Tag Archives: food

Endure 24 2017

Over the weekend of the 10th & 11th of June I took part in Endure 24 for the second year running (pun intended). In stark contrast to getting a late place in 2016, Lorna, some friends and I signed up as soon as possible because we knew it would be a fun weekend and a great way to get lots of miles in. Initially we were in a team of 7: Me, Lorna, Alex, Robbie, Frosty, Michalis and Jess. Unfortunately in the couple of weeks leading up to the event Michalis and Jess could no longer take part but Jess decided to make the trip to cheer us on and look after us. With the team being reduced to 5 we all knew we’d be banking some big mileage, this was good for me as I have OCC at the end of August. This was not so good for the likes of Robbie who is predominantly a track runner.

Road trip!!

Learning from 2016, Lorna and I packed up all our kit on the Thursday night to meet Alex for a lift to Wasing Park early on Friday morning. As Endure is “Glastonbury for runners” it’s a good idea to get there on the Friday to get a convenient area to set up camp. We opted for the same location as last year as it was right next to the handover point, food and retail tents, the registration marquee and showers/toilets.

Alex chilling in the comfiest chair in the world!

Once we were let into the race village we pitched up all of our tents and then drove to the nearest Sainsbury’s to do a BIG food shop. Barbeques, snacks, ice, football (all the essentials) were on the shopping list. There wasn’t a list, but we probably should have made one to stick to. We spent quite a lot but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t much split between the group and it definitely worked out cheaper than buying all of our meals on site. When we got back to camp we had lunch before picking up race numbers and timing chips from the registration tent.

We spent the afternoon chilling, playing games and walking the course to show Alex what to expect. To be honest he didn’t really need to see the course as he would get VERY familiar with it over the next couple of days but then again it was good for us to look at the course and think about our pacing especially for the first few laps.

Once back at camp again it was time to fuel up. Alex got the BBQ going; we had burgers, chicken, sausages and halloumi skewers, all the good stuff.

Food = Fuel

We had a couple of drinks whilst waiting for Jess to arrive; she was cycling from London (bonkers)!

With a big 24 hours ahead of us we all got an early night foregoing the party in the marquee. I slept quite well on the Friday night; I was pretty tired because of the early start and having run decent mileage in the week. Robbie and Frosty were due to arrive at 10:30am so we got some sausages and bacon going on the BBQ. I tend not to eat much before races but with events like this you definitely need to fuel up. Also I knew my first lap wouldn’t be until 12:40ish with the team order sorted: Robbie, Me, Frosty, Lorna, Alex. Dropping down to a team of 5 meant we would get around two and a half hours of rest between laps.

The start of 24 hour events is a little bizarre, everyone is excited but you can tell they are trying to keep calm and remember there’s a long way to go. Well, apart from the one person that always sprints off the start line like a bat out of hell.

Luckily for our team Robbie started a bit further back than he probably would’ve liked and got boxed in. The start is also strange because it’s the only time (apart from the finish) that everyone is together, the race village generally seems quite subdued and quiet the rest of the time and you almost forget how many runners are taking part. As Robbie was handing over to me I headed back to the tent to sort my kit, I was really looking forward to getting out there. Robbie came into the handover area clocking 34 minutes for the lap. With OCC in mind and knowing I would probably be looking at doing 7 or 8 laps over the 24 hours I went out at a steady pace.

The route was just as I remembered it (I did walk it only the day before). The “Hill of No Return” felt relatively easy having completed a couple of hill sessions over the last few weeks but I knew it would just get steeper and steeper as the hours passed by. The few kilometres after the hill are nice, the course is undulating but you can get into a good stride. “Little steep” just before 3k is short and sharp, it was muddy but in my Inov-8 X-Talon 212 I moved through this section well and was back onto a good pace quickly. From 3k to 5k there are long straights which include some small rolling hills; this section is one of my favourites on the course. You go through “Far Away Forest” and pass the “VDUB Cocktail Bar” around halfway (4k). Approaching the 5k point you know you are coming up to the hardest part “Heartbreak Hill”. Luckily the Clif Bar Café is positioned just before so you have the chance to grab a drink etc. For the first few laps I “enjoyed” the climb, I was happy to shorten my stride and shuffle my way up it. The best thing about Heartbreak Hill is once you’re over it you feel quite strong and the following few kilometres are fun as they include some slight downhills and twists and turns through the trees.

