Race Recap – Kingston Breakfast Run

So my final 20-miler of this London Marathon training cycle, coincided nicely with the Kingston Breakfast Run 20 mile event, and as I was staying in the London area the same weekend, it seemed rude not to enter! The event is organised Human Race, and as with all of their events, this one did not disappoint!

Human Race Events

Date: Sunday 3rd April 2016

Time: 8am start. Yes it is an early start,  and forcing porridge down you at 6am isn’t pleasant, but it is nice that the run doesn’t take up your whole day!

Weather: Warm, sunny, with a slight breeze. After the wind and rain of last week, this was lovely.

Course: This course is a fast flat, looped course. One loop is from Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court Bridge and in total is around 8 miles. The event hosts and 8 mile (1 lap) 16 mile (2 laps) and 20 miles (2 and a bit laps) You run along the River Thames and it really is pretty, especially when the sun is shining. There are some supporters around the start/finish, but very few on the actual course. There are plenty of marshals and they are very supportive and encouraging. There were frequent water stations, 2 which had SIS gels available (shown below). I didn’t use the baggage area, but have done in the past and was easy and efficient. There are toilets near the toilets, but with 15 minutes to go before the start of the race, the queue was huge. The 8 and 16 mile races started 30 minutes later, and I’m sure it was a lot of these runners in the queue. They really could have waited or let us 20 milers sneak in ahead. There is a toilet on the route, but once I have started I am very reluctant to stop!

The website says that they have pacers from 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12 min/miles, but they were very hard to spot, as they had red t-shirts on, but nothing written on the back and no flag. I just stumbled upon the 11min/mile pace around mile 2, but I was running 10:30 pace. I went past him, but he caught me up around mile 20, and again I averaged 10:32 pace, so if you had planned to stick at 11 min/mile pace and kept with him, you would have worked a little bit harder than you wanted too.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.07.42

My race: I felt quite nervous about this race. I’m not totally sure why, as I ran 20 miles only 2 weeks ago, but I was worried as this was my last attempt and what if it all went wrong! London is only 3 weeks away and I really wanted this to be a confidence builder. Even though I was running this race on my own, I met up with some of the lovely RMR and UK Run Chat communities before the start. I also met one of my fellow RunMND runners, which was such a great surprise; she even stayed around at the end to see me 🙂 Thanks Maxine

I spent most of the early miles making myself slow down. I really didn’t want to start too fast, as I knew that it would hurt at the end of the run, AND more importantly it would make me worry about my ability to pace myself sensibly at London. I was pleased when the mile pace clocked 10:18 and 10:47 for mile 1 & 2. Around 2 miles, I  linked with a group of people and we chatted away about marathons and training. I ended up staying with one man from this group for the entire race. It so good when you run with new people, and you know that you both helped each other going!

I practiced my nutrition strategy, changing it slightly from my last 20 miler. I still had  a torq gel at 3 miles, but then extended it to every 4 miles. I missed my mile 19 gel as it didn’t seem worth it, but will take one at 19, and 23 miles too on marathon day. Around mile 19, I started to feel a little tired and was ready for it to be over, but really pleasing was that my final 3 miles got progressively quicker, and my final mile was 10:19 pace 🙂

88424_KRB16_RAB_003294

Lesson learned: I need to get to races earlier, this was a little too close for comfort, and did mean that I started the race needing a wee! Good pacing makes running a lot nicer. I need to stop making stupid faces when I see a photographer, otherwise I get silly pictures like this!

Silly faces for races

Pros:

  • Running 20 miles as part of an event is much better than on your own.IMG_9188
  • Great awareness for MNDA, as the official photography took a picture of me and a team-mate, fully MNDA kitted out.
  • The marshals were brilliant, and very supportive.
  • The photographers got lots of picture due to the smaller field, and they did not cost too much!

Cons

  • Toilets – there can never be too many toilets
  • Pacers – they were not easy to spot, and I’m not totally sure they stuck to their prescribed pace.

All in all, it was a confidence booster, and now it’s taper time!!

Beware Taper time

If you would like to donate funds to support MNDA you can do here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 13

No club sessions at all this week, which I didn’t like 🙁 School holidays are amazing, obviously, I would say that being a teacher, but being out of routine is not so nice.

