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Monday, 25 March 2013

VLM 2103 - Week 10 of 14

VLM - Week 10 of 14
Week 10 - (Mon 18/3 - Sun 24/3)

Mon: Rest Day
Tues: 10.0 Miles @ 8:57/mile
Weds: 16.0 Miles @ 8:32/mile
Thurs: 10.0 Miles @ 8:18/mile
Fri: 6.21 Miles @ 8:44/mile
Sat: 4.0 Miles incl. Leeds parkrun 21:37 (12th)(6:59/mile)
Sun: 12.0 Miles incl. Thirsk 10 1:03:08 (50th/4th V45) (29:55, 33:13) (6:19/mile)

Total Mileage: 58.21 Miles

The three fixed elements pencilled in for this week were:
1. Sat(am) - Preston parkrun
2. Sat(pm) - 12 Stage Road Relays, Blackpool
3. Sun - Thirsk 10

As can be seen from the summary above, it didnt quite turn out that way after the worst snow dump of the winter put a random spoke in the works.

Nonetheless, a decent enough week:

Wednesday - 16.0 Miles

Another midweek hilly long one with Hannah but, in keeping with the last 2-3 weeks, keeping the distance a good bit short of 20 miles to allow speed development at the weekend to be the main focus.

It was a flowing, no drama run at 8:32/mile and felt just how these runs should feel at this stage, ie nothing aching and no real sense of having done a long run the next morning. Somehow though I always manage to get outkicked at the end, no matter what devious tactics I try to employ. We certainly dont need to worry about Hannah's 0.21 miles down The Mall!!!

Saturday - Leeds parkrun

The idea of nipping over to do Preston parkrun on Saturday morning on the way to the 12 Stage Road Relays at Blackpool were scuppered from the outset when seeing what the overnight weather systems had decided to deliver:

One of the few events to survive the weather demons was at Leeds, so that is where we ended up at 9am.

Since Jocelyn Payne was also there we decided to bring forward the planned attempt on her 5K PB from 13th April. 17:30 was the plan, 21:48 was the result. I thought that was a decent pacing effort....but she has now sacked me :p

In all seriousness though, the uppermost thought was just to have a run round without getting too sore from all the slipping around. That was achieved but I still managed to leave Leeds parkrun with stinging soreness. Apparently I was just 'in the wrong place at the wrong time' as Hannah's arm swung around at almost terminal velocity and connected perfectly with my left cheek. I never realised that parkrun post run coffees were such a dangerous activity!!

Dr Ken Fox surveying the Kirkstall Harriers team setting up the course:

Sunday - Thirsk 10

This was the scene that we left on Saturday evening, with 3-4ft deep snow, and yet 45 minutes later we were in Thirsk where there was almost no sign of any snow at all.

An excellent evening of pre race top notch cuisine and quality ales was provided by Dan Holdsworth, along with overnight accommodation a mere 200 metres from the Thirsk 10 race HQ. This made for a very relaxed race morning.

It might have been relaxed but as Hannah and myself went to do our first recce of the outdoor conditions, the iciness of the air hit you immediately. Furthermore, although it didnt appear too bad initially, once we had run up and down the last mile of the race it was clear that the wind was going to be horrible.

Thirsk 10 is always a good race for bumping into people that you havent seen for a while with its catchment area naturally extending up into the North East. As such, it was good to bump into Kelly Dodds on the start line, for whom this really represented a comeback race after a protracted period of non racing. It was even better to see that she probably had one of the best runs of the day, finishing mere seconds outside her PB of 74:12.

Also, as we were chatting with Dan in the car park pre-race, a chap ran past, gave the thumbs up and shouted 'Love your blog'. Since everyone was well wrapped up I have no idea whether it was someone I knew or not. Who were you? That made my morning :)

As the race got underway it was sunny and conditions were actually pleasant, in fact not far off being perfect.
I'm in the light blue Barnsley AC vest, with white long sleeved shirt with Hannah, to my left,  showing me a clean pair of heels in the early stages! Despite our wimpiness, there were plenty hardy souls, such as Ian Ogden and Martin Sanders, quite happily running in just a running vest in these sub zero conditions. Mad or hard?
I was looking to potentially be in comeback PB shape in time for this race, which would require a 59:52 or better.

The first 5 miles seemed very comfortable with splits of 6:06, 5:57, 5:51, 5:57, 6:01 for a first half of 29:55.

On the basis of how everything was feeling at this stage, it seemed entirely reasonable that I was in shape to run a negative split from here, which I usually do at Thirsk, and therefore in shape to run a comeback PB.

However, the only way that was actually going to happen in this race was if the gale force winds from the warm up had miraculously dwindled to a mild breeze for the closing stages. It didnt take long to find out that that wasnt the case. As the corner was turned just after the half way point, so that we were now running in the direction of the finish, there was an immediate slowing as the headwind did its best to push us back in the direction of the A1.

The remaining splits were 6:36, 6:17, 6:21, 6:48, 6:42 for a second half of 33:13 and an overall 1:03:08.

That sort of tailing off would normally indicate some kind of spectacularly inept blowing up but on this occasion I was quite happy at the finish that this was sub 60 fitness.

To show how the wind affected others:

Kevin Ogden - 26:55, 31:27
Kev Doyle - 28:59, 31:33
Hannah Oldroyd - 35:16, 39:24
Kelly Dodds - 35:45, 38:41

Usually you think of wind as being worth a few seconds here and there but on this occasion it was worth minutes.

So did it fulfil it's purpose as the next in the series of 'bringing to a peak' races? Definitely. As with the hills in last week's Sth Yorks HM, it was pleasing that the average pace into the strong headwinds wasnt much outside 2:50 marathon pace.

Post race refuelling started with a humongous carvery and continued on to include McFlurries, Guinness etc etc So it is a bit of a mystery as to how at the end of the weekend weight has actually dropped just below Chester Marathon weight for the first time. Clearly these must be slimming Yorkshire puds:

Next Week:

There are a few things pencilled in for this next week:

1. Potentially a couple of attempts at a 26 miler. This all depends on feeling up to it on one of the two days that I could fit it in and on the weather clearing up to allow it. If it doesnt get fitted in this week then that will be it because it will then be getting too close to VLM.

2. Thursday - Club Championship 3,000m, Cudworth

With this being open to guests as well it should prove to be a good evening of racing.

3. Saturday - Dewsbury parkrun

4. Another race - There will also be another race in there as well, probably a 10 miler, but still currently weighing up options.

VLM Prospects?

There was nothing in this last week that has changed my optimism, so just four weeks to go now and it is still looking good to be ready right on time. Just have to avoid trips, slip and other calamities now which could prove quite a challenge with some of the company I keep!


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    1. Hi Fawziyah, many thanks for your comments.

      Really enjoyed reading Nick's blog, his passion clearly shone through.

      When is the first attempt at a marathon planned? At 16 there is so much time that Nick can afford to be patient.