CWG – First Day at the Athlete Village – “Everything is Awesome”

I’m sure for some of the more experienced athletes at the Glasgow Games their first day at the athlete village will be taken in their stride but for me it has been a bit special….

I deliberately got my run in early this morning before travelling up as I assumed the rest of my day would be taken up “settling in” and was glad I did. Although the flight was only around 40min, with all the traveling,queuing and accreditation bits in between it was almost 3pm before we got sorted in our rooms.

Ben and I with our coach driver for the day.
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Rather handily the 3 of us marathon runners (Nick Torry, Ben Moreau and myself) have been put in the “penthouse” bedroom at the top of one of houses which has room for 3. Slightly more room between the beds in this one!

My home for the next 2 weeks
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The athlete village is basically a “new build” housing estate which after the games will be turned into full residential properties so at first glance it looks like any other new housing estate…… until you see who is populating it. The England athletics team were one of the last to get into the village so it is already buzzing with athletes from all around the world all proudly walking the streets in their nations colours.
Due to the fact that Glasgow seems to be in the middle of a heatwave I decided to take full advantage of the situation by doing a bit of sunbathing on my new front lawn while “people watching”
imageChilling while taking it all in…. most enjoyable.

This evening Ben, Aly Dixon and myself went to the main food hall for our evening meal and as well as having some good non-carb food options which was cool, I was again just happy to sit there taking in my surroundings…. so many awesome athletes from all corners of the planet tucking into their evening meal together, such a great spectacle.

Ben munching on some carbs just to rub it in my face ;-)
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I think I can safely say that I am now excited, the Commonwealth Games just got very real and I’m loving every moment of it!

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Glasgow 2014 Training – Week 9 including “England Holding Camp”

Mon – AM 6.21 miles (6:03m/m) PM 6 miles (6:02m/m)
Tue – AM 6 miles (5:55m/m) PM 11 miles (5:44m/m) including track session
Wed – AM 6 miles (6:00m/m) PM 8 miles (6:08m/m)
Thu – AM 6 miles (5:57m/m) PM 10 miles (5:16m/m) including 10k track tempo
Fri – AM 6 miles (6:03m/m) PM 8.5 miles (5:54m/m)
Sat – 16.09 miles (5:53m/m) including Heaton parkrun (1st – 15:42)
Sun – 13 miles along Manchester canals with Ben Moreau (6:06m/m)

Total Mileage – 102.87 miles (5:54m/m)

Just 5 more runs totalling 28 miles to go and I’ll have achieved my main goal since getting selected for the Commonwealth Games….. make the start line in good shape with no injury or health concerns. It’s half the battle in this sport so I’ll be a happy man!

Having altered the plan for this week to accommodate the travel up to Manchester, both my shorter sessions on Tuesday and Thursday went well.
In order to closely replicate this same period before the London Marathon I ended up doing a 2 mile tempo/5x800m session on the track Tuesday. As per usual it was a windy night at Kings Park track and so I was pleased with the 4:53 pace for the “hard tempo” and then 2:15-2:16′s for the 800s. Jay-C led out the last 800 with a 66 first lap and by the time we hit the wind on the back straight of lap 2 I was in pieces holding on for dear life ;-) See above link for full splits.

On Wednesday I just did a couple of steady runs either side of the long train journey up to Manchester and then settled in to the Team England holding camp. I was one of the first athletes here and so got the full attention of all the EA staff which was nice.

For Thursdays track tempo session I was bused up to the Manchester Sports City track with some of the endurance team staff and was surprised to find I had the whole track to myself for the session!
Hot but calm conditions resulted in a tough last 5 laps but good pace for the 10km tempo with an overall time of 30:43.4 and 5km splits of 15:25/15:17. An unofficial 10km PB! See link above or below for full lap split details.

I still had a bit of the tempo in my legs on Saturday morning but wasn’t too concerned as the plan was to do a 16 mile steady run with the Heaton parkrun early on at MP effort. The course for the parkrun wasn’t ideal for a steady effort run with a downhill first mile and an uphill final mile but it was a cool course and I ended up with 15:42. I definitely put in more than marathon pace effort up the hill though! Straight after the parkrun I put in another steady 10 miles around the park as the weather took a real turn for the worse and I got a nice soaking.
Great morning though and nice to meet another friendly parkrun community.

Aly Dixon and I looking like drowned rats!
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One of my marathon team mates Ben Moreau joined the camp on Saturday and joined me as my roommate from now until we go up to the athlete village in Glasgow. We have met and chatted a few times before but we are quickly getting to know each other rather better based on the following sleeping arrangements….

NO GAP!!
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This mornings run was just a 13 mile run along the canal with a few of the guys and gals here with Ben and myself sticking together putting in a bit of marathon pace at the end. Glad we made it back in one piece as the canal path turned a bit “cross-country” at times and ended up being a bit slippy.