On the homestretch I high fived Alex (and a few randoms) before crossing the line after 34 minutes and 47 seconds of running, first lap – done. I handed over to Frosty before catching up with Lorna and chatting to some of the AR (Advent Running), Adidas Running & Pro-Direct Running lot. I made sure to grab some food quickly after finishing my lap; I decided this was best because of only having two and a half hours before going out again. Frosty clocked a time of 35:09 before Lorna ran 36:32 and Alex 36:22 (not a competitive brother at all). Robbie put in another solid lap in 34:17 and then I was up and running again. As the first lap had loosened my legs up I decided to go with the flow and put in a slightly quicker lap. On every lap I tried to make the effort to say well done to the Solo runners, it must be such a long 24 hours for them and I thought a shout may pick them up a little. I was on the lookout for my friend Matt Fowler; he was one of the crazy “Solos”. I completed my second lap in 33:44, a minute quicker than my first lap and inside Robbie’s fastest time, not that I was trying to beat it ;).

The team was doing really well, after a couple of laps we were in 3rd place in our category and 21st out of all the teams. The trick to doing well in 24 hour events is having a team that is consistent and for everyone to run times close to each other. It is also key to take it steady over the first few laps and to be able to hold a good pace through the night on the laps using a head torch. I was the first runner in our team to do a double; it was around 10pm so it was still light for most of the first lap. I was kindly given a Silva Trailrunner 2X to test; it was really comfortable, lightweight and most importantly really bright. As I had taken the first few laps steady I could still hold a decent pace, I was planning to finish the double lap in 1:20 but found myself crossing the line nearer to 1:15. I think I could hold a quicker pace because it was nice and cool and the adrenaline was pumping. I was happy to put in more effort over the double lap because I planned to eat lots and get some sleep ready for my next lap in the morning. Everyone ran well over the double lap, on average we were only a couple of minutes slower than a normal lap. I got quite lucky in that I didn’t have to run through the rain, I felt sorry for Lorna and Alex.

After completing his double lap Robbie messaged the team to let us know that he was struggling, his left groin had gone and “that was 1hr42min of absolute agony, hurts on the uphill, hurts on the flat and hurts most of all going downhill on uneven ground so pretty much everywhere on the course”. Being a track runner Robbie did well to bank as many laps as he did (6). We were down to four which meant we’d have to take it steady on the rest of the laps. Everyone was knackered, we were all thinking about sleeping more and not worrying about having someone out on the course. My first lap in the morning was a struggle as my legs had seized up after having a couple of hours sleep. A few kilometres in they loosened up a little but I took it steady to make sure I could get round and I knew I’d still have one or two more laps to complete. I bumped into Matt around 6k; he was only 10 miles or so away from clocking 100 miles.

As we weren’t racing I decided to keep him company for the rest of the lap, he was moving really well and seemed in good spirits. We chatted about his 24 hour strategy, nutrition and future race plans etc. Once through the “finish” line again I handed over to Frosty and Matt went off to grab a coffee.  I headed back to the tents to let Lorna know she was up next. Her legs had seized up as well and she wanted a little longer before heading out on another lap, as my legs felt ok and I wanted to get the miles in I took the yellow wristband off Frosty and was on my way again.

The morning laps were really tough but we were ticking the hours off. Frosty, Lorna and Alex did well to complete 7 laps each; we were still in third position in our category. At 11:22 I was heading off on the final lap, I was relieved knowing we’d got through the weekend but also sad that it was almost over. Surprisingly my legs were feeling ok; I decided to pace the lap so I could cross the line with the team just after 12 o’clock. We didn’t want or need to get another 8k in. Over the final few kilometres I found myself running at the same pace as another runner, we chatted about our training, upcoming races and how we’d found the weekend. I enjoyed the twisty turny section for the last time and was then joined by the team for the final few hundred metres.

We crossed the line to the sound of the klaxon. 24 hours, done!


We had a celebratory ice cream, caught up with friends and then packed up our tents. The weekend went by in a blur; it was a lot of fun. If you haven’t done a 24 hour team relay before I definitely recommend it. It’s such a great challenge and it’s an excellent way to get lots of miles in if you have a long distance race coming up.

