Monday, 30 January 2012


BLAYDON RACES  I have been able to arrange a block entry for this years Blaydon Races, 9th June.    I will be sorting this after running club tomorrow night. (31st Jan)   It is only available for paid up members(!!) but others can still enter in the normal way from 6th Feb.   

I will need your cheque for £18 (payable to WRC) and your UKAA number (this will be the biggest challenge).    I might not be running tomorrow night but will definitely be in the clubhouse after to sort this.

The 9th June falls on a Saturday this year, coosty.  We will be arranging the usual bus and restaurant.    

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Pauline's Marathon Training - Week 4

Two races and just over 40 miles for the week.

Simon set the session for Tuesday night's club run, which involved running up and down lots of hills lots of times.  Thankfully I had a 5k on Wednesday so didn't have to put too much effort in!

The 5k was the third of a series of 4 that I've been doing in Saltwell Park in Newcastle. (Lovely place for anyone who hasn't been).  The first one was in November and this was only my second ever 5k.  Its not a flat course by any means and the hills really got me.  I was in shock when I finished and thought perhaps my running days were over.   But, I managed a pb in 21.41 and was first lady so that gave me the incentive to do the next one.  

The second was in December and I arrived late and forgot my garmin so felt completely out of control on the entire run.  I had no idea what pace I was running at and was stunned to find I'd knocked 25 seconds off my previous time finishing in 21:16.  Again first lady.

So this brings me to last week's run.  I decided not to run with my garmin but did wear a stop watch (old habits die hard).  I wasn't too bothered about a time and didn't want to kill myself knowing that I had a half marathon coming up on Sunday.   But a must have a bit of Claire Bagness in me because I just couldn't help trying my best once I got going.  Finish time:  A 10 second pb 21:06.  First lady again.  The final one is in February.

I'm quite tempted to do a flat 5k sometime soon just to see what I can do there.  

Onto Sunday.  Brass Monkey HM in York.  I had set a new half pb in September running 1:32.42 at the GNR but injury followed and I was just getting back into it when I ran my next one, Norwich in November, in 1:36.07.    I wanted to try and get back down to my 1:32 at York but wasn't sure how it would go with the gale force winds.  

Fortunately, I found it to be more of a cross wind and although I'm sure it did affect times slightly I don't think it hindered me too much.  I decided to try to stick to as close to 7 m/m as a I could throughout.  This was fine for the first 5 miles but then I dropped during mile 6 and 7, which were the most exposed.  I then had to work hard for the next 4 miles to get close to where I wanted to be.  I quick time check at mile 11/12 showed I was going to be happy with my time and I crossed the line is 1:33.43.    So only a minute slower than my pb in those conditions shows that the work over the past couple of months is paying off.

My next half is the Meadows in Edinburgh in 6 weeks. 

I few stats:  I was 7 seconds away from 3rd oldish bird (F40) and 26th lady out of 599.  I'm probably more pleased with my placing than my time. 

Also well done to Sarah Robson who ran 1:54, Mark Robson who ran 2:04 and Andrew Aitchison who hobbled in with a sore foot in 2:22.

Now back to some basic training for a few weeks.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Pauline's Marathon Training - Week 3

So week three and just under 56 miles completed.  

There was a fantastic turn out at the club on Tuesday night with probably about 30 runners keen to blow away the cobwebs.  A drill type warm up on the Trading Estate was followed by some figure of 8 loops measuring 1.2m around the town.  The plan was to do 6 but I think some (me included!) cut it a bit short.  

Friday was my speed session, which was sandwiched between domestic chores and work.  Back in the summer I used to dread these sessions but have grown to tolerate them now because, for me, they are  making the difference with my race times.  I was pleased to run the fastest 800m I've ever run in 3:03 but it wasn't easy!

Then today I had a glorious 20 miles in the frozen countryside.  I tried to meet others from the club who were doing various runs:  Rob MJ running to Alnwick and Claire, H and Kenny heading out around Heburn Woods, but the logistics were proving a bit difficult so I went alone.  

I don't mind these long runs on my own occasionally because its a chance to chill but I do like it when I have company.  I did a nice route around Horton, Chillingham, Chatton etc and it was cold!  My water froze in my hydration pack and I couldn't get a drink till 18.5 miles!   But a cracking 20 with an average pace of 8:34 and the last 6 miles all started with a 7!

I have a cutback week next week so not such a high mileage but 2 races slotted in for good measure:  a 5k and a half marathon. 

I must get the debit card out and enter some races.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Pauline's Marathon Training.

I ran my first marathon in 2003 in 3hrs43 and was to spend the next 8 years trying to get under 3:30.  I started to think it might never happen then in November 2010 I took a long hard look at my training, took on board lots of advice, changed my training schedule completely, and finally in April 2011 ran 3:28 in London.

It was as if the penny suddenly dropped and once I'd reached my target I knew that if I continued to train smart I could knock more time off the marathon and other distances.   I signed up with a Coach last April, immediately following the marathon, and this has made a huge difference to my training and my race times.   During 2011 I ran:

1 x marathon pb
1 x half marathon pb
4 x 10k pbs
3 x 5k pbs

The greatest achievement was running 1:32 in the Great North Run and finishing 60th female overall.  I never would have imagined that was possible.

So, throughout 2011 I have gradually built up my weekly mileage, starting the year averaging 40 miles per week and finishing averaging 50.  I now do a weekly speed session and lots of road running rather than hitting the hills.   I reached my target of 2011 miles in 2011 on 30th December!

