Mud mud, inglorious mud


   

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, running in December doesn't involve any extra spending (aside from the odd race fee) but has its own particular joy. So I'm not going to apologise for looking forward to it already. And I'll make any Grinches run extra cross country races, too. So there.


Comments

  1. A good run on Saturday with a friend was followed up by a hugely painful run on Sunday.

    I'd planned to do a long one running trails and fields ahead of a trail half next weekend. All was going swimmingly (literally due to the heavy rain) until I cried out in pain feeling like i'd just been stabbed in the foot or trod on a nail. It turned out to be a big and very sharp thorn that penetrated by innov8's and a my foot! Cue lots of blood and a painful hobble home for a mile and half...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bloody hell that must have been some thorn! Inov-8s are no pushovers ;)

      Delete
    2. Ouch!!! sounds nasty, what an unfortunate accident!!

      Delete
    3. Certainly was, reckon it was a 1/1000 chance, I thought my x-talons were impenetrable but apparently not! :(

      Delete
    4. Ouch. Although I have had to replace my x-talons when the sole starts to feel thin. This is something I don't usually notice in other shoes. Might be worth contacting Inov8 about - they probably don't often see their soles be compromised in this way.

      Delete
    5. thanks, may do as only worn about 5-6 times, <100 miles.

      Delete
  2. I'm half way through my end of season break so having done nothing more strenuous than cycle Junior Handsome to kita, I have little to add....well done everyone doing some running in between their cake and kebabs mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been putting my feet up as well... isn't it glorious? Instead of a long run yesterday I had a long nap :)

      Delete
    2. It is, at least initially...but having enjoyed the start I'm beginning to get twitchy on day eight in addition to already feeling like the size of a house.

      Delete
    3. Yeah! I know exactly what you're talking about. Every time I see someone running, I feel a little flash of envy.

      What's clear from my impromptu nap yesterday though is that I'm still not all rested up, so I think I really will take two full weeks off. But maybe with less oreos from now on...

      Delete
  3. I can't run cross country as I'm re-habbing my toe. Good. I've been mildly involved in these X-Country discussions over the past 2 years, around this time. I feel like I should represent the club (when fit) but I honestly cannot think of one thing that I would like about running through mud in the freezing cold. I wouldn't mind a trail run/race but not the mud fest competition in shorts and vest, that is X Country. I haven't tried it so I probably should, thankfully I'm spared that choice at this moment in time. Also, it's never anywhere nice (as far as I can make out) and you can't even listen to music.

    Had a fairly good 'long run' of 10 miles yesterday, managed to get a half decent pace going but I could feel blisters developing after 50 minutes or so because my feet have softened with the time off! Still waiting for the nice, comfortable run with flow to return...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 10 miles is a fantastic comeback kyd! Is the cat still in the doghouse (haha!)

      Delete
    2. Really pleased to see your comeback taking shape KYD.

      Delete
  4. A couple of race entrees this month actually, along with Manchester's entry last month has knocked me back about £150, so if we could delay Christmas by a month that would be great.
    Had a week off last week, and would usually have used it to run quite a bit but my leg is still playing up, so just a track session with the club midweek and a slow longrun Sunday.
    I must confess I don't share Kate's love for running during Christmas, dark nights and struggling to decide if it is really cold enough for tights or shorts are two of my least favorite things about running. Just the 20 weeks until the clocks go forward, can't come soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My practice at the moment is "assume the worst" of the conditions and go for the warmest clothing you think could be required. I haven't had any real problems from overheating but I have plenty of experience taking forever to defrost after being under-dressed. Yesterday I briefly thought maybe I had worn too many layers but turning the corner into a wind tunnel solved that!