I hope those of you that took part in Endure 24 enjoyed it as much I did.

See a lot of you soon,

Steve

Cardiff World Half Marathon Championships 2016

On Saturday the 26th of March I took part in the Cardiff World Half Marathon. This was my first big race of 2016, one that I had marked as an A race and wanted to finish in a certain time. I wanted to run sub 1:15. The main reason being this gets you championship entry for the London Marathon (and other races). Having completed the Old Deer Park Half Marathon and the Colchester Half Marathon in the 1:16s I was feeling confident going in to the race.
The Saturday before the Cardiff Half Lorna and I did our last long run in training for Paris Marathon. We ran 20 miles at around 5 min/km pace along the river to Greenwich and back. Having done the Colchester Half marathon the previous weekend and with track on Tuesday I was feeling pretty knackered but it was good to get another long run under the race belt. Due to feeling tired after the long run I took it easy for the rest of the weekend and it made me realise my week long taper needed to include more rest days (no running at all) than running days. However, I found it good to run with The Running Works Run Club a couple of days to keep the legs ticking over. I also ran with the Nike lot on Wednesday night.

After getting through the taper without going crazy I travelled to Keynsham (between Bristol and Bath, where my sister lives). With it being a bank holiday weekend and having the race in Cardiff we thought it would be a good chance to catch up and splitting the journey into smaller chunks would be better for me. On Friday night Sarah cooked us an awesome meal, we had a chicken carbonara concoction with Rice. It was a perfect pre-race meal. I got an early night as we had to be up relatively early on the Saturday morning to get the train to Cardiff. We arrived in plenty of time, the expo hadn’t even opened and there weren’t many other people around. Dean and his crew were there though, just chilling in the short queue to get in. I collected my race number with no fuss, had a little look round the expo area, caught up with a few of the Adidas tech reps and chatted with Dean and Alan.

Due to the race not starting until 2 o’clock we had a fair bit of time to kill. I’ve never been that great with hanging around before races but it’s much better when you have someone there with you so you’re not just thinking about the race constantly. It can be tiring thinking about all of the various outcomes and things that can go right or wrong. We found a nice little coffee shop and just chilled in there for a couple of hours. Normally before races I don’t eat a lot, maybe just some cereal, but due to the late start I had a tuna baguette. In an interview last year, around the London Marathon time when Jo Pavey joined Adidas, she said she wakes up really early the morning of a race and has a tuna sandwich. I thought if it works for her I’ll give that a go ha. Suitably fuelled up my sister and I wandered around Cardiff for a bit before heading to the bag drop. 

I carried out the normal pre-race procedure of warm clothes off, race kit on, race number pinned on. With the weather taking a turn for the worse (typical as the weather was ok all morning when we would normally be racing) I poncho’d up and headed for the start line. 

 I ran up and down the start pen a couple of times; my legs were feeling good due to the week-long taper. The elite women sped off and then it was just a short wait until start time. It was cool to see the elite runners coming out of the castle and onto the line. After the contenders had been introduced we were off. I was approximately 100 metres back from Mo and co on the start, therefore there was a bit of a delay crossing the line due to the slight pile up caused by Kamworor tripping on the line. Once across the line the pack spread out pretty quickly, it was always going to be a competitive field being the World Half Championships. I quickly settled into the pace I needed to run to achieve the sub 1:15 half. There was a large group of runners on this pace to begin with.

I knew that I had to run on average 3:33 min/km. I went out a little quicker than required but wanted to bank a decent amount of time so that I wouldn’t be sprinting for the line to finish in the 74s. I’d done a little bit of course research and knew that there were a couple small hills; this is another reason I wanted to do a few kilometres at quicker than 3:33 min/km. The first hill was around the 5k point, still feeling good and on pace I overtook a fair few runners. I carried on at closer to 3:25 min/km for a few kilometres and went through 10k in 35 something. The first 10k was good, the weather was cold (probably not used to racing in a vest and split shorts! Ha) and the wind wasn’t too noticeable. It had rained briefly when we were on the start line but up until about 11k it was relatively dry. This soon changed dramatically, it started tipping it down. Despite the rain the crowds were out in force and the atmosphere was awesome.  