Monday – Most of my team mates ran the local 10K today, but after my weekends half marathon  I decided to opt for a nice easy 5 miles. I also looked at the weather forecast, and made my run later on in the day, when the sun was out. After Cardiff Half, I couldn’t face another wet and windy run!

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 6 miles easy. The weather was gorgeous today, and I really enjoyed my run. As it is school holidays, I could run in the morning, which I really like.

Thursday – Rest – although I did walk around London, so my legs did feel like they had a workout!

Friday – I felt really guilty for not running yesterday (a family day out was just more important) so I went out for a little 2 mile run. We are staying away from home, so I got to explore a little section of South Croydon!

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Kingston Breakfast Run 20 miles. My last long run, before the big one 🙂 It was a gorgeous day, I paced it well and I’m really glad it’s over!! I will put together a write-up very soon.

AT LAST it’s taper time, and I am so ready for it! There were so many races this weekend, I love this time of year! So well done if you ran. Let me know which races you did, just comment below! 

IAAF Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships.

When it was announced that there was a masses race on as part of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, I signed up quickly. Who doesn’t want to run in the World Championships!!?? So, here’s what I thought about them:

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.54.37

Date: Saturday 26th March 2016. When I originally booked this race, I didn’t actually realise it was Easter weekend, and I know I wasn’t the only one that kept thinking it was on the Sunday! It’s seems weird running on a Saturday!

Time: 2:10pm. Most races take place in the morning, so I felt a little bit lost all morning. I kept worrying I had got the time wrong and was missing it all. I always find it difficult to know what to eat when it is a later start too. I had breakfast, but then only managed to have a banana an hour before we started, which was not ideal.

Weather: Hideous! The day before had been gorgeous, but #StormKatie decided that she wanted in on the World Championships too. The rain started at the same time as the women’s race! The sideways rain, hail and gale force winds really kicked in just after mile 4 for me, which was just as I was going across the Cardiff Bay barrage, so we were totally exposed and it hurt when it hit my face. The wind was pushing me sideways and it was hard work!

IMG_8971

Course: The course was fairly flat, and mostly on tarmac. The short sharp hill just after mile 12 was a bit of a shock, but the downhill stretch between mile 11 and 12 was a welcome break. I think the course would have been really pretty had the weather been better. The start had the Cardiff castle as a back drop, the lovely Cardiff Bay area, running past the Millennium Centre and finishing around lakeside would have been lovely on a sunny day! There were water stations every 3 miles, they did get crowded, and I’m sure that I saw some stations were handing out High 5 gels, but I didn’t use any of these as I had my torq gels.

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 12.54.07

 

My race: I felt quite nervous about this race, as Silverstone had felt so hard and I hadn’t really enjoyed it. I had enjoyed my 20 mile run the following week though, so really didn’t know what to expect from this one. It is becoming tradition to not sleep well the night before and this was no exception. I had thought with the late start, I could have enjoyed a lay in too – no such luck. Before the race, my race plan was to run a lot of the race at marathon pace, so I was thinking around 10:20 – 10:30 pace. When I clocked the first mile at 9:42, I could feel myself getting annoyed and I tried to slow down, yet still clocked a 9:42 for the 2nd mile too! My lack of pacing was stressing me, so I decided to stop looking at my watch, and then when the horrendous weather started at mile 4, I just wanted to get the race over and done with, so all pacing went out the window. Every inch of me was soaked through, and my wet trainers did make me feel as though I lifting weights with every step. Around mile 9, I had a little dark patch, where I just wanted it to be over, but the support around Lakeside was amazing and really kept me going. Considering the weather, the volunteers and roadside support was amazing. My name was shouted so many times, and there was music being played, people offering jelly babies etc. The final stretch was quite crowded, but I still managed to up my speed to cross the line. After finishing we were given our medal, t-shirt, water, High 5 Gel and a banana.  I finished in 2:08: 32, which is what it is. I’m not really happy or disappointed with it.

IMG_9001

Lesson learned: I really need to learn my marathon pace. Starting too quickly at London will be a disaster. Also, I think I need to take a packed lunch with me, as I am sure I would have performed better had I got my nutrition better pre race.

Pros

  • I took part in the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS!!
  • Flat course.
  • Amazing support and event organisation.
  • Lovely medal and T-shirt.