      Delete
  5. 16 mile Saturday chilly long run in tights and a strong head/crosswind was an accomplishment both physical and mental (and of kit selection!). Sunday's shorter run was poky but high effort. Figured out later yesterday that I'm fighting off a cold or similar - and looking at my RHR the last three days confirms something is up, as it's in the 50s instead of 40s. Poor timing for it with a busy workweek and then a family trip, but what can you do? Could always be worse. Debating whether to try a short run today to knock the bug sideways.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've discovered, though not for the first time, that transatlantic flights make a complete mess of my body, though, I'm guessing it could be my age has something to do with it as well because it never used to be like this. And maybe alcohol.


    Anyway, managed to get out on my bike for a couple of short rides on Saturday and Sunday. My legs felt completely knotted up and I was knackered very quickly. This morning I was back to the pool and great to see all my swimming buddies after 7 weeks, but swimming? It was painful and slow, but enjoyable. And I've just come back from a 5k run that I described on strava as uncoordinated, with a painful back, heavy legs and breathing all over the place. Funnily, I enjoyed it through all the discomfort and glad I got it done. It'll all get better at some point, I just hope it's sooner rather than later!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't swimming *always* painful and slow? It never seems to get any easier.

      Delete
    2. Nice to have you back on this side of the pond Pete. I hope the funeral went as well as these things can, and that it helped.

      Delete
    3. Flying east transatlantic is always a pain in the proverbial - after maybe 30 or so attempts over the last 16 years I've finally just about worked out a method for not being floored for a week by it; it's not foolproof but largely requires not sleeping when getting home until approximately UK bedtime, then on the second day, making sure to go to bed at a sensible UK bedtime - all too easy to flip back into US time on that second day!

      Delete
    4. Mate, your swimming will come back soon enough. It just takes a few sessions for an experienced one like you!

      Delete
    5. Having traveled to the US for work a fair bit and unless it was a lucky upgrade always economy. I find the best system is:
      A late morning flight going out. Don't sleep even if you are going all the way to the west coast. I once read all 1400 odd pages of James Clavell's Noble House on a flight to LA! When you arrive mid to late afternoon local, make sure you stay up until at least 9pm and then sleep...It will feel like a really late night, but you do get 8 hours to sleep it off and wake up at the correct local morning.
      Coming back get an early evening departure and try to get a window seat. Eat as well as you can for the first meal. Wine is an option , but no beer, as the trick is to sleep after the meal for the rest of the flight and toilet breaks don't help that. Hence also the window seat, so you don't have to move for someone else's break. I do tend to have a couple of cognacs to round off the meal. Wrap the blanket around and put on the don't wake me sign. If you wake up for the breakfast then fine, but if you miss it just get one at the airport when you arrive early morning. Since you have had at least a token sleep on the plane and arrived in a 'morning' stay up until at least 9pm with no naps and you should be all reset for UK time.

      As for swimming.....yep slow and painful, but that might just be my injured shoulder. The physio said swimming was OK, so I had a go. After an hour, I was overtaken by two older ladies swimming sedately with their immaculate hair styles kept up out of the water while catching up the gossip....time to exit and crawl off the changing rooms in shame for my slow performance.....

      Delete
    6. BHP, I have recently re-discovered swimming as me and Mrs Grumpy have become empty nesters and find we have some time. It is apparent that it is technique not strength that count. For the past few weeks I have been concentrating on getting my breathing right and I can now complete my km swim solely using crawl rather than having a recovery breaststroke length every one in five. My next challenge is to combine better leg kicks with correct breathing. It looks so effortless when you see a "proper" swimmer doing their lengths.

      Delete
    7. It's now Saturday 17th and just caught up with the above comments. Thanks Ruby, it went well, or as well as funerals can go. I was concerned for my sister but she held up well on the day. TheSkipperAdrift & MrSheepUK - the only positive thing about transatlantic flights is that I get to see my daughter and her family, otherwise I'd give it a miss! But you are both right, you have to find a routine that is good for you. GrumpyJim, leanmachine, TheSkipperAdrift & jer/remembersthe90's - well, I've done a kilometre each day, Monday-Friday and it got better. I'm now at the point were the speed would be described as slow for me. Still, I can feel the upper body strength returning and will be quite happy to make steady improvements.

