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The finest faceplant into mud you'll see this year

I think I shall just start - and possibly finish - this brief Monday debrief by pointing your attention to this video - surely the finest finish in cross country history. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why XC should be an Olympic sport. Sure, there may be some other reasons, possibly even some serious ones. But this is the big one.

Incredible pic.twitter.com/jhb7elQqpn — Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavez) December 9, 2018
Marvellous, no?

In fact I have a nagging feeling that sliding on the knees before going face first into mud is some kind of metaphor for my running in the last week. Post-Valencia I had a real slog of a week. The following few days my legs seemed fine, then I made the serious error, running-wise, of spending an entire day sitting down. Barely took a step, just drove four hour round trip and spend the rest at a table. Cue hamstrings like concrete. I don't know if that's really all it took, but my legs have felt like lead weights ever since. Send your stretches/ pres…

Valencia Ciudad del Running

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As I sit and type, I can feel my vitamin D levels rising. A few days in sunny Valencia (300 days of sunshine a year, which makes me wonder why on earth I chose to live in a city that feels like it manages about 12 some years) and I might just make it through the winter.

Yesterday was the Valencia marathon and 10k - I did the latter, and enjoyed supporting others straight afterwards in the former. There were some brilliant performances - my particular kudos to Georgia for 37:14 (with a nine month old baby!) in the 10k, and to Nick Harris-Fry in the marathon, who put in a 15 minute-odd PB to finish in 2hrs 38min. Nick's amazing run of PBs at every single distance in the last few months is testament to the effect working with a coach can have.

My own 10k race was somewhat scuppered by spending the week in the run up breaking the world sneezing record. I've had nasty colds, but this one was definitely in the running for the all time top five. "Oh god" said my husband on T…

Getting buffed up

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Last week, we were making a video for the Running Channel on Christmas gifts for runners - coming soon to a certain youtube channel near you.. So if the sky is the limit, then there are GPS watches and other gear galore to splash the cash on. However,  if there's one handy gift that you could pick up for a couple of quid, it's a buff. Or a Buff. Buff is like sellotape or hoover, I think - a brand name that's turned generic. (Which always reminds me of the annual festival time email-from-lawyers we used to get at the Guardian chiding warning against using the tradename Portaloo as a generic rather than only to refer to the specific portable toilet made by Portakabin Limited..) 

Anyway, buff or Buff - they are brilliant. Plenty of us probably have a stash that were free too - races sometimes give them away in place of T-shirts or in a goody bag - but I do love my 'proper' original Buffs which tends to last a long longer, wear better (as in, not lose elasticity or di…

Friends make miles go by faster, even if the miles themselves are slower ...

I do a lot of running. I also do an awful lot of miles by myself. Mostly, it's a necessity of timetabling rather than a deliberate choice - fitting runs in around family life and school pick ups and weekend activities and the like. I hardly lack for potential running buddies, given so much of my life actually revolves around running: I'm co-captain of the Windmiler's ladies team, I coach track sessions, I volunteer at junior parkrun or the Hercules athletics sessions my kids have just joined, oh, and yes, I write about it.

View this post on Instagram Chasing Sophie round #Fulham10k today as the middle bit of my long run. Great way to break it up, flies by in company! and yes I was absolutely frozen at this point 🥶🥶🥶🥶 #runnersofinstagram #alwaysrunning #Repost @sophieraworth with @get_repost ・・・ 10k - brutal distance! Made it onto the “old persons” podium. The upside to ageing....😉#fulham10k @cityrunsldnA post shared by Kate Carter (@katehelencarter) on Nov 18, 2018 a…

Mud mud, inglorious mud

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I've been staring at a blank screen far too long this morning already - feeling distinctly under the weather and Monday-ish. I suppose not every weekend can be spent in New York, though the contrast between hanging out in Brooklyn and sloshing around a muddy field in Surrey does seem a little stark. Yes, it was a cross country race again. And yes, I am still terrible at them.

So this will be short and sweet and thrown right back over to you guys. Come share your weekend triumphs and woes below the line - and your plans for the rest of the year.

One of the things I love about December (sorry, but is quite close now) is the mini running traditions. I've got Valencia 10k to look forward to at the start of the month, the family Christmas day run, the Boxing Day club run ending in mince pies and mulled wine, the New Year's day parkrun double. 

Generally, if you profess to loving Christmas you end up fairly swiftly being berated for celebrating a holiday of consumerism. Well, r…

Marathon weekend in the Big Apple

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So there I was, last Wednesday lunchtime, contemplating a thrilling weekend tackling the laundry mountain and possibly even starting on the mess in the attic eaves. A few emails and about 12 hours later, I'm on a plane to New York. What a whirlwind!

Anyone who has asked me advice on the best headphones will know that I do tend to bang on about Jaybird ones, so my love for them definitely predates hanging out with them in New York, but I think we can safely say it's gone up a notch. Of course, around the big city marathons, a lot of brands will plan sort of satellite events and pop ups - you could quite easily do a marathon's worth of shakeout runs with all the different brands, crews and clubs the day before the race, and exhaust your poor legs checking them out. But fortunately for me, I got all the fun of marathon weekend without the actual having to run 26.2 miles bit.


Jaybird's pop up was in Brooklyn, and as well as numerous shake out runs, film screenings and a p…

Half the distance, half the glory?

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Yesterday the world half marathon record was broken in Valencia (in perfect sunny conditions - unlike the scenes at Venice marathon, where it looked for all the world like the course had accidentally gone down, rather than across, a canal ...) Yet who has read this morning about Abraham Kiptum's fantastic time? Aside from specialist running titles, I've yet to see something in print or online.

Why? Is it because he's Kenyan (I saw numerous "Who? Well I've never heard of him!" comments on Fast Running's post, as if that were somehow definitive proof that his record is dodgy). Or is it because it's a half marathon? It sounds ridiculous, but I do sometimes wonder if the word 'half' gives that particular distance a short shrift. What's a 'half' record, compared to a full? As Adharanand pointed out to me on Twitter this morning, the Great North Run has done a cunning thing indeed in omitting the word from its title - perhaps accounting…