Tag Archives: Salisbury 10 Mile

Salisbury 10 mile

13 Mar

As I’m not supposed to be racing, but am still allowed to run, I figured that I’d better take it easy at Salisbury. Pete had offered me a lift and I was grateful to take him up on his offer, but I felt a little sad as we ran most of the race together last year and I’d got a PB and I knew that wasn’t a possibility this year.

We managed to find a parking space near to the race HQ and went over to register. As usual, it was very efficient, so I quickly collected my number and my race t-shirt. Fluorescent green seems to be the fashionable colour for race t-shirts this year!

It was quite a chilly morning, so I had on tracksuit trousers and a hoodie over my club t-shirt and shorts. After queuing for the loos, Pete and I headed back to his car to drop off bags and extra kit. Pete had put his sunglasses in the car, but the fog on the way over meant that he didn’t feel that he needed them. The temperature on race day for this event has been variable, but on a couple of occasions, it has been so hot that they have run out of water at the aid stations 😦

After chatting to a few friends, Pete and I headed over to the track where the race starts. I positioned myself somewhere near the back in the hope that I wouldn’t get carried away with enthusiasm. Pete was on one side of me and Luana was on the other.

My finishing time was 1:32:13, which I thought was a pretty dismal time, but at least I finished the race and felt fine afterwards 🙂 I looked up my 10 mile race times and admittedly some of them were off-road, but I learned that it was my 6th fastest 10 mile time, out of 14 races! It was also the 3rd fastest/slowest out of my 5 attempts at this particular race. Despite my slow time, I was 56/92 in my age category and 545/723 overall.

Salisbury 10 mile race 2016

Salisbury 10 mile race 2016

First PB of 2015

8 Mar

My first PB (or PR for my American friends) was at Salisbury 10 mile on March 8th.

I met several friends at number collection, and was also snapped by the official photographer whilst getting ready:

Salisbury number

I ran with my friend, Pete, who is coming back from injury, so we both appreciated having some company. Pete is better at going uphill than I am, but I think I had the edge on the downhills.

In previous years, I’ve grumbled about the lack of water at this race, but this year, it wasn’t a problem.

I wasn’t in many official photographs at this race, but there was one with Pete that made me laugh – he’s usually such a gentleman, but in this pic, it looks like he’s trying to pinch my bottom!



My asthma started to fight back in the last couple of miles, so Pete went on and I did the best I could.

I was pleased when I finally saw LRR Captain Emily by the track.

Salisbury 1



…and even more pleased when I finally made it onto the track. I absolutely love track running, but knew that I needed to wait until the last 150m before I tried to sprint.

Salisbury 3Salisbury4Salisbury5Salisbury6

Sadly, there are no photos of my sprint finish, but I know that it happened!

I was really pleased with my final result:


Salisbury 10 2015

A chip time of 1:26:09 is 1:35 off my previous best. I still think I can do better, so maybe next year, I’ll be able to achieve <1:25.

I placed 128/293 women and was 46/102 in the FV35 category, so I managed to make the top 50%, which is always my goal.

Here’s my activity file: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/714257162

I was also pleased to receive a lovely technical tshirt at the end of the race:

Salisbury tshirt


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Heartbreaker Half Marathon

22 Feb

The first time I ran the Heartbreaker Half Marathon (14 miles) was in February 2012. The course changed slightly in 2012 to remove a downhill start and move the turnaround point, so that it is now 13.1 miles and not almost 14 miles, however, that hasn’t affected my time very much:

  • 2012 2:16:56
  • 2013 2:14:53

I chose not to run the race last year, but Stuart persuaded me to enter this year as he thought it would be a good preparatory race for him as he’s doing London Marathon in April.

The course is quite picturesque. It takes place in the New Forest and most of it runs along a ridge way. Essentially, the course is shaped like a capital T – runners start at the bottom of the letter, run up the ‘stem’, turn left and head out to the east, before turning around and heading across the top of the letter to the west, then turning around until the ‘stem’ and heading for home. (That’s not my best description – it might be easier to look at the map).

My goals for today were to beat my previous times and to go under 2:10. An optimistic goal was to go under 2:05, with an optimistic goal of going under 2:00… however, having been ill recently, I knew that would be a very optimistic goal.

