Rain, rain go away

Note to self…….  if it is raining, plait hair don’t just put it in a pony tail !

Anyone else having problems with the weather recently?  Last night was club run and it rained.  And rained.  And rained !  The route was part off road, including long grass, nettles and mud, and lots of puddles.  Actually, I love this kind of run.  Ended up with just over 7 miles at a nice steady pace of around 10 min miles.  Ended up a late night though, by the time I’d stopped to get milk and then spent ages trying to detangle my hair in the shower.

I did run parkrun on Saturday, but in hindsight I should have either volunteered, or taken it much steadier.  I gave blood on Friday afternoon – the first time in 6 years.  Six years ago I wasn’t a runner.  I’ve never had problems after giving blood, so presumed I’d be fine to run.  Wrong decision! I seemed to struggle most of the way round and walked several times;  breathing wasn’t great and I felt a bit sick and shaky.  Pleased to say that once I’d had a drink I was fine, but definitely a lesson learnt for next time I give blood (please do go if you can, you never know when you might need blood yourself).

The last month or two I’ve been quite low on mileage, ever since my leg was bothering me.  But now I feel ready to start upping the distance again.  I’ve managed to lose about half a stone and am feeling a bit better in myself.  Hopefully this will help my running too.  Have a minimum of another half a stone to lose.  I’m even toying with entering another half marathon…….  I went to the Humber Bridge half on Sunday as my OH and some club mates were running and although I’m glad I wasn’t running that one, it did spark my interest again.

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Early Monday morning in East Yorkshire

Happy Blog Anniversary to me!!

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A year.  A whole year !  I can’t quite believe it has been that long since I started to write about running.  So what have been the biggest events of my first year of blogging?

  • I’ve joined a club (and become a committee member) – I actually didn’t think I’d have the confidence to do this, which means this is a big thing for me.
  • I’ve run two half marathons and several other shorter races (you can see which ones here – there are quite a lot!)
  • I’ve consistently attended parkrun – only missing it if I really can’t get there.

I feel now that I’m very much part of the running community and that is a great feeling.  I’ve made lots of new friends.  Where else could someone you’ve only met five times ask to borrow a sports bra (she’d forgotten to pack hers!)?!  I love that sense of belonging – something that I don’t feel like I’ve really had before.  I want to share this with others, help them get involved too – starting at home with my teenage son.  He is already starting to see the benefits of running and loves the social side.  Our running club are looking at ways of including beginner runners to try and make joining a club seem like less of a scary prospect, I’m keen to get involved with this.

So what for the next year?

I’d like to update my blog scheme and make it look a bit better.

I’ll continue writing about my running and my life.

I’ve got several races already entered (I’ve updated my races page if you are interested), and I’m sure there will be more that I run.

I want to continue to try and develop my running – it would be great to set a new PB for 5k and 10k.  I want to do more trail running rather than road running.

But over to you.  What would you like to see more of on this blog?  Add your comments below.

Mulgrave Castle 10k

It’s been a busy few weeks!  Since my last post I made it to that track session, and I’m heading out this evening for my second one (and the teenager is joining us again!); I have run three 10k’s, a couple of parkruns and one early morning 5k on my own.

The first of the 10ks was with my club – we were running the route of a race we intend to hold next year and had invited a few other local clubs to join in.  The route is beautiful, mainly road but with a section of trail, around the village of Warter in Yorkshire.  However, there is one killer hill!  It was a warm day and despite offering to run at the back to make sure everyone made it round I found it hard work.

Two days later we joined in with East Hull Harriers summer league 10k at Leven.  I’d decided to run, but take it steady and certainly not race.  My OH kindly said he’d run with me (he’s realised that I’m lacking in confidence at the moment) and I wasn’t feeling overly optimistic when we were hanging around waiting to start in the freezing wind.  I knew the first three miles would be head wind, so was looking forward to turning and having the wind at my back (every bit of help and all that!).  Actually, apart from mile 2, I managed negative splits – with an overall overage of 8:38 min / mile – very happy with that!  Definitely helped the confidence a bit.

So, Mulgrave Castle 10k……..  I nearly pulled out a few days before hand……. 

I knew it was going to be hilly.  It was my son’s birthday.  My ex had at last minute changed arrangements, leaving me short on time to get back home.  It was over an hour’s drive away.  Starting to understand why I was going to pull out?!

But I didn’t.  We decided that instead of taking the car we’d go on the motorbikes – hoping that this meant we wouldn’t get stuck in traffic coming home, so that we’d be home in time for my son.   Also makes for a fun journey rather than just sat in the car (I get agitated and find journeys such a waste of time!).   This meant that our race prep consisted of rushing to the changing rooms to remove leather and replace with lycra – finding a fellow club mate who was happy to let us use his car to dump all our things and then have the last nervous wee before the organisers asked us to proceed to the start.

It does say in the race info that the start is a 15 min walk away – I’ve learnt that this normally means a 15 min amble, or a less than 10 min quick walk.  Not this time!  The start really was quite a way from race HQ.  We found ourselves in the middle of the woods and before we knew it we were off.  Once again my OH was running with me and as there were a dozen or more people from my club it was certainly not lonely.

The route was beautiful!  I wish I had pictures.

It was completely trail and up and down constantly – very little flat.  I had to walk up some of the steepest hills  but I was still enjoying it.  The route had us turning and switching back on ourselves until I completely lost my sense of direction – not helped by being in woodland most of the time.  The halfway point was a water station, followed by a ford !  No, not the car, but a ford (noun  1.  a shallow place in a river or stream allowing one to walk or drive across.) I suppose it meant we had cool feet, but also very squishy ones…..

The last km became even more rough and undulating, climbing a hill side above a stream before turning and facing a 200m ish VERY steep accent to the finish.  The picture does not show the full horror of this hill!

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The finish at Mulgrave Castle 10k – I’m only smiling as I was shouted at to smile for the camera!

Finish time:  01:05:00

Although much slower than my 10k PB, I wasn’t unhappy with this.  It was my first real trail run, and first really hilly run – I need to do more hill reps at club!

Would I do it again?  Yes

Would I recommend the race to others?  Yes

There isn’t a race memento but at just £10 to enter I didn’t think that this was bad value.

Do you like trail or road races?  Or do you do both?