Scenic 7, long run, cycle paths and fog

Another week! Plenty of mileage both running and cycling. But somehow it all feels quite hard at the moment. I think it’s the cold. It’s still fun, don’t get me wrong – I am enjoying Autumn rather more than I usually do, but it feels like an effort and going fast is just not possible!

Sunday: Stowmarket Striders Scenic 7. It is so much harder to run now the air is cold. My legs aren’t so bad – it’s the breathing! And I need to breathe! I ran this with Linda and Liz until near the end when we reached a hill and Liz had the energy to attack it and Linda and I didn’t! It was a nice little route, through some pretty countryside and the weather was good for November. In fact, I’ve generally been lucky with the weather for my races but maybe I shouldn’t say that? Anyway, any time was a PB since I had never run a 7 mile race before and I completed it in 1:04:51 which is perfectly respectable. There was no medal at the end (boo!) but we did get a very luminous yellow buff which I guess will come in handy for cycling although it will clash rather with my red club kit!
(7.1 miles at ave pace of 9:09 mi/mile, ave HR 156bpm)

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: I couldn’t make it to efforts (which is a pity as they apparently did hills which is what I need to practise)so I went out and did a long run instead. I ran the same route that Linda, Mark and I did two months ago when we were working up to the half marathon distance – it was one that felt really hard. But this time it felt easier – perhaps because it was cooler but more likely because I started the loop at a different point (from home) so the hilly bit was much nearer the beginning than when we ran it previously. I used the heart rate monitor to stop myself speeding up, keeping my HR under 150bpm even up hill). Anyway, this run felt good – other than the bit where I had to dive into some trees at the edge of Mousehold Heath for a natural break!
(12 miles at ave pace of 10:29 mi/mile, ave HR 143 bpm).

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Cycle Paths of Norwich (which my son misheard as “Psychopaths of Norwich” which would have been a much scarier – and undoubtedly faster – tour). But instead this was a nice gentle exploratory ride, trekking down paths I had not been down before and it was good fun. The cycle paths were mostly good quality but of course you have to cycle slowly because of pedestrians and dog walkers. It’s just a shame that the paths don’t link up a bit better as it’s hard to actually go anywhere much on them – they are just little links between stretches of road riding, most of them not that useful for going places but fun and relaxing to potter along.
(26.4 miles, ave speed 14mph, ave HR 129 bpm)

Friday: rest day

Saturday: Foggy ride with Jess. I think this was the foggiest conditions I have ever cycled in and it was a bit scary in places. We had lights but I did feel a bit exposed on the occasions I rode alongside nearer the middle of the road. It was good to get out and clear my Belgian Beer Hangover but my back was very troublesome and I had to stop a couple of times and stretch it out and by the time I got home and for the whole of the next day it was really very sore. It’s odd as I had no problems on that bike last winter, and other than my shoes, nothing has changed. Anyway, Alan compared the set-up to my summer bike and the saddle was set further back on the winter bike so he has now adjusted that and I shall have to test it out and hope it is better. We stopped for coffee and a cake at the Hen House near Wymondham which was a place I’d never been to before but would definitely go back to again!
( 39.6 miles, ave speed 15.6mph, ave HR 144 bpm)

Weekly mileage
Running: 19.1 miles
Cycling: 103.3 miles

Worstead Festival 5 Miler

A very hot evening for a run but it was a wonderful event, down country lanes, where villagers had come out of their homes and sat on garden chairs with glasses of wine, to cheer us on.  And it was good to do an event that wasn’t just a run.  This 5 miler was part of the Worstead Festival  and so there were crowds of people milling about on the field and music playing and . . . what had really attracted me to the event . . . A BEER TENT with a great selection of Woodforde’s Brewery ales.  As always, there was a big turn-out from my club, Norwich Road Runners (more than 50 of us there I believe) and Roly and Kieron from the cycling club were also taking part.

 

Raring to go!

Raring to go!

 

My aim for the run itself was to get the Norwich Road Runners Club standard bronze time for a 5 mile event.  The bronze club standard time for my age group is sub-50 minutes for 5 miles so I knew that as long as I kept within 10 minute miles I would be fine.  The run went well: I ran the first couple of miles with another lady from my club who was aiming to run sub-54 minutes, but just before the 2 mile mark she wanted to ease off a bit as we were going somewhat faster than she needed to go, so I made off and found I could increase the pace a bit when I wasn’t chatting!

Near the start

In fact, I ran faster each mile that went by so that shows that I could probably push the pace a bit more if I needed to.  But it was good to start slowly and actually overtake people the whole way and have a bit of energy to say hello to spectators, high-5 small children, thank the marshalls and smile at them and chat to a few people from my club,  rather than just huff and puff, pull nasty grimacing faces and swear to myself as I run which is what I usually seem to do in a race.

 

Near the finish

Near the finish

 

The official results are not available yet, but the time on my watch was 43:14 so easily inside the bronze time and actually just inside the silver club time too, although I am not bothered about that at the moment as I want to get my bronze medallion first and then go for the silver next year.  So I have now got 3 of the 6 bronze club standard times that I need – the 5 mile, 10k and 10 mile.  Next on my list is the half marathon distance, then I will have to find a 5k to do and then finally (and I shudder at the thought) is the Wymondham 20 Miler in the spring.  I cannot imagine running 20 miles but I don’t have to think about that now!  That’s a long way off.

 

 

Nice medal

A nice medal too!

 

 

In fact, I only had a single beer after the race and didn’t stay long to chat as I came over a bit weird – faint and feeling a bit sick.  I’m not sure if that was the heat followed by a beer, or whether I am still recovering from last weekend’s lurgy.  Probably a combination of the two as I have been felling a bit light-headed off and on all week.

 

But this is definitely a race I will do again – great atmosphere, good course, well-organised, pretty medal – and the beer tent of course.