We got up early and I ate a bowl of apple and cinnamon porridge before we headed out to the car. We had a hailstorm last night and then when the temperatures dropped overnight, everything froze, so the pavements were quite slippery. Stu’s car was also covered in ice, but the magic of a heated windscreen and wing mirrors meant that we didn’t have to scrape the ice off (I wish my car had such luxurious features!)

I had checked the weather forecast several times: dry, but cloudy until midday when rain was expected. The New Forest looked beautiful as we drove out to the start of the race. We had to arrive quite early to collect our race numbers and didn’t want to get in the way of the marathon runners who were to start at 9am. Fortunately, we didn’t have to arrive quite as early as the marshals. My friend, Donna, from tri club was helping out at the event and she managed to snap several beautiful shots (including the one below) before getting down to work.

View of Godshill with early morning sky

© Donna Lovelock, 2015

We parked the car at the campsite (which is humorously called ‘Sandyballs‘) and said hello to various members of Lordshill Road Runners before heading off to race registration. I was given number 543, which I pinned to my SOAS vest. Stu and I then went to sit in the briefing room to wait for 45 minutes.

It wasn’t long before we were joined by some other runners that we knew… and I also saw some running celebrities, including Martin Yelling and Steve Way. (I’m told that Tony Audenshaw [who records the ‘Tony’s Trials’ section of Marathon Talk] was also there, but although I recognise the sound of his voice, I’ve never seen Emmerdale [the soap opera that he appears in], so I have no idea what he looks like.

There was a lot of discussion about what people were going to wear, based on the ice outside, however, I didn’t think the temperature was too bad, so I had opted to wear my SOAS vest, a pair of double-layer shorts and calfguards. I chose not to wear gloves or a headband as I thought I would probably warm up so much on the first hill that I wouldn’t need them. I accessorised with my inhaler, which was definitely a good move as I was so nervous at my last race without it! Most of my friends were wearing long tights and long-sleeved tops, with most of them also wearing jackets, gloves and hats. This made me start to question my choice, but I know that I get  a lot hotter than most of my friends when I run.

Eventually, it was time to start. We were led down to the bottom of a deep ravine and then the race started. I tried to pace myself cautiously as I knew how hard I had found the first hill previously, so I started with a 6:27/km pace. This turned out to be a sensible move as it didn’t take me long for me to recover my breathing. After leaving the campsite, we turned to the east and headed out along the road. After a few minutes, I was passed by Lisa, a club mate. I know that she is running very well, so I didn’t try to stick with her. We then turned off the main road and out onto a forest trail. It was a lovely long downhill… but it was also a little daunting as we could see the long uphill that came after it… and there were already runners all of the way up the next hill.

It takes a while for my breathing to relax, so I found the long hill quite challenging. At one stage, a runner I know who is 30 years older than me came alongside me, which made me want to fight harder and push on. Finally, I was onto a flat section, when Jenny a friend from Southampton Tri Club and Run camp said hello to me. I had completely forgotten that Jenny was doing this race. I tried to keep Jenny in my sights and when we came to the next downhill, I was able to pass her again. A male runner called out something about taking care of my knees, but I love running downhill and didn’t intend to slow down.

Then came a section that I had been dreading – a river. It’s not large, but I knew I would have to cross it and that it would be cold. One year, it was so dry that I could leap it, but not this year. Fortunately, I was able to spring across fairly quickly and didn’t notice my feet getting wet.

On the next uphill section, another member of LRR, Paul, passed me. Again, I decided not to try to stick with him as I wanted to maintain a steady race and just do the best that I could do. Chasing someone else’s time would jeopardise my ability to stay strong until the end.

We then arrived at the aid station, where we had to turn left to head out along the ridgeway. I love this part of the course as the runners all pass each other and shout encouragement (especially as there were already plenty of marathoners out there). It’s also very difficult to see who is running the marathon and who is doing the half – maybe next year the organisers could give people different coloured numbers. I was watching out for runners I knew and managed to spot Andy Griggs, but I couldn’t work out how close to the front he was – it looked like maybe he was about 5th. Then I saw Mike Akers, who also looked to be having a strong race. Stu was aiming for a steady tempo run as part of his marathon training, so it was a little while before I saw him, but he looked to be running well, which was a relief as he has had severe back problems recently. A short while after Stu, I saw Steve who I used to lead a running group with. He looked like he was running really well, so I felt pleased for him.

