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I entered the race this year with a plan of running round with Zipvit Sports Brand Manager. However as the event drew closer is was apparent that due to illness he was no longer going to be able to take part. This was not a problem as I had done the training and if I’m honest was itching to have a go at seeing what I could do. The only spanner in the works was the fact that I’d have to start back in pen 3 which would mean that it would be a slow start.
Marathon day approached and conditions were ideal with only a slight breeze. I went straight to the front of pen 3 but this didn’t really help matters as I could see runners ahead of me who I’d finish at least more than half an hour ahead of.
After a frustrating first half of trying to pass the slower runners I could see the 3hr pacer ahead. However it was not until around mile 18 that I was able to get past the ‘wall’ of runners that had accumulated behind them!
Once past I was able to up my pace a run more freely.
Over the last 7km the following stats speak for themselves
I passed 348 runners
Only 1 passed me!
I finished with ‘a sprint’ and with a smile on my face.
It was the easiest marathon I’d run and the most enjoyable
With the disappointment of January’s cancelled Brass Monkey Half Marathon behind me, it was time to get the racing flats out for this flat fast course and another chance of securing a personal best over the 10k.
I had put in a good block of training together on the track and was mentally and physically ready. The challenge was to go sub 35 minutes.
As usual most runners tend to set off hard in the hope that they can hang on towards to end. Having trained even more closely with my heart rate I purposely held myself back over the first 2 miles and settled into my HR zone so I could hopefully finish strong towards the end.
Over the final 2 miles we were into a slight headwind. Luckily I was able to push on and pass others maintaining my pace and achieve my goal finishing in 34:57.
Curtis and I have been training hard and the results are really starting to show.
I have been extremely impressed by his mental toughness and attitude towards training as at times I have pushed him to the limit.
We have managed to strip some of the body fat off around the middle by initially working on his strength and endurance. He is now stronger, fitter and faster and feels in great shape.
With near perfect conditions and a flat course, everything was set for a fantastic race. I had managed to shed the last of my rowing weight and was ready for the off.
Approximately 4,000 runners raced through the flat streets of Peterborough, supported by thousands of spectators along the course cheering everyone on.
A new route was also introduced, giving people better spectator views as well as runners a chance to improve on their previous personal best times. Entries came in from all over the UK and overseas with runners coming from Italy, France, Sweden, America, Hong Kong and Kenya.
I was to run this race with my head, keeping an eye on my pace but more importantly on my heart rate. I started near the front and shot off jostling for a good position. After a couple of miles the field was nicely strung out and I was able to settle into my running. I was on track and actually holding myself back so as not to blow up later.
I kept my heart rate constant throughout and it wasn’t until the last 3 miles where it drifted up a couple of beats. By then I was ‘racing’ to the finish setting a new personal best of 1:17.54 and smashing 2 minutes of my Stafford half marathon time set way back in 2008!
My next goal is to break 1:17
After a period of 18 months away from running due to competing in the Welsh, English and British Indoor rowing championships, this Sunday see Owen James return to action in his first competitive half marathon.
Having shed a stone of the weight, muscle and power needed in the rowing, I am now beginning to feel like I can run again. The weight is very much needed on the rowing machine but has certainly slowed me down on the running front!
Its was extremely hard to put muscle weight on whilst doing 12 training sessions per week. I was forever eating and drinking high calorie shakes. I was becoming bored of eating as that was a major focus every day!
Since stopping the shakes and endless snack throughout the day, I am probably now consuming 2500kcal less per day. This has lead to a substantial weight loss already and I’m now ready to get back on track with the running.
I won’t run a personal best this weekend but will certainly be pushing myself to the limit to see where I’m at and then will look to bulid on that over the next 12 months.
I am currently continuing my professional development on a level 5 Sports and Remedial Massage Bridging Course at The Active School of Complementary Therapy Loughborough.
Areas revisited this weekend were:
STR (Soft Tissue Release)
MET (Muscle Energy Technique)
SCS (Strain and Counter Strain)
On the 5th July, having competed in and won the Hoar Cross 10k, I did my bit for the local charity (The Holly Prince Trust) by massaging finishers after the race!
I didn’t expect to win but just wanted to test myself and check on the progress of my Berlin marathon training!
I arrived early that morning and set up my gazebo and massage couch in the field. After a few early showers, the sun broke through and it turned out fine. As soon as I’d finished the race, I did a quick change and it wasn’t long before I was hard at it again this time rubbing legs! I did 12 massages in total and everyone was extremely grateful after a nice but hilly course. Many thanks to everyone who made a donation to the Holly Prince Trust.
Having completed 11 weeks of my Berlin marathon training, I decided to test my fitness and pace in the Hoar Cross 10k. I also decided that I was going to help others by offering my sports massage services to finishers after the race!
The field was 142 strong and I positioned myself at the front in order to get away quickly. After a few hundred metres I had developed a short lead but knew that there was a horrendous hill to climb after a mile. I kept my head down, shortened my stride and managed to stretch my lead without taking too much out of me. Once up the top, I was able to open up my stride and push on. After a steady welcome decent, the remainder of the course was pretty undulating with a nasty uphill finish. However with the 400m sign ahead I stormed to my first race victory but more importantly a good time considering the course profile and feedback that I was in excellent shape! Bring on Berlin!
Owen managed to secure another personal best performance of 6 mins 32.6 seconds for the 2000m at the British Indoor Rowing Championships at the NIA, Birmingham on Sunday 26th October.
This proved to be another exciting event in which you’re not only competing against yourself, but just over 100 others at any one time! There were nearly 2000 competitors taking part on the day with the first race starting at 9am and the last 5.30pm.
“Its the complete opposite from my last marathon challenge and is over before you know it. By the end you’re breathing so hard your lungs feel like they’re going to explode and because of its anaerobic nature, you feel sick from the build up of lactic acid!”
CONGRATULATIONS also goes to Stephen Murray who I managed to persuade and train up for his first time at the Championships. He clocked 7 mins 09.7 seconds smashing 9 seconds off his previous best and is continuing to make amazing progress with his fitness this year.
Stephen is keen to enter again next year and has already set himself a target, “I’m going to do it next year and try to get under 7 minutes.” he said.