Tag Archives: March

March

Well here we are in March and I have two things on my calendar, the OCR Wrongens virtual race and the Hastings Half Marathon. Having looked back over February I feel it was all a little negative (with the exception of the Brutal 10 section), this can tend to happen when I get a bit introspective, I’m generally positive about everything but myself, but I want to get back to the “wow that race was amazing” feeling rather than getting so bogged down with how badly I think I’m doing and instead be proud that I’ve managed to do something at all. My only defence is that I was fighting some demons as we moved into Feb, which I’m sure will continue, but every day the sun shines a little brighter and life spins on.

With less actual races this month my training can step up a bit and this first week in March I’ve been on it, 3 circuit classes, 4 runs and a PT session and my legs in particular are feeling the burn. I hope I can continue with this schedule as much as life will allow.

The rest of this blog I’ll split into two sections, the Wrongens virtual run and the Hastings half, so here we go…

OCR Wrongens Virtual Race

This is actually more a challenge than a “race” and the rules are thus… You must do 8 runs in the month of March, one for each letter of “wrongens” Each run must be a minimum of 5km, and for the first run you need to wear or carry something beginning with W or run a W shaped route, the next run is R and so on and so forth.

Now for someone who has issues with not wanting to look stupid and embarrase myself the biggest challenge would be getting out of the house in whatever stupid get up I could come up with, more than the physicality of actually running the distance, nevertheless I did it. So here is what I did:

W – I ran 5km in the park carrying a watermelon, wearing a wrag.

W is for Watermelon
W is for Watermelon

I had originally decided to run in every wrag I own (I seem to have collected a lot over the past couple of years) but as I was settling down to sleep the night before the phrase “I carried a watermelon” from dirty dancing came to me, and I got a new plan. That watermelon got supremely heavy, and was really awkward and slippery to carry, I did consider ditching it under a bush, but I got there in the end, along with some funny looks from some perplexed dog walkers! Next up R..

R – I ran 5km in the park wearing rainbow socks and arm sleeves.

R is for Rainbow
R is for Rainbow

O – I took a 6km run with an inflatable Orca whale.

O is for Orca
O is for Orca

N – Another 5k round the park, this time as a Ninja

N is for Ninja
N is for Ninja

G – This 5k was with a garden gnome

G is for Garden Gnome
G is for Garden Gnome

E was a 5k run/walk catch up with a friend of mine, while I was dressed as an Elf

E is for Elf
E is for Elf

The second N was for Nurse

N is for Nurse
N is for Nurse

Finally S was done wearing stockings and suspenders!

S is for Stockings and Suspenders
S is for Stockings and Suspenders

Overall I had quite a lot of fun doing this, and I’m sure my snapchat friends will really miss my updates… or perhaps not!

The Hastings Half Marathon 2016

I had been a bit worried about this run, anyone who has read any of my blogs, or any of my facebook posts will probably know that I’m often doubtful about my ability to do a race well. I rarely doubt my ability to actually finish a race but I’m often sure that I’ll do badly. I put too much pressure on myself to perform the way I feel I should be performing, and beat myself up if I can’t live up to my own expectations. I’m my own worst enemy. Now leading up to the half I hadn’t felt that my running was strong, I felt like I was struggling a lot, and I was convinced that there was no way I could run this as quickly as I did it last year (1h52.45)

In the end though, this actually worked in my favour for once, as I went in with two definite goals and one hope, that I would finish, that I would manage to get round without falling over and that I might keep my time under 2 hours. Other than that I had such low expectations for myself that I didn’t really care how I did, I just lined up, and ran!

Running down Middle Road
Running down Middle Road

I was worried that I had taken the first couple of miles too quickly as I was running under 8 minute miles, but I soon slowed down up Queensway, still managing to keep it quicker than a 10 minute mile though. I got to the top and was mostly just happy that I had managed to make it this year without tripping over a cats eye! As I ran round I felt comfortable, and as I came to the 10 mile point where there is a clock, I saw that if I could hold 10 minute miles I would beat my time by a matter of seconds. I pushed on, I had been running faster than that the whole way round and it was all downhill, then flat, from there. As I hit the bottom of the hill and started the long slog along the seafront to the finish, I kept an eye on my watch, and if the pace looked like it was dropping I mentally shouted at myself “don’t stop, don’t stop” I kept it in the 8 minute mile bracket until the finish. When I stopped my watch I had done it, a new half marathon PB at 1h47.01, but my chip time was even better at 1h46.55. I had also got my fastest ever mile, 5k and 10k on route. For once I finished a race and I was ecstatic, I was actually proud of what I had achieved. I had surpassed my own expectations and finished in a really good time. It made such a nice change to finish a race and not feel disappointed in myself, I’m still buzzing a couple of days later and I can’t wait for my next race, (Currently a 10mile trail run if I don’t book anything else) and I’m just going to enjoy it!

