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Monday, 23 May 2011

green belt relay - a weekend of cider and running

green belt relay - DPR team!, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

I'm a bit of a fan of this 220 mile race. I think that Immune, Jezza and I should do it over the course of a long weekend in the future as a training run. (Obviously something bonkers!)

I've done the race with Dulwich park Runners over the last 3 years and it really brings people together. 39 teams across London and the south east. We fielded 2 mixed (read: fun) year we will but out 11 of our best. (immune - keep the weekend free) but we still put on a good show and my team A came in 26th out of 39 teams.

My leg was the longest and hilliest on saturday and I duly ran this with Tappo. Tappo came 5th, I came in 29th! Having said that I really enjoyed the run through the Chilterns from Great Kingshill to Chipperfield through Amersham, a picturesque and quaint part of the Green Belt. Marshalling and ferrying people and water, food and support take it out of you so I slept like a log after a fish and chip supper with a couple of ciders.

Day 2 and after a small lie in it was back out on the road again, ferrying people to their start or finish or bag drop and then to my start. Just a 10.5 miler from Tatsfield to Merstham. After necking anti-inflamatories as I couldn't walk in the morning, it was all go. I was flying along at 7.45s which is the fastest I have run since the metalwork came out. I was placed about 17th and then after a heavy shower and some poor signage, I took a wrong turn (and another runner) and managed to run an extra 1.5 miles. This dropped me 13 places, although powering into the finish in a 6.50 last mile made me feel less annoyed. The guy I got lost with me came in 26 mins later so it shows just how mental I went over the last couple of miles to make up the time. Off to drop Susie off and she ran the penultimate leg with Ian and Gilly taking on the glory leg. We met the club at the finish for a cider and beer and another cider. Great suntan, great company and a great weekend. Roll on 2012 as we are going to top 10!

A nice gentle 7.5 and a sauna and I feel as right as rain.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

pace improving

Mutai in the leading men. , originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

OK, so I am not Mutai or Kabede but I am getting quicker. A very comfortable 8.20s for 11 miles last night and would have been quicker without all the stop/starting of the roads of south london in the evening. I particularly liked driving the group from the running club at 8.30s up Knights Hill to Crown Point near Streatham. Then an 8.25s up to Beulah Hill. I felt like another 10 miles at that pace.

Tonight is a night off as I'm just in from the coalface and need a feed, read and watch the Tour of California cycle race.

It's the Green Belt Relay all weekend so I am exited about running saturday and sunday with the club. Tuesday after BHM I am in the Liverbird marathon. Ace

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Up and up

His and hers, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

We've just finished a book each in the UB household. Guess which one is mine?! I had a week or performing last week. Had I not had stag duties on saturday night for Ian's forthcoming wedding and a fast paced friday night drinking session in Shoreditch, I would have broken the 50 mile barrier for the first time since the leg break. Suffice to say, 47 miles was enough to make me feel like I am sort of approaching normal. The speed still needs to increase but I am wary of pushing too hard too soon. My endeavours took me to the Dulwich running festival on tuesday night, most excellently organised by Gillian and Dave. 145 runners were in Dulwich Park and I managed to have a very social run with Sue, Glen and a host of others. I even won a spot prize. Adidas supernova Glides. £82 of cushioned trainer. However after trying them on in the shop, will be popping them on ebay as they are far too cushioned and far too narrow for my running style. Consequently they have a higher mass than I am used to and quite franky I think that they are shit! Hopefully a few quid on ebay will go towards something down the line. After Ian's wedding on BHW in the Welsh borders, I am going to have a go at the Liverbird Liverpool marathon. It is a double, one starting on BHM and one on the tuesday. Unusual to see a marathon on a working day but it seems like some 100 marathon club runners have organised it. £30 is steep for entry but it fits right in with my schedule and gives me time to spend with the inlaws and plenty of half-term recovery.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Back to racing

Finishing in 6.28s, originally uploaded by ultraBobban.

I thought for some time the night before the 3FM about the merits and issues about switching from the marathon to the half. I awoke and decided to do the half. At the start line I had no regrets. I met up with Johnny Mac on marathon 94. I knocked over his tea....I hope that is why he didn't run faster than 4.44. Having said that, it is a tough tough course. Having run 3.54 for the 3450ft and 27.2 mile course 2 years ago, I knew what I was in for, so felt OK doing the half.

After the 2 mile climb to the first hill fort I was worried about the leg. It was playing up. The next 3 miles were beautiful in terms of scenery but forgettable in the battle to stay with the pack. I was struggling to keep to 10s as I sweated out the hills. Then, as the heat of the sun beat down upon my back, something that I not felt for many months came over me like a wave of euphoria. The endorphins kicked in. What had I been missing for the last few months? The MANTRA was going round my head, again and again and again. I overtook perhaps 40 people in the next mile and glanced down at my watch, shocked by how quick I was going. Mile 7 came and went and I was after a nightmare first 5 in 10-11s, now knocking sub 8s for the first time since the leg break. Mile 9 was a tough climb back up and I hit a brief walk and an 11 min mile but raced the last 2, coming over the last mile in 6.28s. 1.56 for a half sounds rubbish; but a number of things happened. I came in 92nd out of 309. I sub-2 houred in a 2000ft half and I felt the buzz that has eluded me for God knows how long. The marathon and Ultra plan is NOW ON!