With 10k or so to go I started thinking about the runner in front and was aiming to chase down as many people as I could. I also started thinking about the amount of time I had left a) to suffer and b) to go sub 75 minutes.

I was racing the clock. Over the last 5k the wind had picked up, or at least it felt like it had. At points throughout the race I could feel that the wind was strong but it varied a lot. At certain points it was right behind me pushing me along but the last 2k it was horrendous, holding me back. With 2k to go I had 10 minutes or so to make sub 1:15. I knew I had it in the bag; I maintained my pace and crossed the line in 1:13:22. I’d managed a pretty big new PB and most importantly London Marathon championship entry. I was relieved that the race went to plan. After crossing the line I bumped into Emily, she wasn’t running because she has been suffering with a niggle/injury and has the Paris Marathon coming up. She was carrying bags for Jonny and Andy (Jonnys boss) and therefore was waiting for them to fly through the line. Due to the woeful weather I shuffled my way straight to the bag drop to collect my stuff and then meet up with my sister again. It was great to have her there, I saw her out on the course around midway and it gave me a big lift. I can’t wait to experience the atmosphere at the London Marathon and have a good amount of family there cheering me on. 

 We went back to the coffee shop that we were chilling in in the morning and had a coffee to warm up. Then we met up with Jonny, Dean, Emily and Andy in Slug and Lettuce for a drink to celebrate before heading to L&R for food. As is pretty standard after finishing a race I went with the high protein option of buttermilk fried chicken burger and sweet potato fries, it tasted like the best thing ever after being out in the cold and rain all afternoon. L&R was that nice we got a bit too comfortable meaning we had to run to catch our train back to London. A shakeout run was just what I needed after pushing myself in the race ha. We had to change trains a couple times meaning we didn’t get back in to London until around 11, it was a long day. Luckily I could lie in on Sunday morning before heading to Colchester for housewarming drinks at Alex’s (Lorna’s brother) new pad. Before that we went for pub grub with Rob where I had a massive chicken and leek pie, recovery food done the right way. On the Monday we had Sheila’s awesome roast and Lorna and I made an awesome (If I do say so myself) Easter cheesecake.

Overall it was a great Easter weekend. Well done to everyone that raced over the weekend. I’m travelling to Paris tomorrow ahead of the marathon on Sunday. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. See a lot of you soon. 

Steve

Essex 20 

At the weekend I took part in the Essex 20. Having run it for the last few years, Lorna convinced me, Alan, Jonny, Dean, Michalis, Emily and Freya to run it. We all thought it would be a good race to do in preparation for the Paris and London marathons. Having not raced a 20 miler before, I was looking forward to getting a PB by default and seeing what time I could do bearing in mind I have done quite a few long runs and big mileage weeks (for me) recently. Before heading to Colchester I made it to the Advent Running bagel run on Friday morning for a shakeout run.  Not a bad way to start a Friday. Photo taken by Ash @ashrunstheworld
On the Saturday morning (the day before the race) Lorna, her brother Rob and I ran 10k or so to loosen up.  

It was nice to be out of the concrete jungle for the weekend. Colchester, although a lot bigger than Holsworthy, reminded me of home to a certain extent. After the run Lorna and I headed to the supermarket to stock up for the whole weekend. We had so much nice food over the weekend including mince with pasta, rice and sweet potatoes, Pizza and an epic roast on Sunday night post-race. The rest of the gang arrived in Colchester on Saturday afternoon; we spent the rest of the day relaxing and carb-loading for the race. We had a very civilized evening, most of us wanted to run the 20 miler at marathon pace so decided not to go big on the drinks.

After a relatively early night, I woke up fresh and excited to race. Luckily the race start was at 10am so we had a good amount of time to have breakfast and drive to the hall where we could collect our race numbers etc. After being dropped off by Lorna’s dad and sister we chilled until the start of the race (it was freezing, see photo!). 

