Whoop whoop!!! I finally had a good run!

I’ve felt for quite a long while that I’m just slogging away with my running, that each run is fairly hard work – legs aching, feet aching, tired……  just taking more effort than it should do.  I’ve had periods like this before and feel that I just have to stick it out and it will get better.

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North Frodingham Canal

Well Monday morning I headed out for my run, as usual I’d had a busy weekend (knocking tiles off the kitchen walls!) including a couple of glasses of wine on Sunday evening so I wasn’t expecting a particularly good run.  I set off steady, with my two dogs.  There were several sniff / wee stops (for the dogs, not me!) and a ten minute chat with a fellow dog walker so I was really taking it easy.  BUT…….  I felt great.  Nothing was hurting or aching and it just felt easy.  It hasn’t felt like that in ages.  I finished at 5.5 miles because I had to get to work, but I could happily have carried on further.

Afterwards I looked at my mile splits – every single mile was quicker than the one before – a great progression run.  This tells me just how comfortable I was.

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My two gorgeous running buddies

I went out again Wednesday and did another 6.6 miles – not quite as comfortable but not bad at all.  Planning on a run tonight of about 5 – 6 miles so will see how that goes.  I have been trying to eat a better balance – and succeeding, but my OH’s work had a Macmillan Coffee Morning cake sale yesterday – I sent in Raspberry Frangipane tarts as our contribution.  He came home with chocolate cake and chocolate brownies and I just can’t resist them!

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Bawtry Forest Trail Race

Why are we doing this?  Was the question asked on Sunday morning when we were heading out for an 80 minute drive to a race we knew very little about.  Is that a bit far to be going? After all, this is just a hobby, we aren’t going to be winning races……

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Bawtry Forest Trail Race

Entry for this race was by the old fashioned method of printing out your form and sending it (with a cheque – used one of those recently!! – and an SAE) to the address given.  In due course we received our race numbers and some race information with a hand drawn map of how to get there.  A few comments made us giggle and set the tone for this event….. “watch out for piglets” “plenty of trees for the gents”……

As we arrived at the venue there were plenty of marshals instructing us all where to park and we were very close to the start / finish and race HQ (a wooden hut).  The atmosphere was great, as was the location.  We had a bit of time to waste so we wandered around a bit and had a look at the start and finish (uphill…) and the usual several loo stops before pinning our numbers on and getting ready to go.

It was a gloriously sunny day and the setting of the forest made it perfect.  A very relaxed request for everyone to shuffle to the start line and the race briefing was underway.  Very friendly, lots of warnings of tree roots and mud and instruction to have fun and we were off.  This race isn’t chip timed, but it is a relatively small field so that didn’t seem an issue.

Described as 7 miles ish, and all off road, I knew I needed to pace myself.  Off we headed along the grass tracks and into the forest.  Within the first mile or so there was a stretch with several very muddy / puddly sections – great fun!!  Up to your ankles in thick sticky mud – trying to keep on your feet and keep running.  It definitely gave the thighs a work out.

That turned out to be the only muddy section, the rest was very pleasant grass and woodland trails – with a few short sharp ups and downs.  There were marshals at points throughout the race who were all very encouraging.  A few logs to jump made for a bit more challenge and interest!

The finish…..  now this was about 60 meters steep uphill !

My Garmin showed:

  • 6.58 miles – 01:02:21
  • 126th place out of 225 runners
  • 35th out of 107 females

The goody bag

THE Goody Bag.  The goody bag of much discussion on the event facebook page 😉  It was a very pleasant change to not only receive a bottle of water and a t-shirt.  But to have sandwiches, cake, banana, crumpets and more.

All of this for £12 entry fee !

What did I think – was it worth it?

Definitely !!  I loved this race and will be back again next year.

How could it be improved?

Only through the addition of being able to enter online – just for ease (and not having to look for the cheque book).

London Spitfire 10k

Well what a busy few weeks it has been !

I missed my first parkrun in a long time last Saturday in order to run the London Spitfire 10k (more on that later), and I really did miss it – the run and the people.

I’ve been running consistently – through rain, sun and everything in between.  And feeling consistently a little bit under par……..  I’m hoping that this will turn soon and I’ll have some good runs.

Last week we visited London for a few days.  I’ve been a few times over the last few years, but for work so have seen very little apart from the tube and the inside of an office!  This time we were doing the touristy bits with my son.   Lesson learnt that two days walking around sightseeing and visiting museums is not good race prep.  For someone who thinks they are fairly fit, I certainly felt the extra activity – very stiff achy legs and hips.  Anyone else get restless legs on a night too??

And how do you all cope with the dust / dirt / pollution in the city?  we both felt we struggled on Saturday because of this.

London Spitfire 10k

What attracted us to this race?  The medal !!  My OH really wanted the medal, and was interested in the setting of the RAF museum.

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London Spitfire 10k 2016 Medal

It is a 10k road race, starting and finishing at the museum with two laps around the local roads.  The information we’d been sent stated limited parking at the museum and despite getting there very early there were no spaces left, but no matter we soon found a place to park on the street.  Walking to the entrance a police van stopped us to ask what the run was (you’d have thought they’d have known!!).

An unexpected highlight was being able to walk round the museum as soon as we got there.  After a couple of days in very busy museums, it was a pleasure to be in somewhere very quiet and was a great way to spend a bit of time waiting for the start.

The start – a brief talk in the hanger, in front of the Lancaster, before being walked outside to the start and we were off.   I wasn’t expecting the route to be the most exciting, and I was right.  What I hadn’t expected was for the run to be totally on pavements, dodging other pedestrians!  This also meant that despite there being a fair amount of marshals there were still many crossings of side streets that didn’t have anyone on them – meaning we had to keep our wits about us and look out for traffic.

It was a very warm day, warmer than expected, and this certainly affected my run.  My OH has been struggling with an injury and hadn’t run in over a week so we had decided to run together.

Finish time:  56:08

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sweaty finishers with our medals !

Would I run it again?  Probably not – but more due to the distance to travel (4 hours!) than the run itself.  It is a great one to say I’ve done.  The museum is worth a visit if you are even remotely interested in planes / helicopters / machines !  (would be a fab one for kids too).

So this week, I’ve run Monday and today (Wednesday), it is a club track session tomorrow, parkrun Sat and Bawtry 7 mile trail race on Sunday.  Busy week !  The new school term started today, so at least that means I can get back into some kind of routine – and I always feel better with that.