2011 Charmouth Challenge

3 07 2011

So much for the forecast, it ended up as mid to high twenties and almost no breeze. Desperately hot for running up hills, much like last year.

Fun run kicked off at 2:30pm, with nearly two hundred runners, mostly kids and mostly doing it a lot faster than I could. That include some of the nine year-olds from my youngest son’s class!

Challenge started at about 3pm. Started near the back and at what I felt was a comfortable pace. First km is flat, second km is up Stonebarrow Lane. All tarmac, all uphill. Halfway up and my heart rate was already sky high. I guess it’s just natural that when you run with others you run faster, so even though I ended up walking some of it I still did the km in 8m 16s which is easily a minute quicker than training pace. Classic case of starting too fast? It’s hard to judge the best pace in this, whether to start fast or take it easy and save energy? Honestly, by the time you get to the next climb your knackered regardless of how much you think you have saved.

Next three km are a mix of gentle climb, flat and steep downhill. Some queueing to get over stiles gave me an enforced rest. Then the fun really starts, the climb up to Golden Cap. Very similar to last year. Tried to run it but the best pace that I could manage was only marginally quicker than those who were walking. So I joined them. Ran some of the less steep bits, walked the rest all the way up to the trig point. By the time I got to the start of the descent from Golden Cap my thighs felt like jelly!

After the descent the race joined the coast path at St Gabriels. At this point I was pretty much even with last year’s time, but I was running on empty. You can see from the splits below comparing last year and this that I lost all my time from kilometer 8 onwards. (Click on it for a clearer view). It’s not just the big climb back up Stonebarrow Hill, it’s the smaller hills in between that really sap you. Ideally when running I’m comfortable with a heart rate between 165 and 170, but my average for the race was something like 173bpm, and peaked a few times at about 180. On the way back from Golden Cap I thought it best to ease off a bit whenever it got over 175. This is undoubtedly where I lost the time, payback for starting too quick?

On one of these hills I passed a runner who was down, but waving everyone past saying she was ok. Heard later that she had tripped coming over one of the stiles and badly hurt her ankle. As this part of the course is inaccessable by road, I think they might have called out the air ambulance. Not sure.

Walked quite a bit on the last climb and struggled on the downhill finish as legs were really shot. Finished in 1 hr 31m 32s. Slower than last year, but probably better than expected so ok with that.

Fire brigade were on hand as usual to cool down the finishers.

 Took a long time to recover. Really, really exhausted and a quite wobbly. And I wasn’t the only one. Anne took the pic below of Gerry Bearpark and me trying to get ourselves back to normality. There were 248 finishers, I was officially 192nd.

Maybe next year will be cooler? Here’s hoping.



22 03 2011

Did my 10k loop round through the villages on tarmac this morning. Took almost exactly 60 minutes. Bit of a grind, hard work, but need to start building the miles back up. Have done this loop before but in the other direction. Doesn’t matter which way round I go, there always seems to be more uphill than down. Saw a fox.

Had intended to do this run last Thursday, but having got 2k down the road, I realised I’d left the doorkeys on the dustbin outside the front door! So had to go back and ended up running down to the beach and along the sand for a bit as it was low tide. Should be a pic of the beach below with Stonebarrow Hill in the background and Golden Cap in the distance.

So that run ended up at a fiddly 5 point something km.

Tried using some sorbothane insoles in my road running shoes recently. They seem to stop the knee pain, but the price is that the shoes need to be a size bigger to accomodate them. So that’s no good. Took them out today and shoes felt much more comfortable, but then knee started hurting again after 8km. Seems like I need a new pair (shoes not knees) with some really good arch support. Need to start saving.

Saturday Medium Run

13 02 2010

Nothing very exciting, just another one of those runs you do to keep the fitness up. Grey day, about five or six degrees, fairly brisk easterly wind so long sleeves and gloves today.

Did a loop of about 7km starting on Stonebarrow, along to Chardown, down the hill past the farm along the lane cutting back to St Gabriel’s, then back along the coast and up Stonebarrow again. 45m 16s which compare well with the 47m 50s I did on the same route a month ago. Probably less muddy this time as it’s been dry for a week and the mud has finally started to turn a bit more solid.

Three weeks to Southbourne 10k (and house move the following week). No idea on how I should adjust my runs to prepare for it, so I’ll just carry on as usual I guess. Make sure I just to a short run mid-week before the race. Really looking forward to it now.

On an ornithological note. Was amused to see a man in Stonebarrow car park hand-feeding a robin. The bird was stood on a tree branch, and he allowed the guy to slowly walk up and hold his hand right up to it so that the robin could peck seed out of his hand.