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My favourite series of the year are back…..

Last night was the first of this years 3 Yateley 10k road races affectionately known as “The Yateleys”  or the year “The Yatleys” after a typo by the bib printing firm 🙂  These races are held on the first Wednesday of  June, July and August although this year on has moved slightly so check the website.  They attract 1000 runners which is awesome for a mid week race and once you read my blog you will probably understand why.

Sue and I arrived about 6pm for the 7:30 start, I collected my race number and went for a wander. Saw loads of friends from the awesome running club Sandhurst Joggers including Chris who was as always Car Park King and Royston the First Aid Fella also had a chat with my friend John and his son and Ian and James as well as lots of others. This race is the place where I have met the most running friends (aside from my own club of course) and I absolutely love the friendly family atmosphere even the cheesy compare works.  The fields were filling with runners sitting in the sun and children tearing around warming up like their life depended on it and Sue and I just chilled and chatted after a very busy few days.

Soon enough the race started and I got so many shout outs, I was wearing my club vest so that probably helped but I realised afterwards it never had my name on which makes me feel pretty popular this morning 🙂  The first couple miles were tough but I soon got into it and enjoyed it a lot from there on in, chatted to lots of people on my way and a couple families supporting too.  I was running 8:30 min miles so pretty slow for me but more importantly for the first time actually running my foot felt normal so al good.  As I reached the 9k mark I saw a marshal that I commented about on the last series, he is always at 2 points near the start and finish and alway uber happy and clappy and some cheesy “see you next month” type things, anyway this race I stopped to thank him properly and shake his hand, made him smile and made me feel good.

I ran into the school to the usual roaring crowd including lots of friends and through the finish to collect my medal. my awesome medal 🙂  my fave Yateley medal so far its absolutely gorgeous, whimsical and fun just like me haha.  Plus I WON A SPOT PRIZE 🙂  I thought it might be a new Ford Fiesta or something similar but I was equally delighted to pick up my gorgeous matching mug.  Top idea.

I also got water and sweets then saw my gorgeous Sue waiting for me. Gave her the sweets and said our goodbyes.   We had a photo to deliver in Camberley and then grabbed fish and chips because we had been working solid all day and no time for tea.

I know I am running like treacle right now but I am enjoying it so don’t care, I know I am too heavy right now and not enjoying that so do care 🙂 I am working on my diet but its been a tough couple weeks with family stuff so gave myself a break but I am determined to get back to where I was and this was a great start.

If I rated my races (I used to but got fed up) haha I would rate The Yateleys as a 10/10  100% top marks. The marshals are great, friendly and plentiful, 2 water stops plus a sponge stop or sponge bath time as I call it, The crowds and support along the route are amazing, I think for 25 years the locals have really gotten into there summer Wednesday runners and its lovely to see them all sat outside there houses, parents with a upper and kids in their pjs as well as the locals in the pubs who all come out to cheer or possibly taunt us with their beers. Great race village and perfect parking (probably down to Chris)

Thanks guys for another amazing race, cant wait for July.

Not many photos because to be quite honest we are so busy at work that we don’t have any editing time 🙂

I should also mention they do a kids fun run. 2k chip times (YES CHIP TIMED) and they too get an awesome medal 🙂

Here are a few photos from todays race and unless mentioned otherwise they are taken by the very talented Sue Porter Photography I hope you have enjoyed my race blog and please consider using Julian Porter Photography for any photography requirements or events you might have coming up.

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The Yateley’s race #2

Well I am only 6 days into my new “healthy Nutrition” diet and I am feeling a million dollars although to be fair we had a shoot onboard the beautiful Carnival ship the Aurora today and we were treated to lunch and OMG it was amazing and I think I ate a weeks calories but hey ho it was a great day and a wonderful lunch so no regrets.

