To the gym

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve only done a little running. I did a slightly broken-up 5km run/walk last week, and then had a go on Wednesday night but ultimately my body has decided it’s had enough for now.

So I’ve got an appointment with an osteopath this week. Important to listen and be sensible but at the same time I just hope to hear nothing too bad.

However, it hasn’t stopped me at the gym today. A good short sharp session, including cross-training, bikes and weights (and, unfortunately, catching a bit of the Jeremy Kyle show on telly). A fun enjoyable session, but I can’t wait to get back running again!

Mind racing planning for next year

The mental analysis of what happened on Sunday continues. Sadly it continued well into the early hours on Monday night/Tuesday morning as I couldn’t get to sleep for thinking too much about how different next time will be.

The reality is there just aren’t that many races in my schedule so every one really needs to be grasped with both hands, and on Sunday I just didn’t do that, so when I’m home there’ll be a whole process of figuring out what did happen. Could have been injury during training. Could have been the correcting insoles we started using last year. Could just be a need for new trainers. All good manageable stuff but the bottom line is I just can’t wait to get running again. I’ll probably do a Half-Marathon in training somewhere in the build up to the Run Jersey event in June. Anything that will get me more sure of my performance.

I’m writing this on the boat on the Tuesday morning and we seem to have a member of staff on the PA system with a sense of humour. Earlier on we had “In a bit I’ll tell you about the duty free offers. As soon as I’ve read up about them” and just now “It’s probably the cheapest Chanel offer you’ll ever see. Well best value at least. It is Chanel so the word cheap probably doesn’t go”

Unfinished Business – My Silverstone Half Marathon 2015

“Unfinished Business” was a phrase I used in the immediate aftermath of this years Silverstone Half Marathon. “Disappointing” was another. “Excellent” was yet another. Looking back it was all of that and more. Unfortunate. A missed opportunity. Thrilling. Memorable. I could pick a thousand individual words and they’d all be relevant to some bit of the race.

Looking back now on the Monday following the race I now have had some time to process it all, but will need more.

So let’s retrace steps. Before the race was great. The drive to the circuit was very chilled out and we did get to explore the circuit at least a little before the main event.

In my previous post I said “I know I have it in me to run faster than last year so it’s about the body holding up and just getting it done on the day” and during the hours leading up to the race my body felt better than it had in weeks. Great, I was ready.

We took an unexpectedly long time to cross the start line but got going well. Jean and I set a slightly faster pace than planned and separated sooner too. The atmosphere out on course was fantastic. I loved it. They had added a live band and two DJs to the route which really did help build a good positive vibe.

Nothing remarkable stands out for the first 8 miles or so. I was running at a reasonable pace that I was content with. I did 10km at a passable 57mins. Through 12 of the 21-ish kilometres I was at (by my GPS timing) around 1:08:54. Throughout the first half of the race I was doing rough calculations of what sort of finish time I was heading for. It was around 2:00 maybe 2:01. Not quite my two-hour target but perfectly acceptable.

It went wrong in the thirteenth kilometre. Very wrong. I had managed the fitness in my left knee perfectly well all race long but around this time pain started in my right knee. A fair amount of pain. First I thought about stopping running to just walk a bit. I quickly dismissed the thought and accelerated back to normal pace again. My right knee had other ideas though. So before long I accepted that this race wasn’t going to see a repeat of last year’s running-the-whole-way effort. A bit of walking then another drive at running. Repeat. Pretty much all the way until the last mile marker. By about 18k both of my calf muscles were painfully protesting at what was probably a large amount of extra strain being put on them because of the knees not really working.

The rest of the race was just a tug-of-war between pain and resolve and I think that battle ended in a draw. I finished but not in a time I’m all that happy with.

But I DID FINISH and no one can take that away from me. But I know I can not just run a half-marathon in under two hours but I will run THIS half in under two hours. We will undoubtedly be back. The organisation was excellent. The marshals encouraging. The journey great fun. Even the training by-and-large was enjoyable. I will be back because I have unfinished business with this race. As I write this I see that the race web site has already moved on to the 2016 event next March. Bring it on!

So, the Garmin link at the top of this post shows my race progress. If you use the map screen on Satellite view mode, ignore it. The satellite image is well out-of-date and doesn’t have the new Wing pit complex showing, nor half of the Stowe circuit (the one I drove on last summer). The image makes it look like most of the race was off-road which it wasn’t.

My official race time was 2:20:39. Eleven minutes outside my best, but under the circumstances I must be happy. It was the best I had on the day. There’ll be better days. I’ll make sure of it!

The night before the race

It’s about 10pm in a hotel near Silverstone the night before the Silverstone Half Marathon. I think I’m ready. My leg/knee has felt far better than it has in a while. I’m as ready as I can be.

The trip here has been a little tiring but only because we’ve packed in 4-5 hours of driving today. Perhaps a tad ambitious, although it has been a lovely day. It was good to sit in Lauren’s Reading home and enjoy a cup of tea with her.

I think next time though we’d find a way to spend an extra day in travelling up here. Just to take a little pressure off on the day. We had a lovely meal tonight at The Green Man bar attached to the hotel. I can imagine coming back here very easily even if it’s not as convenient as the circuit Snooze Box would have been.

I’m looking forward to the race. I know I have it in me to run faster than last year so it’s about the body holding up and just getting it done on the day. I can’t wait!

Last long run before the race

The above link shows the trace of my last long before the Silverstone Half, but it just doesn’t tell the story. It shows that I walked a few times but didn’t show the pain I first overcame but also doesn’t show how I managed it through the second half of the session through adjusting my running.

You see, today brought me the possible revelation that all of the really good winning that I’ve done at lower speeds might well have hurt me through adjusting my running style. I’m not sure yet but today’s efforts have certainly indicated that.

It’s two weeks before the race and my training is certainly miles ahead of where I was last year. Last year my actual race performance at Silverstone was rather out of nowhere, so today the training is right. Can the race also be THAT much better as it was last year? I can only hope so.