Sunday, 16 February 2014

Baldock Beast 2014

Aim for this race was to achieve a personal course record (previously 1:51:30 from 2013) and to finish sub 1:50 (and not get injured). I'm a bit scared of the Baldock Beast course, mainly because it's hilly, but there are two off-road sections and I don't like mud very much. Also, when I ran part of the course last week the roads were flooded in places. So a steady approach at marathon pace (9 min/mile or faster) suited me fine.

Met up with some club friends before the start, Lewis, Ed, Chris, Andy and John (who I always call Paul, sorry John), and Paul (who is really called Paul) were all running, and Sarah W came to support and took our bags for safe-keeping (thanks!). Ran with Lewis almost all the way (I lost him at mile 12, although he "says" he was giving me a target to chase), and Andy joined us at about mile 4-5 (he wanted to run around 1:55). 

Lewis, me, Ed, and Paul

The off-road sections are across a field and through a wood. Both were pretty muddy, but the wood was especially splashy and slippy, I let out a girly squeal unfortunately. The hills didn't seem as bad as I remember, apart from the huge one at mile 10, which I was prepared for this time. After this hill I said my aim was to pass as many women as I could, and I think I picked off at least four. One poor girl let out a frustrated sob as I passed her, sorry lady. By mile 12 I was flagging a bit, and it was an effort just to keep myself running. I did sprint the last quarter of a mile to the finish, despite being passed on the line by two men, and I had to have a quiet moment in the field while I tried not to vomit.

Finished in 1:49:01 according to my Garmin, very happy with that. And the knee and hip did what they were supposed to do and remained intact. According to Endomondo I ran faster in the second half of the race, and my fastest mile was run in 7:30 from around mile 11 to 12.

Big thanks to supporters on the course: Simon and his son at the first off-road section; Pete from club (who had Jelly Babies, gels, and Powerade) and Mark from NHRR, who we saw twice in Sandon; and Jane who came out with her three boys to support at mile 11-12. At the finish I heard a great cheer from my friend Kate, who's daughter had made me a banner saying "Go Sarah!" on it; Sarah C from club (another Sarah!) was there too, along with Ed's wife and kids and Chris' wife and son. Once I remembered I had biscuits in my bag, these got handed around. I also met a chap who I follow on Twitter but hadn't previously met IRL (@rundontrun), and of course Murray and Ashley who organise the race. 

Picked up a nice medal to remember the day by, a can of an energy drink (a bit bleurgh), a banana (no thank you), and a printout of my gun time (1:49:24) and position (153rd). Excellent. Kate had also brought me a bag of Haribo and a bottle of water, which was awesome and so lovely! I really needed the water :) And I'm eating the Haribo now!

Training last week

On Monday I attempted a 5K with alternate slow/fast km, but I failed somewhat at achieving a distinction between intervals. I went out for another run on Tuesday after Pilates, to see if I could beat my husband's 3 mile time, and I did a bit better, running a mile in 7:05 min according to Endomondo. That's my second best mile time ever I think (PB is 6:57). So with a speedy run out of the way for the week I was happy to miss my Wednesday long run. I went to circuit training instead, my second session of the week. Fit and strong is the plan... Thursday run club was a 5 mile group run.

Training next week

It's half term so I'm restricted to evening workouts, no mid-morning 8 milers :(

Monday: Leg physio and core workout

Tuesday: Run club (both sessions), leg physio and core workout
Wednesday: Rest day, leg physio and core workout
Thursday: Run club (both sessions), leg physio and core workout
Friday: Rest day, leg physio and core workout 
Saturday: Rest day, leg physio and core workout 
Sunday: 16-18 mile long run

Happy to continue at 16-18 miles for a few more weeks, then things get more serious in March...

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