"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: March 2000

Saturday, 18 March 2000

Challenge 32 - Trimpell 20 - March 2014

On Sunday March 16th 2014 I ran the "Trimpell 20"  which is a 20 mile road race in Lancaster.

I was running this race as preparation for the Manchester Marathon in 3 weeks time. I thought it was an ideal opportunity to practise my pacing and fuelling strategy for the marathon under race day conditions  .

Although I have run 20 miles before on several occasions this was the first time I had run a 20 mile race so there was the positive element of being guaranteed a PB whatever happened on the day!

When I woke up on Sunday morning the sun was shining brightly, the sky was blue and the birds were singing - life felt good!

I even managed to eat my porridge and banana without too much resistance from my body!  

I dressed in three quarter pants and a T shirt although I actually flirted with the idea of a vest and shorts but decided perhaps not in March!  After previous bad decisions on what running attire to wear I decided to take a long sleeve running top and a vest "just in case!"

We left our home in Kendal at around 9:30am for the 30 mile journey to Salt Ayre Leisure Centre which is situated half way between Lancaster and Morecambe where the race HQ was situated.  Traffic flowed nicely and we got parked really easily in the leisure centre car park arriving at around 10am for the 11am race start.  

I was dismayed to discover that we had left all the good weather behind and in Lancaster it was extremely chilly, with big black clouds threatening and a strong breeze!  I was pleased I had my "just in case" top with me and swiftly changed in the car before going to collect my race number and timing chip. 

The organisation was superb and there were no queues whatsoever.  
After pinning my number on it was time to visit the facilities fully expecting the usual 30 minute plus queue.  However, I was pleasantly surprised and with just 2 other ladies in front of me I was soon relieved and ready to go!

As everything had gone so smoothly we ended up being organised earlier than expected but I bumped into Rob, a running coach and had a good chat and received some last minute race strategy tips mainly DON'T GO OFF TOO FAST!  The goal was to keep to a 9:05 pace and then speed it up for the latter part of the race if possible.

We headed to the start line which was situated on the race track.  As this was a chipped event and in line with my "take it easy" strategy I positioned myself at the back of the pack not wanting to be ploughed down by the keen over enthusiastic much faster runners!  

Being at the back I struggled to hear the starting instructions but the race was soon underway starting with half a lap of the track before we headed off out onto the traffic free cycle paths of Lancaster.  

I was happy casually jogging behind the crowds and smiled to myself about how relaxed I felt going so slowly at the back when usually I am keen and anxious to be off at a pace in the middle of the pack!  

There was no possibility of running the first mile too fast as it got fairly congested in places with me going no faster than a shuffle at times.  When I heard my Garmin bleep to signify the first mile I anxiously glanced at it to see my current pace and was pleased to see I had kept to the plan and had run at an average 9:08 minute mile pace.

By now the field had spread out and I found it difficult not to speed up.  I kept reminding myself I still had a long way to go!

I was pleased I had changed into a long sleeve top as it was extremely chilly and it had even started to drizzle. The second mile soon passed and I had indeed increased my pace to 8:50 minute mile. I reminded myself of the strategy I was following and tried to rein myself in!  

The first 6 miles of the race I had run before whilst running Lancaster Half Marathon and were all on the cycle track, over the Millenium Bridge and along the quayside and although traffic free certainly weren't bike or pedestrian free which was a bit of a problem at times! 

My pace was staying fairly consistent with miles 3 @ 9:02, then mile 4 @ 9:03, mile 5 @ 9:10 and mile 6 @ 9:01.

I felt comfortable running and stopped obsessing about my Garmin at this point! 

There was plenty of water stations en route although I wasn't impressed with the little plastic cups it was served in and I remembered my fuelling stratergy of taking a gel at 5, 10 and 15 miles.

I actually stopped to down my water rather than try to juggle with hitting my mouth whilst still running and only get 50% in the end!

I had time goals in my head for hitting 5 miles at around 45 minutes, 10 miles at around an hour and a half and 15 miles at around 2 hours 15 minutes and knew if I was on target at these points I was going OK! 

I was delighted to hit the 5 mile mark at 45 minutes 12 seconds! The 10 mile mark at 1:30:59 and 15 miles at a little behind goal at 2:17:45

This race was basically an out and back route with a couple of loops thrown in for excitement! I am not usually a big fan of the "out and back" race and at the 10 mile mark I realised why! 

I had the super fast elite runners hurtling back towards me on what was probably there 16th or so mile and I still had 10 to go! They make it look oh so easy!

This part of the route felt endless and I thought I was never going to reach the turnback loop where we ran directly back to the finish!

By mile 14 or so the breeze had picked up and it had turned into quite a strong headwind pushing us back but my confidence was still fairly high as I was starting to pass all the runners who had set off too fast as well as being in the positive position of being homeward bound whilst passing runners who were still on the outward journey! 

By mile 17 I could feel my pace slowing but was determined to not to let it beat me!  I kept my eye on runners up ahead and focused on catching them! 

By mile 18 I was starting to feel really cold and tried a final kick to get back quicker!  The worst part was entering the race track and realising I had to get all the way around it to the finishing point!

I was elated to go through the finish, stop my Garmin and see 3:05!

Not quite the sub 3 hour I had been hoping for but not a bad effort all the same!

On crossing the finish line I was given a goody bag with basically a twirl in and promotional leaflets, a medal, a T shirt and a ham sandwich!  I was very disappointed with the medal and T Shirt. The medal was identical to the one I go for the Lancaster Half Marathon in November and had no date or race length inscribed! 

The T shirt was a cheap cotton variety rather than a technical running type. Considering it wasn't a cheap race to enter I think they could have stretched to bottled water, a better medal and a tech t shirt!

However it was a very flat if slightly boring course and my official time came through at 3:04:59 which is an average 9:16 minute mile pace and will give me a 4:04 marathon if I can sustain it for the remaining 6 miles! I was 353rd out of 496 finishers.

All in all not a bad race for a Marathon training run but I wouldn't do it as a main race for the fun of it!

You can view my run here.