On Sunday 18th March I took part in the Surrey Spring Tempest 10 mile event at Dunsfold, organised by Events to Live. From previous blogs you will know that I had set out to tackle this event next year, concentrating this year on 10k and getting faster in the other regular events I like to take part in. During February I had been searching for an event to take part in but every time I looked it came back to the same event - The Tempest! I decided to test myself to see if I had the stamina to increase my mileage, especially following spectating at the Brighton Half Marathon for the umpteenth year. It hadn't been easy but I had managed a couple of 8 & 9 mile long runs on my own and with some encouragement I decided to hell with it and signed up. Then the self doubt and panic set in. Sue, my running partner, decided she wanted to do it too, however she hadn't run any further than 6 miles a couple of times since we started running together, so we had some work to put in.
The previous Sunday, when it was unseasonably warm, I dragged her out to try a 9 mile test. To be honest it didn't go well, probably due to the unexpected temperature we had frequent walk breaks and finally got back in 2 hours plus. I think this was the most worrying point in the run up to race weekend - would we be able to do ourselves credit, or was it a step too far, too early? During the week we had booked two runs, a 6 mile and 3 mile, unfortunately we only managed the 6 mile at the beginning of the week, maybe this would help and not wear us out for the Sunday run!
Got up at some ridiculous time on Sunday morning (being Mothering Sunday I should have been in bed waiting for a cup of tea and a lovely breakfast!) so that I could try and get some breakfast inside me. Usually I'd eat porridge pre-race but I was really nervous (a good thing?) and just couldn't face the texture in my mouth, just the thought made me feel ill, so I turned to another favourite, Bran Flakes & a nana. Just about managed to swallow that! I'd got out my running kit the night before, but had woken up at 3am and decided to go in spring kit. As it was Mothering Sunday, Danni had decided she wanted to spend the day with me and was up at 6.15am (yes unbelievably!) to get ready to come with us and spectate. My parents would be there supporting me, my brother and his girlfriend, so she wouldn't be on her own. She gave me a lovely card and my these were my present
As Sue hadn't pre-entered we decided to leave a bit earlier than we needed to. We got there very early and registration was easy, just had to wait for the rest of the family to turn up, along with some twitter peeps who were also running the Spitfire 20.
Yes, that's me in my usual racing pink!!!! It was jolly cold and I was beginning to regret running in spring kit - oh well too late now just have to get on with it. Whilst we waited loads more people turned up together with Ian and the lovely Alma who I ran with in the Santa Fun Run, plus Tim & Running Fairy.
The time had arrived to line up for the start, taking my jacket off was not good - arms were freezing. We managed to start off at a good steady pace, one that we could sustain throughout the run. Watching the field string out in front of us was amazing - very colourful in the spring sunshine. I completely missed the first 3 mile markers and before I knew it we were at the 4 mile mark at around 40 minutes. The route is advertised as undulating and it was certainly that with some short, sharp inclines and some lovely downhills. We got to the 8 mile marker and were both feeling fine, apart from some toe pain I was suffering, not sure whether it was a lacing problem or pressure from the downhills - anyway I decided to ignore it and see how they were when we got back to the finish. Just after the 9 mile mark we were asked to move over for the leading man in the Spitfire!!! Not bad I thought, I was expecting to be lapped a lot earlier than that and by more runners! Coming back to the finish line it was great to see the support team waiting for us. We managed to pick up our speed a bit over the finish line and then collected our medals.
Back at home, quick snack for lunch and a catch up with what hubby had been doing all morning. Shaun was preparing a Mothering Sunday feast - prawns to start, venison stew with veg and a Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake with a lovely glass of Chianti ! Suitable Hannibal Lecter noises - thank you !!!!
The results are now in we came 217 (Sue) and 218 (me) out of 225 runners (so not last) in 1hr 54 minutes !!!!! I actually would love to do this event again, a lovely course, well organised and a stonking great medal to add to the collection!
- Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan
Saturday, 3 March 2012
First blog of March! Lots been happening since my last entry - well on the running front anyway. In my last blog I had run 8 miles for the first time, last weekend I ran 8.8 miles and this weekend I ran 9.3. The times haven't been great but have been consistent at 1 hr 45 mins and 1 hr 55 mins respectively. I seem to be fated when I decide to do my long run on a Saturday - both weekends it has been wet! Last week wasn't so bad but this weekend was awful. It started off as sea mist but by the time I got to 3 miles it was absolutely tipping it down and I was soaked to the skin and couldn't see where I was going (forgot my running cap!)
Week day running has been a bit messed up. Sue and I book Tuesday and Thursday evenings for running together, plus our weekly long run on Sundays. We've only managed one run together in 2 weeks, the other 3 week days I've been out on my own, and obviously the last two weekends too. Last Tuesday was a nightmare, I'd travelled home from work, got off the bus and promptly fell over landing on my backside. I didn't think I'd done any damage until I went out for a run a couple of hours later, maybe an uphill run wasn't so good. I only managed 4 miles and it was more of a run/walk! Thursday was better and another 4 miles, again on my own, but the back was feeling a little less twingey and the bruising on my ass had gone!
There has been a lot of chat on Twitter about fellow runners not acknowledging each other. One of my Twitter followers Julia Buckley has produced a vlog guide to runners etiquette Rant About Ignorant Runners. Today was a prime example of miserable runners. Although I only came across 5 today, 3 were women who all had the grasp of acknowledging their fellow runners, 1 man who greeted me like an old friend (think I've seen out before - or at least I hope so) and 1 young lad who I said good morning to and who completely blanked me got the "thanks you miserable bastard" response back! Another new experience was coming across a fellow runner in difficulty. I would hope that if someone saw me in a similar situation they would come to my aid. I did stop to check she was ok and we chatted for a couple of minutes (even though I was trying to beat my 8 mile time!)
All in all pretty happy with my progress - I have signed up to do the Spring Tempest 10 miler on 18th March. Sue wants to enter too but without having done 6 miles for a few weeks I just hope she can manage it.
In other news, the no coffee challenge I set myself is going well. I only slipped twice in February, once because hubby bought me a coffee which I ended up tipping away and on 28th February I had run out of Lemon & Ginger tea bags (shock horror) and there was nothing else to have but a coffee. Can't say I enjoyed the effect it had on me - felt like someone had plugged me in. I'm going to keep going with the challenge and stick to tea, unless someone buys me a coffee - Shaun xxx