   Emily, Dean, Jonny, me, Alan, Lorna and Michalis.
Before we knew it we were off. Having not raced a 20 miler I was a little unsure what pace to run at. Similarly to how I approached the Old Deer Park Half marathon, I looked up a few different finishing times and saw what paces I would need to run to achieve those times. I decided I would start off at around 4 min/km pace and see how that felt over the first lap of three. Lorna had let us know the course was hilly; there were three considerably steep hills to tackle each lap. After a few kilometres I was running a little under 4 min/km but was feeling pretty comfortable so went with it. The race was relatively small, I think approximately 300 runners took part. A lot of them were club runners so it was really competitive, this was good for me as I like to have people nearby to chase.

I went through 10k in 39 minutes and was feeling good. I liked the course as you could mentally split it up in to chunks according to the hills, the taking of gels and seeing the cheer crew (Freya was cheer crew for the day, unfortunately she is out of action for a little while due to a stress reaction, it was good to have her there cheering us all on). On the second lap the hills felt a lot longer and I was breathing a lot heavier than on the first lap. I kept thinking the quicker I get up here the quicker I’ll get my breath back and be back on pace. Luckily as well as there being some steep inclines there were some nice downhill sections. Over the whole race I managed to stay at below 4 minutes per kilometre pace, apart from hitting 4:03 for the first kilometre and the 26th. After the second lap I was feeling pretty knackered but thankfully another runner was nearby, he pointed at two runners in front of us and said “we can overtake these guys”. Despite pushing the pace we had a quick chat about upcoming races and PB times etc. This was a good distraction from being tired and we held pace and kept tracking down more and more runners. Another good thing about races with loops is that you pass people on their 2nd lap. The little interactions pick you up and motivate you to run quicker. As we got closer to the finish I started thinking about how long we had left to suffer. At 5K I said “5k to go, less than 20 minutes to run for” and so on.

With 1k or so to go I still felt good so upped the pace.  

I managed to finish in 31st place in 2:03:54. Coming in to the finishing straight I could see Freya, Emily, Dean, Rob, Ray and Bob. It was cool to have friends and Lorna’s family there to cheer me in. Emily had decided to stop after doing one lap due to suffering from a foot injury and Dean stopped as he was feeling the effects from a trail marathon the previous week. This wasn’t an A race for any of us so it was definitely not worth pushing it or making any niggles/injuries worse with big races around the corner. Alan was also suffering with an injury so he wisely decided to stop after 15 miles or so. Jonny, Lorna and Michalis all ran really well and it was fun to cheer them through the finish line. Lorna knocked 5 minutes off her Essex 20 PB, really proud. Because the race was £6 to enter there was no finishers medal or goodie bag. Therefore, Lorna thought it would be a good idea to make some up. The bags were from the film Frozen and they contained mars bars, flapjacks, sweets, a banana and a medal (best goodie bag ever! Ha).

We headed back to Lorna’s to freshen up and then we had an epic Pizza feast with champagne and an awesome birthday cake. The weekend flew by and the crew were heading back to London before we knew it. Due to it being Lorna’s birthday on the Monday we stayed for a few days, we had a relaxing day and then did a shakeout run on the Tuesday. 

  

This week has flown by and my attention is now on the Colchester Half Marathon on Sunday which Lorna and her brothers are also taking part in. It should be a fun one. Due to not running much this week, I’m looking forward to racing it and seeing what time I can do two weeks before Cardiff Half.

Hope you all had a good weekend whether you were racing, training or resting.

Steve

#NeverNotRacing

It’s been over 4 weeks now since I did Race to the Stones 100k and in that time I have raced 7 times, hence the use of #nevernotracing frequently on Twitter and Instagram recently. Now I know I’m not literally always racing but at times I do feel like I’m in a race I would call a “Race to personal bests”. Now it’s obviously hard to predict when you will run your best race and manage your best results, I may have already done so, but realistically I still have a few years to get quicker and reach my potential. This is incredibly exciting as I look forward to finding out how far and fast I can run but it’s also daunting how quickly time goes by and that the time to get quicker will run out. 

 

As some of you may have read in previous posts I raced Southwark parkrun and the Harry Hawkes 10 miler the week after RTTS. I then ran multiple 10k laps for the Adidas Thunder Run in the Advent Running team. After TR24 I got some speed work in at Track Tuesday before racing again on Thursday 30th July. It was the Assembly League race around Victoria Park. I had done this race in May previously so knew what to expect and knew roughly what time I was capable of. Having done quite a few miles in the lead up to this race I was thinking “I’ll just take it steady” in other words “I’m going to push it, see how the run progresses and then knacker myself out!” I ended up finishing in 19:15 in 22nd place, beating the time I got in May by 2 seconds.