      Delete
  7. Only a litle bit of running, couple of headtorch support after work runs in the week, and a lovely off road 9 and a bit miler on Saturday.
    Had my first swimming lesson since I was about 11 on Wednesday.
    It was really good, despite being relegated to the level down due to my front crawl being so terrible (the time is better so all good).
    I did cramp up in both calves from the kicking though, and that tightness held on right through to yesterday, I think the bike ride is what sorted them.
    Also in off season and enjoying doing different things. Back at the gym more as well. About another month of s&c (and swim) focus, then back to running training. No races planned for the rest of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Despite what I said to bhp above, swimming is so good for you. If you're just starting out, remember that you can focus on form and do a series of 25m lengths - swim 25, rest, swim 25, etc - while still getting a good workout in. It's very difficult at first and the aerobic stuff - longer distances - will come with time. You really do want to get your technique down, so great idea to take lessons. Good luck!

      Delete
  8. I took part in my first ever trail race over the weekend. It was a 35km loop through the mountains and wadis of Hatta in the UAE and the very thought of it made me incredibly nervous as I am not good on rocks and loose terrain at the best of times. Added to this, my longest run in the last 5 months has been 23km, and I've done barely any hill training.

    We woke at 1:30am to set off at 2:30 in order to get there for the 5am start. Talk about early! It was pitch black as we set off, hydration packs full and head torches aglow. The race started badly for me as I was not confident running the rocky trails in the dark with only my head torch. At one point I was at the back of the field wondering how I was going to cope with 35km of trails, and to make matters worse it then transpired that we had all taken a wrong turn, adding what would turn out to be an extra 5km to the overall distance. We didn't know how much extra we had run at the time though, so it was disconcerting to know that you would be running over 35km but not actually know by how much. Turns out the 70km and 20km runners also went the wrong way - the result of inadequate signage and marshalling at a fork in the trail. We actually ended up running over pretty sharp, loose rock on a steep slope, which completely freaked me out!

    I soldiered on at the back and just tried my best to navigate through the darkness. The sunrise and shadow of the mountains was beautiful and I told myself not to worry about time or placings. Just enjoy it! Once it was light I gradually began catching up with others before THE HILL hit. I will never complain about a hill again after this! It was never ending, and according to my Strava climbed 200m within 1km. What was interesting was that it was along the UAE/Oman border, which was kind of cool. My strength on the uphills had allowed me to catch the pack, and we shared some great laughs along the way. There was a real sense of camaraderie. Then, the downhill began and I lost them all again due to me being so slow.

    When the course met a road, I took a chance and upped my pace. I knew I had to make the most of my strengths and this was it! I overtook quite a few people here until the trail began again. The terrain was kinder, so I just picked people off one by one. I refused to stop at checkpoints and just kept going.

    At one point I was running alone towards a very steep dam, pretty much hating life, when I heard a car behind me. It was my husband, who'd come to surprise me before his flight. What a much needed boost!

    The dam itself was horrendous, but I saw so many people I knew that I actually enjoyed it. Then it was on again to another dam and more trail. My legs were zapped of all energy and I was so hot. I couldn't be bothered to take off my camelbak to get fuel. I honestly don't know how I made it through the last 10km, but after rolling my ankle on the last piece of trail the end was in sight.

    After finishing in 4:32 and running almost 41km with 1000m of climbing, I realised I was 2nd place woman! I couldn't believe it. I'd wanted to give up at the start when I was probably last, but I kept on going and had somehow overtaken most of the field. People are now saying I should do another trail race, but I think I'll stick to the road for now! And I'm still struggling to walk. The trophy is taking pride of place in my office!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very well done.

      As the UAE expert, any tips for running in Abu Dhabi?

