Miles of Smiles
June 23, 2016
The last couple of weeks have been quite busy. Last Monday, I went to STC swimming training as usual. There were quite a lot of us in the session and we had some long sets to swim. I’ve not done enough swimming this year and I’m finding it quite challenging, but I managed to get 2000m done within the hour. This week felt a little better. There were only two people in Lane 2 (Kevin and Sonia), so I decided to take my chance and go for it. I was the slowest by far, but when I glanced over my shoulder I could see that I was at least keeping pace with (and occasionally beating) the swimmers in Lane 1. It was also quite bizarre to glance over my other shoulder and see Huw and Stu motoring away. I had a few technical difficulties with my Garmin, but think I swam around 2200m, which made me feel more hopeful for the Long Course Weekend.
On Tuesday last week, I went to the Lordshill Road Runners Magic Mile event. This was one of a series of 5 x 1mile events that are taking place in 2016, with the next one taking place on 26th July. The events are not serious races (well, not for most people) – they are free to take part in, with donations going to LRR’s chosen charity, however they are limited to members of local running and tri clubs.
It was great to see friends from Lordshill who I haven’t seen for a while, and also great to catch up with Liz, Claire and Sheila from Southampton Tri Club. Liz and Sheila had on tri club tops, but I don’t have one yet… and I also hadn’t realised that so many people would be wearing club kit. As usual, I had opted for my most comfortable and attractive running kit, so I was decked out in SOAS from head to toe.
The start and finish of the event are a short distance apart with participants gathering at the finish and being led to the start. I was so distracted by chatting to Claire that I walked part way to the start before realising that I was still carrying my rucksack and wearing my hoodie – oops. I dashed back to the finish, dropped my kit off and then had to hurry over to the start. I just about had time to use my inhaler (but no time to tuck it in a pocket – thank goodness for the secret pocket in the front of my SOAS crop top!) before we were off.
The first section of the course slopes gently uphill to the crossroads on The Common. I would have preferred not to start on a slope without a warm up, but enthusiasm got me to the turning point and I felt good that I wasn’t the very last person. It was then a gentle downhill towards the Bellemoor. I felt ready to go faster, but this is the path that I used to cycle to work on every day and I know that there are some broken patches of tarmac. After taking a tumble in my last half marathon, I was carefully scanning the ground ahead to make sure that I didn’t trip.
At the bottom of the slope was another left hand turn onto The Flats. Unsurprisingly, this section is completely flat apart from a couple of speed humps. I had been following another runner since the crossroads, but I could see that I was gaining ground, even though I don’t think I was speeding up. As we got towards the finish, I managed to pass her.
I finally crossed the line in 8:42 – definitely nowhere near my PB (which I think is 7:27), but quicker than I thought as I had expected to be closer to 10 minutes 🙂
Wednesday evening took in another mile event – this time Mile of Miles, a 10-x1 mile relay at the track. I knew I wouldn’t be quick, but I wanted to beat my time, and as my favourite photographer, Paul, was there then I also had to try to make it look like I was enjoying every second!
I was the slowest runner for Lordshill, but was quite pleased to finish in 8:19, 22 seconds faster than my run the night before.
On Thursday it rained really hard, so I abandoned my planned open water swim and track session for a lazy evening at home.
On Saturday, I was Run Director at parkrun. It wasn’t too busy (600+ runners), which was good as Stu was out doing a long bike ride, so I needed to manage the event on my own. We had a longer finish funnel this week, which meant that there weren’t problems with runners backing up and we didn’t need to manage two (or more) queues. I then had some help from Kate to process the results. The temperamental scanners worked first time and because of our lovely new finish tokens, there weren’t too many names on the manual entry list.
I had hoped to get out for this week’s RR10, but I spent yesterday at a work conference in Bristol, and didn’t get back in time to be able to run which was a shame, and I have loads to do tonight ahead of another conference tomorrow, so I’m having an evening at home. Maybe if I’m lucky I’ll get to do Medina parkrun (Isle of Wight) on Saturday morning.
What are your plans for this weekend?
Finally, if you haven’t seen Strava’s latest video yet, it’s worth a watch: