Posts Tagged ‘running’

Potternewton Parkrun

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 | Sport

Last Saturday, I headed down to Potternewton Park to try the new Parkrun there. Parkrun like to soft launch their events to work out any bugs, so many of us had avoided event #1. But, now that that was out of the way, 199 of us headed down to give it a go.

Leeds now has a total of nine Parkruns: Woodhouse Moor, Cross Flatts, Middleton Woods, Temple Newsam, Roundhay, Bramley, Armley and Rothwell being the others.

Potternewton Park is hilly. It doesn’t have the endless drag of Temple Newsam, or maybe even Roundhay, but it goes up and down quite a bit. It’s three laps, mostly on tarmac with a bit on some matting. You could get a buggy around the course if you fancied hills but dogs are currently not allowed.

My time was okay. I ran:

23:46

Ten seconds slower than I did at Middleton Woods last week, and a minute and a half off my PB, but you can’t compare the flats of Woodhouse Moor to a hilly course and I ran most of the last lap with Graeme, and it’s very difficult to chat and get enough air in at the same time (worth the trade, though).

Abbey Dash 2018

Monday, November 12th, 2018 | Family & Parenting, Sport

Earlier this month, myself, my dad and my sister ran the 33rd annual Abbey Dash.

It’s a 10km road race from Leeds to Kirkstall Abbey and back to raise money for Age UK. I first ran the Abbey Dash in 2014. However, I first attended the Abbey Dash in around 1987 when I watched my dad run one of the first few dashes from the comfort of my buggy.

We decided to run as a group. After all, there are plenty of 10ks, but rarely a chance to run together. And as it was only a week after the Hubble Hubble ultramaraton and my foot was still pretty beat-up.

In the end, we made it home in:

59:24

Comfortably within the hour, so happy days. Well done one and all! After the race, I headed to Headrow House for some drinks with Hyde Park Harriers before moving on to The Midnight Bell for Sunday lunch. Despite some very dubious Yorkshire puddings, the food was good.

Battle of the buggies

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 | Sport

Last weekend, Venla and I headed over to Cross Flatts park to do Parkrun. It’s pretty empty at 8:30am, when it’s six degrees, surprisingly, so Venla had the swing park all to herself. After that, we headed off to the start line in the buggy.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to run given I was still recovering from Hubble Bubble, but I felt good once I started. Until I pulled a muscle in my neck, at least.

Buggies go fast downhill and slow uphill. But I can’t have been too far off form because in the end I managed a 26:26, finishing a couple of minutes ahead of the next buggy. I don’t think I could do that at Woodhouse Moor where the super-runners smash out Olympic buggy times, but it felt good to steam home to victory.

Hubble Bubble ultramarathon

Wednesday, October 31st, 2018 | Sport

Last Sunday I completed the Hubble Hubble ultramarathon. I came 5th overall with a time of 5:18:11. It turns out that if you want to place in the top ten, the easiest way is to enter an event with only 11 participants.

52.6 km (32.7 miles) in 5:18:11

Two weeks ago I ran the Yorkshire Marathon. Why run an ultra two weeks later? Sheer laziness. Training for a marathon is a big undertaking: even coming off the triathlon season I had to spend a few months building up the distance. It seemed like a lot of effort to do that twice. On the other hand, if I stacked them two weeks apart, one big training block beforehand would allow me to call myself both a marathon and an ultramarathon runner without ever having to run again.

Besides which, it was my stomping ground. The run starts in Kirkstall and is exclusively based on the towpath. You run down into the city centre, out to Saltire, back to the city centre and finally back to Kirkstall. A total of 52.5 kilometres, which makes it a mere ten kilometres longer than a marathon. Easy, right?

The first 30 kilometres passed without incident. I felt good all the way to Saltaire. But, as I headed back, I began to feel the strain. By 35 kilometres in I could keep running no more and began to allow myself short walks between running segments which carried on for the rest of the race. Luckily, it didn’t affect my pace too much and I continued to do around 6:15 per kilometre. I was very relieved to pass back through Kirkstall at the 43-kilometre point where I was able to pick up my second bidon, complete with a set of caffeine gels.

The weather was reasonably kind. It was cold, a little under ten degrees, but that is a good temperature for running, and we only experienced a little bit of rain. Nothing compared to the Yorkshire Marathon.

The winner, Robert Eagles, was 40 minutes ahead of me at 4:37:32. I was eight minutes behind the guy in fourth place and 40 minutes ahead of the guy that finished behind me. All participants finished in under seven hours.

One of the highlights of It’s Grim Up North Running events is the amazing selection of homemade cakes. Unfortunately, by the time I finished the runners doing the shorter distances had almost cleaned them out. But I did come away with a Halloween-themed cupcake.

Recovery was a mixed bag. I didn’t have the muscle fatigue I had after the marathon where it hurt to get up and down. I was a little stiff after not moving for a while but otherwise fine. However, the bottom of my foot really hurt and gave me quite a limp. Not sure which one was worse but neither have been terrible.

And now I look forward to never having to run again. Well, after the Dash next week…

Super fast half marathon

Friday, October 26th, 2018 | Sport

I did my full-length training run for the Yorkshire Marathon three weeks before the race and shortly after came down with a cold, meaning I had to cut short my final long training run.

A week out from the race and I was still feeling rough. However, I decided I needed to get at least 30km in my legs, so having done Parkrun I set out to do 20km on the Sunday.

