It was the final race in the SUMS calendar,The River Ayr Challenge, i woke up at 05:00 as i was arranging to pick up Gavin Harvey at 06:00 in the west end, we arrived at the Citadel around 7am, i said a quick hello to John Kynaston and had a chat with John McLaughlin (from my old club Springburn Harriers) before picking up my number,shortly afterwards 2 buses appeared to take us out to the start at Glenbuck. on the way out there was a threat of rain but once we arrived it was fine we assembled in a small car park before being asked to head down to the side of Glenbuck Loch for some photographs , then it was back to the car park to start. we headed down a short hill then turned right through a gate on to the path, at this point Grant Jeans had opened up a good distance between himself and the rest of the field, i settled in and ran with Kenny Valentine until 10 Miles after this i had moved in to second place at around 12 Miles, Marco came jogging by and told me that Grant was a minute ahead.i continued along and before i knew it myself and Grant were running along together when we came into Sorn we came through the checkpoint crossed the road and turned right up a hill and had went about 800 metres when Marco drove up and told us that we had taken a wrong turn, so it was all the way back to the main road, we continued to run together until around 22 Miles before Grant was off on his own. by 32 Miles i came around a path and missed the gate on the left as i turned back i met George Cairns coming towards me, we stopped and looked at the "trick bits" that i had downloaded and laminated as we looked at them we saw the gate on the left that took us back on to the road, we ran together for a mile but i could feel my legs starting to struggle as George pulled away, this left me lying in 3rd place.i arrived at a water station at 39 miles when i could see a white vest approaching it was George Cairns again,he must have taken a wrong turn, i let George go because i didn't have much left to respond with, just then Gavin Harvie passed me so i got myself back running as we came into the town centre i could see Gavin in the distance crossing over a bridge as i got in to the Town Centre i took a bridge too early and ended up in amongst the shoppers, i managed to get back on track and before i knew it i could see the Citadel and the Finish Line, i crossed in 5:31 i was just glad to see the finish line.Gavin had then told me that he beat George in to 2nd place. i knew before the race that i had done enough training to see me through but what i have learned from today was that i set off too fast, but the positives are that i ran a mile more than the Stride and finished 10 minutes quicker and i was 2 places better off finishing 4th. i will now have a few days rest before starting my winter training schedule. (Results)
Today i set out with the plan of running around 2 hours 30 min as my final run before the River Ayr Ultra, so many runners taking part next week will have their own ideas of easing off before the race, i wanted to put in around 12 miles on my own today before meeting the guys at the Nicholson Centre,I left the house at 07:45 with the weather perfect,i headed down Cumbernauld Road and did a few loops taking in Robroyston Park and Hogganfield Loch on my way to Muirhead, as i approached the centre i had completed 14 miles. i had a few minutes rest to chat before we set off at 09:30, all that remained was to head out a few more miles before turning back.i returned home in 2 hours 40 having completed just over 21 miles. I have planned for many weeks to rest the five days leading up to the race as i know that what i have did over the last 6 weeks will see me through and hopefully this time i will have a stronger finish in my legs. My mileage broken down for the RAW is as follows:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 10.5 Miles
Wednesday - 6 Miles
Thursday - 11.5 Miles
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 34 Miles
Sunday - 21 Miles
Total Mileage 83 Miles For Week
Average Mileage 78 Miles For Week
Overall Mileage for 6 Weeks Training plan for RAW 473 Miles
Well Saturday arrived,Looking out the window at 6:45 the weather looked miserable so as planned i would run for an hour then head to meet the guys so off i went with my waterproof jacket on but before too long i was sweating buckets although the rain was on it was very mild, i was glad when i had completed the hour back at the house as this allowed me to take a toilet stop,change out of my wet top and socks and change my road shoes to trail because i knew Sam had planned to take us off road. Once changed i headed to meet the Sam (yellow top) and Andy at The Nicholson Centre, Sam arrive just before Andy so off we went running onto the old railway track at the rear of the centre and headed out towards Kirkintilloch, part way along the trail we headed back on to a country road in the direction of Twechar, this is where the off road begins so we climbed up the hill towards Barr Hill, an old Roman Fort where we stopped for a moment to grab a snack and take in some fluids from there it was down through the grounds were we briefly joined the road before taking in our second hill (Croy Hill). we headed over this until we dropped on to my regular route, the Forth & Clyde Canal which took us back in to Kirkintilloch, today the canal had a head wind and was covered with a lot of surface water. We arrived in Kirkintilloch and it was back to the road for a Mile before rejoining the old Railway Track Back to the Nicholson, as we headed along my watch had hit the 4 Hour mark,with the guys going on 3, as we continued back we eventually said farewell to Andy. Sam was planning to run around 3.30 as he was training for 2 Marathons within a fortnight of each other so we ran togerther for about another mile before going our own way, i arrived back in just over 4.30 for 34 miles, so for me it was job completed.