Really happy after the Half.
Really happy after the Half.

Warrior Run

The third and final race for March took place on another sunny day, along with my training partner Viki we were also joined by Phil Carrington, Garry Stapley and Rachel Poile to complete this 6km obstacle race located near Brighton.

Race Description

Viki, Phil and I had run this race before back in October, which was all of our first obstacle race. In October I had set a time of 1h9mins and my aim for the day was to beat this time, although I knew it was likely to be tougher this time round, as it was wetter, colder and they had added in more obstacles.

We arrived in plenty of time and got ourselves registered, this was fairly well organised into different heats and it was easy to get our race packs and timing chips sorted. Since we had some time we then headed back towards the cars to take a look at the main obstacle field.

Warrior run selfie while we wait to start with Phil Carrington, Viki Stapley, Garry Stapley and myself
Warrior run selfie while we wait to start with Phil Carrington, Viki Stapley, Garry Stapley and myself

 

 The Race

It’s fair to say that I was not feeling well this day, I had a stinking cold and if it hadn’t been for charity I would probably have dropped out, nevertheless I was excited at the start line, as I had really enjoyed this run back in October.

Right from the off we could tell they had changed the course a bit, it wasn’t straight into a stream this time, but the hurdles and then a clamber over the hay bails were the same although as a twist this time we also had to clamber over a truck!

Then as before it was a run up a hill, a log carry and onto a long stretch of running, this is where I realised how unwell I was feeling, I was feeling sick and worried that I would have to drop out – so I gave myself a mental shake, I told myself that this was for charity, I decided that it didn’t matter one bit if I beat my time or not, and that I just needed to get myself to the finish.

The log carry (Pictures from Sussex Sport Photography)
The log carry
(Pictures from Sussex Sport Photography)

There was a section through some woods, and a nice crawl through a wet muddy tunnel and some monkey bars to navigate (penalty press ups for me as I fell down!)

There was an added section through some pretty deep mud, up and down some muddy hills, and onto the obstacle field.

The obstacle field included several walls to get over, a high tire wall, a fire jump, rope clime (more press ups for me) some crawling and a wall to traverse.

The Tire Wall climb (Photos from Sussex Sport Photography)
The Tire Wall climb
(Photos from Sussex Sport Photography)

Then it some more hills, a pretty epic slide, more crawls and then another section of up and downs. There was a pretty shear bank to abseil down which was pretty scary, and then some deep water filled pits to jump in and climb out of, which I happened to reach at the same time as my hubby, so we got some great pic’s of us leaping together into the murky water.

Phil and I taking a leap into the unknown (Picture Courtesy of Sussex Sport Photography)
Phil and I taking a leap into the unknown
(Picture Courtesy of Sussex Sport Photography)

After this there were some more ups, downs, crawls and running through water. The winter rains had definitely increased the amount of water to get through. Towards the end the water had been pretty deep the first time, but there had been something of an island between two pools, not this time, it was one big pond to swim across, before hauling yourself with the help of a rope, up a steep incline.

Just coming out of yet another steam  (picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Just coming out of yet another steam
(picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Swimming through what was an island last time! (Picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Swimming through what was an island last time!
(Picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Pulling myself up the bank (picture from Sussex Sport Photography)
Pulling myself up the bank
(picture from Sussex Sport Photography)

After you had made it up the bank, it was a short run round to the finish, but before you crossed the line it was over two more big obstacles, including trying to get up a tarpaulin covered slope that was wet and slippery.

Once I had crossed the line I went to check my time, sure that it would be way over last time, but to my surprise I had actually knocked 11 mins off, and I had just about managed to do it sub 1 hour with a time of 58mins, which just goes to show how much fitter I am now, despite being quite ill on the day. When the final results were released It transpires that I also came 9th woman and 34th overall for the 6km.

This is a great race, and good for beginners too. You can also push yourself more if you want to with 12 and 18km options.

Me and Viki rocking our medals
Me and Viki rocking our medals