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Monday, 15 April 2013

VLM 2013 - Week 13 of 14

VLM - Week 13 of 14
Week 13 - (Mon 8/4 - Sun 14/4)

Mon: 8.0 Miles @ 8:50/mile
Tues: Rest Day
Weds: 5.0 Miles incl. Sth Yorks Road league 32:29 (6:24/mile) (6:52, 6:36, 5:37, 7:02, 5:55)
Thurs: 3.1 Miles incl. Pontefract freedom parkrun 28:00 (9:00/mile)
Fri: 6.21 Miles @ 8:47/mile
Sat (am): 4.5 Miles incl. Peter Pan parkrun (4th) 18:06 (5:56, 5:58, 5;49)
Sat (pm): 7.0 Miles incl. National 12 Stage Relays 17:49 (6:10, 5:37, 5:49)
Sun: 7.0 Miles @ 9:30/mile

Total Mileage: 40.78 Miles

On the face of it the content of this week looks okay, ie mileage at about 2/3rds of  previous weeks while keeping regularity and intensity in the mix.

However, what is disguised in the middle of the week was that I was unable to walk or even put any weight on my right leg on Thursday morning and with that in mind the recovery since has been nothing short of remarkable and everything is back on track.........

Wednesday - Sth Yorks Road League, Lodge Moor

Wednesday evening saw the first in the series of  four Sth Yorks Road Leage 5 mile road races.

The races are being run in a very different order to that originally planned due to courses still being blocked by snow. Although it isn't apparent from the picture below, the Lodge Moor course also had plenty of snow around but not enough to make it unrunnable.

I was planning to use this as a 'slightly faster than MP' session, so maybe 6:15-6:20/mile with the emphasis on smoothness and not straining anything.

Things didn't start out too well though due to someone turning their minibus into a bonfire on the M1 just at the time I was approaching the same section of road. The end result was arriving at 6:55 for a 7:00 race, just enough time to pin the number on!

Not being one to underestimate the injury risk of such situations I stuck myself way back in the field and took a very cautious start to the race. However, no matter how cautious the pace, I wasnt prepared for having to climb a mountain like incline in the early part of the race. This was far too steep for entertaining the original purpose of the run, ie smooth evenish pacing, and what was to follow was even worse, even steeper downhill followed by even steeper uphill.

Getting to the end of this having averaged 6:24/mile without feeling like it had been pushed too hard was actually quite pleasing but it wasn't very long before I realised that all was not well as my right hip began collapsing when trying to stand.

Thursday - Pontefract freedom parkrun

By Thursday morning the hip wasn't taking any weight at all and it was quite painful to just move the right leg at all even without any load bearing.

On the face of it, it would seem quite serious to be in this situation so close to a marathon but because it was something that was strained rather than snapped/broken it didn't really cause too much concern. I remember saying to Hannah that even though I couldn't walk in the morning it would hopefully be just a few hours before a slow jog would be back on the agenda.

And that is how it turned out as we popped over to do a freedom parkrun at Pontefract.

I would have been happy to manage a mile slow jog just to confirm that nothing was broken but in the end got the full 5K done, albeit slowly, and suffered no worrying consequences as a result.

Saturday (am) - Peter Pan parkrun

The original intention for Saturday morning was to pace Jocelyn Payne to an attempted 5K PB at Leeds parkrun, where she was looking to beat 17:43 and hopefully get close to 17:30.

However, after the midweek strain whatever I was going to do on Saturday morning needed to involve:
a) A very steady start
b) Flatness, so as not to put too much strain on the hip if it wasn't 100%.

So a trip to the inaugural Peter Pan parkrun in West Hull, with it's completely flat course, seemed more appropriate.

It worked out very well with splits of 5:56, 5:58, 5:49 for 4th place in 18:06 off a very steady start and confirmed that there was no residual problem. For a course that consisted of 3 laps with half of each lap on grass this was a good outcome.

There was also a welcome return to sub 20 territory for Hannah with a 1st place in 19:36.

Saturday (pm) - National 12 Stage Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham

After Peter Pan it was straight down to Sutton Park in Birmingham for the National 12 Stage Relays.

The event consists of 6 long legs of about 5.3 miles and 6 short legs of about 3 miles. The last time that Barnsley AC had qualified for this event a few years ago the overall time for the 49.8 miles had been 4:51.

The combined efforts this time around were:

52 Barnsley Athletic Club 4:50:39

David Thompson (59) 30:12 Tom White (64) 17:01 Darren Middleton (51) 28:25 Christian Shaw (53) 17:31 David Driver (55) 30:49 Keith Littlewood (55) 17:44 Paul Altree (61) 32:52 Steven Darby (60) 17:49 Shaun Dimelow (61) 32:47 John Broom (58) 17:44 Gavin Felten (53) 30:25 David Brooksbank (52) 17:20

I make that something like 5:48/mile average over the whole event and yet we ended up being about 8 miles behind the winners, Belgrave.

It was quite a testing course, especially in the first half, so splits of 6:10, 5:37, 5:49 were pleasing enough.

It is a bit unfair to those of us with short legs to put some pretty lumpy sleeping policemen on the long uphill finishing straight:

Some of the team at the conclusion of the event in Sutton Park:

Sunday - Baitings Reservoir, Ripponden

After racing twice on Saturday it was time for a gentle amble on Sunday. Hannah and myself went over to Baiting's Reservoir and had a run around some of the very challenging hills above Ripponden as well as through the Scandinavian type woods surrounding the reservoir. A very pleasant relaxed 7 miles:

 This was followed by the last meal of significant carbs for 3 days at this scenic venue:

The Bad News:

It looks like the trusty pair of Green Silence have expired just before making it to their second VLM. They had a good innings and it was good while it lasted:

Next Week:

So the final week arrives and a nice easy week lies ahead.

The idea will be to have two complete rest days, probably Monday and Friday with the overall week looking something like this:

Mon: Rest
Tues: 10K easy
Weds: Sth Yorks Road league, Penistone 5 miles (@ MP ish)
Thurs: 10K easy
Fri: Rest
Sat: parkrun (about 24 mins)
Sun: (very early am) 1 mile v. v. easy
Sun: VLM + Beer

So, about 22 miles plus the race.

Mon to Weds will be a carb depletion phase as per last week followed by re-introduction of carbs for the rest of the week to get ready for Sunday.

VLM Prospects:

Nothing has changed so really looking forward to getting to the start line on Sunday, relaxing into the first few miles and then building the race step by step to hopefully deliver something satisfying by the time this sight is reached:

But ultimately this is the final destination where lots of salt encrusted marathon runners will be swapping stories deep into Sunday afternoon:

The next blog will be after the event so if anyone is interested in tracking progress, the running number is 31891.

I am not thinking in terms of specific targets but would like to make some more progress and dip inside the comeback PB of 2:55:36. Anything quicker would be a bonus but the general approach is to build the race with the right effort levels and come out of the other end feeling as though I've given it my best shot, regardless of the outcome.

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