Archive for Races

Running….. But Not Me Doing It

My Little Bruv completed his first race the other night, a 10k which he finished in 45:43 minutes – an impressive 7.5 minute mile. Since he lives on the other side of the country from me I wasn’t there to show support. However, if I had been there I’d have told him I was going out with my friends and that he couldn’t come with me – and then run off ahead of him. Because when he was 4 that shit used to make him run as fast as hell, although he used to cry his eyes out at the same time which probably wouldn’t look too sharp on a 30 year old man.

In other news, the Old Ginge completed his first Marathon today at Halstead. Me and the girls (and Dale) popped along to do the cheering and clapping to spur him and about 400 other people along.  It was a gorgeous hot sunny day – perfect for watching other people sweat themselves to death over 26 miles. Fortunately it didn’t hold Digger back and he completed  in an admirable 4 hours and some minutes.

Now hopefully both of you will pull a hamstring and let me catch up!

(More photos on my Flickr site – Link in the side bar <——-)

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Catching Up

So my view stats went from 130 page views in one day (because of Penguins?!) to nearly dropping off the bottom of the scale and I don’t blame you. Where the hell have I been eh?

Before the race

Before the race

Running into transition. Note the angle of my seat!

Running into transition. Note the angle of my seat!

Just crossed the finish line
Just crossed the finish line

I’ll take you back to Sunday 30th November when Wil and I completed our second Duathlon at Thetford Forest, Suffolk. The race kicked off at 11am and I was emerging from a week without exercise following a cold. Still I was enthusiastic about the race, even more so because we had friends coming from Oxford to take part as well. Johnny and Anya each borrowed one of my 3 bikes and I took my little old Bontrager OR – a little retro bike that Wil bought me some Christmasses ago. I would normally refer to it as my favourite bike or ‘little bit of retro’ except following the second duathlon where it fucked me about mid race it’s now referred to as ‘NEARLY ON EBAY’. Sorry, I thought after more than a week after the fact I’d have calmed down. Clearly not. So I’ll cut to that part of the ‘Run/Bike/Run’ race whereby I had completed the first 5.4k run section and was now heading out for the first of two 4 mile laps around the forest circuit. Upon rumbling over the first rocky section of fireroad my seat let out a loud ‘crack’ and promptly tilted backwards all the way. I reached back and attempted to pull it forwards again but it was stuck fast. I jumped off the bike and tried to knock it back with the palm of my hand but it wasn’t budging. I resorted to laying the bike down and kicking the seat back as many others came tearing past me on their bikes. I caught most of them up again but soon ended up hopping off my bike, throwing it down and kicking the seat back. After about the 5th stop I was getting cross. And then Wil, whom I’d left out of sight on the run came flying past on his bike.I finished the first lap with my seat sticking up in the air and hopped off once more to kick it back into place for the second lap. I don’t know why I bothered since it promptly snapped back again leaving me no options than to either drop out or stand up and sprint on the pedals for 4 miles.

I went with the second option just as Anya wizzed past me. I focussed on her just ahead to take my mind off the burning in my thighs and eventually with legs like jelly pulled into the transition area to dump my bike.The second run of 3.6k was atrocious obviously because I’d burned every last effort I had left in my legs on the bike by sprinting and freewheeling the whole way round the second lap. At one point I had to stop and walk for a few meters just to get my head straight and try to stretch my quads out a bit before continuing. I came into the finish at 1:41:54 unable to speak and nearly unable to stand and last out of the four of us who raced.I’m not quite sure where the time between that weekend and the one just past has gone. I’ve gone from working 25 hours per week to covering 37 hours which puts me at home a couple of hours later than before. With Wil away most of the week on random days this leaves me in sole charge of keeping the house ticking over and looking after Cameron. I’d forgotton just how quickly an evening disappears when you arrive home near 5pm.

This Sunday I took part in the 4th of 6 Suffolk Winter Cross Country Series races at Sutton, Woodbridge. The races are 5 miles in length and are usually set out in 2 laps of 2.5. Not having run much in the last couple of weeks I felt quite unfit despite the enthusiasm all being in place. I finished although I’m not sure what my time was yet as they haven’t been posted. I’m hoping for sub 00:41 mins.

I found a good running website advertised in Runners World magazine this week – www.fetcheveryone.com

It allows you to log all your training and races into one place and connects you with other people from your own club as well as other clubs. You can set goals, pb’s and take part in group challenges too. Worth a look if you do any kind of running. You can find me on there by searching for user ‘Racefox’

Another good site I found is www.boxedup.com – Social networking has found a place in it’s tacky little heart for your ‘wish lists’ now!  I actually found it while looking for a way that Cameron might get interested in creating a Christmas List. He never asks for anything at Christmas and it’s a nightmare when people ask me what he wants because there is nothing he wants! He’s just not a kid into material items… not ones of a sort you can describe to someone anyway. 12volt battery for an engine on a skateboard is a little hard to explain. So I’ll just draw attention to my own list instead.

http://www.boxedup.com/renfoxy/want

That’s about it.. I’m sure there was more excitement in there somewhere but I’ve forgotten it. So in the meantime to keep the 130 people who have all but discarded me happy, here’s another penguin.

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First of the Suffolk Winter XC Series – Nowton Park

Marie and Renée waiting to start

Marie and Renée waiting to start

Even though Parcelnet neglected to deliver my new cross country spikes in time the good old British weather didn’t disappoint as it blew and rained as hard as it possibly could for the hours leading up to the first race around Nowton Park in Bury. For nearly an hour we stood around under umbrellas only serving to delay the inevitable soaking we were in for, waiting for our start time of 11:10. Despite the sogginess the true hardcore turned out for I suppose the very thing that mad people like me enjoy about running cross country – mud. That and a fantastic couple of laps through pretty autumnal trees (that you don’t get to look at for fear of turning your ankle in a pot hole or tripping over the plentiful molehills).

I think the organisers broke us in gently for this first race as it was on a flat course with only a couple of very slight inclines, the gradients of which were only noticeable from a distance or by the fact my breathing speed increased as I ran up them. Only one slope at the end of the course had become sufficiently battered enough that my feet started to slip a little as I pushed up it. Akin to running on a deep layer of shingle stones.

On the last 100 meters or so I became aware of the finish coming up and felt a surge of energy to push me

At the finish

At the finish

to the finish at a little faster pace. My club mate Marie always manages these incredible sprint finishes when we run together on club nights so I didn’t feel too bad about leaving her a short way back as felt I’d soon see her rip past me in the last 5 meters to leave me chewing on mud. Just as I knew she would she made up some of the short distance I’d put between us to come in seconds after me and we finished feeling pretty good around the 51 minute mark.

Next Sunday it won’t be a little 5 mile jaunt around a flat park – it’s our debut in The Whole Hog race in Wantisden, 8 mile adventure race with obstacle courses! Marie, Melissa and myself have entered as a team of 3 and called ourselves ‘Crouching Runner Hidden Van’.

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