Tag Archives: Ashford 10k

Ashford 10k race weekend

So it’s been the first weekend since late June that I haven’t seen Cathy, a situation made up partly for by seeing her on Wednesday and to be corrected again this coming Wednesday, I reckon. Well, she signed up for the Royal Parks Half, I couldn’t get an entry, all the boys were doing Ashford so it’d be rude not to join in, eh?

So, the weekend kicked off with fog, an hour in the roof (insulation preparation), an hour giving Martin his LandRover back, then a late skydive. No wind again, plenty of cloud to look over on the way up, but with ample gaps to jump through for a safe route down, at last I got a chance to enjoy a good canopy ride without struggling to get back in or going too far. Still landed about 20 foot out from my intended target, though, so my accuracy needs working on before a “B” licence attempt after a few more jumps. And then, the motorbike beckoned so a trip out was enjoyed, including a ride around the 10k course. Hills! Where did they come from in Ashford? Not climb and pant style, just ease your way up but without knowing how much they’d take out of me without a pre-run; I wasn’t sure about today.

So again the day dawned foggy, I got up and cleaned the car (shouldn’t have bothered, it was filthy after 10 miles of lanes on the way out there), rode into the village for my entry money, went to the dump to get rid of two old mattresses from the roof (why did I hang onto them for about 10 years and two moves?) and made my way to the run.

The fog had cleared, it felt warm and was definitely muggy, my foot was just about feeling ok – just a bit of pain on the push off step each time, walking from the car park, then I bumped into Geoff, Gaz, Aaron, Emma, Steve and their families on the way in or while signing up. During the 10 minutes or so getting ready to start, it became apparent the timing was gun to finish, so no accuracy there in the standings, then, but I forgot to look at the time accurately so was relying on someone at the finish for a decent guessed time. Well, I was also wondering who’d set off quickest. And it was all of them except Steve! I couldn’t believe that after scant training, Gaz and Geoff could keep up the pace they did, but Gaz in particular still kept it up for about 2.5k before wilting. Apparently, he fell apart at 3k with bad hips and everything! I was dismayed that it was marked in k’s, not miles. I hate having to convert the two, knowing I can pretty much sprint at 1 mile but feel unsure I’m not being tricked how far things are even at 1k boards. Weird.

Still, I wasn’t having a good run. My foot was wincing. I felt energy less (probably a lack of chocolate!) and was sweating massively from about 4k. The hills weren’t bad at all, I saw a woman i’d run alongside in the Stelling Minnis 10k back in May (she seemed a bit dismissive as I pointed the fact out to the runners around us, but after a bit of encouragement she did admit Stelling Minnis wasn’t a good run for her. Ah, well.). This time, instead of running away from her, she did the same to me and was about 100 yards in front at the finish. Bah. Still, she was in her championship race, so I guess it’s fair. Anyhow, all the way from 6k, I was feeling weedy with no inspiration to up the pace. So, I didn’t. I passed 1k and thought I ought to kick, but still didn’t, I put on a bit of a push in the stadium, outsprinted a man in the last 20m, but felt dejected.

The guy next to me on the line had 45.45 on his Garmin, I had it about 46 dead, so about 1 minute off my target, but the official result has me at 46.12. But again, all the results are non-corrected for start position. I know it’s all relative, but it seems odd to have chip technology and not put it to use to get accurate results irrespective of start position – imagine the times in a huge race like London if they started everyone from the gun! So, i’ll settle for 46ish and be satisfied after an average-poor run on a race day. Especially since, as I look at it now, my foot is huge. The ball of my left foot is twice the size of the right, the toe is twice as fat on profile and it’s hurting just sitting here. Happy days. I’ll give it 3 days to recover or i’ll get it checked out.

And then, it was to the pub for a bitter shandy. Everyone else was happy with their times so it was a good morning all round, despite my moans – Steve especially impressed after 4 weeks training following 6 years off and 5 odd stone extra poundage to carry around – I expect amazing things in his super sprint tri next August.

Then I came home, took the bike for a thrash, saw the parents, ate some chocolate (not tooooooooo much, honest. Ish.), had a pizza and now i’m off to do some upper body exercise.

There’s been a trace of rain from the fog for the last 2 days, 60 cars to go, and i’m going to have to blog some cross training since i’m not running on my foot until it’s better. That’ll be a week, then!

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Eh? What did you say? A run? Nah…surely not

Well, September 11 may be remembered for many things (who can be daft enough to forget the late, great Barry Steven Frank Sheene was born on this great date) but this one will be remembered by me for being my first run in absolutelyfuckingages.

I’ve been taking the running kit to work since Friday when, while running down the stairs in the afternoon, I felt one click, heard a crack in my left foot, dropped another two steps and heard another crack, then stopped in pain with my left big toe unable to be put on the floor. So I hobbled to the office, struggled through Saturday, felt little improvement but was sure things were in the right direction as the pain lowered into an ache and I could walk reasonably. So Tuesday, I considered it was nearly there but pain was a bit close on occasion so I put it off for tonight (curry last night…priorities!) hoping i’d be able to start pushing straight on ready for the Ashford 10k in all of, ooh, 4 weeks!

So, without further ado, I set off after work on the 4.2 mile seafront run. Starting slowly, that went out the window as a cyclist joined the route just a fraction quicker than me, so I used her as a pacemaker (it was into the wind), overtook 2 other cyclists on the first leg, then realised it wasn’t the best easy first run in over two weeks i’d promised myself. So I stopped at halfway, stretched a calf and felt my toe (it hurt, but was reassurringly only a nagging hurt so it was all good) then started off just behind another runner. Now, I couldn’t work out for a couple of hundred yards how he was taking such short paces so quickly, but with the wind behind me, did realise he was about 50 yards a mile slower than I wanted to go so was deciding whether to carry on as I wished, or stop for 20 seconds so I wouldn’t overtake him (didn’t really want a race). But then I started coughing for England and thought sod it, get home, so picked up the pace, increased the breathing and eased past him, only to break into a proper race pace for the final mile to home, hoping he wouldn’t come past if I flagged. He didn’t.

So, 4.2 miles. Faster than I intended, now with a properly nagging toe/ball of the foot ache, but with very fresh legs and happiness that a 10k race may still be doable in a reasonably quick time, if not quite the 45 minutes i’d planned. But i’m still targetting that as the pace. It is flat, after all.

My only question is, after carrying an injury for a mere 5 days, why have my legs gone back to being as bandy as they were 10 years ago before I did something about exercising them straight? Weird. Oh, well, i’m sure I can bring my knees in again if i’m lucky.

So, 4.2 miles. A trace of rain. 128 cars. And Cathy. Smart.