As some of you will know, my running has suffered somewhat over the past year or so. My last event was the Ripon 10 mile in May 2013. Unfortunately, I had to pull out of Windermere marathon due to lack of training because of injury. I was disappointed but I still had Kielder marathon to look forward to and my training was going ok. Things went wrong during a 19 mile long run at the end of August and I wasn’t back running again til late in October. This meant pulling out of Kielder too but I turned that into a positive by working there instead, massaging the runners.
Things were going well until Christmas when the familiar pain came back while running and I decided I needed to sort it once and for all, I couldn’t go on like this. I started undergoing physio treatment with Kate Bye at North Yorkshire Physiotherapy who discovered many issues which were contributing to my problems. With her help, treatment and advice I’ve worked to strengthen my body and at last I’m finally running relatively pain free.
I wanted to get back in to running events so set about looking to see what I fancied. The one I chose as my ‘come back’ race was Mermaid 10k on Good Friday. I had only been running shorter distances due to time constraints and fitness levels so this would be a good test. During the lead up to the race I decided to do a couple of things id been meaning to do for ages – join a running club and do a parkrun. I decided to join Billingham Marsh House Harriers as I already know quite a few members and I’ve really enjoyed the sessions I’ve been to so far. My first parkrun was Albert Park on 22 March and I was pleased with my time of 25.03 as I didn’t feel very fit at all. I’ve been twice since and ran 24.37 and 24.03 – it’s very motivating when you see your hard work paying off and you get that PB. My goal now is sub 24 minutes for the 5k.
So Good Friday came and off I went to Marske for the Mermaid 10k, it was a lovely bright day but quite windy. The route takes you down the seafront towards Redcar and when we turned onto the beach path the headwind hit making it really hard work – we did this twice. I was really pleased and quite surprised to get a time of 51.38. I always feel really motivated after a race and generally I get on the internet to look for my next challenge. This has become a bit of a habit since Good Friday – ive done an event of some sort every week since.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I bought road bikes. I must admit I didn’t take to it well, I found the bike very uncomfortable and only went out on it a couple of times. But I had a little thought at the back of my mind that I would like to try a duathlon (done a few as a pair but not solo). So on my search the evening after Mermaid I saw that the following Sunday was Stockton Duathlon. A bit close to get much practice in but I didn’t let that put me off – I entered the sprint distance – 5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run. I got the bike out and got my hubby to swap the saddle and change the seat position and it made a huge difference. That Easter weekend we went out for a couple of rides and to the cycle circuit to practice going round corners (yes really!) and that was it.
I was very nervous at the start, would I fall off, would I be able to go round tight corners, would I be able to run after the bike. The first run went well and off I went on the bike. The first 5 minutes were hard, my legs felt heavy after running but I soon got into the rhythm. I was slow on the bike but I expected that really. The second run went well too, again once I got my legs moving it was fine. My overall time was 1.42.49 which for a first attempt wasn’t too bad – gives me a target to beat next year!!
Next challenge for the following weekend was Sunderland City 10k. Nothing special about that really so I decided to make it a little more challenging by working in the massage marquee after the run to massage the half marathon runners. I was pleased with my finishing time of 51.30, still not my PB but getting closer.
It was parkrun the following week (my PB of 24.03) and this weekend just gone we went up to Keswick for the mountain festival and I entered the Trail 10k. I realised quite quickly that i’d under estimated this one, plus it was a very hot day and a start time of 1pm. We were taken to the start line by boat and given a briefing of the route. The guy pointed halfway up a mountain and said see those people (dots) running – that’s where you are going. It looked very steep, but I do like running up hills so I couldn’t wait to get started. The first mile or so were fine, running through woods. Then it started to get steeper and the terrain was really tricky to run on. The thing that keeps you going is that you know at some point you will have to go back downhill. Plus the scenery was stunning. After the two main uphills the rest was undulating and multi terrain (and 10.5k not 10) I was initially disappointed with my finish time of 1.06.10 until I got my little print out which told me I had finished in position 22 (out of 84) and 8th woman out of 46. Only 8 runners finished in under an hour. Tough little run that was but would definitely do it again.
So I was going to have a weekend off this weekend……..but I’ve definitely got the bug back so I think I’m off to Northumberland for the morning to do the Druridge Bay 10k, sounds nice and scenic and part of it runs on the beach.
Longer term, I’ve put in my entry for Kielder Marathon again in October. Me and my husband have also entered as a pair Berghaus Trail Chase in August, which is a 15k trail run with overnight camping then a 10k trail run the following day. Sounds fun!! Oh and of course Middlesbrough 10k.I’ll keep you all posted.