Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Big Day

Today we run and we live the Intersport Run Reigate on Vicky´s Brooks Transcend. Our ambassador in the race Vicky Maher, who is recovering an injury, tell us kilometre by kilometre her experiences in her 10K. Thank you Vicky for your collaboration in this month. We are really proud of your job as our ambassador and we have enjoyed a lot with your stories!

"I was nervous. My physio signed me off Thursday as better which was encouraging but I have to keep up the exercises. The weather turned colder this week and I started sniffling. I knew I couldn't afford a cold and dosed myself daily with vitamins to try and get to Sunday. Saturday night wasn't a great nights sleep due to some unkind soul playing music till 2:30 am but I got enough to be raring to go this morning and abandoned my ideas of healthy porridge for a bacon and fried egg sandwich. Two cups of tea and I was set. I walked up to the park passing all the people setting up cones and deploying marshalls and arrived in the park just in time for the announcement that the holding pens were open. The weather was overcast and far cooler than my run of 2 years prior, perfect running conditions!

I am not sure what happened to the warm up but we were ushered past the stage where I caught a glimpse of the lovely Dame Kelly Holmes before waiting for the off. And off we went. I am not good at being slowed during the start of runs and like to find my pace quickly but I jogged along with everyone else until things thinned out. I quickly spotted some friendly faces marshalling and watching on the hill and remembered why I love Intersport Run Reigate, the atmosphere is fabulous! 1km in already and I my garmin recorded 6:04 Not a great start as I like to go off well under 6 min but hardly surprising given the crowd and the hill!

Vicky Maher takes a selfie after running her 10K.

2nd km, now this is more like it, a lovely long downhill stretch. My Garmin buzzed to record at 5:03, much more like it! 3rd km and more friendly faces, still a lovely gentle downhill slope and 5:32. Beginning to feel the push now though, have I gone off to fast? Can I keep this up? Don't forget that hill at the end!  Ooh mummy's house and there she is, quick wave and shout feeling very red in the face and we turn the bottom of the course and start heading back up the A217.

The 4km mark passes in a blur, I don't notice the Garmim buzz because I have water, then my house with my family taking pics and then the lovely St Catherines Hospice people handing out sweets... Mmmm jelly heart! That's enough to have me very happy turning onto the country roads at the 5km mark for the most enjoyable stretch of the race. Trying at this point not to do mental calculations about how much time O can afford to lose on THAT hill. (Losing time will be inevitable!) I love running where it's green and having closed roads means I can enjoy it safely. I'm in my stride now, my legs are doing their own thing and all I have to do it keep my head and my rhythm and hit 6km (5:53) and 7km (5:58). Shoutout here to Reigate Grammar who were on water stations. I had the pleasure of joining them in year one and we had a blast. Their encouragement again this year was epic.

Vicky during the Intersport Run Reigate (Sussex Sport Photography).

Oh no the hill is coming but it's okay, more friends! Simply Sports running club leader Steve (dad to gorgeous boys in my girls school years) runs out to give me a hug and then friends on Park Lane to take my mind off what's coming, I am at 8km and my watch is reading 47 minutes.... I actually do a double take, I could conceivably get a good time if only I don't lose too much time. I am proud of myself, I have run the whole way to this point and I have achieved my goals of enjoying myself and of thanking every Marshall who claps or shouts encouragement to the runners.

I start the hill and am determined to "just keep swimming" which goes well until I hit the very steepest part. I did slow to a brief walk as did everyone around me but there was no stopping me now. I thanked a lady who told her friend "that's the worst bit over" as she passed me and she gave me a big grin. I put everything I had into the run down toward the park at which point Dame Kelly Holmes who I am since told started AFTER the 1/2 marathoners over took us all and ran into the park.
Vicky with the Simply Sports team.

I pushed as hard as I could to the cheering of the Priory Park crowds, with no hope of spotting anyone I may know amongst them, aware that this could be make or break for a time I could be proud of and came across the line at an astounding 59:43.

Chuffed to pieces as my Garmin reported my sub an hour target pre injury had been achieved. My Results Base time then arrived very quickly via text to confirm what I could hardly believe.

I met up with my family and went to see the Simply Sports and Brooks folks and had a pic taken with the Simply Sports team.

Could not be happier. If it hadn't been for Simply Sports I may never have run today as I was feeling damaged and incapable of doing the run justice so thank you so much guys. You gave me a reason to run and now I wouldn't have missed it for the world".