      Delete
    2. Congrats! What a race report (I thought it sounded fun) - 41km (some of it unplanned) and a top finish is quite an achievement.

      Delete
    3. Wow, what a journey and adventure. It must have been a real thrill to discover you were 2nd female! Well done, you really battled through and got what you deserved, not to mention an unexpected lift (as in surprise, not a lift in the car; ) from hubby! All that Comrades training must have been lurking!

      Delete
    4. Wow! This is incredible! I'm totally inspired after reading your report. Talk about pushing through adversity. I'm particularly impressed by the way you pushed through the mental challenges. You certainly deserve to have that trophy on public display. Congratulations!

      Delete
    5. Fantastic achievement Rachael, really well done, this is so impressive! Great race and route report too!

      Delete
    6. That's one hell of a way to start your trail-running career, not least it being in the desert, the dark and over variable distance. Talk about piling on the challenges! Congrats indeed.

      Delete
    7. Well that just sounds incredible - huge congrats. My anxiety levels were off the scale just reading your post, but you clearly kept it together brilliantly.

      Delete
    8. Great write-up, I always enjoy reading the longer race reports. Well done on the second place!

      Delete
    9. That's a great performance and write-up Rachael. Your endurance and tenacity is really something to behold...can you send some my way :-)

      Delete
    10. Awesome! And I second MrSheep - I love the longer reports.

      Delete
    11. Thanks everyone! I'm not sure there's a function to reply individually on here, but your comments are really appreciated. @ Handsome Devil, I don't get over to Abu Dhabi much (although there's a half marathon there this weekend!) but I believe most people run along the Corniche. You could contact Abu Dhabi Striders via Facebook and I'm sure they'll help you out!

      Delete
  9. Oof, winter. There was an 8k trail race on Saturday that I usually enjoy but it was all of -5C in the morning. Just no.

    Instead, I did 50 minutes of aerobic running on the treadmill. Which is also what I did on Sunday. I simply couldn't summon any enthusiasm for choking on cold air and pounding on frozen ground. Eventually - probably after spending too many cooooold morning out with my horses who are cheerfully impervious to the discomfort I suffer on their behalf - I'll get over it and rejoin the ranks of the actually ambulatory.

    But really, the impending season isn't all bad. Late last night, I had a fleeting vision of panettone. It's almost that time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. More of the same. Slow but steady progress.

    4 weeks ago I set myself three "treadmill tests" that I needed to pass in order to return to a proper structured training regime with my coach, namely:

    Test 1: 1k@3.45
    Test 2: 5k@4.00
    Test 3: 10k@4.30

    I cracked the first last Wednesday. It wasnt pretty at all but who gives a ****. Then a couple of hours ago I managed to complete Test 3, leaving just the 20 minute 5k to conquer. I dont think it will happen this week - I nearly died doing 3k@3.55 last Friday - but I'm confident I'll be there before the end of Nov...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet DC is rubbing his hands together, awaiting your return with eager anticipation. It's within reach!

      Delete
    2. I may frustrate him with my limitations but it will be fun to see what he can do to get me moving again!

      Delete
    3. Your Strava indicates you are "running faster" though :-) Keep up the good work, mate.

      Delete
  11. I've been thinking this week about what makes a good runner. I saw a few social media posts about runners who finished races despite injuries that later required stitches, a torn hamstring or a broken leg. I aspire to be hardcore, I want to be better at pushing myself to the limits, but I don't always see why those are things to be celebrated. It's "awesome", in the old fashioned sense, to watch people persevere through extreme pain. I'm thinking of one of the first (the first Olympic?) women's marathons when one woman just staggered deliriously to the finish line. It's remarkable but... some seem closer to the potentially stupid end of the spectrum. Is it ethical to applaud these efforts?

    In contrast, a highlight for this week has been Allie Kieffer's Instagram posts breaking down different elements of her race in the NYC marathon. It's really neat when elites share their struggles and their victories so openly. Hers seems like a more honest reckoning with the challenges of pushing yourself to the limits than retweeting short clips of suffering athletes.

