Friday, 14 March 2014

Selections, 5km and track marathon

A lot has happened since my last blog.  Firstly two very exciting bits of news...

1. I have been selected to run for England at the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km on May 3rd.  This is a home countries international, I ran for England last year at this event in Perth.  There is also an open 100km race with a 12 hour cut off and an open 50km with a 7 hour limit so get your entries in!  The course is a 2km loop which some describe as flat but it does have a few inclines.  I have run a marathon on this course and as someone used to flat I found it quite hard towards the end.

2.  I have been selected to run for GB at the World 24 hour Championships in Pilzen, Czech Republic in June.  The photo is from last year which is why I am not in it.  However, in the last few days this event has been cancelled and they are now looking at a new venue so hopefully some news soon.

Thanks Andrea for the picture
A couple of weeks ago I did my first 5km (I did do race for life about 10 years ago when I didnt run much).  I am not very good at short distances so tend to avoid them but I spotted this on Friday night before the race on Sunday, it was a weekend when I wasnt planning a long run so decided to give it a go.  It was local so I ran to the start.  I wasnt sure if I was in shape for sub 20 but that was my dream goal, I knew I wouldnt be too far away on a flat course but had been told this was hilly.  I started on the second row as that seemed about the right place - I know you shouldnt judge other people by what they are wearing and their size but I had nothing else to go on.  As soon as the gun went off loads of people from behind went charging past me, ooops, I started too far forward!  It took a few minutes for me to realise that I was doing a 5km not a marthon so I needed to be going faster, I then started passing people so that was nice after feeling a bit demorolised at the start being passed by so many! 

I knew I needed to average 6.27mm so allowing for garmin error I was aiming for about 6.24mm.  At 2.5 miles I looked and was on 6.15mm so thought it was in the bag.  I then didnt look again.  A big hill came up which I must have lost time on, didnt think to look.  I saw a lady ahead of me who I was gaining on but the finish was too close to beable to catch her so I didnt go into that 6th / run so hard you feel sick gear, I was happy enough that I was on course for sub 20 so wasnt too fussed about another place higher.  After I finished I didnt look at the time for a while as I assumed I had gone under 20mins and wasnt really that bothered how much.  When I looked I was quite surprised to see 20.07, how did that happen? I am so used to marathons where if you are 10s a mile ahead with half a mile to go then yes it is in the bag but that is not the case with a 5km.  Had I been looking at my garmin I could have gone into that top gear and maybe just sneaked under.  The other annoying thing is that I was 2nd lady, had I known the lady ahead was 1st I could have caught her as she was only 5s ahead.  Oh well, guess I need to do another some time!

Last weekend was the Groundhog track marathon.  I was taking this fairly seriously although it is not my A race so I skipped a long run the previous weekend (did the 5km) and cut caffeine for the week.  I also had a rest day the day before which turns out to have been my first rest day of the year.  I was not sure if I was in PB shape but knew I was close after the Stamford 30km so I was going for it.  Unfortunatly it was very windy so we had a strong headwind on the back straight and part of the bend.  Yes there probably was a bit of a backwind as well but that never cancels out the time lost on the headwind.  Managed to run to PB pace for the first 30 laps (its 105.5 laps in total) but then gradually got slower as the headwind started to take its toll.  Splits were not a disaster, 1st half was 1.35.xx (not sure the seconds) final time 3.16.10.  This got me 1st lady, 19 minutes ahead of 2nd.  Although it was 4mins too slow I was pleased with the way I ran.  Yes I did fade but so did most people and I felt that at the end I was still running strong, apart from into the headwind which by the last 20 laps was getting really hard work.

Post marathon my calves ached but that is to be expected running 26.2 miles on a hard track in minimal shoes (Gorun2).  My legs did not feel too tired though which  is perhaps due to only running at marathon pace for about 270m then having a 130m headwind at a slower pace (although still marathon effort).

Now I feel my speed is back post injury I am slightly changing my focus - a bit less speedwork to make way for more hills in preparation for the 100km.  Instead of 2 hard fast sessions a week I am dropping down to 1 but will do a mini strides type session just so I am still using the fast twitch muscles twice a week.  I have been doing 2 hill sessions a week on the treadmill and some hilly runs outside.  I am going to either make those sessions longer or do more of them and also do more outside hilly runs rather than the same old routes.  Yesterday I did up and down park road several times (a half mile hill) then a hill session on the treadmill in the evening so I was doing hills on tired legs.

This weekend is the Stratford raceway marathon.  I am not racing this, but using it as a training run and a chance to test my new Gorun ride3 which I have been using for a few weeks on short runs - first impressions are that they are very nice and I love the colour.  The race is 5km laps so I might do a couple of extra laps then on Sunday I plan to do a hilly long ish run ie on tired legs which is what I need to practice for the 100km.

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