  

 

On the Friday I did the Advent Escape the City/Reclaim Darkness trail run in Epping Forest and definitely didn’t get lost. The next day Lorna and I decided to head to Epping Forest and take part in the Orion Harriers Forest Five. I’m lucky enough to hear about these races through one of my work colleagues Mary who is basically a running and racing Encyclopaedia, especially when it comes to Orion Races. The race was as it says on the tin, five miles through the forest. It was great weather and despite a late night due to the AR trail run I was feeling good. Lorna and I felt a bit odd racing amongst all the club runners but we more than stood our own. I thoroughly enjoyed the cross country/trail course and despite a few ups and downs managed to hold just over 6 min/mile pace to finish in 30:30 finishing in 9th place just behind Neil from Victoria Park Harriers. I kind of used him as a pacer. This was the second Orion Race I’ve finished just behind him in 9th having done the same in the 5k Fell Race a month or so ago. Lorna smashed the 5 miler despite the fact she had completed the Snowdonia Half Marathon the previous Sunday. She finished in the top 10 females in 35:35 which was amazing considering the number of club runners there. The only way to celebrate such a good running performance was to go for one of the best brunches I’ve ever had. Can’t remember the name of the place, but I’ll be back! 

  

On the Sunday it was strange but I DID NOT race. Instead I ran in to run with Advent running and then I carried on and ran to Primrose Hill with Freya and Paola. So still a fair bit of running was done. This has resulted in the appearance of the hashtag #RestSchmest on the odd occasion. I’m not saying I don’t need rest but to be honest if I can run I’m going to do it. Also then when a rest day comes about it’s extra nice and I generally feel tip-top the day after. Also running back to back days means I’m increasing my pain threshold, stamina and endurance and almost replicating how I will feel, knackered, near the end of a race. Or at least that’s what I think I’m doing. Obviously there are levels to this and now and then I might be pushing myself and toeing the line between running and injury but so far I’ve stayed just the right side. 

The AR long run! Pic via Gabi 

#nevernotracing made a reappearance on Saturday 8th August when Lorna and I decided to do Burgess parkrun. She hadn’t done a parkrun in a little while but was wanting to go sub 20 minutes. We had a great run but due to the hot weather and a late night doing the Advent Running X Adidas trail run the night before we just couldn’t quite manage it. Still 20:22 and 3rd female isn’t all too bad. Burgess parkrun is a one lap course which is really flat and I think it has PB potential. The only negative is that you do two laps around a pond and therefore may have to weave around people on their first pond lap. I am planning to return in a few weeks time in a bid for a PB and possibly a sub 17 minute 5k. Hopefully I will be able to run with Chris who works for Adidas and we could have a good race. Oh wait parkrun’s not a race!

  

The AR X Adidas Escape the City/Reclaim Darkness trail run! Photo courtesy of @adventrunning & Gabi @giftofthegabii

Having run with Lorna, Freya and Alan for the Harry Hawkes 10 miler, we were all talking about races and wanted to do a quick 10k. Having done some race research we stumbled across the Run Through Battersea Park 10k and with calendars and diaries checked we were all signed up, bar Lorna who was planning a long run. The aim for the race was to run with and pace Freya to a sub 40. Being a hot day again I knew it would be a challenge and that it would be a close run thing (pun intended!). We planned to run even splits and therefore my aim was to stick at 4min/km. This proved to be a tricky task as the GPS was on and off but luckily as each kilometre was being ticked off up until 7k we were on track, 27:55 was the time then I believe. Nearing the start of the 4th lap me and Alan were still holding pace but unfortunately Freya had started to slow up a little, probably due to the heat and just generally not running at the pace regularly. Alan decided to carry on and go sub 40 but I eased up a little to join Freya for the last lap. We grabbed some water to keep cool and then cracked on with the final lap. I said to Freya to try and keep Alan in our sights so we’d know we would be close to 40, probably just over. We picked it up again on the last lap after that slight blip and managed to finish in 40:17. Later that day we found out she placed 2nd and was only 6 seconds behind 1st place. Maybe we should have raced to win but I just didn’t realise how close we were to first, probably due to looking at my watch a lot.