    My plans for the year: I'm looking forward to the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, and I might do the Santa 5km. They're two local races that I enjoyed last year. I think what makes them so nice is that they are "traditions", even if relatively recent ones. People go because they have good memories of previous years and they are associated with holidays. That, combined with the bonding that happens when you run together through miserable weather, creates a fun atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of my absolute favourite runs last year, and one I can't wait to do again, was the Hooky Christmas Canter just before - you guessed it - Christmas. There was snow and ice on the ground, the air was freezing, it was off-road with climbs up to exposed ridges, I was wearing an elf hat with a jingly bell on the end - and I loved every second. Can't wait for the next one in a month's time.

      Delete
    2. Agree with you on Allie Kieffer's Instagram posts. I like when athletes have such clarity about racing or competing and also can share it in such an articulate way.

      Delete
  12. If this was the Monday Morning Detox I'd be better placed to contribute after the weekend I just had. I'll adopt HD's terminology and classify this as part of my end of season break, though I would like to relocate my motivation before the end of the month...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I posted here a while ago about how much trouble my new Mizunos have been giving me. Well I finally gave up on them this weekend and went back to my normal brand (Asics). OMG, they were like running on clouds by comparison. Never again will I be persuaded by a shop assistant to change brands. I broke them in on Sunday with a very pleasant 10km local run in the rain.

    My plans for next year are to enter the Run Auckland winter series of five 10k runs plus a HM again, which will have two new courses in parks I haven't visited before. But before that in March there's a brand new HM literally 30mins from home that will run through two national parks and along the Pohutakawa Coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I too have a pair of virtually unused Mizunos sitting in the shoe rack downstairs. I've tried selling them but had no offers - perhaps everyone hates them?

      Delete
    2. I'm beginning to wonder if that's why he was so keen to sell them to me. Maybe he had a huge backlog of stock he was trying to shift :-)

      Delete
    3. Interesting, I have a couple of Mizunos and absolutely love them.

      Delete
    4. Me too! I’m another elusive Mizuno customer! I tried some ASICS a while ago but I think they were too narrow for my feet so ended up back in Mizunos. What size are yous? I could maybe take them off your hands (feet).

      Delete
    5. I've been using Mizuno since I took up competitive running a few years ago. They serve me well.

      Delete
    6. I used to love Mizuno Wave Riders but the last pair I had caused blisters so I went to Nike and have been running in Vomero's for the past year but have now worn them out. They were great but spongy and not quite as responsive as I'd like. As posted below, I have brand new Hoka One One Hupana 2's and so far they are fantastic. I wanted light shoes but still with support and these are just that. My only slight criticism is that they are road shoes only and the slightest muddy patch has to be negotiated carefully.

      Delete
  14. I'm not sure how I feel about long-term planning after this weekend...

    Plan:
    Saturday morning - parkrun tourism at Oak Hill
    Sunday morning - Second Sunday 5m w/ puddles around Wimbledon Common

    Actuality:
    Saturday morning - parkrun at 3/4 pace, feeling fine and pleased with 23:30
    Sunday morning - awake at midnight in full panic mode, heart racing with chest pains, left arm pins and needles and pressure in left side of neck. Spent hours reading heart attack symptom stories online, fell asleep and woke to the bloody alarm at 6:30 which set off another attack. Went to A&E with yet another wobbly moment on the journey.

    Result: After full bloods/bp/ECG/chest x-ray and the once over with a stethoscope; nothing, completely healthy with no risk factors.

    And of course, all the symptoms vanished once they hooked me up to the ECG; like when you take your car to the mechanic and it works fine.

