Race day

I woke up to a 6am which meant I had time to get in some last minute stretching on the hurty hip, as well as making sure I got some breakfast.

We arrived at Victoria Park just after 7am, but we’d missed the bus my daughter should have been on to help on a water station with her Guides, so Paul had to negotiate the road closures to take her.

Carrying tables to the LiveWire tent served as a warm up and all too soon it was time for the off.

Ready for the off.

Ready for the off.

The start was delayed a bit, but at 9.20am we were off.

The race went remarkably well.  I managed to keep a fairly even pace of around 10.15 minute miles, and even managed several sub 10 miles on the downhills.  As I knew I wasn’t ever going to be challenging for the lead, I started well down the field.  I think this helped as it meant I was passing people most of the way round – always a little boost. The sun was shining and the lovely countryside for most of the course meant I ran with a smile on my face most of the way!

My splits:

Mile Pace Elapsed time
1.0 mi 09:52 min/mi 00:09:50
2.0 mi 10:27 min/mi 00:10:23
3.0 mi 10:09 min/mi 00:10:06
4.0 mi 10:30 min/mi 00:10:23
5.0 mi 09:54 min/mi 00:09:54
6.0 mi 09:58 min/mi 00:09:53
7.0 mi 10:09 min/mi 00:10:05
8.0 mi 10:04 min/mi 00:10:02
9.0 mi 10:11 min/mi 00:10:06
10.0 mi 09:46 min/mi 00:09:42
11.0 mi 09:38 min/mi 00:09:34
12.0 mi 09:54 min/mi 00:09:51
13.0 mi 09:54 min/mi 00:09:50
13.3 mi 09:09 min/mi 00:02:57

The support on the course was fab.  My mum was on the bridge at the start and the end, another friend was halfway and I heard my daughter loudly cheering everyone on from her water station long before I saw her!

My daughter, one of the fab volunteers

My daughter, one of the fab volunteers

Paul popped up several times around the course and at 10 miles remembered I’d left jelly babies with him and helped me and several other runners on with them.

The last mile and a half were really hard especially after seeing a bloke stretchered off in a bad way as I turned into the park.   As I turned into Victoria Park I felt my hip go, but managed to grit my teeth for the last half a mile.

In the final straight on the track I heard my mate Laura screaming for me and managed a bit of a sprint and to finish with my arms aloft.

Crossing the line

Crossing the line

I was over the moon with my chip time of 2:13:30.  A pb for the course and much faster than anticipated.

With my medal

With my medal

I managed to get a post race massage from  physio station and Paul and my son got last minute places in the LiveWire mile.

LiveWire milers

LiveWire milers

I could barely walk by the evening, but still had a smile on my face from a race well run.

Great organisation and a great spirit all through the race.  Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers.

While I was training for the half, we found out that the daughter of one of the managers at work was suffering from a brain tumour and needed treatment in the USA.  As we were running for LiveWire we decided to raise money for the fund set up to support her and her family “Erin Grace Whatever it Takes”.  I’ve been amazed by people’s generosity and so far I’ve raised nearly £150.

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Disaster!

This week started well with a 5 miler along the banks of the Mersey.

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The Mersey looking lovely. Am I still in Warrington?

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Ah yes, still in Warrington.

Thursday saw 9 fast intervals in the gym and 4.5 miles covered before work while youngest swam.

On Saturday I completed a Parkrun in just over 30 minutes.

On Sunday I set out for my long run.  My son came with me on his bike this week and we took the route up Sankey Valley Park to Newton.   In the first mile I tripped over some abandoned wire and immediately felt my hip tense.   I seemed to run it off, but by 6 miles my hip was hurting.   Made it home and ran all the way, but in lots of pain and hobbling by the evening. 

On Tuesday I decided to try a test run and set out for a 4 miler.  I managed 2 before the pain made me walk. 

I’ve decided to abandon the rest of this week’s runs, stretch and role the injury and hope for rhe best on Sunday.
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I’m back!

No idea what week this is now, but the schedule is pretty much out the window anyway.  After my last update I kept up with my midweek runs, but collecting my eldest two from Scout/Guide camp meant I deferred the long run until Tuesday.

Unfortunately life got in the way then and a family crisis meant I only got one run in that week, 3 miles on a treadmill on the Friday.

Then we were off to Cornwall for a lovely holiday.  I did manage two cliff path runs (well run/walks, I don’t do hills!).   On the second week I fell awkwardly and jarred my knee which meant the 11 mile long run I had planned didn’t happen.

Better views than a treadmill!

Better views than a treadmill!

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Back in Warrington a cold hard look at the schedule made me realise I don’t have long left and I really had to buck my ideas up.

I ran 4 miles on Tuesday, but set off too fast and set myself back again mentally.   The 3 treadmill miles on Friday were really tough mentally as I never felt I could keep running.

4 miles through the park on Saturday cheered me up, especially as one of the mile split times started with a 9! (9:59 mins per mile, but still sub 10).

Sunday was a beautiful day and after sorting out the garden I set off to run 10 miles.    I chose a route I’ve done before in half marathon training.   It includes the only hill in Warrington,  so I figured if I can get round this I can probably finish the half.  My hubby came with me.  As he’s still injured he rode a bike and really helped me to keep going in the last few really tough miles.

