Posts Tagged ‘BUPA 10000

31
May
11

BUPA 10,000 race report

It had been 2 years since I had run this race. I’d signed up for it this year because it is a great course, a 10k, and ticked the May box in my “run one race per month in 2011” pledge. As it drew closer, I became increasingly excited about it: I was getting quicker so a new pb was on the cards, and I had been upping the distance that I had been running in the Vibrams so it could, potentially, be my first race in VFF’s. In the run up to the big day, everything seemed to bode well. I would be meeting up with Hauling My Carcass, Fitartist and another friend Dianne who were all running, I had run a few 51-52 minute 10kms in the Vibrams in the preceeding week and I, unlike Dianne & HMC, had no niggling injuries to contend with.

On the day itself, I got to Green Park early, slipped the Vibrams on and sat around waiting for Hauling My Carcass. By the time he had arrived, I was looking forward to the race and feeling confident. We met with Dianne, briefly, and then caught up with Fitartist & Edward & Hector. We dumped our bags and then joined Fitartist at the start. The sun had come out and it was warm whilst we waited. We wished each other luck and chatted before our wave was to be released onto the course.
After the countdown, we were off and I was so up for it that I set off quickly and picked my way through the throng, nipping through gaps to try and stay out of slower clumps of runners. The adrenaline kicked in and, although wary of going off too fast, felt that if I had the energy now, I may as well use it. So I continued to pass others, the Vibrams felt good and I felt relaxed and my running easy. The race seemed to pass in a blur. I remember bits… the support from the crowd, Taiko drummers and cobbles underfoot through Leadenhall Market, Hauling My Carcass reappearing and overtaking me just after 5k. But my overall recollection is just of feeling very confident, the legs running easily. Before I knew it, I was back on Horse Guards Parade and heading for home. The last part of the course is deceptive as running up towards Trafalgar Square feels like a natural finish point. But once at Trafalgar Square, you take a sharp left and you have just over 400 metres to the finish. 400 metres that feels like 4km. I glanced at my watch and realised that I could come in under 50 minutes which I never thought possible. So I just went for it. At 200m from the finish, my lungs were bursting and my legs tiring, but I knew if I slacked off, I may just miss out and would kick myself. There was nothing to do but just keep pushing. I crossed the line, arms outstretched, aeroplane style, with a massive grin. I then, strangely, found myself letting out some euphoric primal howl which frightened the runner who’d finished just in front of me: if you’re reading this, Sir, sorry about that. 49:55 is my official time. I am delighted.
We collected our bags, met Mrs HMC and The Boy, caught up with Fitartist, Edward & Hector and headed off to Wahaca for some Mexican Refuelling. A few niggles aside (horrible race t-shirt, officious security enforcing nonsensical closure of footpaths), I had a great day with some great company.

28
May
11

voltz energy shot – review

After a hideous R*d B*ll experience many years ago, I’ve tended to steer clear of “energy drinks” unless absolutely necessary. Late night drives home when sensible people are all in bed or 13hr excursions along dull stretches of European motorway have been my only recent usage. So I was intrigued to see what the Voltz Energy Shots were like.
Anyone who knows me is well aware of my love for coffee… I am a terrible coffee snob and as a by product of that, a massive fan of caffeine. But coffee is not always easy to come by before a run. Which is where Voltz Energy Shots excel. A tiny little 60ml bottle containing a shot with vitamins, minerals AND caffeine. Small enough, certainly, to fit in a small bag or even a pocket and easy to carry around and drink before any run.

