My week of running – 8 July 2018

This week had been hot, hot, hot! Which lead to me almost failing on a half marathon yesterday. On reflection, I probably should have given up, but occasionally I’m a bit of a crazy lady and push myself too far.

Miles run: 21.7

I did two easy-going pre-work runs this week, 4.25 miles on Tuesday, and 4.3 miles on Wednesday. It was so much hotter than usual, and I wanted to conserve my energy for the weekend.

On Saturday, I tried to get an early start, but it didn’t really happen, and it was already super hot when I set out. I was pretty determined to do my half marathon, as my next opportunity for July would be straight after a two week break (we’re going on holiday, woohoo!).

I started out quite well, but when I got about halfway, I couldn’t take the heat anymore and decided to take the route home at the next opportunity. But by the time I got there, I figured it wouldn’t be that much further to just finish my loop and do the half marathon. And I had to walk a few times, but I did it! And then felt awful for the rest of the day, oops.

Still, we’re off for an adventure in Croatia this week, so I’ll be giving myself a well earned running break.

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My week of running – 1 July 2018

This week has been a mix of recovery and racing, as I tried to ease everything out after the Cheddar Gorge Challenge at the weekend, but also get ready for and race the third race of the Canaccord Corporate Cup on Thursday.

Miles run: 24.3

I started the week with my 4.25 mile pre-work recovery run on Tuesday, and I definitely had sore hips and ankles after the beating on the trails! I took it very easy, and did actually feel a bit better after it.

Thursday lunchtime was the 5K race, which I’ve talked about in a separate post. It was a solid race, but I was glad to cross the finish line!

On Friday I did another easy pre-work run, this one 4.3 miles. I don’t often run on a Friday before weekend long runs, but I really wanted to run on that morning, so I did.

Unfortunately I think that led to me being super tired on Saturday, which made my 8 mile long run quite slow and hard. Luckily it wasn’t too super hot, and the wind and clouds helped make the heat less intense than during the week. After an easy afternoon in the hammock in my garden (so good!) I felt much better today, so did a quick 4.6 mile trail run. I got back just in time as well, by the time I’d finished showering, we had torrential rain!

I’m going to try and take it pretty easy during the week, as I think I might try to squeeze in my July half marathon at the weekend before we go on holiday!

Canaccord Corporate Cup 5K Race series 2018 – Race 3 – 28 June 2018

The Canaccord Corporate Cup is a series of 5K races, one a month from April to September at lunchtime. Companies submit teams of four people, or individuals, everyone runs the race and then there’s a points system that determines the standings.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a team together at my new workplace, but they kindly submitted me as an individual so I’m excited to still be able to take part.

The third race was on Thursday, and it was hot, super windy, and I was still pretty tired from the Cheddar Gorge Challenge. So I decided to take it reasonably easy! Even so, I started off at a pretty good, sub-7:00 mile pace, and managed to pass most of the other women by just over the first mile, coming in to 3rd place.

But that pretty much spent all of my energy, and so I decided just to hold my pace and make it comfortably to the end. It was stiflingly hot for the next 1.5 miles, but then coming into the final stretch along the top of the pier, the wind was so strong! But I pulled the last of my reserves and managed to charge against it for the last 200m, to have a good strong finish.

It was my slowest race of the series this year, at 21:35, but I’m pleased that I got through it in tough conditions. I’m not in the island for the next race in July, but I’m hoping for a good one in August, when I hopefully won’t be so tired.

Cheddar Gorge Challenge – Gold Omnium 2018 – 23 & 24 June 2018

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The Cheddar Gorge Challenge is organised by Relish Running Races as an annual trail running event in Cheddar Gorge, and this year they introduced a new Omnium Event:

  • Bronze: 100m Sprint, 50m (vertical) hill climb, 1km and 6km races (Saturday)
  • Silver: 100m Sprint, 50m (vertical) hill climb, 1km and 10km races (Saturday)
  • Gold: 100m Sprint, 50m (vertical) hill climb, 1km and 10km races (Saturday), half marathon (Sunday)

Runners gain points for their position (1st = 1 point, 10th = 10 points etc), and the runner with the lowest points wins. The three shorter races were run individually, with each runner setting off with 30 seconds between them, and the longer races were mass start.

