Tag Archives: Dirty Dozen

August

August began with nothing much on the calendar other than Colour the Coast for St Michael’s hospice, but it ended in the most emotional run I’ve ever been a part of.

Colour The Coast

4km around the park, with my best friends, having paint powder thrown at us, to raise money for a good cause, what’s not to like?

This year they moved the run from the seafront to the park, but the format was the same. Turn up in your official, pristine white t-shirts, and then get pelted with different colour paint at ever kilometre. We had an absolute blast, mostly walking, taking our time, being silly which is what we do best, and covering each other in paint from the paint packets that came in our race packs, as well as getting a good coating at the colour stations, we giggled our way around the course and then joined in the the paint throwing colour clouds at the end. The only negative from it being moved seemed to be that people didn’t really hang around afterwards which was a shame since they had a band playing, and it had the potential to be a good after party, more was needed around the start/end zone to make people stick around I think. A fab morning out with my friends though, and we will, of course, be back again next year!

After Colour the Coast
After Colour the Coast

The 2nd 10k in The Rye Summer Classic Series

Picked up again by Ashley and Kev and taken to rye harbour for the second 10k of a three part race series, it was hot hot hot, and I’d been having real trouble with knee pain, so I was resigned to the fact before the start that I wouldn’t be able to equal what I had managed the last time or have any hope of a new PB.

Before the run, with my boys: Kev, Ash, Phil, Jason and Ben :)
Before the run, with my boys: Kev, Ash, Phil, Jason and Ben ๐Ÿ™‚

We set off from the harbour along for the out and back run by the sea along Rye’s nature reserve, I didn’t bother checking my pace on my watch, just plodded along as quickly as my damaged knee would allow. When I finished I was shocked to find that I had actually only run 9.5 seconds slower than I had the previous month, and was really delighted to have a second 10k under my belt at less than 50mins. I’ll be back next month for the final race, a 5km run, to complete the set.

Finished, with my darling husband
Finished, with my darling husband

Dirty Destroyer

Phil bought me entry to only my third OCR of the year as a birthday present, since the race fell 4 days prior to my birthday and I was heading up to Essex to do the 18km race with some of the RPCC guys. Sadly a few days before the race, our trainer and friend Rich Pringle’s young son passed away, devastating all of us who knew him, and causing our whole town to come together in support in amazing way, as well as the wider community, particulalry the in the OCR world where Rich is extremely well known, liked and respected. People were asked to wear red the day of the race, whatever they were doing and when we arrived at dirty dozen this request had been followed on a massive scale. It was a sea of red shirts, shorts and vests as far as the eye could see, and it was moving in a way that can’t really be described, you needed to be there.

The group of 9 of us who would be going and representing RPCC at this race decided that we would wear our black RPCC kit, with red armbands, or shorts, or tops underneath, and we stood, arm in arm, at the front of the first wave, with a mass of red behind us, as we had a minute of silence for Hughie, followed by a minute of applause. Tears fell as we held each other, but the moment was beautiful.

A minute for Hughie
A minute for Hughie

After the warm up, that I actually had to join in as we were foolishly still at the front, it was time to get going. We wished Dean luck as he was off to race properly, and the remaining 8 of us set off at a more leisurely pace, choosing to do this one together as a team. We were enjoying ourselves despite the fact that we seemed to be picking up injuries one by one by one, myself turning my ankle painfully at around the 5km point, leaving me 13 painful km still to hobble through. We happily clambered over the well built obstacles, helping each other and having the kind of fun I had been missing from racing lately. We stopped to pose for some great group shots every time we saw a photographer and enjoyed watching the ribbon of red tops spread along the course.

Bunch of posers
Bunch of posers

Despite our myriad of injuries we managed to make it around the course, and after a cooling dip in the lake we could see the finish line in sight, just a clamber over a trailer with a very ungraceful dismount, a thin ladder climb and a big wall and we would be there. Sadly I was unable to complete the last two obstacles, my ankle finally getting the better of me, I was beginning to struggle to hold up my own weight, but together the 8 of us crossed the line and into the waiting arms of Doug Spence. We took a moment there at the finish, with Doug, and a few more tears spilled down our cheeks. It had been an emotional day and we didn’t need words, just some time together arm in arm again before we headed back into the event village for some warm clothes and a well deserved drink.

At the finish
At the finish

Dirty Dozen had laid on an amazing race, and an amazing tribute to a wonderful little boy and it was a privilege to have been able to be a small part of it, and I’m so glad I had decided to go along.

For the rest of the month though, I fear, it will be rest and Ice packs for me as I try to get my ankle back into shape so I can start training and running again, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

(If you have read this and would like to donate to a fund to build a play park in Hughie’s memory, please click on this link:ย https://www.gofundme.com/2k42bhvt )

 

April

April started with me sitting down with my trainer working out a plan of action now I’m heading back to work, and focusing more on running events, rather than the OCR races that I have spent the last two years doing. We have taken our training back onto the beautiful Firehills to allow me to get in some hill training on trail to start to prepare me for a couple of tough trail half marathons coming up in May.

Training on the Firehills
Training on the Firehills

After our first session up there, we sat down with a cuppa and worked out what I would be doing when, I told Adam (my trainer) what I wanted to do which it turns out added up to between 7 and 9 hours of exercise a week, a combination of running and classes with three different fitness companies as well as my PT sessions. He laughed at me and said that he might be concerned if some people suggested this, but that I should be fine (In other words, give it a go, but you’ll probably break yourself!!)