They come in 2 flavours: Berry is the least appetising of the two with a distinctly medicinal taste. The citrus flavour is far more palatable and will have a strange resonance for runners of a certain age as they taste exactly like Refreshers. Just imagine grinding up a few Refreshers and dissolving them in water and you’re not far off. And, looking at the nutritional info on the bottle, each shot contains only 3 calories, which by my calculation is less than a single espresso with a teaspoon of sugar.
And they work too. I have experimented with them under carefully controlled laboratory conditions and can confirm… actually no, they weren’t carefully controlled or laboratory conditions. I have used them before a few runs, and prior to the Grim Beast In The East and Wheathampstead 10k and also whilst struggling to stay awake whilst slaving over a 45 page Powerpoint presentation I had to reluctantly write. The results are fairly subtle but noticeable. You feel a little more alert, you have a little more energy. Perhaps I have a higher caffeine tolerance but I found them to last for between an hour and a half and two hours although the blurb says 4 hours is the minimum time between shots.
So I shall keep a few of the little bottles in my car (for those late night drives home) and also be taking a bottle with me on Monday to have before the BUPA 10,000. Because until someone invents a self heating, pre-bottled, pre-sugared single shot of espresso that I can keep at hand before a race, this is the next best alternative.

09
May
11

notion

Not an enormous amount of running accomplished this week. One 10k in the Vibrams on Tuesday and then… nothing. Partly due to prior commitments and partly due to time consuming and mind-numbing tasks at work, I just did not have the opportunity to get out and run. So when my long Sunday run presented itself, despite feeling a bit groggy from a late night and too much food the previous evening (as it was Mrs eatingtrees birthday on the Saturday), I felt I should at least make an effort. The weather forecast had predicted rain but a glimpse out of the window on Sunday morning revealed a mostly blue sky, a few clouds and gusts of wind. So not bad weather for a long run. I set off hoping to match last weeks effort of 18kms but was unsure how well I’d fare based on the general feeling of sluggishness that seemed to reside somewhere between my brain and my feet.
The first couple of kilometres felt arduous but after 15 minutes or so, the lungs seemed to open up, the legs remembered what they should be doing and it all seemed to come together nicely. So much so, that at the 12km point, I started doing what rappers would refer to as “freestyling”… making it up as I went along: A little extra circuit of the block here, a looping embellishment there. I was feeling quite strong and enjoying being out and running. By the time I arrived back at the end of my street (and with almost surgical precision). I had covered exactly 21.1kms. It felt nice to run a Half Marathon distance, just on a whim, for the hell of it, particularly as the 3 races I have planned over the next 3 weekends are all 10k’s, so I also got a few miles on the clock.
So next Saturday is Grim Beast In The East, which I am very much looking forward to. There should be a few of us competing and will be a good opportunity to catch up and also run the course as an unofficial team, making sure everyone gets across the line. The following week, it’s the Wheathampstead 10k, preceeded by the 2k which the whole family will be running. Finally, the BUPA 10,000 on the Bank Holiday Monday, a great, flat course around the streets of Dirty Old London Town which will probably my first race in the Vibrams (and hopefully a 10k PB too!)
Soundtrack to this post: Beastie Boys – Nonstop Disco Powerpack

02
May
11

worms?

I am constantly hungry at the moment. No sooner have I tucked away an enormous meal, I start scratching around for something else to eat. Cheese. Bananas. Chocolate Biscuits. Perhaps I am looking to replace some of the calories used up in last weekends frenzy of activity? Maybe I am subconciously carb-loading for the 3 races I have in May (yes, an organisational SNAFU means I have 3 races in May… Grim Beast In The East, Wheathampstead 2k & 10k and the BUPA 10k) but what ever it is, I am devouring a huge amount of food.
Fortunately, the second Bank Holiday weekend afforded me a little time to spend eating and also a little time to spend running.
Thursday morning I crept out for an early morning run in the Vibrams. I have upped my mileage in them sufficiently to be able to run roughly 10k in them each time I venture out so a 10.7km run was executed before breakfast. A quick glance at the Garmin as I passed the 10k mark indicated that I had run my fastest ever 10k at 52:51 which set my good mood up rather nicely for the rest of the day. Thursday evening was spent with training partner, bad influence, inspiration, calibrator of the moral compass, epicurean and all round gentleman Hauling My Carcass at Kaslik in Soho, where we had arranged to meet, catch up and eat delicious Lebanese food.
Friday, there was a street party for the Royal Wedding and again the day was spent eating, chatting, eating and eating. Saturday we had friends round for a barbecue (yet more eating and chatting, obviously) and, by Saturday evening, my indulgences were beginning to play on my conscience. I went to bed vowing to get up and run first thing on Sunday.
Sunday morning was glorious and after making the family breakfast and powering down a capuccino, I set off. A beautiful bright crisp morning and I decided I should run off some of the excesses of the previous few days. There was quite a strong breeze and that kept me cool although as soon as the breeze dropped, the sun began to beat down and I tried where possible to run in the shade. I was feeling good so I just ran and ran and enjoyed running. A few deviations from my normal Sunday long route saw me complete 18.1kms. I was actually still feeling pretty good but cut the run short as to return home any later would have meant the rest of the day’s activities would have needed shuffling around.
So, it would appear that I am currently on a bit of a roll… enjoying running and getting just a little quicker without any kind of speedwork, fartlek or intervals. The VFF’s are fast becoming my shoe of choice as my regular running shoes begin to feel heavy and soft. I am intrugued to see how far I can comfortably run in the Vibrams – certainly a 10k race is do-able. Hmmm… then, who knows, maybe a Half Marathon..?