At the top of the hill

So today I’m very proud of myself for completing the 10 miles, just don’t ask me to stand up too quickly.

Week 4

The weather on Sunday was so lovely that we had a family day in the garden and I planned to do my long run early on Monday.  Well, that didn’t happen,  but I did go out at Monday teatime and ran 6.5 horrible, hot,  dry, dull, slow miles.  Still it’s miles in the bank.

The rest of the weeks runs were much better.  Intervals on Wednesday (7 x 400m at 7mph) felt relatively easy and I even managed to extend the last one to get to 3 miles before the treadmill cut out. 

On Friday I ran in the gym again, but ran at 6.2 mph for 20 minutes and 6.3mph for the next 10.  I’m also feeling more flexible. 

Today I did the parkrun again.  Much cooler this week, and pouring with rain,  but I did a PB of 29.28!  Just got to wait for the official result confirmation. 

Week 3

A bit late with the week 3 update. A broken phone means I’ve not had as much web time as usual, but I’m back now with a shiny new Samsung.

Youngest hasn’t been swimming as much recently due to end of Primary School activities and now training is stepping down for the summer, so I’m missing quite a few of my regular run times. Week 3 was a really hot week and I only managed two mid week runs. The first was in the gym (air conditioning won over 27 degrees and full sun). With a bit of stopping and starting to overcome the 30 minute cut off on the treadmills, I ran the 3.5 miles from the schedule in a tiny smidge over 30 minutes.

The second was on Friday and I did run outside in the 28 degree heat and full sun. Got my husband to drop me 3 miles from home and I ran back. It was a hot run, but felt good and I got home in 30 minutes.

On the back of this success I got up on Saturday and did my first ever Parkrun. I even persuaded the two boys to join me. Eldest had a great race. On no training and wearing football trainers he did 23.17 for the 5km. Youngest decided he’s more of a swimmer than a runner and was walking when I caught him up at 3km. I slowed down to coax him round and then he tried to out sprint me for the line! We crossed the line together, but unfortunately the timing equipment broke so we didnt get an official time. I think we came in at around 31:30.

Week 1

OK, so it’s two weeks since my last post, but I found a plan and it only started this week so I had a week of fiddling around.  I did a couple of short runs, including some intervals on the treadmill, but didn’t get round to a long run.

I have decided to follow, more or less, Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon plan.  I’m somewhere between the Beginner 2 and the Intermediate plan.  I don’t think I’ll make 5 runs a week, but I do want to add some speedwork, so I’ll aim for the intermediate plan but without all the shorter runs.

This week I’ve been away with work in Bristol so I rejigged the plan a bit.  I did the speedwork on Tuesday evening while my youngest swam.  I ran to the local park, found a field I thought looked about 400m and ran my laps round it.  Without any form of speed monitoring I went off far too fast, getting up to nearly 8mph on one lap – and when I measured it back at home, the lap was closer to 500m.  No wonder I only managed 3 before I felt sick!  I did complete two more half laps so I don’t feel too bad.  It was certainly a good work out!

In Bristol I set off to explore, but the basic map in the visitor guide didn’t warn me about the massive gradients on some of the roads!  Couldn’t track my route when I got home either, so not sure how far I ran, but it was nice to explore somewhere new.  35 minutes or thereabouts of running.

On Thursday I tried out the hotel gym.  I built my pace up from 5.5mph to 6.5mph and finished 5km in just over 30 minutes.  Very pleased with myself that I did two runs while away.  A pity I more than made up the calories as the food at the conference was excellent!

I just need to get a long run in this week now.  5 miles tomorrow anyone?

Back to running

I’m going to change the tone of this blog back to running for a while.  I’ve signed up to do the English Half Marathon on 21st September as part of a team from work.  LiveWire are supporting the run this year and so wanted to have some runners involved.

I’ve not done a race since I had to give up training for the 2012 London marathon.  I injured my hip and had to stop training after completing a 13 mile long run.  The last actual race I did was a 10k in 2010, so getting back into serious training is a bit of a shock to the system.

It’s taken a long time, a lot of physio and stretching to be able to run for more than about 25 minutes without my hip locking up.  Yoga stretches have proved particularly helpful and I try to do them evrey day, or at least after every run.  I’ve been building up my running all this year and did my first hour long run a couple of weeks ago.  My running is also quite hit and miss as children’s activities, work and life in general keep getting in the way of any disciplined training.  I’m going to try blogging as a way of keeping me on track.

This week I have managed two runs:

30 minutes on a treadmill at 6am on Thursday while youngest was doing swim training.  Had to start really slowly as I’ve not done any exercise for two weeks, but managed to keep bumping the speed up.

1hr 20 minutes on Saturday morning.  This was only supposed to be an hour, but I thought Warburton bridge would be about half an hour and around 3 miles away from the swimming pool (yes, early morning training again) but it turned out to be nearer 3.5 miles and 40 minutes away.  Again, I started slowly and picked up pace, so should have managed a negative split if my knee hadn’t started to hurt a mile from getting back to the pool.  Had to do the last mile run/walk.  Quite achy by the evening, but hopefully nothing too serious with the knee.

I need to find me a half marathon plan and stick to it.