I took part in the Gold Omnium, and before I launch into my races, I just wanted to shout out to the Relish team for their awesome organisation over the weekend! Everything ran so smoothly, the team were lovely, the water/food stations were well stocked, and the courses were perfectly marked. If you ever get a chance to do one of their events, then I could not recommend it more!

The whole weekend was beautifully sunny, with just enough cloud cover and wind to make it not too horrendously hot for running. Perfect!

The 1km came first, and was two 500m laps mostly on the grass, around and over a dry stone wall. The “over” portion was up and down a metal mesh ramp, which was really steep to clamber over! I went out really fast, and kept it up, and finished in first place in the female gold omnium, in 5:28. A good start!

When it was time for the hill climb we were all walked down the long way to the start of the course – much further away than we’d all thought! The course was also slightly overgrown, but luckily we were zig-zagging up the hill rather than going straight up, which made it slightly less scary! There was definitely some walking going on, but I scrambled up the hill and over the stone-wall-ramp to finish in 3:05, coming in second.

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Next up was the 100m which I knew would be my weakest event, as I’m not a sprinter! It was a slightly uphill course, with a corner, and I managed it in 0:21 which put me in third place.

The final event of Saturday was the 10km and whilst I was excited, I managed to get into my nice steady trail pace quite quickly. I was very conscious of not tiring myself out for the half marathon the next day, and so once I walked (crawled) up the “hell steps” in the first mile, I kept to my 10 minute mile goal pace, and made sure I walked up all of the bad hills. The course was really varied, some rocky, dusty paths, through some woods, across some wide flat fields, over stiles, and finally up a really steep field to the finish.

I finished in a respectable 1:06:13, right where I wanted to be, and came in first place – such a great start to the event weekend.

On Sunday morning, the final event was the half marathon. I was a little sore from the previous days’ events, but luckily this quite quickly eased out and I settled into the race nicely. The first 5 miles or so followed the 10km course from the previous day, before splitting off and following a much longer version of the varied course. We got so high up that we had sight of the Bristol Channel, and I stopped for a few pictures and to enjoy the scenery.

There were some long, long uphills, but these were balanced out by some nice long downhills, although some of them were on really tough terrain which were quite hard going. It was definitely the hardest trail half marathon I have done, but so rewarding! I was aiming for somewhere around 2:15:00, and finished in 2:20:28, which I was happy with. Even better, I came in first!

I enjoyed the races so much! I’d forgotten how much I like trail racing, as it’s been so long since I’ve been able to do it properly. I like the easier pace, and having random chats with people on slower uphill walking sections. I definitely need to try and do this more often.

The full results were out on Monday and I actually won the female gold omnium! I knew I had a good chance of being in the top three, but coming first is actually amazing. And in a non-Jersey event! Totally made up.

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My week of running – 24 June 2018

I’m writing this in a hotel just outside of Poole Harbour, on our way home after an awesome long weekend in Cheddar. We’ve done some sightseeing, but also some trail running!

Miles run: 28.9

My week started on Tuesday with a very easy 4.25 mile pre-work run, as I knew I was in for a tough weekend, so just wanted to get in some easy miles. Our time off work started on Thursday, and my new running shoes (Adidas Adizero Tempo 9) had arrived, so I took them out for a trial 4.25 mile run in the morning before we caught the ferry over to the UK. I think I’m going to like them…

And then this weekend I took part in the Relish Running Cheddar Gorge Challenge Gold Omnium, which consisted of the following trail races:

Saturday

  • 100m sprint
  • 50m (vertical height) hill climb
  • 1km
  • 10km

Sunday

  • Half marathon

These all took place around Cheddar Gorge and the Mendip Hills, crazy beautiful British countryside.