Soundtrack to this post: Zoo Music Girl – The Birthday Party

21
Feb
11

a kick in the rear

The more I had time to reflect on the personal performance debacle that was the Wokingham Half Marathon, the more unhappy I became. How could I have been so stupid as to forget to eat enough prior to the race, couldn’t I have just kept pushing instead of admitting defeat etcetera, etcetera…
By midweek, I could take no more of my constant internal nagging, so pulled on my running shoes and headed out of the door for a quick 10k. I was angry and I had something to prove to myself. I followed my familiar riverside 10k route. I wanted it to be fast enough to erase my doubts that still lurked from the weekend. I tried not to look at my watch too much. At around 5k, I did glance at the time and the imaginary deadline that I had secretly set myself seemed acheivable, so with a new lease of life pushed on. It turned out to be one of the fastest 10k training runs I have done in a long time. Faster than my pb from the BUPA 10,000 2 years ago.
So it was with these thoughts in my head that I set off for 16kms on Sunday morning… this wasn’t planned to be fast, simply steady and about the same distance as I managed to run before spectacularly hitting the wall the previous weekend. It was steady and I finished still feeling relatively fresh.
Both of which were exactly what I needed both physically and psychologically. I have a bit of my drive back so have signed up for this years BUPA 10k… if I got a pb there 2 years ago, I think it’s about time I got another.

Soundtrack to this post: Coil – Who By Fire

28
May
09

running away?

The Rough With The Smooth – Normal Service Will Be Resumed As Soon As Possible – A Pressing Matter

I do not expect much sympathy but I am undergoing a number of dilemmas. I am currently experiencing the slowest ever Internet connection. So slow, in fact, that I am not sure whether this will even reach you. Therefore, I shall keep it short. My other dilemma is that I am unsure how I will complete the first 2 days of Juneathon… maybe I should get creative and do a drawing or do a long swim. Because… and here is where your sympathy for me evaporates – The ropey internet connection and the Juneathon problem are because I am currently holed up on a very sunny, very beautiful Greek Island. I have my running gear with me but will have to do some investigating to find a suitable place to run… part of me hopes that I can only find a route about 2k so I can entitle my first Juneathon post “Grecian 2000”.

I flew here Tuesday morning after taking part in the BUPA 10000 on Monday. A full race report will follow (once I return home or find a better connection) but just a quick congratulations to Hauling My Carcass who, despite having a dodgy hip and having to cut back on his training, shaved almost 2 mins off his personal best.

Juneathon is looming on the horizon and what initially sounded like a piece of piss (run, cycle or exercise each day and blog about it) seems more and more daunting the closer it gets. I have also decided, stupidly, whilst still on post-race a buzz from the BUPA 10000, that I will complete the 100 Press Ups challenge at the same time. Since the stupid disc in my neck decided to begin playing up, I have been unable to exercise with free weights and think that Juneathon may be a good excuse to see if I can begin to get my upper body back in shape. Before the disc blew, I was able to do about 45 press ups in one go. I am down to about 25 now. So I pledge to be able to do 100 press ups in one go on or before the 30th June. And now I’ve told you all about, I have to do it…

Soundtrack to this post – Bim Sherman – Bewildered




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