(by Vicky Maher)

Monday, 11 September 2017

Training through the pain

In the text below our ambassador in the Intersport Run Reigate Vicky Maher tell us about her training programme to be ready for the 10K Run Reigate next Sunday. Many runners will be identify with her words because she is recovering from an injury which have not allowed her to train normally. Runners, does this sound familiar? Enjoy with her experience and tips. Just 5 days for the race!!!

"So if you read my last blog you know I am running the Intersport Run Reigate 10k this year. Having marshalled the course last year I got a free place (yey!) and I thought about running the half again but the training is HARD and I've actually never run an official 10k so I signed up for that. I run parkrun every week and my pb is 28:10 so I wanted to get under an hour. Great target and totally achievable, right? But my body had other plans. After running Reigate YMCA fun run in the spring my back started giving me pain until it got to a point where I could hardly move. I eventually went to see a physio (the lovely Wako at Reigate Park View Clinic) and my biggest fear was allayed. It wasn't caused by running. Hurray! No it was caused by much simpler things to give up... sitting at a desk for work all day, housework and gardening! So I was told I had a bulging disc and have been having regular physio and doing exercises to try and get the disc back where it should be.

All this means my running got abandoned for a while but, with my Physio's blessing, I am able to Intersport Run Reigate. I know I won't be aiming sub 60 anymore; but just getting round while I am not yet fully healed will be an achievement.

I was hoping to run the Reigate Athletics Summer 10k as part of my training but I was barely back running at that point so instead I joined the Intersport Run Reigate Team of volunteers. Getting to hand out medals was AWESOME plus I got one of this years very cool t-shirts to spur me on! 

Vicky (second right) with Run Reigate helpers in Priory Park.

My training programme has also been very cut short as until 6 weeks before the big race I had only just got back to parkrun and my back was getting sore by the end so my Physio gave me strengthening exercises including the dreaded plank. 😣 These are apparently helping my core... all I know is by 4 weeks before the race I can manage 8km pain free. But getting out to run when you hurt before you start? That's hard. And I seem to have developed a mental attitude that I can't do it....at least for the first half of my runs. I hit half way and I'm fine but for some reason I am being far more negative than usual so I need to work on turning that around. 

Vicky collecting her Brooks Transcend with Olivia and Adrian.

Three weeks to go I ran Reigate Priory parkrun this week. It's not my usual parkrun and I find it harder than Tilgate (my home run for the last four years) but as my best running buddy Laura has achilles tendon issues and my mum (who started running last year!) has plantar fascitiis, I decided to stay local.  So I got in at 32:25. Not bad but just not enjoying running. Later in the week I got out for a reasonable 8k. My time was only 4 minutes over my ymca fun run time from pre-back issues so that's positive.

Two weeks to go and I opted a solo Reigate parkrun again. ... why is it some weeks are hard and other are easy? This week I felt good, strong and enjoyed running for the first time in two weeks. Result? I equaled my course pb of 30:42. So chuffed. Typically it didn't last though 8.7km in the week took 61 minutes which I am not thrilled with but still determined just to enjoy it on the day. Highlight of the week was my trip to Simply Sports. Race pack collected, beautiful new Brooks Transcend collected, sport bra on order (both courtesy of Simply Sports for being their Intersport Run Reigate ambassador this year) and bought a new running vest too. I feel all set now and can't wait to try out my shoes on Saturdays parkrun :-)

Vicky and her running buddy Laura.
One week to go. Eeek!  Went back to my "homerun" of Tilgate parkrun today (last Saturday). I started running there before Reigate parkrun was started and it's still my favourite course. I was overtaken by the 30 minute pacer before chevron hill (the big one to the uninitiated) which is never a good sign but got a finish time of 30:05. Biggest news today though is I put my socks on standing up and didn't fall over! Sounds daft doesn't it? But I haven't been able to do that for months!

Another big thank you to Simply Sports today too. My running buddy Laura went to see the helpful team there and chose some Saucony trail shoes which should help with her Achilles issues so she was back at parkrun with me today ;-) (Saturday).

So I will sign off my blog today (Saturday), planning some restful runs this week and nothing too long with lots of strengthening exercises!

I wish you all a brilliant Intersport Run Reigate. See you next Sunday!"

(by Vicki Maher)