Sub 3h15

For anyone trying to crack the 3h15 barrier anywhere in the world

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26/06/2011 at 09:22
20km for me this morning to bring up 81km for the week. It's an easy lark, this measuring things in km: sounds like I'm running loads, when in fact it's a modest 50M!
26/06/2011 at 11:18

A modest 50 miles!!!! I did 30 miles last week and that was my highest since March and only my third week over 20 since then.

9.25 miles round Windsor Great Park this morning. It was lovely for the first mile then the clouds cleared and it got way too hot. Ended up averaging 8:27 per mile but even that was almost too much.

26/06/2011 at 11:35

Phew - it's suddenly got pretty warm down here - 29 degrees forecast.

Fortunately I got my exercise in early - just under an hour on the bike first thing and then joining younger Lorenzito for a "light" bit of hill work with the club.

Staying down on the Hampshire coast tonight so could well be a run along the beach tomorrow morning. 

26/06/2011 at 14:25
Mansfield Half Report

If any of you are on Facebook or Twitter then you already know the short story. Here's the long version!

Having looked at last year's results I wasn't aiming for a prize in the race (Susan Partridge won, followed by a couple of Ethiopians!), but I did hope to scrape a county medal as it was the Nottinghamshire HM Championships. Initially I thought I might be able to run around 1.32. Then I saw the weather forecast and revised to 1.33. Then I saw the course profile and revised to 1.34. I failed to account for the wind, the extra weight I'm currently carrying, or the fact that I've only run over 13 miles 5 times since the marathon.

I woke up boiling hot. Not a great start. Arrived in Mansfield in glorious sunshine, if a little windy. No need for extra T-shirts before the off. I was sweating standing still. Birch stopped me to say hello and I didn't recognise him in running kit, having only ever previously met him in civvies. Usually it's the other way round for runners!

The first mile is *very* downhill and I clocked a 6.30. That didn't worry me. The thought of running back up that same hill at the end of the race did though!
26/06/2011 at 14:34
I can't remember mile 2, but 3 was uphill on the path at the side of a busy A road, and straight into a headwind. I struggled. Already. There was a water station at 3 miles at the top of it and I had to stop to have a drink (still can't drink out of cups on the run). At some point round here Birch came past me.

I felt like I was running on empty and took a gel soon after 4 miles (waiting to get to the top of a hill first!). Then came a nice downhill and at the bottom of it a marshall told me I was 3rd lady. I didn't actually believe her though (and said as much to Birch when I pulled alongside him going back up the A617). However that did have to mean that I was 'up there' somewhere and I'd seen first lady and recognised her as a Derbyshire lass. So definitely on for a County medal. That thought, and the gel gave me a bit of a spurt. Until we hit another darn headwind.

There was a switchback point and as I got to the end of it I was told again, 3rd lady. I had to believe it this time, but I could see 3 other women were close behind me and looking decidedly stronger than I was feeling.

I sponged, I threw water over me. Actually the heat wasn't too bad. It was the hills and wind that really killed me. I knew Coxmoor Road would be tough, and it was. All the moreso because a lady came past me and bolted up the road ahead. However, I was still in 4th, and there are 5 prizes. Also, she was from Belper so unlikely to count for the Championships.

26/06/2011 at 14:44
I was really struggling by 9 miles. My average pace had already dropped to slower than MP and I desperately wanted to stop and walk. But at the same time I really wanted to make the hurt worth it and claim a county medal.

It was only at about 12.5 miles that I was able to get a look behind me and see that there were no women in sight. That was a relief. Since I was soooo far off a respectable time I really didn't want to have to sprint and kill myself off even more. I dragged myself up the hills of the last mile, where there was a man with a hosepipe spraying us all. A welcome sight at that point!

Finally made it back into the park for a half lap of the track. Just running as strongly as I could. No sprint finish. What's the point when you're 7 and a half minutes slower than your PB?!

So I finished in a very disappointing 1.37.32 (unofficial), but 4th lady. I actually missed the presentation for that because it wasn't where I was told it would be. Grr. Anyway, I was most pleased to discover a cheque for £75 in the envelope. Wowsers! I've never won that much before. And having missed the presentation I didn't see who the girls were that finished ahead of me and therefore didn't know that I had actually won the County Championships.

So I've come away with a massive trophy, a gold medal and £75. Makes up for the complete lack of goody bag . And I hate the race slightly less now. I still don't think I'll do it again though. Unless I'm actually race fit and it's not a boiling hot or windy day.
26/06/2011 at 14:50
Hey, a profitable and successful day, Speedy.  It's very hard to run well when there's a sudden change in heat and temperature.  I remember having an absolute shocker at the Burnham Beeches Half a few years ago when it was hot and humid.  2 lap course: lap 1, fine; lap 2: heat exhaustion...
26/06/2011 at 14:58

26/06/2011 at 15:22

Firstly - big congrats to Speedy - not many achieve County Champion status, and I can vouch that it was hard-earned! (Didn't realise you won a stuffed animal  as well as the rather splendid shield). I hung around for the presentation - I have a feeling it was my fault you missed the 4th place presentation as I assumed incorrectly where the awards were given. If so, please accept my apologies!

