The next hill however was a different story and my least favourite part every single year,its a mile in length and just as you think you hit the top you take a sharp left and have another couple of hundred metres before it flattens out again. I knew at the top of that climb i had thrown too much in to it and my legs were screaming,but if i hung on i had a nice descent and farmers trail to recover on very shortly.

This year however the lovely farmers track had been turned into an impromptu XC course! now i love XC as much as the next guy but not when i’m 7.5 miles into a road 10 miler! my shoes just couldn’t grip and myself plus my group slipped and skated our way across losing time and more importantly energy! (Just to add this isn’t the organisers fault but more due to the vast amounts of rain we have had the last few weeks).

The final sting comes at mile 9 and looking at my watch i knew time was slipping away from me and i just had nothing left (mention New Zealand road to Stockport runners and watch them shudder!).

I threw everything at that hill,everything, I saw stars ,Jesus, Zippy from rainbow,The cast from red dwarf, and Santa ,i barely had enough energy to stay upright never mind run!

Entering the park i was greeted by my ever suffering Wife and her camera (her work can be seen here).

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I didnt even have the energy to wave ,i only had one goal in mind,the finish line and sub 63 minutes.

Finishing on the track i could see the finish but the final 300 metres may of been 30 miles the way i was feeling and by now i was sure i was going to break my streak.

100 metres to go i threw everything i had left at the finish ,i could feel my lungs and legs screaming and the undeniable feeling of just about to exit the building.

I dipped over the finish and promptly emptied my stomach all over the side of the track much to the disgust of the spectators !

Race crew ran over to make sure i was ok but all i was interested in was my finish time as during my classy finish i forgot to stop the Garmin!!!

Usually the results are pretty quick but today it felt like forever,i was constantly checking emails and websites and then finally…………

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It was close but i had done it ! i’m not sure how long this streak will last but ill be lining back up next year and every year after that for as long as i can run !