Monday, 1 April 2013

No hiding place

This year has always been about quality over quantity. Getting stronger not and not worrying over mileage, or what other people are doing.

Ian set me plan at start of year and i added to it by getting  Donnie as my PT to strengthen me up. First race of year was day after D33 which we were marshalling at. we had original plans to stay whole weekend but Ian wouldnt have seen his boys and we decided to race on Sunday after being offered places in the Kilomathon. After having a great 10mile training run the previous Sunday where i managed to beat Ian he set me a mission. He said i had 2 objectives, one was to beat him, other was to get under and hour (its 13.1K) have to say i was quite confident but it was big fat fail on both counts. Clearly Ian was having an off day previous Sunday and i just couldn't hang onto him, he did indeed get under the hour but i snuck over it in 1.02. Was bit disapointed with that and could blame long day standing around in freezing cold and not getting home til late but i wont. on a more postive note i was 1stFV and 134th overall out of 800finishers so quite high up in field. you can only race who's there an all that..

Seeing Donnie once a week and i usually leave studio with jelly legs, if i swear at him he gives me extra to do and his counting is sometimes dubious when he says, 5 secs to go, then 5 secs later says 5 secs to go but i always seem to forgive him by the end of the hour. Probably too tired to argue by then mind you.

Yesterday was Perth50k although it's not my favourite terrain i do love this race. It's very well organised (thanks to Adrian and his team) and it's super social. With me being a social butterfly it's my kinda race. The race is 1.48mile loop of North Inch Park in Perth, this means 21 loops which sounds mind numbingly awful but because we get to see the vast support crews 21times it makes for fun running. If you're daft enough call that kind of thing fun.

I'd ordered new shoes last week and they arrived on Thu which gave me time to give them a couple of miles test, you know what they say, never run in anything new.....

Ian had set me an objective again and this time i was determined not to let him down. Or myself for that matter. The quest was for sub4.30 this would mean an 8 min pb for me but i thought it was achievable and i was confident. I pondered about wearing garmin or not and decided against, it can be as much as a hindrince to me as a help during races sometimes, guess it depends on your mood but if my pace drops below what i'm aiming for it can knock me, not always. It can spur me on too but i decided against wearing it. We see the clock every 1.48miles anyway so no big deal.

It was pretty damn baltic when we arrived and i had planned on running in my vest, i pondered about changing but wasnt keen then Debbie said she had arm warmers that i could borrow. I told her i'd always laughed at them thinking they were ridiculous and she said i'd laugh no more. Have to say they were proper warm n toasty and it meant i could keep my precious vest on. Soon enough we were being called for race briefing and we lined up at the side to make sure we didnt interupt the 100k runners who'd set off at 7am. I set off a bit too quick, i knew that but i was trying to warm up my frozen toes, i knew i was going too fast as i could see Sharon Law ahead for the whole first lap lol was on 3rd lap i think before i actually started to defrost.

Thing about this race is that there's no hiding place, you can pretty much see start/finish area from wherever you are and there are always other runners around. Ian was helping out doing the timings so no  hiding from him either, who needs garmins with all that going on! I'd been told what lap pace to aim for so i just ran as steady as i could and kept eye on clock every lap. Support was brilliant, my fellow racers were fab and encouraging. To see these guys zip past you doing the 100k as if they're out on an easy jog is really quite inspiring, and so many say *well done, doing great, etc* as they pass. It was like a who's who of the Ultra world, great to see so many familiar faces and even better to see how well they were all doing. I was truly inspired. My fab PT Donnie was doing his 1st 100k and first road race and was passing me making it look far too bloody easy!

On saturday Fiona posted on her facebook page saying " if you're struggling, slap a stupid grin on your face and do a lap for me"  so when i felt the going getting tough thats what i did. My last 3 laps were for you. On my penultimate lap Marco passed me and said it was his too, i tried to keep him in my sights but he soon long gone even though he'd been racing since 7am and was doing the 100k!
 I had a bit of a moment when going through start/finish and someone shouted 2 more to go! I shouted back NO, one i said, and they repeated 2. Luckily Ian was right at funnel and shouted last one Sandra! And even though i'd counted them myself i was bit freaked out. What if i'd miscounted, what if Ian meant i had one more after that. aaargh. Luckily Karen and George saved the day by cycling round to tell me i WAS on my last lap, phew, i wasn't going mad. Not sure how i'd have coped having to do another after thinking i was done.

I crossed the line in 4hrs 26mins and 50seconds. splits and results from both races here
results  Job done.
this pic wasnt the end, JohnK took it probably halfway though, think i was trying to fly instead of run.

Have to say i was a bit teary at end. I never stopped once. Not for toilet break, not for drink, not once. I've never even done that in a marathon, i've always stopped at water stations and drank a bit/walked bit. So to do 31miles without so much as a teeny break i was well chuffed. I'm getting stronger and my training is starting to pay off. Thanks to my fabulous coach Ian for devising my plan and for making me believe and to my PT Donnie for making me stronger.

Talking of Donnie, he practices what he preaches and came 3rd. And Team Scotland retained the Anglo Celtic plate, superb work from Marco (5th) Paul (7th &also doing his 1st 100k!) great work all round everyone.

During race i  noticed my right arm was really sore, i tried shaking it out but nothing seemed to be working, It was odd soreness, from my elbow up to my shoulder, never had it before and mentioning to Debs & Marco after race they both said they've also suffered from it. After posting on facebook this morning it seems i'm not only one either. how very odd. Does anyone know why? Had uncomfortable nights sleep because of it but on plus side my legs are ok, its either that or body can only cope with one thing at a time! Maybe the DOMS will kick in tomorrow.

So i ended up with 12min pb which i'm very happy with. I reckon the secret is borrowing an item of clothing from the fabulous Debs, now if only i could borrow her legs next time.....


  1. Excellent run Sandra. You deserved the PB. It was all down to your hard work and determination. Well done x

  2. Great running Sandra, 31 miles without stopping for anything is fantastic :)

  3. Nice work, missus. Glad you're embracing the arm warmers now too :-)

  4. You're really dedicated this year and it's definitely showing results

  5. Gosh Sandra, that's amazing. 21 laps - good grief - that's really challenging stuff, would drive me barmy! well done you! :-)



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