Tuesday, 12 April 2016

And the rest of the year went like this....

Yes, i know, incredibly lazy of me but conscious of the fact that it is now April (how did that happen?), I'm lumping the rest of the year into one post or I will never catch up!
September was a bit of a race fest as it happens. Full on Purbeck Trail Series (well most of it) with a mini triathlon thrown in for good measure.
week by week it looked like this:
Week 1 - few shorter runs followed by, on Sunday, the Beast race. Well named for sure. I first did this race last year and it was just as tough this year, although I did manage a small course PB.
Here's a reminder of one of the delights this course has to offer, although thankfully this year I managed not to trip over a blade of grass at the top and so completed it relatively unscathed. Not sure about the baby pink tshirts at the finish though.....

those lovely steps!
Week 2 - Well I say unscathed but I ended up with sore legs for a few days, and tackled a couple of 'ow, ow that hurt' runs at the beginning of the week. Conscious of the fact that I was due to do my first ever attempt at a triathlon (albeit a mini one) at the end of the week, I thought i ought to put in a bit of cycling too, even if it was only to work and back.
And thanks to me being stupid enough to let Max choose the route for Saturdays heath run (something he does like to do) I found myself in a section I had not run in before and soon found out why. Let's just say it's a good job nettle stings aren't serious, or I might have died out there!
Sunday dawns and im off to Dibden to the Rose Road min tri, with my run/swim gear and bike in the car. I am joining my work colleagues on this charity event. Even putting my bike on the stand it it clear I have no idea what i am doing, unlike the rest of my work mates! The only swimming I have done this year is on holiday in June, so after we are separated into fast med and extreme slow swimming groups (guess which one i am in...) I am surprised to find out that I am still not the last out of the pool among my little group! So glad to get that over with, I'm not good in the water and it was only 200m but I was happy to get on the bike! Next was 8 miles on a 2 loop course, then just a 2.5 mile run, but I didnt know about the jelly legs when you get off the bike so that was a nice surprise!
Some of my friends are regular triathletes so the greatest respect will be awarded to them from now on! I think i would rather run up a mountain its easier :-

I'm smiling but I dont know why!
Week 3 - certainly not feeling the love on the bike rides, I was sure it was getting more difficult, but next up in the running was the Purbeck marathon. We picked Nicola up in the morning and it's clear from our faces neither of us were 100% ready!

hope we cheer up!

It was my 3rd time of running it and in the end managed a few minutes PB on my course best. Glorious scenery as usual, can't be helped on the Jurassic coast though!

I'm here somewhere!
Week 4 - Mostly not a lot of running apart from Black Hill 10k. Plus, seeing as how I was helping organise again, we did a bit of mileage putting out and taking in signs. We had introduced a junior 3km trail run into Black Hill and I had a bit of running about to do while organising that, so when it came to starting the clock on the 5k and 10k and actually running it, I just relaxed and jogged the route! I think the part that stuck in a lot of runners minds was when the canicross runners were started 5 mins after the main pack and all you could hear while running to the top of the hill was baying hounds following!
I managed to put together a little video but due to lack of organisation I forgot to pick up the video camera from Kevin before the start so it only runs from about halfway after I passed his marshall position!

The following week it becomes obvious that the evenings are getting shorter and headtorches will be required soon. :-( Not that i mind headtorch runs but daylight is so much better!

October brings some post - Well, you know i don't really like road marathons? I seem to have got a place in rather a large one, whoops....
Yes, you're right I do have a lot of explaining to do, well its like this see....
Last time (and the only other time) I completed the London Marathon I didnt finish well. With Paris marathon I had an injury beforehand.... anyway lets just say me and road marathons dont seem to get on. So there was a bit of unfinished business going on and so I thought lets give it another try. Opting to let fate decide whether I got in or not, I entered the ballot and waited.
Imagine my surprise when the bumble bee magazine arrived! Game on :-)
Not fretting about it in October though as I wouldnt start training until January and had a couple of races to concentrate on first.
The first being Studland Stampede, and the second being the Stickler 2 weeks later.
I do like the Stampede, no idea why, its just a great race, even when you are going along the beach towards the end and every time you look up, the finish is no closer!
My Garmin says I had a small PB but the finish results say different, poor performance at 1:20:03, no idea what happened there. I hope to do a better time in 2016, as i will be back, cant keep me away from this one!
The Stickler however was a completely different affair, 10 miles of hills makes for a difficult race, I would recommend this for any Dorset local who wants some hill practice, but still I managed a course PB of 1:54:29.
Not only that, but just before the race I was completely surprised with a presentation ceremony of a Rebel Scum shirt and entry into this very exclusive running alliance (never a club!) :-)

I dub thee...the owner of a red tshirt :-)
Awesome! so a dual member of two unofficial running, erm, club type um things, alliances then, Nifty Nanas and Rebel Scum. I'm honoured to be in both :-)

Back on the heath and the nights are getting pretty dark now, back into headtorch territory, and Max is delirious to see his true love Abbie the border collie again as Chris joins us for a run.

A week later and just into November I am struck down by the cough and snot fairy and dont run for nearly a week, just about making it back into the land of the living to attend the first Moors Valley parkrun, in Verwood. Lovely route through the forest trails. Me and Jenny ran with the dogs and they loved it.
Took another couple of weeks before I was well again though, and in the middle of those weeks was the Wimborne 10. Heaven only knows why i decided to go ahead with this run, I certainly wasnt up to racing it, but I had promised Jenny I would run with her and so we did it together.
We had decided that to get through it we would add a swear word every mile and towards the end it was getting quite inventive. I cant remember what combination we had got to by the finish but I believe it got Jenny a 10 mile PB!

We had a bit of a restructure at home around this time as my Dad had decided that he wanted to venture out on his own and was looking at renting flats. He quickly found a great one not too far away in Sandbanks area in a lovely developement of retirement properties and moved in. I am very proud of him for doing this.

I'm puzzling over my training log next as to why I was doing intervals in November but it seems to have been part of the run up to the Round the Lakes 10k on Boxing Day. Looks like I might have actually been doing some training for it but for the life of me I cant think why as given the recent races I was not looking like I could get a PB.
For most of December I also signed up to the 'Marcothon', one of a few challenges where you run every day in December. The rules are you have to run 25 minutes minimum or 3 miles whichever comes first (in my case of course it was very clearly going to be the 25 mins!) On the days I normally didnt run I just did the barest minimum at a very easy pace.
So does running every day for a month have a detrimental effect? Well to general well being I would say no, at the end I felt slightly stronger than before, however for general speed I would say it does affect as I missed out on a fast time for the 10k.

However, all paled into insignificance with an important announcement just before the end of the year. My daughter Hazel invited us round to dinner and there gobsmacked us with the news that in 2016 we would be Grandparents :-) She didnt announce it in public until the New Year but we had the sneak preview!
What an amazing end to a packed year. I can only hope 2016 is as good
First Grandchild!!

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