So I have now started my carb-depletion phase which will take me through to my morning run on Thursday, it will be a little tricker to manage than usual as I don’t have full control over my meals but the options here at the camp have been good enough that I think all will be okay…. bring on the eggs and meat!

One thing I have also managed to do while here is find out a bit more detail about the likely starting line-up for the big race. This is in no way an official start-list and the PB details are just what I have found on the internet but it gives me a reasonable ideal of where I stand in the field….. about halfway by all accounts. About what I expected and definitely gives some scope for “punching above my weight”

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I’ll be posting a few more blogs over the next week as I move up to the athlete village so watch this space for further updates…..it’s all getting a bit real now!

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Glasgow 2014 Training – Week 8 including New Forest 10

Mon – AM 6 miles (6:40m/m) PM 10 miles (6:26m/m)
Tue – AM 6 miles (5:55m/m) PM 12 miles (5:58m/m)
Wed – AM 6 miles (6:05m/m) PM 20 miles (5:25m/m) including marathon session
Thu – AM 6 miles (6:12m/m) PM 10 miles (6:24m/m)
Fri – AM 6 miles (6:04m/m) PM 8 miles (5:43m/m)
Sat – 6.12 miles including Poole parkrun (3rd – 17:08)
Sun – AM 20.22 including New Forest 10 (1st – 50:43) PM 6 miles (5:41m/m)

Total Mileage – 122.44 miles (5:54m/m)

Are we nearly there yet……I really do hope so!!

A little bit of a cutback on mileage compared to last week but good steady running all week leading to a “PB” average pace for the week of sub 6m/m.
Wednesdays session was meant to be 80min of effort in the form of 30min/4x5min/30min but with 10min to go in the final effort I decided to “cash in” as legs were getting very tight and fatigued and I thought I might be going in to a injury “risk zone”. Still happy with the overall effort though especially seeing as it was a little breezy around the lake that night. Had the help of mate Sharkey for some of the efforts as he popped in and out of my session and then finished off with a couple of steady miles with him to make 1hr 48min for the 20 miles including recovery jogs! See link above for full details of splits.
Had my final session with “leg saving” physio Tim Cruise-Drew on Thursday…. we had a man hug …… it was emotional – he told me not to be shit.
Plan was always to cut a little bit of mileage out as I approached todays race but kept the general pace nice and high including a great morning out at Poole parkrun Saturday morning.
Those of you that have been following the “Don’t be Shit” t-shirt story will know that the wonderful Denise from the parkrun community has taken full advantage of my 15min of fame and put it to some good use raising some serious cash for the Julia’s House local charity.
This culminated in quite a few people in DBS t-shirts and a novelty oversized cheque incident before we kicked off the parkrun….
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I took spaniel number 1 (Indiana) around the 5k after that although he was a bit hot after lap one around the lake so I dropped him off with his mum and practised today’s race pace with a 5min final mile and sprint finish (as much of a sprint finish that a 40yr old Ultra runner can muster that is ;-) )

So today was my last “training” race in prep for Glasgow and also my first as a Vet40 and I have to say the “New Forest 10″ was a lovely place to host it. It is classified as a “multi-terrain” race with a bit of grass/trail/gravel paths and good old tarmac. With minimal hills though and all of the terrain reasonably runnable it is still a pretty fast course and so I set myself a target of sub 51 which I would be happy with.
It was a solo run from the off and I immediately realised this was going to be another one of those knackered but “holding it together” runs although I got slightly concerned when mile 4 (with some serious headwind and a bit of uphill) came out as 5:15. Got back on pace though and it was nice to clock a couple of sub 5 miles late on with miles 7 and 10.

Official finish time was 50:43 for a new course record, previously held by legendary marathon runner Hugh Jones (2:09 1982 London winner) in 1996 when he was also a Vet40!
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Full Results HERE

Special thanks to mate Alastair and the rest of the New Forest Runners gang….great course, great marshals and all round quality day out with kids races, BBQ’s and various stands etc in the gorgeous “New Forest” surroundings, just don’t forget to dodge the ponies :-) Check out the website HERE

So the plan for next week has been “tweaked” a bit. Original plan was to do one big session on Wednesday again (4x5k) but as I will now be spending most of Wednesday on a train up to Manchester to join the Team England “prep camp” I have decided to do two smaller sessions on Tuesday and Thursday instead. This actually works out quite nicely as I’m going to closely replicate this same corresponding week in the build up to VLM14 (which went okay ;-) ) Will join my club mates at BAC on Tuesday for a 6x4min session and then on Thursday I will do a 10km tempo effort on the track.

…..right – better get back to the 2nd half of this World Cup final – any chance of a goal?

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