Tag Archives: Eastleigh 10k

Pacing at Eastleigh 10k

19 Mar Tamsyn and Heloise pacing at Eastleigh 10k ©Paul Hammond

This time last year, I was pregnant, but very few people knew, so I chose to be a pacer at Eastleigh 10k. It meant that I was able to take part in the race without people encouraging me to push myself harder than would have been good for me. I really enjoyed the experience and although my running is going well, I know I’m not on PB form, so when I was given the opportunity to be a pacer again this year, I jumped at the chance.

Eastleigh 10k is known for a being a fast flat race, so it is very popular. There are currently building works going on at the leisure centre where it starts, so we had to get there early to find a parking space.

Tamsyn and baby M

©Paul A. Hammond

I was partnered with Heloise Hunt, a fellow Lordshill Road Runner and parkrunner. We were confident that we could maintain the appropriate pace, so were determined to have fun, as these pictures from Paul Hammond show.

Heloise and Tamsyn

© Paul A. Hammond

Tamsyn posing

©Paul A. Hammond

It was also Baby M’s first race as it had been agreed that buggies were allowed to take part in the event. It was quite chilly and windy, so Stu decided to run with the rain cover on to give M a bit more shelter.

Stuart running with Baby M

Stuart running with Baby M

Despite Stu telling me that he was going to take it easy, he finished in 49:37, which is quicker than my PB!

Heloise and I managed to motivate a number of runners to keep going when they were struggling and also helped a group of runners to achieve under 65 minutes.

Eastleigh 2017 finish line

I finished in 1:04:53, so just under the 65 minutes that I was pacing… and I really enjoyed the whole experience of my first road race after having M.

Now the decision is whether I want to race Eastleigh 10k and go for a PB next year, or whether I’d like to pace again!





My first race as a pacer – Eastleigh 10k

22 Mar

I had been hoping that I could go for a PB at Eastleigh 10k as it’s renowned for being a fast flat 10k (and it’s where I set my last PB), but I’ve been fighting a chest infection since February, so I had to let go of that dream. Fortunately, I’ve got an understanding GP (the Garmin on her wrist was a giveaway) – she said it would be OK for me to continue running, but that I shouldn’t race. With this in mind, I decided that I would take the race easy and would try to find one of my slower friends and see whether they would like me to help them get a PB. Before I posted anything on Facebook, I noticed a message in a running group that I’m in, saying that a female pacer was required to do 60 minutes. Excellent! I quickly replied to the message and stated my interest.

I received a very speedy response welcoming me to the pacing team, which meant that I no longer needed my race number. There was just enough time for me to do a legitimate transfer to my friend Verena 🙂

Because of various building works, we were warned that parking would be hard to come by, so I decided to cycle to the race as it’s only a few miles away. When I got there I saw my friend, Paul… or at least, he was my friend until he started sharing images like this!

pre Eastleigh 10k

pre Eastleigh 10k ©Paul A. Hammond

I met up with Dave who was organising the pacers. He had arranged for us to have access to a couple of small rooms to change in and store our stuff and had also picked up our numbers, pacing t-shirts and race t-shirts for us.

I had just enough time to get changed and then headed out to the field where a Lordshill team photo was being taken:

Lordshill Road Runners at Eastleigh 10k

Lordshill Road Runners at Eastleigh 10k

Eastleigh pacers

It was then time to start. I had a really lovely run, chatting with my co-pacer (Jo Nash) and encouraging the people around us to keep going at a steady pace.

Easteligh 10k 2016 pacing Eastleigh 10k 2016 1 Eastleigh 10k 2016 2 Eastleigh 10k 2016 3 Eastleigh 10k 2016 4

In the final kilometre, we encouraged runners around us to start picking up the pace a little bit and then when we got within sight of the finish we urged people to go as quickly as they could to finish in under 60 minutes.

Our final time was 59:18 😀

Eastleigh 10k 2016

Eastleigh 10k 2016

It was great to read some feedback in Southampton Echo on Monday: “They were pacers with personality who made sure people ran with a smile on their face” as relayed to the Echo reporter by the Organiser of the 10k Steve Collins. There was also some great feedback on Facebook after the event:

Eastleigh 10k feedback

I’ve paced at parkrun before, but this was the first time I’ve been a pacer at a paid-for race and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. If you ever get the chance to be a pacer, I’d recommend that you do it!


Inspiration and Eastleigh 10k

23 Mar

Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image:

Inspiration - Graeme and Kat

Inspiration – Graeme and Kat

The topic is ‘Inspiration’ and these two are some of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met. (N.B. The photo isn’t mine – I think it was taken by a member of the Embrace Sports team).

I’m also continuing the theme of sharing one of the Team SOAS Brand Ambassador’s images each day. Sue’s quote seemed particularly apt:

sue soas

I’m with fellow Brand Ambassador Sue on this one!