Lisa was just ahead of me at the turnaround point and I was then able to see how far ahead of my other friends I was. It was lovely being able to shout hello and cheer on Jenny, Gary, Carol, Paul, Sarah, Rachel, Loraine, Sharon, Cary, Inez and Mike D. I also cheered on a couple of girls who had spoken to me at the start and told me that it was their first half marathon. I didn’t know their names, but hope that my words of encouragement helped them.

The path back to the aid station included a steep uphill. I ran up most of it, but decided to conserve energy and power walk some of it. Fortunately I didn’t feel the need to walk for long and was soon running again. Gary passed me on the hill and looked to be catching up with Lisa. When I got to the aid station, Lisa was having a drink and Gary was tucked behind a bush! I grabbed a cup of water and chose not to stop, but I knew that Gary and Lisa would pass me again soon.

As I expected, Gary and Lisa passed me, but I didn’t mind as I was enjoying myself. We had had a tiny bit of drizzle that had cooled me down and the sun was starting to peep out from the clouds. I kept watching for my club mates, but the very fastest ones had already passed by. I was delighted when I saw Stu and he was still looking strong.

The path to the west felt like it was going on forever, so I was happy when I saw the long downhill to the turnaround point. I ran down it as quickly as I could. It felt great to be passing other runners. At the turnaround point, I could see Gary and Lisa, which helped to spur me on and I knew that I would see plenty of other friends as I was heading back. As I neared the top of the hill, I could see an official race photographer. Why do they do that? It’s so mean! There was nothing for it, but to grit my teeth, smile and do my best to run with perfect form… however, I haven’t seen the photos yet, so I probably still look terrible!

When I got back to the aid station, I took a sip of energy drink and also some water. I had no idea what the energy drink was and I can’t even remember the flavour, but my stomach si generally fine with such things. In hindsight, I probably should have drunk more, but I didn’t want to stop. I headed down the hill towards the river. Unfortunately this time two men were crossing it very gingerly, so I had to slow down. This meant that I didn’t spring through it and my feet got wet 😦

I was starting to get tired, but I would not let myself slow down as I knew that wouldn’t help, so I just kept pushing myself to catch up with whoever the next person ahead was. On the last big descent, I passed a few men who gave me a cheer and encouraged me. I knew I had to make the most of it as my legs were feeling strong, but my lungs weren’t. I did my best to charge up the final hill, but halfway up, I knew that I was slowing significantly. I decided that I would walk as quickly as I could for 100 steps and then would start running again at that point, no matter where I was. Fortunately, this strategy worked and I was back in my stride by the top of the hill.

I turned left back out onto the road and was pleased that I was nearly back at the campsite. Unfortunately, I was also feeling really tired by this point and although it was mainly downhill, I just couldn’t muster up any more energy. Also the road had become quite busy. There were uneven grass verges at the side of the road and the gutter at the edge of the road was made of rough paving, so running in the road was preferable, but the traffic meant this was not possible.

I was really starting to flag when Stuart arrived. I hadn’t expected him to run back as he has had back problems, but he decided to extend his run and come for me anyway – what a hero! Stu had a bottle of water with him, so I took a sip. I also asked him if he had a gel, but he didn’t have one on him. He said a few encouraging things and kept reminding me of how close I was to the finish.

Eventually, we could see the turn into the campsite. Donna was waiting there cheering people on. I put on a massive final sprint (registered at 3:07/km on my Garmin), so that I looked strong crossing the mat.

I had done it! My final time was 2:04:21, so I achieved almost all of my goals. It’s 12 minutes slower than my HM PB, but it was a tough course!

I received a lovely medal and a bottle of water. Baggage collection was mercifully swift as it started raining hard shortly after I finished. I quickly put on my hoodie and tracksuit trousers, but that wasn’t enough to stop me from getting cold. I had the free soup and roll that was on offer, but Stu and I decided not to make use of the swimming pool and hot tub as we were both tired and just wanted to go home. Overall, this is a great race.

Heartbreaker bib and medal

My Garmin data shows that my average pace was 5:55/km, which I was pleased with. My fastest pace (excluding the final sprint) was 3:27/km, which was when I got to a lovely downhill. I LOVE downhill running – it’s so much fun! Sadly, this is a net uphill course, with a 337m elevation gain.