Despite feeling crap, it didn’t hold back my pace. In fact, I was faster. My current PB is 1:52:24, which I set at the Canal Canter in March. I topped the distance up to a half marathon and ran a 1:45:25 – almost seven minutes faster than my PB and representing a pace of 4:58 per kilometre.

How? I don’t know. Chris hypothesised that my body’s natural pain management from the cold was still in effect. There may be something in that as it didn’t hurt that much. It certainly will be interesting to see what I can do in a race.

Yorkshire Marathon photos

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018 | Photos, Sport

As it was my first marathon event, I decided to splash the cash on the official photos.

This one is near the start. You go from the university, into town via the Minster, and then out into the countryside. So, at this point, I’m feeling okay.

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Armley Parkrun

Monday, October 22nd, 2018 | Sport

Earlier this month I went up to Armley to do the Parkrun there. It’s about three kilometres away from the city centre, so just a little further than Woodhouse Moor.

Armley Parkrun launched over the summer, albeit with a “soft launch”. When I mentioned it on my blog I volunteer contacted me and asked me to remove the reference and when I asked about it in running club everyone spoke in hushed tones. Apparently, when a new Parkrun launches there is an unwritten rule about not telling anyone. It’s one of the weird rules that makes me a little uncomfortable at how Parkrun operates as an organisation.

Nevertheless, having been running for over four months, it is now a well established and welcoming run. They seem to have an army of volunteers, based on the sample size of one event.

The course is a mix of tarmac and grass. Having run past Gotts Park many times I assumed the course would be very hilly. However, Armley Park itself is really flat: probably flatter than Woodhouse Moor. It’s three loops with a bit of a crossover between the start and finish. It seems a good option to go for if you’re looking for a PB.

Brownlee triathlon centre launch

Thursday, October 18th, 2018 | Sport

After my first visit to the Brownlee cycle circuit I found myself back there for the launch of the triathlon centre. It’s not really clear what that was. It looks the same. But, in any case, British Triathlon was providing some free training.

There were three sessions: transition, run and bike. I will be changing the way I do things based on the transition session but it was the bike session that was most useful. It was led by Coach Morg, who runs Blue Lagooners and the Evolve triathlons and really helped me build some confidence with leaning the bike over and taking more speed through the corners.

Yorkshire Marathon

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 | Sport

I’m a marathon runner. I have a medal to prove it. And it was a hard-earned one because running it was quite possibly one of the most miserable days of running I have ever had.

Last year I ran the Yorkshire 10 Mile and it was cool and dry. Great running conditions. This year it was cold and wet. Last year there was no queue for the shuttle bus. This year there was a 25-minute queue. On the plus side, this removed waiting around before the race as I only made it to the start line with five minutes to go.

The first 13km was pretty miserable as the idea of four hours of running in the rain soaked through. The next 7km was occupied by trying to find a toilet, which finally turned up 7km later. And the last 42km was mostly occupied by pain.

By 35km I was ready to walk. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that I was only just ahead of the pace required to finish in under four hours. In the end, I promised myself I could walk up the hill on the finishing straight (what a terrible place to put a hill, right?). But, by the time I got there, I decided I could keep going and kept putting one foot in front of another until I reached the line.

My final time was:

3:57:17

My goal was just to complete it, with a stretch goal of sub-four hours, so I’m pleased with that time.

People tell you that it is an amazing feeling to finish a marathon. But it’s not. I knew it wasn’t going to be because I’ve spent all summer racing triathlon. But, what I wasn’t prepared for was the dramatic increase in pain after I crossed the line. I was limping in both legs and my ankles were screaming. They continued to hurt even after I swallowed the two ibuprofen I had with me.

The rain fell all morning and continued for the entire run. I was absolutely soaked through by the finish. I brought a full change of clothes, except for pants, so even after I got changed, my wet pants just soaked through my jogging bottoms again. Even with my two t-shirts and winter jacket on, I was so cold that I kept biting myself.

Thankfully, by the next morning, the pain had faded and I felt a little better. I was feeling sore and stiff, but not injured. And I was able to walk down stairs.

Would I do it again? Probably. I haven’t been bitten by the bug: I’m not looking forward to signing up for more races. But I could be tempted by a few of the famous ones.

Looooooong training run

Saturday, September 29th, 2018 | Sport

Technically, I’ve now run a marathon. I’ve been gradually pushing up the distance on my training runs over August and September, and gone as far as 36 km. But, last weekend, I went for the granddaddy of distances: 42.2 km (26.2 miles).

I took the photo about 13 km into the run. My face didn’t look that happy by the end. And no, I have no idea what was going on with my hair.

I started by going down the towpath of the Aire & Calder navigation. There were rowers practising all along the waterway, right up to whether I turned around somewhere near Rothwell. I then headed home, with a quick stop to pick up a new bidon and more gels, before heading up the Leeds Liverpool Canal towpath in the opposite direction to complete the second half. In the end, I completed 42.4 km.

I did the whole thing in 4:06:25, but I paused for Garmin for the few minutes I was re-supplying in the middle, so my actual time is longer than that. I feel okay having done it. Recently, I’ve been feeling pretty ill at the end of these long runs but I felt good after this one, perhaps because I had drunk a little more than usual. The day after I had a little soreness in my toes and my calves were aching but otherwise, I felt good.

Having reached this milestone, I’m now looking forward to moving my training runs back down to sensible distances.