Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
13-07-2017, 12:24 PM,
I have inadvertently found myself beguiled into doing runs for Lewes AC as part of the oddly named West Sussex Fun Run League. Misnamed since Lewes is of course in East Sussex (albeit most of the clubs are in the other half of the county), and because it's not necessarily just fun, since it gets taken quite seriously. Last night was the third WSFRL run I have done this season - having done one last year -  and the risk is a might end up doing maybe six or more over the year. 


The reason for my turning out is not to score points for the club by being among the top 10 runners (I've been solidly in the middle of the pack each time) but the single point you get for just turning up and running. Lewes sit at the top of the league, having won it last year, and with each race we are pulling away a few points at a time from Burgess Hill in second place.
Having done two quite demanding hill runs in the first two races - Trundle Hill 10k at Chichester in May, and the Roundhill Romp 8k at Steyning last week - the one in Littlehampton was a flat as a pancake route up and down the beach just after the tide had gone out. This meant firm wet sand, salty puddles, seaweed of minimal slippiness, some gravelly sections and a couple of groynes to navigate. A little warm up and stretch along the seafront promenade in thankfully cool conditions, in the hope that I would feel a little better than I had done at start of the Roundhill Romp (which began with no warm up at all).
The race started at a fast/comfortable pace, and I thought I’d try to tag along in wake of a fellow runner whose times I have tended to be c1min behind over this kind of distance. Plus there were another couple who I thought I could tag along with too. For first 2km and out onto the sand I was fine. But then felt myself slowing and feeling as if I was going backwards as people moved past me.
It’s an odd sensation, wanting to go faster but not finding any way of achieving it. I felt a bit tired, but not exhausted. It felt kind of a biomechanical failure of my legs to do anything in response to instructions from my brain. I resolved to stay steady to the turn (around 4km) and try to speed up on the way back.
Various Lewes AC runners started coming past me having already turned and they looked in various states of effort. Our very fastest runners – who would otherwise be amongst leading pack – were off competing in the Phoenix 10k on Hove seafront. But it was encouraging to see them.
On the turn I tried to kick into a new gear, and something clicked. Maybe it was the prospect of heading for home or the sense that it was now only less than 4k back so what did I have to lose. I started reeling in some of the runners who had passed me on the way out. I caught up with two fellow Lewes AC runners.
I leaped up to the two groynes, rather than climbing over. I happily splashed through puddles I’d tentatively avoided on the way out. And in the last section as I felt someone gaining on me, I speeded up further and kept up the pace. For the final 400k I put in maximum effort – since I like to finish as hard as I can - and came in around 45 seconds behind my original target man. I was again in the fifth decile - the same as the previous two runs, so in theory scoring 5 points should that have been needed. Overall, the club scored 122 points (our top 10 men and women garnered seven 10s and three 9s, plus the max 25 competitor points). And extended the lead over Burgess Hill who scored 119.
Looking at the timing afterwards there was a clear pattern of OK speed at the start, fading in middle and speeding up further in final third. This matched exactly how it felt in the run. And it’s not so far away from how other runs have felt – except that with hill climbs in the first half of previous runs, the slowing has probably been a little disguised.
And so I am left with a puzzle. What is it that is going on in this early-middle section? Is it psychological, eg fearing that I’ll give too much so I hold something back? Is it that it takes me 4k to warm up? Is it that I am genuinely not fit enough to sustain the faster pace over 8k?
Anyway, I was overall pleased at achieving this – since a year or two ago, going out an running anything like this would have been a peak achievement to prepare for and from which I would then take days/weeks to recover. It now feels like what it is - a mid-week outing amongst the various training runs and other longer races I have planned.
Speaking of which – any good half-marathons around in August/September?
14-07-2017, 07:11 AM, (This post was last modified: 14-07-2017, 07:11 AM by Charliecat5.)
RE: Clubbed
I was only thinking yesterday that we haven't had a good race report on here for ages.   And now we have a good race report.  Fine work... and I am absolutely sure that the mid-race fade is psychological.

I didn't notice a mid-run fade last night on our 7 miler.  Although I did notice a last beer fade on the 6th glass last night.  
There is more to be done
15-07-2017, 01:15 PM,
RE: Clubbed
Having not been in your running party, but managing to join your beer party, I can attest to the veracity of the latter, The beer-fade must have been run-related, for I barely broke sweat walking from the wife's car to the pub door yet managed to sink my quota of ale without pause.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Clubbed again OutAlongTheRiver 12 298 26-09-2017, 05:16 PM
Last Post: OutAlongTheRiver

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)