The Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012 – The Race!

Pushing your limits

Most of us will go through life plodding a long, taking each day as it comes. Never pushing their limits, never knowing anything other than their 9 to 5 job and their 2.4 children. Washing the car on a Sunday afternoon, walking the dog. Kicking the cat.

There’s more to life than that. Life is there for the taking. Life has so much to offer us, and many opportunities to take.

I guess we get into a comfort zone and are happy to plod along.

And I think that’s what I was doing with my running. I was in a comfort zone, I wasn’t doing anything to push myself, and becoming increasingly frustrated with it, plodding along at the same pace and along the same roads.

The Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012

To gee myself up and give myself some targets I entered a couple of races. A 10 mile race. A half marathon, and a full marathon.

Today I ran the 10 mile race. Today I ran the Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012.

I’d kind of prepared myself for it. I knew it was quite an undulated course, I was fairly confident that I had plenty of undulated runs under my belt to take the course on. How wrong I was.

Under starters orders…

The race was at 11am. I was up at 7:15, nervous and agitated. I just wanted to get there and get cracking.

Wifey and the boys dropped my off at 10:15am (they’d be back in a while to see me off and to watch me cross the line – great to have my family supporting and cheering me on!). There were hundreds of people there, stalls selling running kit and trainers, there was people doing zumba, bouncy castles, hot dog stands and a large scaffolding structure which was the start / finish line.

I just wanted to get running, at 5 to 11 all the runners were summoned to the start line, there were several hundred of us. As I was walking I felt a tap on my back, I turned around to see Wifey and the boys ‘we’ve been looking for you everywhere Daddy, are you going to win?’, their two beaming faces were exactly what I needed, they distracted me a little from what I was about to do. I kissed them all, and nestled myself at around halfway in the bustling crowd. 

I relaxed a little. I looked up at the clock, still a couple of minutes to go, Fatima Whitbread, who was starting the race, was just climbing up into the starting podium, the air was buzzing.

A small part of the crowd counted down as the clock went from 10:59:50 to 11:00am then the claxon sounded and away we went, a loop around the field and then onto the roads.

The race.

Firstly a big thank you. There were plenty of volunteers acting as marshalls or handing out water and sponges along the route, these people sacrifice a couple of hours out of their day to help out and make sure the race goes to plan and without any upsets or surprises. A pat on the back and a round of applause for these guys. A huge thanks to those that handed me much needed water and a freezing cold sponge.

The first mile was simple. Although I had forgotten the first rule of running at a steady pace and got carried away with it all, I legged it as soon as the claxon went, first mile around 7 minutes 30, second mile was the same, although a little slower as we were running up the first long hill of many, third mile was a little slower but still under 8 minutes, I needed to get back to a sensible pace or I wasn’t going to make it.

I was running at around 8 minutes 20 ish, and fairly comfortable, then we’d hit another hill. Obviously down hill was ok.

I’d been warned by a couple of people about the hill climb at around mile 7. The 3 previous had been tough-ish, but this one was mental and nearly caused me to stop and walk. Mentally I was about to throw in the towel, then this old chap ran past me midway up the hill. ‘What the f…?” Well if he could bloody well do it, so could I, and anyway, I’d not got up at silly o’clock on numerous mornings just to walk around this course. Plus I didn’t want to let Wifey and the boys down, I was going to complete it.

This was, I am guessing, something like the ‘wall’ that marathon runners hit. It was horrible.

I plowed on, relaxed and enjoyed the last 3 miles, I took in the scenery, I laughed to myself every time someone over took me, if I had let it bother me I would of lost my concentration…quite a few people over took me too!

Running up the last hill, less than a mile from home I got a burst of energy, I turned left into the grounds and headed for the finish line. 

I ran past people that had already finished, medals hung around their necks, they didn’t look half as knackered as I felt. There were plenty of people still clapping and cheering. I ran onto the grass and headed for the line, I could hear ‘go on Daddy’ from the boys, I looked but couldn’t see them, I remember over taking the lady in front of me as we were about 15 foot from the line, she’d been in front of me for ages. The clock above the finish line said 1:23:29, I had done it.

We were ushered single file to collect our medals, Wifey and the boys ran over and gave me a great big hug. I was spent.

I felt great. I had achieved something. After 5 minutes I wanted to run it again! Why does that happen? 

Here are the results, I am in at position 337.

This is the route and the stats!

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Edmund Carr Charity Races

Entering races

In the couple of years that I have been running I haven’t really ran in many races. I’m not sure why really, probably because I hadn’t thought about it, perhaps because I hadn’t felt strong enough or confident enough to enter a race or complete one.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t want people to laugh at me, or mock me for running. This may stem from school sports day at senior school. I never took an interest in running or anything other than football or rounders really, so when sports day rolled around and I was asked to step up to the 400m as someone from our ‘house’ had dropped out I was a bit reluctant to do it. But had no choice really.

