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Argh. It was all going so well!

Sunday 17th March, my last long run of training complete! 25 steady miles bagged. Now, let the taper begin!

I treated myself to a deep tissue massage Wednesday night. On Thursday morning’s easy run I’m feeling good, listening to birds singing. I headed down to the wood trail towards the river, then out of nowhere, I’d slid on a gnarly and muddy tree root. A crunch. Ouch. I was on the floor.

You know when you do the quick check? Body scan…is everything ok?

I sat for a minute on a tree stump, then decided to be sensible. Steady run home. Race day soon. Trouble was, when started to move, it hurt  Really hurt. Limping home, uphill, I pondered.

After the longest mile walk ever, I was happy to be home, then alarmed to see a huge lump forming on my ankle! An hour or so passed and 2 ibuprofen and paracetamol later, I was in agony still and called a taxi to get checked out.

Turns out it’s a nasty sprain. Given crutches to support my walking and for the next few days rest (hate that word!), ice and elevate. No running.

24 hours later and it’s hit me. I’ve had a couple of weepy moments today  Sometimes no matter how well you prepare…Gutted.

Then I realised. Mental resilience isn’t just about what happens on your long runs. Mental resilience is now too.

Rest, recover, get stronger.

Watch this space. It’s time for a new plan.

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We might be crazy…

Running is a weird old thing. My family and non-running friends think I’m nuts half the time. Often ask me why I bother, why don’t I just enjoy chilled Sundays…sound familiar?

I set myself a challenge last year and with 3 other crazies, entered to run the four inns 65km race. as a team of 4. It’s an epic route, literally up hill and down dale, starting in Holmbridge and finishing in Buxton. The response from my sister is the best so far, “Really? Do you know how far that is?”. Sure. Its a half marathon with a half marathon on the end!
So why do we do it? The four inns is a massive challenge. I’ve never ran anything further than a marathon. Its gonna be tough. My feet undoubtedly will not be great by the end. Sure, its intimidating. Yes. There will be amazing runners competing, and not just my team mates. I’m pretty sure a few times I’ll convince myself I’m not good enough and daunted by what’s ahead.

BUT, I’m doing it! I want to run it. I want the challenge. This is going to be an amazing experience, a great race, a test of my physical ability and fun! I’m scared and excited, both emotions swirling like a washing machine. I’m really proud of myself for doing it.
So why share this with you? I guess the message is it doesn’t matter what your personal challenge is. If you’re running a 5k, your first trail race, a marathon or just running, were all part of this amazing community. Were in it together and achieving.
My best advice and thing I’ve learned is don’t be worried by ‘what if?’ What if I fail?…. It’s about giving it a go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. That’s the failure.
So grab those trainers. Embrace the hills, the mud, the pavement. Whatever your thing, just do it – sorry Nike 😉

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run-itude!

On Saturday I turned 50. Okay, a parkrun birthday and not actually 50, but still a great milestone. I celebrated with lovely running chums at Bakewell parkrun and it was fab.
Not so long ago, parkrun for me was a race, only to be done to smash it and get a PB or close to it. No wonder I found them tough going and didn’t really enjoy them. Somewhere along the line I had a word with myself.
Parkrun is about soooo much more. Sometimes I race hard. Others I rock up for a leisurely plod, catch up with friends and just enjoy it. Generally its lovely people, coffee and sometimes ace cake too.
This change in attitude and how I approach running is really important. Do what works for you. Running for most of us is what we do for fun. We challenge ourselves. We achieve great things and push our boundaries. What makes it amazing is when we find what works for us as individuals. That’s when the magic happens. Whatever your run distance, whether you run like phoebe or with the gazelle- like style of Mo Farrah, be bold, be brave, be you.

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reflecting, learning, achieving….

Out on my long run yesterday, I found myself reflecting. This time last year it looked like running distances over half marathons runs were no longer an option, but after a month or two of drastically reduced mileage, I was still in pain with my back, and miserable too. Sack this!

Yoga, strength work and really steady mileage and endurance build – either that or go mad! It paid off and in the end 2018 was actually pretty ace. I achieved 3rd place female at the LadyBower Trail Marathon in June, entering trail races ‘for fun’ and really enjoying them and challenging myself to events and runs outside my comfort zone. I ran some technical fell races, ran in wild terrain, and even requiring nav skills. Okay, I didn’t place in every race I entered, but that doesn’t matter. I learned loads, about myself and running. I can do it. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone – the hard part is being humble, having a go and having the courage to fail.

The best bit of all this? Well, I blooming loved every minute of it. I’m proud of what I did, chuffed I braved some challenging courses and with the results.