Talking about women and inspiration, I’m hoping that I’ll get to see this movie when it’s released: http://halftheroad.com/ It’s outrageous that in this day and age, such inequality still exists. The film features Chrissie Wellington, who is another inspirational figure for me. Whilst I was away, I read her autobiography (“A life without limits – a world champion’s journey“) and was blown away by her journey. She’s also a patron of GOTribal, so that’s a common link for us!

I’ve now got a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fatgirltoironman – please feel free to pop over there and follow me 🙂 I’ve been doing really badly at keeping up to date with my blog – I’m determined to get myself back on track, but if you want some brief updates, Facebook will let you know what’s happening!

Brighton marathon info

I’ve also realised that it’s now two weeks until Brighton Marathon. I feel more stressed about this marathon than any race I’ve ever done before. I guess this is for several reasons – my illness and workload mean that I’ve not managed to keep up with a good training schedule and I’m not feeling fit and healthy. I also don’t know anyone who is running at my pace, so I will have to do the whole 26.2 miles without chatting to anyone. Can I remain silent for 5 hours?! When I entered the race, I was feeling strong, so I’m in the blue corral with the 4:00-4:30 hour runners – I’ve only managed that time once and I was on form then! I’ve booked the Friday before Brighton Marathon off work, so that Stu and I can go to the marathon expo to pick up my race number (and maybe do a bit of shopping). I’m hoping it will give me a chance to relax before the race, so that I’m not rushing around doing everything on race day. It is possible to download an app to follow me – just search for ‘Brighton Marathon’.

Anyway, today’s big event was Eastleigh 10k, which I planned to follow up with a run home, so that I got my final long run as marathon preparation in. I arrived at Fleming Park leisure centre nice and early, which gave me a chance to pick up my number, chip and tshirt.

My Eastleigh 10k number

My Eastleigh 10k number

This year's 'vibrant' tshirt design

This year’s ‘vibrant’ tshirt design

The unflattering photo below shows that I wasn’t feeling particularly enthusiastic about the race.

Preparing for Eastleigh 10k

Preparing for Eastleigh 10k (Paul A. Hammond)

I pinned on my number, but then had a lot of time to kill before the start of the race.

Pinning on my Eastleigh number

Pinning on my Eastleigh number (Paul A. Hammond)

I aimed to complete the race in about 55 minutes. I think I did it in about 53:30 last year and it’s the race where I got my 10k PB of 51:06 back in 2012… one day I’m determined to get back to that!

I started the race with Teri and did about 3.5km with her, but it was quite warm and I didn’t want to hold her up. As it’s a local race, there were quite a few spectators who I recognised and conversely they recognised me. My favourite local photographer (Paul Hammond) was in attendance, so I blew him a kiss as I ran past.

Eastleigh 10k

Eastleigh 10k

At about 7km, I saw Luana, one of the ladies from my running club up ahead. I know that I run better when I have a challenge, so to make myself push I tried to catch up with her. I was starting to feel better as I’d been able to take on some water and also threw two cups over myself, so I was no longer over-heating. Eventually, I managed to catch up with Luana, but she wasn’t going to give up without a fight, so we ran almost 2km neck and neck. Finally, I was able to edge ahead as we made it to the last stretch of the course which is in the grounds of the leisure centre.

I wasn’t particularly pleased with my time as I came 1551st today in 55:48, but I don’t think this week’s travelling, unusual food and lack of sleep were ideal preparation for the race.

After the race, I met up with Teri, Luana, Steve, Sarah and Loraine who all wanted to extend their run. The images above show that it was a sunny day, and as I mentioned, I was worried about overheating. This all changed very swiftly on the way home, where we were pelted with hail – ouch! I was still wearing the same outfit (minus my race number), so I was absolutely freezing. Fortunately, the sun came out again, just after Loraine and Luana left us.

Long run after Eastleigh

Long run after Eastleigh

We headed up to The Common where we did a little circuit before heading past Teri’s house and down towards my home. I had intended to run 24km today, but I was feeling tired and the sky had turned black again, so I decided that the 22km that we had done when we got to my house would be enough. It was definitely the right decision as it hailed again. The hail stones were enormous and Teri and Steve had to find shelter as they were still running.

The rest of my day has been spent unpacking and recovering – I feel shattered by today’s race and although I’m disappointed with my performance, I know I put some effort in as my chest muscles are aching and it hurts to breathe, which only happens when I’ve been trying hard!

My final thought for today… If you’re interested in learning more about stretching, check the videos that my coach has made: http://www.runcamp.co.uk/stretching.html

Eastleigh 10k and my 400m swimming time!!!