I will write about the event separately when I get home, and full results are out, but suffice to say it was awesome fun, and super tough! It reminded me how much I love trail running, and enjoying the scenery rather than pushing myself to run as fast as possible.

I think I’ll appreciate the long rest on the ferry home tomorrow…

My week of running – 17 June 2018

This week has been pretty easy going, just trying to recover and regroup between the half marathon and my upcoming trail running weekend next week.

Miles run: 21.2

So, I did two very easy pre-work runs, one of 4.25 miles and one of 4.3 miles, just plodding along, easing things out and enjoying the scenery.

We had our work summer party on Friday, which was a beach barbecue, and a group of us played rounders (sort of softball, for non-UK people) and playing running around barefoot was super fun, but ouch my feet and hips did not thank me for it!

So on Saturday when I launched into my 8 mile run, I was a little sore… Still, I made it round, and was pleased just to get in some maintenance miles.

This morning I decided to go out for a short trail run; I was tired but really wanted to get in some trail practice before next weekend. I did 4.6 miles, and it was a bit more eventful than planned – I half choked on a fly on the way out, and got a nosebleed on the way back! It turns out the underside of tree leaves are much better than the top for wiping away blood…

Still, I made it through the week, and have a mini-break to Cheddar, and the Cheddar Gorge Challenge to look forward to next weekend!

Run Jersey Canaccord Half Marathon 2018 – 10 June 2018

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My first half marathon race of the year, and actually first half marathon race since October 2017, this is probably our biggest half marathon, attended by about 700 runners across the full and relay (50:50) event. The race takes places around the southwest corner of the island, taking in two long bays and a really big hill in the middle!

The weather this year was absolutely perfect; I was really worried about it being too hot after all of the nice weather we’ve been having recently, but I woke up to drizzly, foggy skies and a light wind. Exactly what I wanted!

I was feeling really nervous, and struggled to get my pre-race food down, but chatting to some friends at the start helped. My friend and I managed to wiggle our way to be reasonably near the start line, and once we were off I had a fairly clear start which was good as I was aiming to not have to squeeze past too many people to be able to get into my pace.

I’d aimed to start off slow, but the first mile is really down hill, so I pretty much just flew down that. Once I reached the bottom, I tried to steady up, and I did pretty well, attacking the first mini hill really well, before settling back into my goal pace of around 7:30 minute miles.

I kept that up really well along the first bay, which is pretty long and boring running as it’s a mostly straight road. Although saying that, I guess I am spoiled by seeing the sea/beach every day! At just over halfway, you reach the really mean hill, which is super steep and windy, and then once you reach the top you have a long, slow mile and a half or so of gentle uphill to finish you off!

Saying that, I was really pleased with the way I attached the hill, recovered, and then powered through the long slope. I was just focussing on the nice long two miles downhill that would follow I think!

Annoyingly, at the top of the downhill, with about 5 miles to go, my stomach decided to play up and was so painful! I’d really wanted to pick up speed and make up some time downhill running, but all I could think about was how to settle my stomach. I hit the 10 mile mark at the bottom of the hill at 1:15 exactly, which was what I was aiming for – I just needed to do less than 8 minute miles for the rest of the race.

I really, really struggled though. I went through a cycle of picking up my pace – I was aiming for 7:30 minute miles to finish strong, then feeling awful and slowing down, then recovering a bit and speeding up. I managed sub-8 minute miles just for miles 11 and 12, but dipped over for mile 13. My final push and sprint finish did not have the energy I usually would, and I just wanted to fall to the ground at the end.

Despite not having the finish I wanted, I’m so proud of myself for pushing through the pain and making it! Now I need to research a whole load more ways to settle a running stomach.

My watch time was 1:39:59, a PB for that course (last year it was 1:41:02), but just over my PB overall. But when the results came out this morning, my official time was 1:39:47 – 3 seconds faster than my current PB. So I’m taking that!

I finished 90th overall, and 17th woman, so pretty pleased with that result as well. Roll on the next one… once my whole body stops aching!