Well, Speedy has accurately described the course and weather, but I'm not sure they can be entirely blamed for my big PW. Like her, sweat was rolling down my face on the start line after 10 mins gentle jogging with strides to warm up. Nice first mile in 6:39, then settled in, only to meet first hill - mile 3 was 7:36. Mile 4 - 6:48, so a most uneven first 4 miles, both gradients and my running. 5 miles came up in 35:25. Just got my head down, but mile 8 was another hill (7:53 for this) and I can see why Speedy says she was struggling by 9 mile point.  Reached 10 in 72:26, so second 5 was 37:01, then just a war of attrition to the end. The major part of mile 13 was uphill thru a housing estate and just seemed to go on forever (7:47). It was a relief to turn into the park and head for the track to finish in 1:35:51 (my watch). A PW by well over 4 mins.  I had a big mental battle with myself in the last few miles - "this is too hard", "I'm not doing Nottingham", this is my last race" etc etc. I'll try and post a reasoned analysis of where I'm at in a while, but the day belongs to Speedy - County Champ -

btw, you must defend your title successfully, then CC2 will indeed be an approprite moniker !!

26/06/2011 at 15:24
ps - results not up yet, but last year my time would have got 2nd M55, so there is a straw to cling to !! (A very tenuous one, I know)!
26/06/2011 at 15:46
Actually Birch I was 10k County Champion in 2009, so I'd better stop winning championship races now or change my name to CC3

I asked at the information desk where the presentation would be. You'd think they'd know, wouldn't you?!

Eloise (my cat) is offended at being called a stuffed animal. She will admit to being slightly portly, but claims it's mostly fluff.
Edited: 26/06/2011 at 15:48
26/06/2011 at 16:08
Nice running Birch and a good trophy there Speedy. Does it smell of fish by any chance?

I felt a bit rough yesterday afternoon. Glands up, sneezing, tired. Decided I had probably over done it over the past few weeks, especially doing the 12m progressive the morning after the hard duathlon. Took lots of vits and First defence and woke feeling ok. Not great, but better.

Did a 2m warm up then into the Weald of Kent 10m. Havent checked official time nor uploaded Garmin, but basically I started at 6.10 pace, slowed to target 6.15 pace and was looking good for 62.30 at 5m. 2nd 5m were hillier and although I held my position, pace slipped and I finished 6 sec outside my pb in 63.37 Garmin time. Not bad considering the training, but I was hoping for a sub 63min.

Nice in the garden this afternoon. Neighbours with a pool were out and invited us to use it. Lots of fun.
26/06/2011 at 16:31

Wow Speedy - fab stuff. As I was reading through I was thinking that the wheels were about to come off, but you dug in there and another trophy can't be bad. And the dosh is the icing on the cake. A big well done from down here.

Keir - you can't complain about that, assuming it was as hot in Kent as it was in Surrey. Enjoy the pool!!

26/06/2011 at 16:33
Good effort, Keir, especially after feeling carp. Take it was hot in Kent, too?
26/06/2011 at 16:35
Very muggy in the morning. I was dripping after a gentle 2m warm up. The race wasn't too bad till the cloud cleared towards the end. Very warm for the extra 4m I did as a warm down. Felt sorry for the slower runners. They were out there a long time in the sun.
26/06/2011 at 16:46
Good point - at the Mansfield half you had to feel for those coming in well past 2 hrs. 
26/06/2011 at 17:07

speedy well done on a tough day and a great result, £75.00 trainers perhaps?

Birch fingers crossed for you on your race result and time, well done to you too Sir...

Keir sounds like a tough course for the sub 63 attempt and a very warm day, still a very quick time when not 100%

no races for me at the moment but a very hard 17miles in the heat today, lookin forward to a beer ...

26/06/2011 at 17:25
Nah, don't need any trainers yet. It'll come in handy though, cos I don't get paid till the 6th and I officially ran out of money yesterday. So I can actually eat for the next week and a half. Always a bonus I find. The rest will go in the boiler fund.

There were still folks out there today as I drove home. So well past 2 and a half hours. I don't know what the actual temperature was, but hot enough to get a heat warning from the met office.
26/06/2011 at 17:28
col, I'm enjoying said refreshment at this very moment . . . . (nice 17, btw) .
26/06/2011 at 17:34
I ran out of squash earlier, and don't drink beer. I'm currently on coffee but there is a can of Strongbow in the fridge...
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