Friday 6 May 2016

Dukeries Round up with One Week to Go!

Well, here I am, all packed up and ready to head off to Buxton for the CRC weekend away.  I've been up since 5.20am having woken ad 4.40am and found myself too excited to sleep.  It's too early for us to set off yet, so, I'm going to finish the pre-Dukeries part of this blog with a quick round up of the final training runs.

The Keyworth Trail
This was billed as a challenging 15k / 30k trail run. Sarah and I had originally signed up for the 30k, but this run fell as Sarah was just starting to return from injury and she wisely decided to transfer to the 15k......and I decided to take a 'get out of jail free' card and transfer with her.  We got into this thing together and I didn't want our training to detour from each other.  It certainly was challenging, in terms of being undulating (unless you're Mike Wells, in which case you call it flat!).  Some of our CRC chums were running the 30k - Mike, Frankie, 'New Chris', Emma, Kate Brown, Kate Bartlett, Tina.  In the 15k gang were Sarah, Jo-mo, Kathryn, Chris (who entered last minute) and me.  We decided to run together.  I am so au fait with mud these days I can't even remember whether it was wet and muddy or not! I do know it measured nearly 17k though. Mike tells us that this often happens on ultra and the extra distance is known as 'free miles' and to be considered a bonus.  OK then, Mike. If you say so!  We finished together, still smiling - here we are coming over the line.
Sarah, me, Jo-mo, Kathryn Chris - coming over the line at Keyworth
Afterwards, we were treated to a feast at the home of Mike's friend Alex - thank you very much for your hospitality.
Training Run - 16 Miles - Market Rasen
I think this was when I started to enjoy the off road running without adding 'I find it really hard'.  The weather was dry but very windy.  Tina loved it as it cooled her down.  
This run had part of the Tealby Torturer route in and was fairly hilly.  This (and then every subsequent run, of course) was my longest off-roader to date.  I found my hips aching by about 13 miles, but was fine the next day and ran 14 miles on the road with Chris to practice doing off road-on road on consecutive days in readiness for doing Dukeries on May 14th followed by N. Lincs HM with Cheryl the next day.  My on road run had a few 'dark miles' in it but I didn't suffer the day after, so it improved my confidence.

Back row: Rob, Mike, Sarah, Frankie, Andy,  Front: Kath, Tina Andrew.  I'm behind the camera!

Viking Way to the Humber Bridge - 19 Miles
Oh no!  I found this one very tough again.  Mainly, we set off to quick. Secondly, I hadn't learned how to fuel for longer off road runs, which see you on your feet for longer than the same distance if you were running on road.  I felt spent by about 10 miles.  This run did come only a week after the last long one though, so perhaps that played a part.  I have now learned about, and practiced savoury fueling to combine with gels and hydration.
There were certainly pictures from this run, but their location eludes me at the moment. I will come back and add them later.
Final Training Run - 22 miles - Sherwood Forest.
It's nearly time for me to go now - recall from the top of this post that I am filling in time waiting to go away for the weekend.  So, all I will say is I LOVED IT. This was my most enjoyable off road run. There were parts of it where I simply forgot I was running. My hips knew I was running by about 18 miles but on the whole I felt great. Lovely trails.  Lovely company. Longest off-road-run.  Brilliant picnic at the end.  I was also quite emotional for some of this run.  The scenery was breathtaking and I was overwhelmed with gratitude to Sarah for getting me involved in the crazy caper, for starting me on mud and off road and easing me in gently. If I hadn't got involved, I'd have missed running in this beautiful place and would never have known what I was missing. Here are a couple of photos.
The Super Six with the Great Oak in the backgrond

The Dynamic Duo

Mike with the Awesome Foursome ... soon to be Joined by Emma to form the Fantastic Five
Kathryn Kennedy Norremark
On our Final Dukeries training run, we were joined by the lovely Kathryn.  We ran nearly 22 miles and within a few days, she had signed up to do the Dukeries 30 with us. So as the latest member of the Fantastic Five*, she clearly was going to be subjected to the usual questions...... here’s her running story.
"I am 39, turning 40 in June and dreading it – it’s a corner to turn that I am finding painful. I have been running for 26 months. Prior to this I had never run in my life; I had a hip operation 6 years ago so never thought in my wildest dreams I ever would. Needless to say, I was tipsy on wine, with a cigarette in my hand together with friends. I put my fag out and said from tomorrow I shall stop drinking so much and stop this casual smoking carry on! I said that I would run a half marathon and entered the Århus one which was taking place in 5 months time. I joined Bremdal running club in my home town Struer, and trained 3 times a week. I surprised myself as my very time running I managed 5km. I loved it and found it easy.
I completed the HM in 2:06 and instantly entered another. This was the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow. It was 3 months later and my time was 2:01. I was hooked!  After my run in Glasgow I decided that the next step was a marathon. So the following May I did Edinburgh and completed in 4:11. Then various races later, I did Manchester marathon.
I decided to join you lovely people on a training run and yes now I am entered for 30 miles and very excited!
26 miles is my longest to date and my favourite distance is actually a marathon as I love the long distance running. Although Manchester didn't go to plan L I will aim for another and restore my faith in my marathon abilities!
30 miles was easy to say yes to as the 22 mile training run was so enjoyable and it will probably be the only ultra I do and I basically couldn't ask for a nicer group of ladies to run with. My first off road run was the Keyworth Trail 30k with you guys and I loved it.
I will cherish my memories spent with the fabulous people I have met here through running.  I achieved my 10k PB with Chris. That day at Lincoln made me believe that I can do this and I am convinced I could do a sub 50.
One if the most important things that keep me motivated are my 2 girls who idolise the fact I run. They are so proud telling people their mummy is a runner and how many medals she has. They both are interested in running and for me getting to that finish line and hearing their supporting chant every time of 'go mummy, go mummy, big fat bum' gives me the power to sprint finish with a tear in my eye."
* The Fantastic Five comprises 3 of us who run a similar pace (Sarah, Tina and me), Kathryn who is quicker on the road, but is running this more for the crack, and Emma, who is fast on road and off, but is part of the Fantastic Five because she loves us!  That is not a direct quote, but I like to think it's the reason! We were the Awesome Foursome and Emma has turned us into the Fantastic Five.  We are going to have a ball!

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