Sunday, 9 October 2011

Great Eastern Run 2011 - 9th October 2011

It's strange to think that this time two years ago, I was only just really getting into running. My first race was the New Forest half marathon in 2009, which I ran with my dad in 2:12:02 to raise money for CRUK (who I now work for, so it feels a bit odd to be taking a salary out of the money I raised...). It's really all spiralled out of control since then! My first proper race was a local half marathon, the Great Eastern Run held in Peterborough, a few weeks later. In my first year running it in 2009, I ran it in 1:39:33 - an improvement of over 20 minutes. The next year I ran a 1:38:08 - a slightly less impressive improvement. This year, my running has really moved to another level what with training for 100 milers, so I was looking forward to an opportunity to have a crack at a new PB with my new found endurance. So this weekend, I prepared to have my third go at running the Peterborough course, a nice flat course that is perfect for a PB.

Unfortunately, I woke up this morning not feeling great. My throat felt a little sore, and I had a horrible feeling that a cold was planning on making itself known. Hmm. Oh well, it may be nothing, so I decided to just pull my socks up and get on with it. My aim for today's race was to see if I could break the 90 minute mark. So far I have finished most of my runs with plenty left in the tank, so I decided that I was just going to risk it and have a go to see if I could hold a 6:50 mins/mile pace for the whole distance. In the worst case scenario, I would blow up and have a slow end to the race. No biggy.

The weather this morning was perfect. Overcast but dry. The only negative was a relatively strong wind blowing. As I have constantly found, the wind in the East of England is horrendous. It's so flat that the wind just picks up speed with nothing to break it's relentless progress. Give me hills any day - at least they have a summit! I moved into the starting pens, looking for the 90 minute section. This was quite frighteningly close to the front, with very few people in the 75 minute section. So much so that they moved everybody forward, and I suddenly found myself only a few people behind the elite runners! Erm... I don't think that this is quite right.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Loch Ness Marathon - October 2011

The past few weeks since the Grafham Water marathon have been a bit of a bust in terms of training. I have just about managed to squeeze about 20 miles in, but other than that it has been a run free zone. In my defence, this is due to my recent nuptuals. Yes, I am now a married man (sorry girls...). And how are we spending our first weekend together as man and wife? Well I've buggered off up to Loch Ness, and Jen's getting drunk with her friends! Ah, marriage!

Dan Park, Pete Lefort and I woke up on Saturday bright and early, ready to hit the road at 5am. We were expecting a good 9 or so hours drive up to Inverness, so Dan and I shared the driving, with Pete being in charge of the games of I Spy.

When the sun came up it was clear it was going to be another beautiful day - in fact, it ended up being the hottest day in October for a very long time. Well, in Cambridge at least. As soon as we hit Scotland, the heavens opened and the world turned dark and dank. We spent the day getting very wet, and eating our lunch in the rain. By all accounts, a perfectly typical summer's day out in Scotland...

Dan and Pete sightseeing in Scotland.