So what next? Well, in 2019 I’m going for it! I’ve entered the Four Inns race in April – my first ultra. Yikes, I’ve said it now, got to do it! So, With 3 others, the ‘Awesome Foursome’ (cracking team name) will tackle a 65km route from Holmbridge to Buxton. I’m excited, apprehensive, and a whole host of other emotions, but I am going to give it my very best and enjoy it. Lots of training ahead, and also lots of fun and immense experiences on the trails #noshortcuts #scottrunning #teamacceleratescott #scottsupertracrc

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Annual Review 2018 – by Dot Kesterton

Dot Kesterton is no stranger to BUZZ, with plenty of experience, teaching runners half her age how it’s done!

Running for #TeamAccelerate, as well as Sheffield’s Steel City Striders & her local ladies club ‘Smiley Paces’ – she competes within the V60 category (outdoing many in the V50 & V40) and runs like she means it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 – A mix of trail, fell, road and cross country running.

 

When planning the year ahead the key aspiration was to finish the year injury free and running stronger and faster than twelve months ago.

It’s now two years since surgery on torn meniscus reduced my training to little more than a regular walk. I did wonder if it was time to choose a new pursuit since running was proving painful and slow. With that in mind I determined to build on my strength and form and try to recover enough to achieve my goals for 2018.

Starting the year with a scenic half marathon in Grizedale Forest was the tonic I needed to raise my spirits and motivate me to improve. First V60 in 2:07 was an encouraging sign that my legs were recovering at last.

I focussed very much on trail and fell races during the first half of the year, generally having a good run and enjoying the challenge. Hawkshead Trail race in April with it’s infamous ‘Coffin Trail’, a long hard climb taking us to 1600’ elevation was particularly tough so first in age with 1:41 for 10.3 miles showed I was increasing strength and speed in line with my goals for the year.

A shift of focus in early August took me to the British Masters 10K road Championships at Trentham, Stoke.  The temperatures, close to 31C and elevation of 568’ made it a particularly difficult race. However the preparation in fell races through the first part of the year paid off well giving me first V65 and gold in 49:30 mins.

That set me up nicely for an unexpected opportunity just a week later.

A chance meeting with friends in July led me to taking up the place of an injured friend on the Sierre Zinal Mountain race in Switzerland in early August. I hadn’t trained for it so the idea was to treat it as a bonus event and enjoy the scenery. At 30K and 2500m of ascent it would be my toughest challenge since the Snowdon Half Marathon in 2015. It took 5hours and 3 minutes to complete and turned out to be the most thrilling mix of walking, climbing and running, all the while marvelling at the wonderful backdrop stretching away to the snow capped Matterhorn  in the distance. Although there was no age category women above 50 I note from the results that I was 15th V50 and 2ndV60.

With success in road running I decided to try a couple of Northern Masters events in September, winning gold in both the 10K at Spen, Cleckheaton in 46.17 and the 5K at Leeds in 22.46. These results gave me the qualifying times needed to apply to England Athletics for a place in the annual British and Irish Masters International Cross Country Championship in Swansea in November. To my astonishment I was selected and despite a dreadful cold, ran the 3.7 mile course with the England F65 team of Yuko Gordon, Penny Forse and Ros Tabor to win bronze in the individual race and a team gold medal. Gold medals in the South Yorkshire Cross Country leagues and Championship followed.

The year ended with two hard fought events. I had had to sit out the 2016 Percy Pud 10K, injured, so came back for an attempt at the title in 2018. An unusually warm and still December day gave me the conditions I needed to run a winning time of 45.51 with a 92.26% age grading. My last run of the year was at Bakewell Parkrun. Another mild and still day made the conditions perfect. I pushed myself to a 7.06 average pace to complete in 22.04, 94.71% age grading and category winner.

I started the year aiming for an improvement in strength, pace and position in the UK rankings and with lots of support from friends and family achieved more than I’d believed possible. I currently stand at 7th in age and sex in the national ladder positions.

 

2018 Stats:

run: 1199 miles

time: 227.5 hours

Number of runs: 253

Average weekly distance: 19m

Elevation gain: 126.112’.

Average runs per week: 4.

 

Acknowledgements:

Accelerate Sheffield, particularly Stuart Hale; Steel City Striders including Mick Wall and Richard Pegg for coaching and support.

Smiley Paces Running Club, for coffee cake, the odd run and much laughter.

England Athletics Masters Association EAMA for selecting me for Cross Country debut.

John Rothwell.

Malcolm Kesterton.

Parkrun UK for giving all the stats I need to stay focussed.

 

Dot Kesterton, FV65.

Sheffield.

January 2019.

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