Great weekend, rubbish week.

Not sure what this post is going to turn out to be, maybe a great read, maybe a rant or maybe just a general moan about life!

Lets start at the weekend just past, Saturday. Saturday was the 3rd birthday of Edinburgh parkrun and I had volunteered to be the 30min pacer. The first time I had paced officially at something like this so I was a little bit nervous, didn't want to go off to fast and lose people, first 1km in 4mins may have been a bit tough, but on the up side, just imagine how much recovery you could get!

Anyway, the plan was 6mins per km. First 2 and a half kilometres were fine, I sat at the pace without any problems with a number of people following me and sticking with me. The second half was back in to the wind, not a gale but enough that you could feel it on your face and this is when people started to fall away from me. I finished in 30:09, so was 9 seconds out but then realised that because the pacers didn't start on the start line and the parkruns arent chipped, I actually ran further than the 5km, not a massive amount but enough to put me 9 seconds over the pace.

A couple of people came over to me at the end and said that I sped up during the 4th kilometre, I checked my Garmin and I kept a very steady pace for the entire course, what had actually happened was the wind was causing them to tire and they simply got slower rather than me getting faster. I've seen this happen myself, I've been running with a group of people and I either keep my pace and suddenly move ahead of someone or the opposite, I slow down and they look like they are accelerating away from me. I was happy with the timing I managed.

The event was also the comeback race for my fiancee, she has been out of racing for quite a while now due to illness and this was her chance to see how her fitness has come along. Over the past 12 weeks she has been following the C25k program and has been doing fantastic. She has been amazing. Still struggling with tiredness she has been going out and running her little socks off. Due to her condition her resting heart rate has been as high as my racing heart rate at times, so you can imagine how difficult it has to be. She has had to OK from her specialist though to run.

She was aiming for sub 30 and within the first 1km of the parkrun she was ahead of me and looking really comfortable, long story short, she got it unofficially, but again, because she started further back from the official start line, she was 6 seconds over the 30minutes! I know she will get it next time, easily! So proud of her!

On Saturday afternoon we both drove up to Dundee. I was taking part in the East District Cross Country (XC) relays, racing in the 'A' Team for the Pitreavie AAC senior men. I have only ever raced with one of the other 3 guys for the team so was interested to see how the new team performed. Last year the team finished in 31st position, this year we finished 20th, which is fantastic. The team all ran brilliantly and I reckon we have more to give as well.

The course was in Camperdown park, 1 4km loop each, which had a mixture of ankle deep mud, forest tracks with tree roots sticking out, climbs and downhills as well as some grassy flats. Brilliant course and brilliant performance by the team! Looking forward to running with them at the next relays which will be in Cumbernauld.

Sunday I went out for a 10 mile run to try and get a longer run in and felt really good, headed down towards Crammond and took my camera with me. I find taking the camera forces me to make the run easier as I stop to take photos and just slow everything down a bit more than I normally would. I will see about creating a gallery on this site so I can share some of my photos with you - so you can at least virtually run beside me.

Monday. I had been put in contact with a student at Napier University who was looking of volunteers for his studies.

The study involves a Vo2 max test, which I did yesterday then two 10 km time-trials (completed on separate days). The time-trials are to take place in the morning (at 9am) and the evening (at 4pm), separated by a minimum of seven days. The aim of the study is to look at time-of-day differences in physiological markers (immune and hormonal responses).

The Vo2 test was really interesting, we started off with 3mins at an easy pace, then getting the pace up to 6min/mi pace for 3mins. The pace then doesn't increase but the incline on the treadmill does, starting at 2.5%, then 5% then 7%, I had to stop at the 7% incline, my legs were burning and I just couldn't go any further. Need to look at my results in more depth and try and understand them but I'm looking forward to the other tests to see how I fair. I hope to then taken the Vo2 test again to see if my training has made a noticeable improvement.

As for the rubbish week, and I do know its not really started yet! At my work we launched a new website late on Monday evening, everything seemed to go to plan until the public accessed it on Tuesday morning! Lets just say, 3 cups of coffee and lots of Soreen Malt Loaf couldn't get me through the day! The site was taken offline and I'm back to the development stage again. Stress levels were high and I'm now going to go and get rid of that stress by training with the track squad....bring it on!

I have been asked via my twitter account to post about my top 5 races or races that I haven't yet raced but would like to, I will look at posting something about this over the next day or two. If you have any other ideas for posts or questions about my training, leave a comment and I will see what I can do.


Owain Williams

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