24 Sep 2013

729.92 - 748.08KM: The Art of 'Forrest Gumping' (Sandringham 10K & Hunstanton Beach Run 10K)

Yep I've done it again. Not content with running two races in a day once, or even twice this year, yesterday I decided to push myself close to burning out a week before the Nottingham Marathon by running two 10K races a matter of hours apart. That wasn't all though, as the weekend also featured lots and lots of cake as I held my second Bake Sale of the year as part of National Eczema Week.

First and foremost though the weekend started with a Bake Sale at ASDA Living in Lincoln as the culmination of my National Eczema Week celebrations. I had planned to publish either a new post or republish an existing post every day of the week, but after starting well I ultimately ran out of steam and time. I am close to finishing two of these posts, including one on the topic of my life as a Caregiver and how I basically don't have time to do anything (including finishing the post on the subject) and will share them both in due course this week.

Back to the subject of cake, it was the second Bake Sale I've hosted this year, and ever, after one back in May. This time round it was just Jenny and myself running, after our friend Hannah wasn't well enough to make the trip down, meaning that we both had a lot of baking to do. Much of our weekday evenings were spent baking things in preparation, on Friday we were both slaving away in the Kitchen until gone midnight and then up again at 7am icing the cakes. At 10:30, with our eyes barely propped open we were set up and ready to sell, and try not to eat, all the cake.

Tired, but ready for the cake frenzy
When I said that Jenny and myself baked all of the cakes that wasn't quite true, one of Jenny's colleagues donated some cupcakes and scones and after the initial rush had died down I rushed across to Bunty's Tea Rooms to pick up a massive Gluten Free Carrot Cake they donated. In total we raised a fantastic £136.79, once again well above our expectations, so if you bought a cake and are reading this 'Thank You'.

After getting home from the bake sale I had enough time to quickly wash up a small fraction of the mess we had made in the past couple of days before grabbing my running stuff and heading back home to Norfolk for this week's races. As of Friday morning I had no race lined up for the weekend, instead I left it until the last minute to make the decision, waiting to see which plans fell into place, having a backup plan of entering a race in Lincolnshire if I wasn't able to make it back to Norfolk. Thankfully my Dad responded to the bat-signal and picked me up on Saturday evening so I could run the localist of local races.

729.92 - 739.92KM: Sandringham 10K

Having secured transport back to Norfolk I signed up for the first race, the Sandringham 10K, in advance but in trying to register online for the second I found out that the online registration had closed and that the on the day registration would open at the same time the first race started. This then left me with a bit of a dilemma for a few hours as I wondered whether or not I would be able to sign up for both races. Though thankfully I managed to get in touch with the race organiser and after explaining the situation he said that even if there was only 5 minutes to spare I should be able to enter the race. Panic over.

Creatures in the Queen's Back Garden
With this worry over, I lined up at the start of the race relaxed and ready for a relatively comfortable 10K run. Having ran the race the year before I was mildly familiar with the route, so knew it would be two laps, but I had forgotten the finer details so it almost felt like a new race. The majority of the race took place through woodland, either on a concrete or dirt path, with a small uphill section on the road. Last year when I ran this race that uphill section stuck out as particularly tough, in hindsight this year it was a breeze and was barely an incline compared to some of my races this year.


Even when I'm taking it steady I still try and run 10Ks in around 45 minutes, so when I crossed the line 10 seconds over this I was happy enough. I pushed it a little harder than I should have done bearing in mind the second race barely an hour later on sand and this weekend's marathon, but I wasn't feeling too bad afterwards.

After crossing the line I waited a few minutes for my dad to finish before we then both jumped in the car and headed up to Hunstanton for my second race of the day, the Hunstanton Beach Run 10K. After Jenny suffered a suspected mini stroke last month it was a race I was desperate to do as it raised money for the Stroke Association.

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Distance: 10.00km | 6.2 miles
Time: 00:45:10
Official Time: N/A
Average Pace: 04:31 min/km | 07:16 min/mi
Playlist: N/A
Goody Bag: Bottle of Water & Banana

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739.92 - 748.08KM: Hunstanton Beach Run 10K


A wet start
When I got to the race and saw the start line pointing in the direction of the sea I began to regret not packing my armbands. Any fears I had about the course were soon allayed as I overheard someone who had run the race last year explain the route to another runner. It began with a sharp right turn towards Hunstanton's iconic Red & White cliffs for about half a kilometer before then turning round and heading towards Heacham. At the beginning of the year I never anticipated running a race in my hometown village, so I was glad to take this challenge as close to home as I possibly could. I've ran across the beach a few times before, admittedly not as often as I might of if I still lived there now, so it was a route I knew very well.


The tide had not long gone out by the time the race started so it was to be a very wet and messy race. Being my second race of the day and just under a week before the Nottingham Marathon I was not in the mood to run at any kind of reckless pace. At the same time I never feel comfortable taking it too steady in races, and found myself in the front three briefly without realising. There was two distinct routes to take, either round or over the groynes. I chose to vary my route opting to jump over the groynes when the sand on the outside of them was too soft and wet, or round them when the groynes were too high to vault. This led to some consistent zig-zagging between both options as I opted for the safest route.

As I reached the second turnaround point at Heacham I soon realised that the route seemed to be measuring a little short. When the finish line came into sight my watched had barely ticked over 5 miles, so I was expecting the marshals to tell us to continue on to the first turnaround point, instead they were waving us across to the finish. With an almost dead straight out and back course it would have been difficult to run a shorter route if I tried, let alone by accident, so I'm fairly certain that we were supposed to continue on to the cliffs again.

Very dirty
When I began planning the year out I worked out roughly which number of races (and distances) I would need to run to reach the 1000km target. I always expect there to be a little discrepancy between the advertised distance of the race and the distance measured on my watch, due to (not) taking the racing line, nipping across to the side of the road for a sneaky pee or simple old-fashioned inaccurate measuring. Yet numerous times this year there has been races where I've crossed the line short of the supposed distance, forcing me to coin the term 'Forrest Gumping', where I continue running once I've crossed the finish line to get my watch to measure the full distance, much to some people's bemusement.

Most of the time I've only needed to run an extra 100 of metres or so, but the second race on Sunday measured over a mile short, making it a slightly long 5 mile race, rather than a short 10K. As it was over a mile short, I opted against adding that distance on myself and just took the 5 miles as my total. Annoying, but it was a bonus run in sorts anyway, so it all adds up.

Finally, this week I began thinking about next year and what I'll be putting my body through. Common sense would probably say that I should put my feet up for a little bit as I'll have earned the rest, at the same time I vowed to keep running until Jenny was 'cured' and I have some plans fermenting in the back of my mind. All I can say is watch this space as common sense very rarely wins out with me.

As always, please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can and please share news of what I am doing with others.

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Distance: 8.16km | 5.07 miles
Time: 00:41:49
Official Time: 00:41:44
Average Pace: 05:07 min/km | 08:15 min/mi
Playlist: N/A
Goody Bag: Medal, Bottle of Water & McVitie's Medley Bar

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