    Fulham 10k next week, so I think I'll take it as a sign to do a full taper and worry a bit less about filling the holiday calendar with fixtures!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've got Broadway half next weekend so have been running up as many hills and through as much mud as possible. Sunday was no exception when a group of us from my club took ourselves off to the wilds of the Warwickshire/Oxfordshire border for a bit of XC training. We only did 6 miles but blinkin eck was it hard work. First couple of miles were across fields that must have been solid clay - our shoes were at least a kilo heavier after that. Then there were the uphills which were such hard work that even the downhills didn't bring relief - I've never experienced that before. Once at the highest point though - wow. Two or maybe three counties spread out in front of us, the bluest of blue skies and the wind whipping our words away. We had a minute's pause at 11am and it really felt like the best place to be doing it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was a nice thing to remember to do (at 11am) in the middle of your run. I saw someone else who chose to do 11miles...

      Delete
    2. It was nice Paul, although I can't take any of the credit as it was one of our group who suggested it. Love the symbolism of running 11 miles.

      Delete
    3. That minutes pause atop the hills sounds very peaceful and idyllic, definitely a good place to stop and remember. Good luck in the Broadway Half, you do quite a few races don't you! (unlike myself).

      Delete
    4. Thanks LM and kyd! I blame my club kyd - they're very keen on the racing front, and in getting everyone involved whatever their level. Although I signed up to Broadway entirely independently just cos I wanted to experience an entirely off-road half. After the five miles at the weekend I'm a little nervous that I'd underestimated what I'd be letting myself in for though! It won't be a PB course that's for sure...

      Delete
  16. An easier week for me. The niggle in my hamstring was getting worse and worse, and I was starting to get seriously worried that I'd f-ed it all up, so I abandoned my Thursday 5km jog and went for a sports massage at the gym. Whether it was connected or not I don't know, but I slept a solid 10 hours that night, and woke up feeling much better. I then did two 13.5s (my plan LOVES 13.5km), which both went fine, with just a very slight twinge in my left butt cheek, and everything looks OK again.

    I'm foam-rolling like a maniac, booked in for another massage on Friday (it comes under national health insurance - good old Japan), and I tied my laces to one of the looser styles, which seems to be working too. 35km to do next Sunday - my longest before race day. Must not go out too bloody fast!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Massage under an NHS? I'm moving to Japan! Hope it continues to hold TD - maybe you just needed loads of sleep.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Ruby. With the Japanese health system I have to pay 30% for the massage, so it’s not quite as miraculous as the NHS, but pretty good all the same. I’m going once a week until race day, deffo.

      Delete
  17. Ok first things first, anyone know how to make blogger email me when the new weekly post goes up? I keep forgetting to pop by until the middle of the week!

    So, this weekend. For a while, I've had at the back of my mind an idea to just go out and run a marathon distance. Not race it (been there, done that, unlikely to go back), just try and enjoy a really long run.

    Saturday morning, I was feeling springy and full of beans, and the weather forecast looked nice and clear - a beautiful crisp autumn day. So, I set out with an intention of knocking off at least a half marathon, then pushing on by feel to see how it went.

    I ran the 12km or so to Richmond Park then around it to complete the first half comfortably in just under two hours, then switched my watch to not show the time or pace during the second half - planning to run just by feel. I stopped briefly and had an energy gel and regrouped, then carried on, taking the right turn to head into another loop of the park and, pretty much, guaranteeing I'd need to do a full marathon or take a taxi home.

    Another short stop to wolf down a muffin, still feeling fairly good until about 29km, after which it started to get much harder. And then the rain came. Oh my how it came.

    I don't think I've ever been so wet. Absolutely pouring, with 12km to get home and no easy shortcuts... I pressed on, pausing occasionally in a subway or under a tree hoping, in vain, that it would ease off. But no.

    Running alongside the A3, the cars and lorries couldn't help but utterly drench me with the torrents of water flowing down the hill, despite being at the far side of a wide pavement - it was like standing in the sea being battered by waves at times - but, on reaching the top of the hill, I knew it was downhill and flat all the way home.