I started off ok, ran hell for leather for the first 200m, got tired immediately after, and slowed right down. I can recall people shouting at me to run faster, I had been coming second, I dropped to third, then fourth, then last. Where I stayed. My legs were jelly. I was out of breath and the finish line never seemed to get any nearer. I wanted the ground to swallow me up. My so called mates all took the piss out of me. I bloody hated running.

I remember being quite apprehensive at my first race, the Saucony 10K last September, I wish I had run more since then.

Planning ahead

I intend to enter into more races, I think it will help to motivate me a little more, so I have put my name down for a couple of races over the next few months.

I have entered the Amsterdam Marathon in October – apparently there are some wonderful sights during the race and the party afterwards is far from a sombre affair!!

Before that I have the Southend Half Marathon in June. A reasonably easy half marathon course by all accounts, happy to be running it with two great mates, Crispy and Rob Cameron.

This weekend though I have entered the Edmund Carr Charity Races. Its fairly local, in Great Baddow village, and is a 10 mile hill filled event. To be honest I am quite nervous. Lots of questions and thoughts running through my head like; have I trained enough? How am I going to run without my music? What if I fail to finish? What if I get injured? I guess they are normal questions to be asking and everyone is maybe just a bit nervous.

God knows what I will be like for the half marathon, let alone the full marathon!

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Sunday 13th May 2012 – Running up hills

A week later…

I am getting so lax, it’s a week later and I still hadn’t managed to get out for a run. Today is Sunday, my last long run was a week ago with Crispy. I’ve been out for a quick 5K last Monday, but nothing major.

I’d felt the symptoms of a cold coming on last weekend, and ran on both Saturday and Sunday feeling a little bunged up and congested. Monday it was a little more full on. And it probably lasted until Thursday / Friday. I still have a little congestion now. It’s not man flu though..which was lucky!

I probably needed the rest to be honest, but I have been desperate to get out there and run. I have the Edmund Carr Charity Race 2012 next weekend, that’s a 10 miler with some serious hills, I needed to get some training in, and include some running up hills training!

Sunshine at last

Yesterday was lovely, I’d wanted to get out for a run, but had far too much to do at home, Wifey was baking cakes all day, I was trying to entertain the boys and mow the lawn and paint the decking, the day flew by.

I planned to go out today instead. Yesterday and today were lovely, blue skies for the main part and beautiful sunshine. Both days have been very productive.

A small issue; I felt my back tweak a little as I lifted the lawn mower out of the shed yesterday, (it’s an old raised chicken coup that’s about 18 inches off the ground – and it’s full of crap like most good sheds!) and painting the decking hasn’t helped it much.

I set out for a run around 3:30pm, I would love to have gone out and done 8 miles or so, but I’d left it too late, so needed to keep it to 5 miles maximum. Wifey and the boys were heading to the shops in the next village, so I changed my plans to turn left and run through and around our village as per the norm, and turned right instead.

Running up hills

After about half a mile heading down the gradual hill, I heard a car horn behind me, Wifey and the boys drove past waving frantically, I smiled and kept on. At just under a mile the bottom of the hill came to an end, and the beginning of the up hill part started, it was about 300 – 400 yards, quite steep (to me it seemed quite steep) and was good for getting the legs pumping. The hill eased off to flat again, I turned right to run along the loop road round the back of the village and up past the church and village school.

As I turned the bend at the church and headed toward the school I felt something tweak in my back. A slight discomfort that soon got worse. My posture changed to alleviate the pain, I felt like I was running with my arse sticking out. Wasn’t going to stop now though, I was only a couple of miles in.

I turned left at the end of the road and up towards the pub, I spotted Wifey and the boys driving my way, a quick waving exchange and they were gone again. I ploughed on, up to the pub and turned left at the mini roundabout heading back towards home. Downhill first, then a long incline that would test my legs.

Hills are good

I’d managed quite a good pace so far, I was running just over 8 minute miles, that could all change after the next mile and a half.

The run down hill was easy enough, I made sure to keep in the shade of the trees as much as I could. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to run in the sun but it can get a little unbearable, and the shaded cover is sometimes a welcome.

I reached the bottom of the hill, took one look ahead of me toward the top of the hill in front of me, took a couple of sips of water from my bottle and then got my head down and ran up the hill. It’s a little over 3 quarters of a mile from the bottom to home. I didn’t look up once, just kept going.

Once at the top I was out of breath but happy to have achieved it. My back was hurting a fair bit, but I was ok.

I completed a 4.35 mile run in just over 36 minutes. Not bad at all.

Here’s the hill climb!