Training & racing update – 6th October 2018

It has been well over 5 months since my last update and whilst I was relatively busy training and racing over the early part of the summer this soon came to an abrupt halt with a house move at the end of July, which also coincided with our year-end at work!

My summer of racing can be summarised as follows:

1,500m (track debut), TonbridgeTuesday 5th June
5:08.9s (6th position)
On a dry, warm & bright Tuesday evening I made my track debut at the Tonbridge AC development meeting. The purpose of these meetings is to encourage Tonbridge AC club member to compete as well as to give them race experience. I was to feature in a race with mostly runners in their early to mid-teens as well as a few veterans. This was an eye-opening entry into racing on the track and a very different experience of racing that I am otherwise used to, due to it being such a short race. It gives me a good marker for next Summer and a time to aim for!

Staplehurst 10kSunday 10th June
38:05 (15th position & 1st male team – 29 points) – new PB
This was a very encouraging result and a big PB for me, having run 38:51 in this race in 2017.

Bewl 15 milerSunday 1st July
01:48.46s (23rd position)
My first time at this popular and well organised race around Bewl Water in what must have been the hottest conditions that I have experienced during a race. With the race starting at 10.30am and the temperature already in the early 20’s at that stage I had to be sensible and take it easy, taking on water at regular intervals and making the most of the shade around the reservoir. Despite the challenging conditions, I was very pleased with my result and debut at this unusual distance.

Hastings parkrun7th July
18:06 – new 5k PB
With my local parkrun cancelled due to another event taking place in Dunorlan Park, I decided to make a visit to another local event. My warm-up involved a 2 mile jog down to Tunbridge Wells train station, a 40 minute train journey to West St Leonards and then a gentle stroll (0.3 miles) to the start on Hastings waterfront. I knew that this would be a good opportunity to run a quick time and I was delighted to knock almost 30 seconds off of my previous best over this distance (previously held at Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun).

Mid Kent 5 milesSunday 15th July
30:19 (6th position & 1st male team – 13 points)
It was another hot morning, but the 9am start was most welcome. I set off at the start alongside 2 of my club mates and with them finishing in 3rd and 4th position, we secured a comfortable team win at this well organised race which I have now run on 5 occasions. Although I had hoped to dip under 30 minutes, I was still able to last years’ time by 42 seconds – so another pleasing result.

Hever Half MarathonSunday 23rd September
01:36.09s (3rd male & 4th overall)
This was my first race since the summer and with only 4 proper weeks of training under my belt since an enforced break, I had no plans to run any time in particular. I knew that the course would be challenging with the majority of it being off-road and undulating (as well as it being 2 laps). Each lap of the course starts at Hever Castle grounds and winds its way round toward Chiddingstone Castle before meandering back to Hever.

The conditions on the morning were probably the worst I could have hoped for – pouring rain and colder than it had been in the weeks leading up – what a way to return to racing! Despite wearing trail shoes for the race, conditions were more akin to cross country with ankle-deep puddles in parts and slippery and challenging up and downhill sections.

Despite the conditions and the distance, I felt strong throughout and was able to hold onto 3rd position in my wave from mile 2 all the way to the end of the race. I was asked by the race commentator upon my return across the finish line how I felt in 3 words, my response – “wet, tired & ecstatic” – it’s a funny old sport is running!

Here is my weekly mileage following my final race of the summer and leading up to my next race:

16th July – 3.8 miles
23rd July – 0 miles
30th July – 0 miles
6th August – 8.6 miles
13th August – 9.2 miles
20th August – 29.5 miles
27th August – 26.9 miles
3rd September – 42.7 miles
10th September – 36.4 miles
17th September – 33.9 miles
24th September – 39.3 miles
1st October – 16.8 miles (excludes Plymouth 10k race on Sunday 7th October)

I am currently relaxing in Plymouth, Devon and preparing for the Plymouth 10k tomorrow. My next blog post will focus on my lead up to this race as well as a parkrun tourism visit to PlymValley parkrun.

Thanks for reading and check back soon for my next blog post.

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