Tomorrow i plan to meet Andy and Sam Along with the rest of the group for a shorter run probably in the region of 2.30 then take it easy next week before my race.
I have now completed my three midweek training days before my last weekend prior to the RAW and i managed to get myself back out before going to work in the mornings starting with 10.5 Miles at 05:25am on Tuesday, 6 Miles at 05:22am on Wednesday and 11.5 Miles today at 05:10 giving me a total of 28 Miles. I will have my Rest day on Friday with my last long runs over the weekend,the plan is to do an hour prior to meeting up with the guys at the Nicholson Centre in Muirhead then do at least 3 hours with them as they are finishing off their marathon preparations followed by a shorter run on Sunday.
After checking the E-Mails i have now got a co-pilot for the journey down to Ayr, Gavin Harvie put out an S.O.S for transport so now i have someone to chat to on the road down rather than sing at the radio.At least we can discuss the previous races along with how we expect to run the course, the plan is to leave at 5:45am and pick Gavin up near Byres Road around 6am allowing us plenty of time to arrive, if anybody needs a lift drop me a note and we can sort a location out.
I thought that with entries opening on the 1st September for the Highland Fling i would like to see how people had finished over the course since its introduction in 2006,and just for good measure i added the 2010 results for the Devil O' the Highlands. by clicking on the link you can view the results in fastest times order or number of entries by a person
They say that the 23rd September is officially the end of summer well i felt it had arrived this morning,up i got at 5.15 and headed out the door at 5.20 before going to work,as i set off on my ten mile run it was pitch black, the rain was starting to come on and it was windy, where has all the fine weather of the past few weeks went to, as i got to mile three the rain started to become heavier and the wind increased and by mile eight i was soaked, i headed around one of my usual routes which included Hogganfield Loch as the streets are well lit and by the time i would be in the park daylight should be with me. for all you runners about to set off on a run as i write this you will certainly think looking at the weather now, he must be on something.
Today completed my fifth week of training for the RAW, i did 6 miles before meeting up with the guys at the Nicholson Centre in Muirhead,again another great day for running the weather was ideal and it was a chance to get some company.I have altered some of the basics to my training by changing my rest days and this seems to be working well, i have started to build back in a speed/tempo run into the middle of the week with my long run on Saturday followed by a slightly shorter run on Sunday.Things are going well at the moment so i don't won't to over do it and risk an injury with just under two weeks to the Race.
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 12 Miles
Wednesday - 10 Miles - Tempo Run (See Wednesday 1st Post)
Thursday - 10 Miles
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 33 Miles (4hrs 20 Min)
Sunday 16 Miles ( 2 hrs 15 min)
Last Saturday i headed East along the Forth and Clyde Canal out to the Falkirk Wheel so this week i decided to go West and head out to the Erskine Bridge, so off i went at 6am with my hydration pack and my small flashing light, i was surprised how dark is was today compared to this time last week. it became lighter around 6:15 with the sun just starting to come up, there was not a sole in sight. as i continued along the canal,i could feel my session from Wednesday evening still in my legs i know that i had did too much ,as the day startedvto get warmer as i ran, my initial times were slightly slower but my marathon distance was up by 2 minutes compared to last week but i was starting to fade so i decided that i should take the shortest route home which is around 33 miles so i opted for this rather than plod it out for another 30 minutes to get the same as last week. overall i am still pleased,i will shorten my speedwork next week to see how that goes.i also saw that John Kynaston was looking for anyone interested in running the last part of the RAW on Sunday i was tempted but favoured the longer Saturday over the Sunday ,good to see that John is on the mend.
I enjoyed my rest day on Monday so it was back to business on Tuesday, i managed to get out the door around 6am and completed 12 miles prior to starting work, as my club don't meet up for sessions until the end of September i thought i should start today building in some speedwork, this would give me at least 4 weeks before we start training over the winter period. i decided to try out a 10 mile run and increse my pace as i went so here is the breakdown:
apart from a piece of trail during mile 6 i am pleased with the way my speedwork session went.i don't know if my good running was just a spring in my step as the Fling opened for entries today ,whilst it is eight months away my entry was posted first thing today, i now have two sums events in my diary for 2011 so i need to put in the work over the winter and aim to be ready for early spring.