The Wrong Way, Racing in the rain & A Baking at the VoY 10mile race report

“No matter how far you walk, how hard you work, or how bad it hurts, you’ll always get to where you need to be.”
– Unknown Author

-1 Day since the Vale of York 10mile

13 Days till the 2017 Blackpool Marathon

I decided to wait till after the Vale of York 10mile race to update the blog with the last few weeks of training & shenanigans.  I said last time the 1st 20mile of the year felt easy and I was feeling confident.  Things have changed a little since then.  On the Friday following the 20miler I tried again for another 20mile run  but I was still feeling the 20miles from Monday and the couple of hard x training in the gym.  Stopping short at 12.5miles feeling tired and in my lightweight racing shoes my legs were fatigued and I made the decision not to push on. I wasn’t going to destroy myself with a couple of weeks of marathon training left.

It was 3 days till I ran again and again I tried the 20miles but this time the old hamstring/glute/calf problem reappeared and after a promising 10miles found myself hobbling another 3miles to meet Emma & Lucas.  It appeared the worst thing I had done in my Marathon running training was to start…….erm…….yep, RUNNING!!!

2days of rest and It was time for the 1st South Yorkshire 5mile road league fixture on the most brutal courses it can be run on. Lodge Moor with its 2 long winding climbs.  This year the difficulty was compounded by strong wind and cold rain.  Still I ran fairly well even though nowhere near previous fitness of the last few years here.  I was satisfied with the run despite going a little too hard even for me down the long steep descent and didn’t hit the top of the ensuing hill as well as hoped.  I was gaining hard on the people on front in the last flat mile but not enough to catch or pass them.  33.35 & 58th/282. I had realized halfway round this was my 1st real road race of the year and I had forgotten a little how to road race.  The shoes i’m wearing are the shoes i plan to run Blackpool in. The Saucony Jazz.

An easy 3miles the day after and a long shift at work Friday brought me to Saturday and my 1st parkrun since the beginning of February.  It was our pacing event at Hillsborough parkrun and the plan was to stay with 20min pacer Jorge for the 1st 2 laps then put in one last hard lap.  This went to plan mainly apart from being pushed a little by strider Jason Brannam and then a guy pushing a PUSHCHAIR!!!  been a long time since Ive been troubled by pusher of one of those.   took some hard running in the last lap to get away from the both of them.  Splits of 6.28, 6.25 & 6.15 for 19.15 shows I paced it well even with a little playful gun show

On the Monday (3rd Apr) I again set of for a 20miler.  Aiming for Woodhead and then Winscarr reservoir via Langsett Reservoir to run down the perfect running terrain if not boring at times TPT.  I took one of the new, but i didn’t know unfinished paths near Langsett which was muddy I took a break in a wall to get out of the mud in my new marathon shoes, the Saucony Jazz. I found myself on what looked like a public footpath but was strewn with rabbit snares.  quite a bit of hilly walking to avoid standing in one. I eventually got on the woodhead road and headed for the road turning to get to Dunford Bridge.  I eventually got sick of the amount of lorry’s flying past and finding a sign for a public bridleway that would get me to Winscarr I took the short cut.  1mile later the bridleway suddenly ended with no apparent way to go.  9.5miles in I gave up trying to get to Dunford Bridge and to just follow most of the way I had come to get home.  The tricky terrain  and the lack of fuel I was carrying had took a lot out of me so the pace got slower and slower till I walked


So 2 days later with legs feeling ok I set off for a sub 7min per mile 10mile tempo run from home to Wortley then up the TPT to Oxpsring and back down.  Into the wind and uphill slightly I kept pace as much as I could before turning around and heading back.  A familiar feeling in my gut at 6miles became eventually a dash into the woods to do what bears do.  Relieved of that I tried to continue but I had nothing.  8.5miles and I was stopping the watch.  I had done the pace till the last mile.   Hopefully I would be sorted for Sunday’s Vale of York 10mile race.

I had planned on doing a treadmill speed session on the Thursday or Friday but I didn’t get.  A weight session Saturday without doing anything to bother the legs and it was Sunday morning. 7:30 and we were on our way up the M1 to Rufforth airfield just outside of York.   Getting there nice and early I collected my race number and got ready.  I tried a little ‘warm’ up but wasn’t feeling it.  Bumped into Penistone footpath runners Sam Shaw and joked I couldn’t be bothered.  She said I would be when I started. Lined up at the start for an half mile run down the runway and then back up I knew it would be difficult to keep my pace easy and it was. smashing through the first mile in 6.02 with 6.30 the target I relaxed but this picture shows I was already too hot


The temperature was rising by the minute and the suntan lotion i had on was now blinding me in a sweaty mix but I controlled my pace to go through mile 2 in 6.31.  We were now into country roads and surprisingly for a flat race hitting a couple of inclines.  Ok this probably meant there should be declines too.  I knew trying to maintain 6.30s in this heat was going to be tough.  Plan B of sub 3hr marathon pace then.  6.48 for mile 3 and i took a few sips of water at the water station then threw the rest of the bottle over my head to cool me. A little descent for mile 4 before going back up.  Mile 4 was hit in 6.49. The up down continued for the next few miles with me being constant with miles 5 & 6 passing in 6.49s . Into mile 7 and it was scorching with no escape from the sun.  We went up a little climb leveled out then turned a corner at 6.7miles to be faced by a long steady climb ahead. I needed water and was starting to struggle.  Sam Shaw caught me up here and I joked I thought this was flat. She agreed I wasn’t the only one thinking this. 7mile passed before the top in 7.09.  We got to the top of the hill just after 7.3miles and turned onto the flat finally. Here was the water station just 1/2 mile too late for me.


I took a bottle of water, took a couple of gulps and went to throw the rest on my burning bonce but missed and got my ankle.  Bugger!! I continued on, Sam passed me and I wasn’t feeling great at all. The sun and effort was making me feel sick.   Another turn and we were force onto a grass field by a Marshall shouting ‘Man down’ . the change of terrain was hard and we could see an ambulance in front on the road.  We eventually passed seeing a man with the defibrillator still attached to his chest but talking. The Yorkshire air ambulance was coming to land in a field to our right.  I pushed on a little keeping an eye on Sam in front. 8mile mark was passed in 6.58. 

I still wasn’t feeling great and starting to have an hit to my confidence. How could I run 26.2miles when I couldn’t hit the pace after 8miles?   The sight of the guy who had collapsed was going through my mind.  Knowing it wasn’t my day today I dropped the effort and the last 2 miles were jogged in with splits of 7.20 & thanks to a last sprint to pass 3 runners 6.55.    I had finished in 68.13 chip time 68.25 Gun . Not my quickest 10miles in a race but being my 1st 10mile road race a PB non the less.

I’m going to take positives out of this.  I raced in heat which will help if its similar in Blackpool,  I did ave 6.50pace despite the heat and another race effort in the bank.  Normally id be on taper now but I’m not as fatigued as previous marathon cycles so I’m taking one more week of hard training.  No long 15mile plus days but I will be doing the 2nd Trunce tonight but running there and back.  4mile there over the hill below, 3.8mile fell/trail race then 3mile back will put 11miles hard running in my  legs.


Wednesday is the 2nd South Yorkshire 5mile road league at Worsborough with a big climb then 2miles steep downhill to finish and hopefully I will be there.  Then I will taper.  I will need to be careful not to take too much out of my legs cross training in the gym and all runs will be short with small pace pick ups.

Fingers crossed I will be great on April 23rd and the weather will be kind.

Anyway Bye for Now

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.”
Jesse Owens, 4-time Olympic Gold medalist at the 1936 Olympics


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