It’s all set up so that I can skip or swap things around as and when I need to so hopefully I won’t actually break myself, but in my true overenthusiastic style when I start something new, my first week, I ran more than I was supposed to (in fairness I wasn’t at work yet) and by Thursday was a bit concerned that I might have bitten off more than I can chew (I think I was in equal parts disappointed and relieved when my PT session had to be cancelled that day, but I still had a bootcamp session that evening)

I was really able to get stuck into training as we moved through April as I had only one race booked in, the Angmering Bluebell trail run in the South Downs, and to try and start getting the OCR bug back, I also decided to take a weekend off to go and watch the first Dirty Dozen raceย of the season and cheer some friends on, a bit of a weird experience for me to not be racing, but quite good fun, and Doug did offer me the chance to run in what I was wearing if I wanted to, which I considered for about 30 seconds before deciding against it, but really appreciating the offer none-the-less.

Watching some of Dirty Dozen with Vince and Brigita
Watching some of Dirty Dozen with Vince and Brigita

Angmering Bluebell Run – 10 Mile

For my one and only race in April I travelled with hubby Phil an hour and a half away from home to Angmering, a village outside of Worthing for a bluebell trail run. You could choose to run either 10km or 10 miles, and we had selected the latter, setting off in the chilly morning at 10.30am, along a road before heading into some woodland with carpets of bluebells amongst the trees which give the run its name.

Bluebells
Bluebells

There were also some stunning views over the surrounding countryside from the top of the hilly areas of the run, as well as fields full of cows, sheep, lambs and donkeys to look at as you ran by. The website had said to wear suitable footwear as some of the tails were muddy, but actually the terrain was on a lot of paved paths, gravel paths and hard packed ground, with a little running on grass, and any mud was pretty easily avoided so the use of my Icebugs felt like overkill and I think I would have been more comfortable in my normal road running trainers, which I would wear if I did this again, unless there had been a lot of rain before hand. This run is not one for medal hunters as the only thing you get at the end is a clif bar, however it is a lovely and well organised run that I would do again.

Phil and I running
Phil and I running

Next month I’ve made the potentially foolish decision to run two trail half marathons, which are only a week apart, so watch this space for how I get on at the Bewl Water half and the JD Pippingford half, I’ve put in a lot of training miles this month (over 100) so hopefully I’ll get through OK, but whatever happens, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

That Pre-Race Buzz

Today I woke up excited, really excited, because tomorrow is race day. So excited in-fact that I have felt the need to channel it into a blog post.

I think it all adds up to being part of the reason that running these races can get so addictive. There is not just the race itself you see, there is the build up, the social media hype, the joy of knowing your going to be spending the day with amazing people, the pre-race rituals, the prep, all before even setting off. Then you race, then after the day is over, and you’re elated, and bruised and tired, then comes the post-race social media frenzy, with hundreds of posts and photos, and then its all over, and you just can’t wait for the next one.

Tomorrow it’s Dirty Dozen that has got me all worked up, I love Dirty Dozen races, and, if social media hype is to be believed, it is going to be EPIC! The obstacles look immense.

So here the pre-race prep begins. First came the whatsapp group between myself, Vince James, Linda Zeberga and Chris Williams, to arrange how we get there, which has turned into a general buzz of excited non-sense, don’t be surprised if the slogan “the skittles made me do it” starts appearing on our t-shirts, as well as being used by Linda and myself to discuss the all important question “what are you going to wear?” (Yes we discuss this, before pretty much every race we do together, we are girls, its what we do!)

Whatsapp. The app that allows us to annoy people with messages on mass! (Clean part of the conversation only ;) )
Whatsapp. The app that allows us to annoy people with messages on mass! (Clean part of the conversation only ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Our group conversation about the race has been going on for a few days now, but today is race-day eve, so now we start sharing with the world how excited we are via the medium of facebook, accompanied by pictures of last time, obviously!

Must. Tell. World. Am. Excited....
Must. Tell. World. Am. Excited….

So once I had the important stuff out of the way, like posting more rubbish on my Facebook page, it was time to boot up the computer, try and coax our printer into life, and print the ticket and wavier. I then happily sign said waiver, and have probably just promised all my worldly goods to Dirty Dozen races if I happen to die falling off a high wall – does anyone ever actually read them? (*ahem obviously I do read them, to do otherwise would be highly irresponsible)

Waiver signed, must remember to pack it.
Waiver signed, ticket printed, must remember to pack them.

Now it’s time to sort out my kit bag, and no matter how many times I do this, I’m always sure I’ve forgotten something! “Clothes, check, wait underwear? Oh there it is good, Shoes, Check, Dry-robe, Check, damn forgot the bin liners again” Followed by the kit I actually want to race in (pre-discussed with Linda of course) as I dig through the clean washing pile silently cursing because I can’t find my socks, and wondering which shoes I should race in.

All the gear no idea!
All the gear no idea!

So that’s me ready, and it’s not even 10am, so now there’s nothing for me to do but wait until tomorrow, and my head is spinning, and going to weird places, I even considered a cheeky snapchat involving strategically placed Dirty Dozen bobble hats, but thankfully I calmed down and thought better of it – all I need is for some joker to save it and I’ll be on the Facebook OCR Wrongens page with my hats out!

Keep Calm, it's only a race!
Keep Calm, it’s only a race!

And so now I wait, I’ll chat with my friends, I’ll double check my bag, and tomorrow morning I’ll be up at the crack of dawn, and that’s where the fun really begins… ๐Ÿ™‚