Anyway tonight was my first race since getting back on track and I felt considerably better and its given my confidence a great boost,  Sue and I left home about 4:45 and headed to Yateley and after a couple of diversions and a couple of dick head drivers we arrived safe and sound about 5:45 and I headed in to collect my race number and tag.  we then spent an hour or so just chilling and drinking coffee and chatting to my ever growing circle of friends which is all part of what makes running so much fun.

As the race start time was nearing I headed to the start and Sue headed outside the school to catch me on the first hill,  I realised that Andy was probably not here tonight so I started next to my friend Chris who is a Sandhurst Jogger,  Chris ran 30 miles on the Enduro 24 hour on Sunday although to see him tonight you would not think so, The horn sounded and off we went,  In my head I was still in my “take it easy” mode and I realised I was quite a way back but it was ok and not too congested,  I ran out of the school and past Sue and up the first 3k of hills all of which are comfortable so I would call this a mildly hilly race.  I stayed with Chris chatting on and off and then he started to pull away but I was not phased……..well not yet 😉  My first 3 miles averaged at 7:04 min miles so I knew my time was considerably faster than last time, as it should have been to be fair ! and that gave me a bit of a boost so I decided to push on and caught up and overtook Chris, again no big deal given his epic weekend but I was feeling better,   The next mile was ok and then the last mile is uphill ish again and halfway up I heard someone behind me shout C’mon Jules,  looking sideways I was it was my friend John who honestly looked like he was on fire again John had run the amazing and very hilly Marathon du Mont Blank on the weekend so I was in awe of his run tonight along with Chris too.

At the top of the hill we turn left and head the last 400 yards into the school where I heard my good pal Sharon (sharky) shouting for me, and I really do mean shouting 🙂 Sharky is another Sandhurst Jogger, they really are a great bunch,  I powered on past Sue for a strong finish and it felt great again. over the line and I was handed my lovely medal and a drink as well as a bag of haribo and then I met with Sue and stretched.

Really enjoyed tonights race and again the medal is lovely,  its a 3 part medal and I will show the 3 together all going well after the last race in August.

As always a great race buzz, superb marshals and race support, nice race village albeit a little fragmented tonight because the field got trashed last month with the rain. I really cant wait until next month when hopefully I will be nearer my PB time again which is just over 42 minutes for Yateley.

It was great seeing all my buddies tonight, far too many to mention but really enjoyable. I really do feel that I have half a chance of a decent race again now and am looking forward to the next few races.

Top marks Sandhurst and all involved 🙂

Jules

Sports and running photography by Julian Porter_0007Sports and running photography by Julian Porter_0008Sports and running photography by Julian Porter_0009Sports and running photography by Julian Porter_0013Sports and running photography by Julian Porter_0014

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Yateley 10k road race, well recovery run……

Last night was the first of this years 3 yateley 10k road races and I was uber excited to have booked all 3 again, I did all 3 last year and I PB’d at all of them so have very fond memories of this undulating single lap course.

Sue and I arrived about 6pm after dropping off some photos to a client in Camberley and then had a quick sandwich before I headed in to pick up my number and chip and to say hello to a few of my lovely friends from the Sandhurst Joggers, Sharon, Claire and Chris all of whom I see often at races up this way and its always lovely.  After catching up and chatting our Son Andy arrived with his mate Damo, both Lordshill Road Runners so we all prepared for the start.

Just then the thunder started and we knew it was going to be a wet one 🙂    As I was waiting around I saw a familiar face, it was my friend Jonathan from the Kent Road Runner marathon on saturday and we chatted for a bit and then I saw another from saturday and then 2 more haha its was like a KRR reunion and then blow me if when I got in my starting position another volunteer from the KRR John was stood right in front of me so you can guess the topic of conversation 🙂

Having spoken to my Coach earlier whilst doing my strength One-2-One he advised me to take it easy tonight and just try out my legs, especially after my strength work too so I had planned to run at my marathon pace which is exactly what I did.  It was a wet miserable start and because of this Sue stood with me to take my hoodie at the last minute, yeah I know I am spoilt 🙂 but the downside is I never got any start photos haha.  The race went well and my legs felt good, I was a little tired towards the end but nothing I would not expect after bashing out a sub 3:30 marathon 4 days ago but as I approached mile 4 I gave is a go and managed to knock out a 6:50 min mile so I knew my legs were ok.  I then settled into a nice jog home at a super steady pace.