I’m now feeling tired, but happy (and no, I don’t intend to have a spliff to help me push on to a longer distance next time – Marathons and marijuana: the loneliness of the long-distance dopehead!)

Well done to Andy Griggs for finishing 2nd overall (1:24 ahead of Martin Yelling!) and to Mike Akers for finishing 11th. Coach Carol from LRR was 3rd female Supervet (what a great category name!) Despite Stu’s plan of ‘jogging it’, he finished in 1:36:03 and was 21st. I was 138/272… which is frustrating as I was hoping to finish in the top half. However, I was 27/111 females and 17/98 in my category, so that’s not so bad!

Salisbury 10 mile race logo

My next race will be Salisbury 10 mile on 8th March. I’ve had mixed experiences at this race. It is my 10 mile PB course (87:44 in 2013), but I’ve also had some horrible runs there on the two years it was hot and they ran out of water (2012 and 2014 – 96:08 and 1:40:42). I’ve run 11x 10 mile races and my times for this race rank 1st, 8th and 10th. Anyway, I’m hoping the weather will be kind for the race this year – preferably cold and dry. I’ve been emailed my race number: 647. Let’s hope it’s a lucky number and that I get my first PB of the year!

No water on the hottest run of the year :-(

9 Mar
kelly soas

The importance of self-image according to SOAS Ambassador Kelly.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about doing Salisbury 10 mile. Two years ago, it was held on an incredibly hot day. I got a 5k PB, but then had to ask Irene to leave me as I was overheating. At the five-mile drinks station, I stopped and had three cups of water, which meant that the marshals told me off, stating that “it’s against the rules”. I’ve still never heard of the rules that they’re referring to. Surely, the health and safety of the runners is of paramount importance? Last year, the day of the race was much colder (and wet), so although I wasn’t feeling on form, I managed to get a 10 mile PB.

This year I had realistic expectations of the race. I wanted it to form part of an 18 mile run. I wasn’t worried about my time, I just wanted to work on my nutrition strategies, or more specifically my hydration strategies, so that I finished the race feeling strong and not overheating. I spoke to Laura who is also training for Brighton Marathon, and we decided that we would do four miles before the race and then four miles afterwards. Before going to the race, I drank two pints of water, as I thought that might help with dehydration issues (especially as I drink at least a pint of water before going to work every day).

I collected Laura and we drove to Salisbury, arriving early enough for me to register (I’d forgotten to do it before online entries closed) and collect our numbers.

Salisbury race number

Salisbury race number

Laura and I the set out to do a gentle run before the race. We had been warned that it would be a hot day and I was grateful that I had just a t-shirt and shorts for the race. Even at 9am, the sun was up. Laura and I ended up doing just over 5km before the race started.

I started off near a group of other Lordshill Runners, but I had decided that I just wanted to run my own race, so I ignored the others and did not try to keep up, even though it was the club championship race. My focus was just on sticking to my strategy of drinking lots of water and eating gel sweets when necessary. We had been told that there would be drinks stations at 2, 4, 6 & 8 miles. As soon as I saw the 2 mile drinks station, I picked up a cup and drank all of it.

There weren’t many spectators out on the course, but there was a nice group of runners and it felt like I was running consistently, so I was happy. I managed to pass a few runners on the downhill, which made me feel good.

I reached 4 miles and was surprised that there wasn’t a drinks station there, but I remembered there being a drinks station at 5 miles in previous years, so I wasn’t too bothered. I decided that it would be good to drink some of the water that I was carrying, so I knocked back about half a bottle. Not far before the drinks station, I saw Inez’s partner Peter, so I gave him a wave.

I was starting to feel very hot, so I was really grateful that a drinks station was coming up. I put out two hands for water, but was told that they were running out and that I could only have one cup. It had less than 2cm of water in it, which was very disappointing. I kept moving and decided to drink the last bit of water that I had, reasoning that I could stock up at the next water station.

I tackled the largest hill on the course and was pleased to note that despite feeling very hot, I didn’t find it as difficult as I thought I might. I managed to chat a bit with some of the other runners, which helped to keep me feeling motivated.

Eventually, I got to the part of the course that I had seen on my pre-race run, so I knew that I was close to the water station. Imagine my feelings of despair when I found that the table had been taken down as they had run out of water. I was feeling so hot and it was already 1:24 into the race – I’ve run 10 miles in that time as part of a longer race before, but I still had two miles to go and was unbearably hot. I pressed on and saw some LRR supporters about a mile from the finish. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling very happy, so I shared my feelings about the race organisation with them.