26 Mar

By Friday evening I was desperate for a break. I arrived home and really didn’t feel like going out again – I just wanted to go to bed, but I had a yoga class scheduled, so I had to make myself go out. We did a variety of poses, including spending some time in tree pose. We also worked on camel pose (ustrasana). Fortunately, the hour of relaxation did me good and also gave Stu an hour of peace and quiet… however, I still wanted to go to bed early.

On Saturday morning, I decided to do parkrun with Ellie. I focussed on keeping my cadence high (94) and didn’t check my time at all, so was quite disappointed that I finished in 26:42. It felt really tough, but it’s probably just as well as I knew I had to do Eastleigh 10k on the following day.

Southampton parkrun data

Southampton parkrun data

Usually, I spend time chatting to other runners after parkrun and head to The Hawthorns cafe for a drink, but I had to make a quick getaway on Saturday as I had a sports massage booked with Pete at You Massage Therapy. It was a good massage although Pete discovered muscles that I didn’t know I had!!! I would love to be able to have a sports massage every week.


Ready for Eastleigh 10k

It was nice to almost have a lie in on Sunday morning, as Eastleigh 10k is one of the most local races that I can do. Also, Stu and I weren’t giving anyone a lift, so we didn’t have to allow time to pick anyone up. We arrived early enough to park in the leisure centre car park and then went in to collect our t-shirts. I had noticed people carrying fluorescent yellow t-shirts out of the leisure centre and so I assumed that they were technical t-shirts, but it quickly became obvious that they were just cotton t-shirts 😦 I guess that at least a t-shirt is more useful than a medal.

I met up with my running buddy Irene and her parents who had come over from Spain to take part in the race. Her dad was aiming to do sub 50 minutes and her mum ran 55 minutes in her last 10k (which was actually 11k long, because it was in Spain, but that’s another story!) I didn’t genuinely think we would beat Irene’s dad, but I suddenly realised that her mum could be serious competition – eek! I went to put my belongings in the car and agreed to meet other LRR runners who were aiming for 50 minutes by the 50 minute start marker.

When I got to the start marker, James was already there and Kirsty and Laura joined us. Soon afterwards Irene arrived. The start of the race was very busy as it’s so popular, and it didn’t help that some people had wildly overestimated their times and were barely jogging within the first 500m. It took a few minutes to cross the start line and the opening kilometre was very congested, so I wasn’t able to hit my target pace of 5:07/km. I felt quite comfortable running at what I thought was a good pace, but had to try to avoid conversation as friends kept asking me questions. I had checked with my favourite age graded race predictor what it thought I could do at Eastleigh based on my recent parkrun PB; it suggested 52:56.

The first challenge was the hill at about 4km, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. I enjoyed the downhill and realised that my 5k split wouldn’t be too bad… but I was starting to overheat. Fortunately, I spied Roger ahead on the roundabout (along with Hammy the photographer), so I was able to pass him my gloves:


We kept going and I suddenly realised at 8km that I was feeling pretty good and that I thought I could up the pace. I started pushing on and managed to hit 3:53/km at one point during that kilometre. The final kilometre of the race is deceptive. It’s easy to see the leisure centre, but the path feels like it goes on forever. Also there was a particularly cold wind blowing into my face. As I got to the final 100m, one of my club mates managed to sprint past, but I didn’t have enough energy for a sprint. I stopped my watch on the line and was surprised by how well I’d done: 52:02. If I’d realised that I had any hope of going under 53 minutes, I would have pushed much earlier in the race – grrr!

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 14.56.23

I then stopped to cheer others in before collecting my water, banana and slice of home-made cake. Stuart had decided to jog the course as he has a leg injury and has been suffering form a heavy cold all week. He completed the course in just under 40 minutes! I’d love to be able to ‘jog’ like that!!! Unfortunately, I think I stopped for just a little too long as by the time I got over to Stuart, I was shaking with the cold and had lost the feeling in my hands. I managed to find Roger to retrieve my gloves and then rounded up Kirsty to run 12.5km home.

Eastleigh 10k race number 2013

Eastleigh 10k race number 2013

In the evening, I had the final of my series of five swimming lessons. I explained to the instructor the problems that I have been having with front crawl – I can’t breathe out enough to be able to breathe in properly and he suddenly had a great idea – instead of doing 3 strokes per breathe, I should try 5 strokes. It was a revelation and I was magically able to complete a length without getting out of breath… however, even that couldn’t help me forever. I managed to do two lengths non-stop for the first time. Then the instructor asked us to do four lengths non-stop, but I knew when I was defeated, so I took a breather after two. We then had to do a medley of backstroke, breast stroke and front crawl, which was much easier. Overall, I feel I’ve made loads of progress and am so glad that I signed up for the lessons. I’ve already signed up for the next series, but Victoria won’t be doing them as she will be away for several Sundays. I’m starting to believe that I can actually complete a triathlon and that I might not finish last.