As I ran in I could not see Sue so I carried on through the finish tunnel to cheers from the Sandhurst guys and gals 🙂  I ran through and collected my uber cool medal and drink and a bag of haribo for my missing Sue 🙂

It turns out that Sue saw Andy come in about 30 seconds before me and panicked because she assumed she had missed me and ran to look, as it happens I was just happily jogging in 30 seconds behind him so no finishing photos either haha

The medal from this year is again lovely and it looks like it part of a puzzle that once we have all 3 will link together,  how exciting 🙂  The next race is on the first wednesday in July and I hope I am racing by then and on for a PB again but I just love this race so who cares really.

The race as ever was very well organised and a beautiful route with tons of support from the locals even in the crappy weather.

Course 10/10  I love this course and it just gets better each time.

Facilities 8/10  The race village is good although a little sparse this year, toilets were clean but busy although we arrive early so I don’t care about that, great commentary from the host radio

Parking 10/10 Despite the field being closed there was plenty of space and very friendly marshals (I have to say that or Chris would kill me)

Support 10/10 honestly it was awesome marshals were fab as were the locals despite the weather

Swag bag 5/10  Bottle of water and a couple bags of haribo, no chocolate this year poor show……..hahaha

Medal. 10/10 Beautiful bespoke medal as always I cant wait for the next 2 🙂

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Yateley 10k 3rd race and new PB

Last night was the last of the Yateley 10k series for 2013 and it was the perfect night for a race.  Sue and I arrived good and early and after our high protein picnic I wandered in to collect my race number and chip and to chat to a few Sandhurst joggers.  We then had a coffee and went for our pre-race walk and chat which as always helped to calm my race nerves although I must confess that I felt more nervous here than ever before at a race I think because the last one went so well that I had something pretty amazing to match or even hopefully beat.  After a walk and another coffee I headed out onto the fields and went for my usual 1.5 mile warm up run but this time after taking advice from my RunCamp coach Anthony I did it a little slower, in fact I ran it at an average 8.23 min miles and then did a few leg swing exercises to looses and warm up my hip flexors and pelvis before heading over to the starting coral.

As always I headed to the front few rows, I run a pretty fast race so its good to get towards the front, I have never to my knowledge slowed anyone down (famous last words) so its the right place for me, in fact very few people overtake me until a few minutes into the race so its all good :-).  After the pre race briefing the gun fired and we were away !  the pace was good and fast and I quietly doubted my ability to keep it up, I honestly much prefer running in the morning but he ho,  I soon got into the rhythm and as I passed the 1K and the 2K mark I noticed I was still running well under 7 min mile pace so all good,  this continued up and down the hills right through the race until at the 7K mark I noticed that I had slowed very slightly because of mental fatigue so I remembered everything that I had been taught by the amazing runners I know, Andy, Jim, my run leaders Kev and Stu and well as Anthony and so many more and I managed to pick up my pace but to be honest the thing that drove me on last night was the last thing that Sue said to me,  “jules if you want a PB power up those hills then when you reach the top power down again”  she does make me chuckle and she is the best coach anyone could ever ask for, I am so blessed to have her in my life and so thankful for her support when running.

Soon enough I reached the 9k mark and the dreaded “waitrose hill”  although after 3 races I have still not seen a waitrose haha!  Its funny but when I am racing I only think about running and my form and my min miles and I don’t take any notice of where I am running, this keeps my mind active and focused on the job in hand,  When I upload my miles to “FETCH” it asks me to write 3 things I saw when running, I honestly struggle to find 3 interesting things 🙂   anyway up the hill I went and then the easy 500M home, fast and furious downhill into the school and through the finish, as I ran the last straight I could see the clock was 42:20 so knew I was onto a winner but I was delighted to cross the line with another amazing PB of 42:26 a full 59 seconds faster than my previous best 10k which in fact was here 1 month ago.