Sals 2Sals 1

I knew that it wasn’t too far to get to the finish, but first I had to run past the track to get onto it and then run almost a full lap. I wanted to sprint, but was feeling really ill, so just kept staggering towards the finish line.

I crossed the line in 1:40:42, which is one of my slowest race times ever. I immediately drank a couple of glasses of water, which helped to make me feel a bit better.

Once I had revived a bit, I collected my race t-shirt and then asked whether the Race Director was around. Too many times before, I’ve not said what I’ve thought, so I decide that I should let him know about the problems with the race. Unfortunately, he seemed surprised that there wasn’t enough water on the course and responded with, “Well, at least you got a nice t-shirt”, which wasn’t really the response I was looking for.

I went back to the sports hall with Laura and Sarah to collect our bags, before heading off for the rest of our run. It was nice to have a fresh t-shirt to put on, and no pressure to move quickly. We headed along the river as we thought it would be cool, but the path was closed as it had been flooded, so we went across some fields instead. In the end, we managed to do another 7km.

Overall, I finished the race 630/694, which is very disappointing – I must start working on my speed as soon as I’ve completed my marathon.

I failed to find/take an IDEAfit photo a day image to go with the theme of music – sorry 😦

Salisbury 10 Mile

17 Mar

At the moment, I’m really struggling to find time to write this blog, but maybe that’s a good thing as it means that I’m busy organising my life and training.

The key event for me at the weekend was Salisbury 10 – a local 10 mile race that is part of the Hampshire Road Race League. 10 miles is the only distance that I didn’t get a PB at last year, so I was determined that I was going to do well. I started out strong and managed to do the first two kilometres at 4:53 pace. I also managed a cadence of 96 for the second km and my average cadence for the race was 92. I knew I was doing well when I hit the 3 mile marker in 25:07 (my 5k PB is 25:08) and I achieved a PB when I reached the 5 mile marker in 43:07… However, I also knew at that point that there was no way that I would match up to Irene’s amazing 84 minute run last year.

Salisbury 10 mile race number

Salisbury 10 mile race number

I pushed on, but as usual, a negative split was unlikely. At about 8.5 miles the runner that i passed earlier in the race went past me, but I didn’t want to quit. As I was heading towards the athletics track, where the race finishes, I saw Stu, Rikki and Dean running towards me. I threw them my gloves and carried on running. I caught up with the other club runner as we went onto the track and decided to make a last ditch effort to sprint. She cheered me on in a sportsmanlike way and I managed to sprint about 100m before reverting to my distance runner’s shuffle. As I crossed the line I checked my watch: 1:27:44, a 1:15 PB. Not quite as good as I’d hoped for, but I’ll settle for that!

On Monday evening, I was expecting to lead a sprint session with Irene and Group B. Unfortunately, the extreme cold weather (it snowed all day) meant that very few people turned up to training. Three ladies were dithering about rejoining Group B, but in the end we decided to join Group A* with Mike and do a warm up before breaking down the 5k parkrun route into manageable sections and to discuss strategies for tackling them. This worked out well and meant that no-one ended up standing around for too long getting cold.

Straight afterwards was a Run Leader meeting followed by a Coaching Management Team meeting, so it was after 10pm when I got home and I ended up going to bed late. I really must make more of an effort to get to bed early.

It was hard work getting up yesterday morning and we ended up being late for Run Camp. The warm up was quite brisk and then Stu, Jenny, Rosie and I moved over to the usual path for some activities. We were focussing on the width of our stride, which was very odd as it meant that I was purposely running with my feet further apart than usual. It felt very unnatural. We also did some more hopping over hurdles, but as my right leg still wasn’t quite right, I sat out of some of them. (Well, I just ran past them).

Yesterday evening was a rest evening, so I did lots of organising. I decided to try to use up some of the food that is in the fridge. I’ve also signed up for an appointment with a nutritionist on 27th March, so I need to keep a food diary for the next week. I know that food diaries are usually thought to be inaccurate as people under-report what they eat, but I know mine will be accurate as I cannot lie. As a consequence, I am likely to eat well this week and hope that it will get me back on track for Paris Marathon.