The sun shines on the sub 40 man. Photo courtesy of Freya @fhotson

After the 10k we met up with Lorna who was running along the river. We ran 7 miles to Spitalfields market for an epic brunch. The pancakes, bacon, eggs and milkshake were amazing especially after running 15 miles in the heat. We all went our separate ways, I decided to chill in the afternoon before heading out for another 10 miles in the evening. The weather was so good I wanted to make the most of it. The final 10k of the 10 miles I managed in just over 36 minutes which was pretty crazy considering I was finishing a 25 mile day and 83 mile week. I’m not complaining its just surprising how quickly you adapt to double run days and can recover. 

So far this week I’ve done a few miles plus track and I’ll now be taking it steady before Spitfire Scramble. I’m looking forward to testing my speed and recovery rate at the weekend and meeting lots of like minded runners.

See a lot of you soon

Steve

If you want to see what I’m up to follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @StephenSkinner6 &/or just search Steve Skinner on Strava. 

 

 

 

My Ruby Run return

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This weekend I was back in Devon for only the second time in 7/8 months. I used the Ruby Run Half Marathon as a good excuse to get back and see family for a couple days. On the Saturday me, my sister Sar and her boyfriend Greg travelled back from Bath straight to Bude to see my little cousin Tilly smash her triathlon. She finished in second place in her age group and had a really strong finish on the run so I’m sure she will continue to do really well in triathlons and all the other sports she does. After watching the triathlon last week in Hyde park, and then watching my cousin I have been inspired to do them at some point in the future as it looks “fun”! (Fun as in pushing your body to its absolute limits!)

After watching Tilly we headed into Bude, first stop had to be for a pasty!! This is what I would like to think of as good carb loading for the half marathon. Over the whole weekend I was spoilt with food. At gran and grandads were loads of biscuits, at Auntie Kaths was an awesome walnut cake, on the Saturday evening we had Chinese and on Sunday after the run we had all my favourites like potato pasty! Ha this weekend I probably took carb loading to another level!

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I had been looking forward to this half marathon for a long time mainly because I wanted to run over the hills and through the trees again. I had run this half marathon twice before with my uncle so I knew it was up and down however I think I forgot just how much. The course starts on a hill and the first couple miles of incline are pretty tough but once you get going and your achilles know what they’re doing it was ok. Similarly to the BUPA 10k I ran without a watch so I was pacing it by feel again. I started off pretty quickly as I tend to do but did well to maintain a good pace. I was running alongside Neil who I had met before through working at Waitrose and we both ran pretty much the whole way together taking it in turns to be infront. This was good as we both pushed each other on. In the end I had a little more left and had a strong finish up the hill into Hatherleigh to finish in a time just over 1:21 in 6th. Well done to Neil for why was a great run and I believe that was his first half in 5 years, really good going! Also well done to Paul Piper who although didn’t achieve a PB that he wanted he ran a strong race in what was tough conditions. Sure you will smash Berlin!

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I wouldn’t have got the time I did if it wasn’t for my awesome support team!! When I was running up a hill and struggling for motivation, along whizzed a car and along with it a shout of “Come on Steve!!” (Once which made me jump!) so thank you so much. My supporters included as always Mum, Sar, Greg, Auntie Hannah, Uncle Andrew, Eliza and Tilly. My Auntie Kath, Uncle Dave, Sam and Bex made it along to cheer me on aswell and this was awesome as they had been wanting to watch me play football or run for ages. My support crew also included my sisters boyfriends sister Carrie and mum Debbie and their cheering/support was awesome, I saw them every mile or so and that was a great help on what is a quiet course. It was also hard work because it was quite warm and we were running into wind quite a lot. This is why I’m so happy with a time that is just about a minute over PB.

Overall a great trip down to Devon and something I wish I could do a lot more often.

Really looking forward to Run Hackney which should be fun! Before that though I have some “rest” time and I will be learning some circus skills later this week so if I stop posting so much about running soon the circus has signed me up!

Steve

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