I tempted to enter Newbury triathlon, but the swim is in a 75m long lido, so I need to make sure that I can easily complete 3 lengths without a break as I’ll have to do that four times. Here’s the information: https://eventdesq.imgstg.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&EventDesqID=1222&OrgID=3865

What do you think? Would you be tempted to enter?

I made plans so that I was able to get up on Monday to finally do my 400m time trial. I arrived at the pool and waited until the clock said exactly 8:15 before I started. I’m not strong enough and fit enough yet to be able to swim length after length without a break, but I wanted to see how long it would take me including breaks. The only length that wasn’t very good (i.e. I did two strokes with my head out of the water) was my 16th length. It took me 17 minutes and 17 seconds, so I’m clearly not going to trouble any elite athletes (the women’s world record is 3:59!!!) but at least I have something to judge my efforts by now.

I’ve also realised how close Paris marathon is now as the countdown has begun and I’ve started to receive daily emails with tips:

13 day countdown to Paris

13 day countdown to Paris

Monday’s tips included: “Don’t worry if you feel a little bit sick to the stomach during the second half of the race and if you have a hard time refreshing yourself. This sensation, which is certainly disagreeable, is common during a marathon.” Bizarrely, the refreshment stations include dried fruit, which is not what I would want to eat during an endurance race.

On Monday evening, I went to LRR training, which was a ‘mix it up’ session. Irene and I took groups A and A* for a circuits session with some running drills and exercises such as squats. We received some positive feedback and I hope that some people will move up a group for the next training series.

This morning, I went to RunCamp. It’s the penultimate week, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve been doing morning training for almost three months. Today’s session was about breathing. We had to count how often we breathe. I think I breathe in for two steps and our for two steps, but it’s hard to know as no-one breathes naturally when they think about it. We also discussed nasal breathing vs. mouth breathing. Unfortunately, I have a cold at the moment, so I can’t even think about breathing through my nose! I also injured my knee this morning. I am worried that it will affect my marathon, so I worked from home today, which meant that i didn’t have to cycle. The downside was that I missed a yoga class 😦

90-96 is the magic number

21 Mar

😦 I had just about psyched myself up to enter Ferndown tri, when my husband delivered some bad news… he is unable to accompany me as he has a won a place in Bournemouth marathon, which is on the same day. I’m a little disappointed as I had hoped we could enter the event together and I had also suggested that we can enter our oldest nieces and nephews in the children’s event.

Bournemouth marathon

However, I have also got some thoughts in mind. Katherine has suggested that I might want to enter Cycletta New Forest, which is also in October (13th October). There are three options: 20km, 42km and 82 km. There isn’t much difference in the cost of them (only £4 more for the longest distance) and I can’t help but feel that it’s therefore better value for money. Sadly, it will be before I can have a new bike, but I’m sure my hybrid will be fine.

I was nervous about this morning’s RunCamp session as my glutes are still tired from Tuesday. Fortunately, it didn’t feel as bad as I thought it might. Again we tried running at different cadences – trying to match 150, 160 and 170 all felt very odd – I was much more comfortable at 180 and 190. Bizarrely, I have the highest cadence out of all of the runners at RunCamp, including Stu and Mike (who is an experienced triathlete and a fairly nifty runner). Maybe I’ve internalised Eric‘s wisdom (from Embrace Sports) more than I had realised.

I also asked Ant about cycling cadence. Apparently, for triathlons it is good to cycle at 90 as well, so that your running and cycling cadence are the same. This means that the transition from bike to run is easier. This (poorly spelled) article appears to agree; http://www.elitecyclingfitness.com/#/cadence-pedalling/4560059628  I found this article on cycling cadence to be helpful: http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/Cycling_cadence_in_training_and_racing

It has been raining hard all day, and I was tempted not to got to the Thursday evening LRR social run. I tried to tell myself that it would be sensible to take it easy before Eastleigh 10k, but in my heart I know I need to do far more training for Paris (although I’ve left it a bit late). Plus, I ate two biscuits and two GIANT slices of cake at work today, so I need to try to burn a few calories… although I did manage to lose 1.5lbs last week 🙂 When I arrived at Oasis, I was surprised that only 9 other people chose to come out in the rain. We did a steady 10.6k run over to The Common and through the Sports Centre. I had a long chat with Paul about cycling cadence and resolved to change my Garmin to show cadence… plus, I must search in the loft for my foot pod as I’m borrowing one at the moment. I thought this video was interesting: http://kropelnicki.com/?p=231

Tomorrow’s challenge is my 400m time trial and then I’ll take it easy at parkrun in preparation for Eastleigh 10k. Here’s a photo of my sprint finish from last year:

Eastleigh 10k March 2012 - PB: 51:06

Eastleigh 10k March 2012 – PB: 51:06

God knows how I was brave enough to wear those skimpy shorts – people of Eastleigh, do not fear – they will not be making an appearance this year!!!