I am now training for London 2012 and my goal is to run sub 3:15 which will then give me a Championship entry for the 2013.  My training and times indicate this will be possible but I still need to convince my head!  Along the way I need to run a half marathon close to 1:30. 
So, 2 weeks into training and managed to clock up 50 miles week 1 and 60 miles week 2. 

Starting week 3.....

Saturday, 7 January 2012

New WRC Blogging site

A New Year, A New Blog! it's been a while since we all heard wild story's and tale's of Amazing feats of Running adventures, so here to celebrate 2012 is a new blog site. If you would like to contribute please send a message or email and we will add you.

The Housman 100 ultra

Last Saturday was the annual Long Distance Walkers Association 100 mile event, the highlight of my year.  This time the event centre was in a school near Ludlow, Shrops.  I got the train down the day before and stayed in the YHA in Leominster, joined by a few other competitors.

Having arrived at checkpoints too early last year, I decided to start at  instead of 10 this year.  I watched the  starters go off then spent 2hrs fuelling myself with food and water.  Unfortunately by 12, the rain had started but it cleared within minutes and stayed away until the very last mile.  Otherwise it was cool but windy.

About 50 (out of 569) of us started at 12 and as soon as the first uphill mile was completed we started to string out but I ran with 1 guy for the first 20 miles.  There wasn’t much of the route that was runable but I ran every bit that was until about mile 90.  My pace was far more even than in previous years – starting at 4.5mph, down to 4mph after 30 miles and down to 3mph after 50 miles, but I definitely ran less overall.

The first few checkpoints were very strung out and the food wasn’t great – sausage roll and wine gums at CP1 (8 miles), sandwiches at CP2 (Titley, 20 miles), quiche and fruit / rice pudding at CP3 (Evenjobb, 27 miles).  From CP2 I ran on my own except for the odd 10min when I passed people or they passed me – a bit lonely but it did save a lot of time waiting around in checkpoints – in most I was in and out in less than 10min.

From about 20 miles, I was already trying to count down the miles and I could feel my trainers rubbing – normally I never notice the 1st 30 miles.  I’d been overtaking the  starters from 2hrs into the race and continued to do so throughout the race.  This helped to encourage me on knowing that I was already 2hrs up on them, but on the narrow paths, it did sometimes slow me down.

CP4 (Knighton, 35 miles) was reached in daylight and had great jacket potatoes, bananas, custard and cakes.  Then there was the worst climb of the route and darkness fell at about , a few miles before Newcastle (45 miles).  There was a hairy moment when I pulled my head torch out of my bag and the batteries flew out across the field but fortunately 2 walkers helped me find them in the dark. 

After a bowl of pasta I set out with another man along Offa’s Dyke but we didn’t stay together long.  Fortunately, route finding was quite easy in this section and the night passed quickly.  CP6 (Mainstone, 48 miles) was a real disappointment – 1 mile detour downhill into a village hall to get a dry cheese roll then back the same way!  It seemed funny running through the town of Bishop’s Castle in pitch black at about  on route to Lydham (CP7, 55 miles) for breakfast at .  Here I changed socks and put on some Compeed which seemed to help.  I declined the full breakfast as I had been feeling a bit sickly for several hours – cereal and toast for me.

The next leg was a real slog – 11 miles over the very exposed Stipperstone Hills up to Habberly (66 miles).  I saw only the odd person from that point onwards.  It got light at about  but it was dull, cold and windy.  I started to feel a bit sleepy.  There was a good cake selection at Habberly and with 2 thirds done, the miles started to slip away.  However, for the next 2hrs I couldn’t keep my eyes open and once woke up walking on the other side of the road to where I started.  All I wanted to do was lie on the ground and sleep.  When I ran I woke up but most of the route seemed to be uphill. 

Eventually I reached CP9 at Bridges YHA (73 miles) and had a cuppa, crisps and sweets then I felt fine.  A few of the people staying at the hostel came to chat and looked very confused when I asked if they had finished their cycling for the day – when I looked at my watch it was only 8.30am but I had been up for 25hrs and had been walking in daylight for 4hrs so it seemed like late afternoon.  I missed a sharp shower while I was in the tent there.  From there onwards, I could remember the route well from the recce and it seemed to fly by.  I was doing 3mph (I know that sounds very slow but that includes time in checkpoints etc) so I thought I would probably make it in under 30hrs.

There was a water point and self clip on top of the Long Mynd then the next CP was at Edgton village hall where there was a great spread of salad, cakes, sweets and jacket potatoes.  This was Devon and Cornwall group’s CP which is always the best.  After that there was an open air CP at 91.5 miles with cakes and sweets then a CP in Bromfield hall but I just grabbed a snack and kept going to get it over and done with.  It was only then that my blisters got too sore to run but I kept up a good walking pace until the last 2 miles when my feet were soaked, the hills were steep and then the rain started.  I overtook one guy on the last mile but otherwise finished alone to the usual standing ovation as I entered the event centre.  This year I was even interviewed for the DVD because I looked so young!

About 60 people had finished before me but many of them had left 2hrs before me so it was only when I looked on the website after I got home that I found out I was 26thout of 569 starters (only 380 finished) and I was 2nd girl.  I didn’t really enjoy the race as much as normal probably because I was on my own, but I will do it again next year.  The winning man did it in 22hrs09 and the 1st lady did 28hr06 – maybe that will be me one day!  I have recovered faster than ever and feel raring to go and do the 3 Peaks tomorrow.