Cons

  • Weather – I know the event organisers can’t do anything about this, but …
  • Start time – I know this was probably because of tv broadcasting across the globe, but I personally find an afternoon start difficult.
  • Expensive race photos.

As always I ran in my MNDA vest, raising awareness and running for my dad.

If you would like to donate funds to support MNDA you can do here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

Anyone else run in Cardiff? Also, what do you think of my new race recap layout? Have a missed any information that you would like adding? Please comment below and let me know what you think.

 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 12

Monday – Mile repeats at club. My legs were heavy from the weekends 20 miles, so these were completed at a steady pace, and to be honest the pace slowed considerably as the reps progressed.

IMG_8946

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 8 miles steady run. I still felt the miles in my legs, and I constantly remind myself that I am training on tired legs. The run felt quite tough, but when finished I realised that  we had pushed the pace quite a bit, so I was happy with it.

Thursday – Drills at club. Lots of our club are running the local 10K on Easter Monday, so this was a light session. We completed some running drills, squats and light running. Probably just what I needed and lots of fun. I also had the best post delivery today too.

Friday – Rest – travelled to Cardiff Expo to collect my running number.

Saturday – IAAF Cardiff University World Half Marathon Championships 🙂 It was amazing, and a full race report will be posted very soon.

Sunday – Rest.

Anyone else #runtheworlds ?

FLEXISEQ Sport

Training for a marathon is tough. Personally, I feel the training is harder than the marathon itself. The cold dark nights, when all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire and TV, but your  training plan shouts ‘intervals‘ at you instead! The 5am breakfast to fuel yourself for your long run/race and the constant running on tired legs – marathon day is easy in comparison! (Well, not exactly easy, but….)

SO, when I received an email asking me if I wanted a sample of  FLEXISEQ Sport, a topically applied, drug-free gel that lubricates damaged surfaces within joints to relieve pain and stiffness, why would I say no!

image001

What does it claim to do: (Taken from FLEXISEQ website)

  • Lubricates cartilage in your joints
  • Effective non-drug product
  • Relieves joint pain and stiffness

FLEXISEQ® Sport gel is a topically applied, non-drug gel that lubricates damaged surfaces within joints to relieve pain and stiffness. It is clinically proven to be as effective as a prescription painkiller at relieving even chronic osteoarthritic joint pain.

A recent study investigating FLEXISEQ Sport as a treatment for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) has shown that the non-drug gel reduced muscle soreness faster than a prescription oral painkiller (ketoprofen 100mg, twice daily) with those treated with FLEXISEQ Sport finding their muscle soreness was cleared on average 12 hours faster than those using the oral drug.

FLEXISEQ® Sport adopts one of the world’s premier anti-doping laboratories’ batch testing protocols, to offer further assurance the non-drug product is safe to use by athletes and anyone else subject to anti-doping rules, for example those in the armed forces.

FLEXISEQ® Sport meets the demands of all professional athletes and those who exercise, stay fit or simply enjoy an active life.

It’s clinically proven to be as effective as a prescription painkiller at relieving even chronic joint pain and was recently named as a gold medal award winner in the Best Injury Prevention Products category of the Men’s Running magazine awards 2015.

So here is what I thought about it:

I used the gel when my knees were a little sore after some long runs. At first, I thought it must have been a coincidence that the stiffness eased quite quickly. I know it claims to be as effective as a painkiller, but I am always sceptical. As the mileage has increased, I have found myself using it more and more, and I definitely haven’t experienced the stiffness and soreness in my knees that I usually get.

When other runners have been describing niggles, I have found myself suggesting to them that they should try this gel. I’m not totally convinced that it’s because I think it will solve everything, but I am sure it is helping ease my joints.

My husband suffers with arthritis in his hands, and when it is bad, he used this gel and he said that it ‘dulled the pain, and relieved the symptoms.

Obviously this gel was gifted to me to try, but this review is my honest opinion, and I am sure that even though this has quite a hefty price tag for a gel, I will purchase more.

Winner of the Proviz jacket……

Just in case there is anyone that isn’t following me on Twitter or Facebook – you can here and here 🙂 The winner of the Proviz jacket is……….. Chris Maple. Thanks to everyone that entered. I’m still working hard to try and secure some more prizes for more competitions very soon.

If you would still like to donate www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10