Just like the last 3 races this was very well organised, the Sandhurst Joggers are a very friendly bunch and the marshals are probably the best and most encouraging  I have experienced apart from my home team of course 🙂  I loved every minute of last night and as I crossed the line I was given my lovely medal and a couple of chocolate bars and a bottle of water and I sat down and waited for the lovely Sue to come find me 🙂

I then went for a short cool down run and then some gentle stretching which did the job nicely because last night and this morning I feel great and could run again, in fact I am in a few hours with the hiller’s.

I will definitely be back for 2014 and who knows maybe I will be running sub 40 by then, I sincerely hope so.

Here are the results for the last 2 races in this series.

Race 1. I finished the race in 46:25 and 226 out of 900 ish runners.

Race 2. I finished the race in 43:25 and 148 out of 820 ish runners.

LAST NIGHT I finished the race in 42:26 and 125 out of about 1000 runners.

I am delighted with these results and especially this race, I ran an average of  6:45 min miles which is brilliant and I hope to get sub 42 within my next few races,  This Sunday I have a trail half marathon and then the week after a 10K at Clapham Common which I am looking forward to although its my birthday weekend so depending on alcohol drank it might not be a super fast race 🙂

I am pretty sure that my speed is down to my training both with the hiller’s and Runcamp and I cant recommend either strongly enough. And of course as my good pal Andy says, “train hard and race easy”  this has become my mantra and its paying off big style.

Check out RunCamp

Check out the hiller’s  without a doubt the best local running club

Check out the race stats from my Polar watch

Lastly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped organise these races, those who cheered me on and those new friends I have made at Yateley but mostly to my best friend my soul mate my amazing wife Sue for your constant love and encouragement “stride”

A few photos from today thanks to the lovely Sue.

New summer training “attitude”

One thing I have learned since I started running back on March 23rd this year is that like most things in life its all about the preparation and to be honest being a wedding photographer that should not surprise me but it did,  When I ran that first Parkrun I was already very fit thanks to my daily Gym sessions and walking about 5 miles everyday so I knew my legs and cardio were ok but again I was surprised what little I knew about running both mechanically and probably as important mentally which is where my next move paid off.  After meeting Trevor Ellery to sponsor him for the VLM I started to follow his progress on facebook and thats where I saw the Lordshill Road Runners and decided to look into it and join which turned out to be the best £25 I have ever spent on anything (wedding ring aside if your reading Sue)  🙂

I went along for my first training and loved it,  they offer training on Monday and Wednesday nights at the Common in Southampton and Social runs on a thursday as well as a whole host of special runs like the RR10 series and the Miles of Miles series to name a couple and I carried on through the training days working in group C which is middle of the road and then running between 6 and 10 miles on social days which are longer slower paced runs although they offer a shorter slower option if you prefer which is great for me also if I am injured or recovering.  after a few weeks my running got better and I managed to shift all my injuries thanks for good advice and leadership from the amazing run leaders at LRR (Lordshill Road Runners) although my biggest thanks should be to Tamsyn for introducing me to the “foam Roller” although to be fair I wanted to punch her for the first 2 weeks 🙂  After a Monday night run Stuart one of our run leaders mentioned that I should try a faster group so I decided to move up, anyway long story short I moved up 2 groups to group F yeah I know its 3 letters but ignore that part 🙂  anyway Group F is the top but 1 group and I ran with them for a couple weeks and although I was at the back I did keep up,  then one night after an accident on the M3 they combined F and G and off we went,  OMG I hated it and spat my dummy out of my pram!!!!  so unlike me I know 🙂  anyway I had a good talk to Jim another run leader and all round inspiration about it and afterwards I came to the conclusion that it was my fault for my “training attitude”  so I spoke to a few people and one of them Andy Griggs another very fast runner told this one sentence which has changed my whole attitude towards running,  he said Jules do what I do “train hard – race easy”  and at first I thought he was joking about the fact that I wanted easier training but as I understood it more it all made perfect sense, the harder I trained the easier my races would be…..simples 🙂

