Session 4. ‘Long’ run and Frostbite.

Last night Lionel and I exchanged messages about the Frostbite League Race At Nene Park, Peterborough. It was established that Lionel would drive, and when I pointed out to him that I needed to get a longer run in (ideally 15 miles) he suggested I run to his house (8 miles), run the Frostbite Race, and then run home from his. I didn’t realise he was joking: I ran to his house. He was pretty amused by this!

A few words about Lionel: he was the first person who I spoke with when I walked up the steps at the Paradise Centre to try a session with Ely Runners; the welcome helped! I also owe Lionel, as he helped me no end with my first marathon (Milton Keynes), and he ran the half and helped to pace me to the halfway mark (in the end, I had to get him to slow down and I went on to get a sub-4).

The run to Lionel’s house involved a running jacket (the one VLM gives you when they reject you); and a pack with water and a change of clothes as well as some food. It’s a good slog along a very busy road to get to Sutton.

The disused road on the outskirts of Sutton Village, and the sweating fella using it.

By the time I got there, I had got a bit of a sweat on. The VLM jacket is waterproof and not well ventilated, and I was not wearing a wicking layer underneath (just my club vest). Before we got in the car I drank squash, ate a banana and started to feel VERY cold. When we go to Nene Park, people seemed cold, but only a bit, I felt cold to the core, and I realised it was due to sweat remaining under my jacket combined with a cold wind in an exposed park. My legs were also stiffening up due to the efforts of the run to Sutton and probably hitting it a bit harder than usual at the Parkrun yesterday.

There was a lot of people at Nene Park and, once the club juniors had raced, it was time to go. The hill inside the woods was one of those bits in a race where you think your heart might burst, but I was determined to get up it and not walk. It was an undulating trail course and thoroughly pleasant. I got round the 5 miles in 37:29, and at a pace of 4:39KM, slower than the same race last year by just over a minute! Could this be due to the 8 mile run and the cold?

Ely Runners at the Bushfield Joggers Frostbite Race at Nene Park.

I accepted a lift home rather than running back from Lionel’s house!

Lessons learned: wear a wicking base layer; rethink the jacket I am using; accept that my shorter race times might suffer for a while!

More soon! Thank you for today, Lionel!

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