Friday, 27 October 2017

Midweek sessions

After the 10k on Sunday it was a quick return on Tuesday evening to the sports village track. Again a large turnout from the members and lots of confidence after a weekend of good results in various events. Today's session was to be a very quick 400m lap and a 100m jog with a short rest after every three. I tried to push myself a little more to get in as many as I could and got to 15 which I was happy with, a very tough session but hopefully we will all feel the benefit in the next few weeks.
Thursday evening as usual started from Nunthorpe sports club heading down to the grove besides Stewart park. An unusual warm up run found us all in total darkness in the short cut through to the grove. After a short run to the end of the grove to retrieve the others I did a few lengths of the grove at a strong pace. I've always liked training on the grove with the steady gradient it's a good test and always used to enjoy it as an alternative to the track when I first joined NYMAC. 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Yorkshire coast 10k

after my recent long distance runs I've pretty much decided long is best (pun intended) and I'm better at runner slower long distance events so today's Yorkshire coast 10k will probably be my last 10k road race for a while. I've not had the best of years pace wise so I have nothing to lose today and pretty much decide to "give it a go". I last did this race two years ago when I was first starting out and I'm sure it was my first race as a NYMAC runner, I was around 53 minutes that day so I'm sure I will beat that. This race has a very narrow start so getting to the front is essential and luckily today we manage that with a sneaky leg over a barrier. Plenty of NYMAC runners in the starting pen and before we know it were off and running. This route is an out and back along Scarborough sea front and is pretty flat but unfortunately today the winds are against us on the outward leg and it feels like hard work heading into the north bay. At the 5k turning point I got to see the other NYMAC runners who were all looking strong. Heading back the winds were a welcome breeze on your back and I felt very comfortable coming back through the sea front crowds. I managed to finish in under 47 minutes which was the fastest I've managed all year so I've got to be pleased with that and I feel I'm heading back towards where I was last year.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Track training

Whilst marathon training I was watching the ever growing numbers attending the clubs Tuesday track training sessions. Finally with this Sunday's 10k race in mind I thought I'd have a go and try and recover some speed that seems to have disappeared this year. As has become the norm there was a huge turnout from our members and after a short warm up jog we stepped onto the track in large numbers. Tonight's session was 800m legs at 10k pace. The faster runners of the club were planning on doing 10 legs and had planned to do the minimum 6. I quite enjoyed the session and managed to do 8 at a reasonable pace without any problems. Overall it was nice to get on the track again and I will probably attend again in the near future.

Acklam XC

taking part in the Acklam cross country a week after my first ever marathon was probably not the best idea I've ever had. Even in the short warm up we managed I could tell things were a little slow and once the whistle went it didn't get much better. Both Chris and Mark were always just ahead of me so I can only assume they were struggling as much as I was bu t at least they were ahead of me. On a positive note I did manage to get going in the final lap and felt quite towards the finish but probably expected after trying for a twenty six mile race recently. From a NYMAC point of view it was easily the best member turn out for any cross country meet I've ever attended and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Let's hope they all attend next time at Whitby.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Cross country

This weekend sees the start of the cross country season, his weeks event is at Acklam grange. I really enjoy the cross country as it's a welcome break from all the road running we do all year round. I have done fairly well in cross country events until recently, these sort of races are a good leveller. After last weeks marathon I'd be surprised if my legs lasted the whole 10k with some nice hills thrown in but it will make a good training run and also another opportunity to put on the NYMAC vest which I love doing. There are a few new members trying cross country this week so it will be good to see how much they enjoy it.

Back to the norm

The next few days after my longest ever run I felt ok, wouldn't say the same for my legs, they Knew  they had gone a long way and were not going to let me do anything for days. Keen to get moving again with the cross country season and the Yorkshire coast 10k inside the next ten days it was back to a normal NYMAC session for the first time in weeks. Paul's sessions have gone down really when since he took over and tonight there was again a large number in attendance. As we headed off on our warm up run to the cycle path my legs started to feel human again. Once at the path and few leg stretching strides later we found out the hills rep location had been claimed the session changed to one mile loops with a short rest between. I managed a full mile rep at a decent pace but the second soon had me slowing down and I used the third as a steady plod as my legs were feeling the miles from 4 days earlier. Overall an enjoyable session and it's good to catch up.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Yorkshire Marathon

After weeks of training through all types of weather it's finally arrived. Almost a year ago I remember being nervous about whether or not I could complete the Great north run, I've completed it twice now so the Marathon is the next challenge upwards.
We manage to get a seat on a mini bus arranged through friends of Chris, it's nice to not to worry about driving there and finding parking etc, I've enough to worrry about today. Were dropped off literally on the course and have to walk up to the university campus where the event is staged, what's most notable for me is how much of a uphill trek the finish line is, not what you want to see after 26 miles of  running. Once inside the campus we bump into the other club members taking part today, most are looking relaxed and ready, more than I am anyway. Simon, Mark, Catherine, Richard and Jack are here and after wishing them well it's time to head to the start.
Both Chris and I agreed a few weeks ago the best way for me to see out the distance was to try and stick to 10 min miles, that's the plan anyway. The race starts and finishes on the same road so the uphill finish I mentioned earlier is also a downhill start which doesn't help runners who are constantly reminded not to go off too quickly, we were passed by so many runners inside the first mile but we had a plan and had to stick to it. Just before reaching York Minister we reached another club member Richard Coates who was also running his first marathon. After the large crowds in the city the country lanes were a lot quieter and it was nice to get into a steady rhythm knowing it's a long way to go. Our pacing was going well and with gel and water on board we reached the first of two out and back sections, Stamford bridge. There was a huge crowd here with loud music playing and I got a little carried away by speeding up a little, after a reminder from Chris we settled back into pace and headed out again into a long drawn out uphill section which wasn't helped by the fact the sun had now appeared and the day was warming up.
Once passing the half way marker it was noticeable how many runners were now struggling and were now walking, you could certainly tell who had put in the training miles. The second out and back section was a long drawn out 3 miles starting around 17 mile marker. This seemed a good time to look out for the others passing on the other side and also helped pass some time away, we managed to spot Catherine and Mark who looked comfortable and when we were coming back up we also spotted Richard again. After the busy out and back section the course turns back towards the city from the 20 mile marker, this was now unknown territory to me as I have never ran past 20 miles before but hopefully the holding back in the early miles would help me through. A lovely quiet stretch through some small villages passed away the miles and it was now noticeable that we were passing lots of runners who were walking and hardly anybody had passed us for a long time. By this stage there were plenty of runners who were struggling and several were receiving ambulance treatment.
By 23 miles my legs were very tired but Chris was still going well and it was trying to stay with him that kept me going as we headed into town. In the distance I could see the petrol station we had passed at the start so I knew we were almost done with just the uphill section to go. I had to dig deep to get up the hill but once over the brow and passing the 26 miles it was all downhill and suddenly the  legs come back alive again for a comfortable jog over the finish. Our average pace for the whole run was 9:51 min miles which was quicker than planned and it found me out in the latter stages but we were never in trouble at any time and I'm more pleased of the fact we ran every step of the course which was our aim. Although Chris was comfortable he never left me behind which helped me keep going and it was great to finish together.
We managed to catch up with most of the others afterwards who had all done brilliantly well and were very pleased with themselves. York was a great marathon and one I will do again someday.