So that was it. My next Monday back in group F I decided to give it my all and it was fab, I have only been twice since but both times have been 100% better and I am learning all the time, This week especially learning to push myself and not to straggle at the back just to “get the route done” its about much more than that, its about giving it your all so that during race days I can run faster and longer.  We do a lot of interval training which is typically push really hard uphills then recover at a slower pace on the downhill sections which to me sounded all wrong,  surely I should relax running up and go like the wind downhill but clearly not the way to build stamina and endurance is to run like the wind uphill and then slightly slower down to recover and this definitely is a great way to run faster and longer,  we also do all sorts of other training its not just hills, just feels like it 🙂

I dont think its any coincidence that since my new attitude has appeared I have gotten 3 PB’s (personal bests) in 3 races which I am delighted with, there is no doubt that I am getting faster my last 10k I ran in a fraction under 7 minute miles which was a dream a few weeks ago no hopefully I can keep clawing a few seconds/minutes off of each race to find my natural running pace for a 10k then start all over again with my longer races 🙂

I get an amazing amount of confidence and encouragement from the other LRR members too, I first thought that the faster runners would be this little “elite” part of the club playing in their own corner 🙂  but they are NOT they are all so freindly and helpful and like Andy Griggs always happy to offer words of advice which is fab.  At my last race the Yateley 10K I checked in to facebook saying I was about to race,  Jim simply replied  “smash it Jules”  and that stayed with me the whole race, I am definitely the kind of person who responds to encouragement rather than the “move your ass porter” lol.

So what next.

Well I will of course be continuing with LRR training and I know that is making a huge difference already. Group F is run by 2 run leaders Stuart and Kevin both amazing runners so I get a lot of great advice and more importantly encouragement from them.  I am also starting a thing called RunCamp in a couple of weeks and once I start I will give you more feedback but in simple terms it teaches you how to run faster and safer so I am very excited about that, most of the LRR leaders have experienced RunCamp and its meant to compliment what I do now not replace or conflict with it. RunCamp are running an amazing offer of a free trial so check out the link below to another blog post I did about that.

Sue and I have also started Pilates for runners which was organised by LRR and although we have only had 1 session it does look promising and after Tuesdays session we were both really tired which felt odd because I never thought we did a lot, hopefully this too will help my core strength and stability.

I am struggling to keep focused with my Gym at the moment so have decided to introduce an early morning run which I will start tomorrow, its the Parkrun Anniversary special tomorrow so I cant run because I promised to photograph the celebrations but I plan to get up early and go for a few miles first, I will probably run to the Common and around the common and back and see how that goes both millage wise and mentally 🙂  I think if I go good and early I will beat the traffic and the heat so win win. Keep posted to see how that plan goes but it might be a way for me to introduce a slightly better morning workout a couple days a week which will then keep me focused on Gym days.

I will also try to run a few more parkruns and aim for that sub 20 before the year is out, Tomorrow will be my last visit for July because of work but after that I should be running  a few more which again by the time I have run there and back makes a great workout of around 7 or 8 miles depending on my route.

Well thats about it for now, I hope you might have picked up a few ideas and if you are new to running please check out the LRR website and facebook page and come along to a session on a monday for free to try it out,  just check out the website and contact Lynda Cox we really are a super friendly club and our grouping goes from A through G starting off with the newer runners always working at your pace so you will NEVER EVER get left behind of feel like your slowing the group and soon you will be running in the faster groups like me 🙂

Hope to see you there !

Jules

Lordshill Road Runners Website

Lordshill Road Runners Facebook

RunCamp info here