    The final 5k or so was a real challenge, but I finished 43km in 4h27 or so moving time (4h45 or so including cake breaks). It took me five minutes to make my fingers work well enough to open the front door, and another five minutes to get my drenched socks off as I could barely bend over, but overall, despite the rain and all, I really enjoyed it. Much more than the last time I raced a marathon two years ago.

    I'm really happy to have the fitness to be able to do it - I felt like I should, given the amount of running I've done this year, but I've only done a couple of 25k runs this year and nothing longer than that, so it was a huge step up in distance.

    And with that, I hit 2000km for the year and my 315th consecutive day of running a minimum of 2km.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds quite nuts, but well done on the effort and especially on your number of running days!

      Delete
  18. Hi all, is it ok to join in on Tuesday? Sorry about that. Saturday was the Cheshire 10k at Arley Hall. I'm an infrequent racer but I enjoy the atmosphere and always get a buzz from watching the sense of achievement on finisher's faces and re-affirming that it's all relative and we are running purely for the joy of it.

    My own race was one where I set off with a target time of 46 minutes and 3 seconds. The reason being is that was my Colshaw Hall time. I was relatively confident as there are two decent hills at Colshaw, however, there was a sharp cold wind for Arley. I won't go into Km by km detail but my splits showed that I progressed steadily with only 2 slower parts as I hit headwinds and slight rises.

    A final push in the last downhill km gave me a chip time of 45'19" which I am more than happy with as I turn 50 next year. Could I have gone sub 45? Possibly without the pasty diet on the holiday week before, but, as I get older I realise that I don't care quite so much for a PB as feeling good at the end (I do care a little bit). For those wanting a fast really well organised 10k I would thoroughly recommend Arley. It's also set at Tommy Shelby's fictional house for those Peaky Blinder fans. Finally, on the race, thank you Marshalls!


    On a separate note and in "new kit" news, I ran in my new Hoka One One's - absolute dream!


    Happy running, everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Greetings all from sunny (and warm) Sydney! Also a Tuesday poster, given time zone differences with UK at the moment.

    Back from a mini hiatus of 11 days or so after a PB at the Sydney edition of the JPMorgan Corporate Challenge (19:10 and a top 40 overall finish out of around 8000 or so). Really pleased that I could end the road racing season on a high. Well, at least it keeps up my streak of at least one PB per year at any distance for 8 years, possibly more.

    Sunday was a baptism of fire as I begin a new training block. 26km and 2 hours of hills, more hills and a bit of trail with a few from my running squad. Ran paranoid for a lot of it, trying to protect my left hip which I'm trying to nurse back into some sort of strength. Somehow acquired a randon Strava crown on a segment I never knew about...ha! Didn't end well, though, as my blood sugar levels went down dramatically and I collapsed on my mate's front lawn after the 2 hours. Was fine after several minutes (thanks to my squad mates who helped me) but it was a lesson learnt that I need to think carefully about my fuelling during the warmer, humid months coming ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Can I borrow the klaxon... my wife did her first parkrun on Saturday! Our local parkrun had requested as many people as possible to run in red at the remembrance weekend event. At the run briefing someone played the 'Last Post' and a minute's silence was observed before a sea of red dispersed along the route. The recent wet weather made for a real XC experience at one of the corners of the course with a couple of water-filled ditches to negotiate. Not first, not last, but somewhere in-between is where she finished - the rest of the family managed to cheer Mrs. IDxyz on at four points on the course. A slight negative split and looking forward to running again in a week or two.

    I was first scorer for my club at the XC fixture on Epsom Downs in the afternoon. Felt a bit flat performance-wise, but it was worth more than 100 points to our club. Looking forward to the next league fixture at my favourite XC course - Oxshott, with an incredible hill to scramble up (3x)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "slight negative split"....obviously channleing her inner Mary Keitany!

      Delete
    2. ha - not quite that big a negative split. It's quite likely that parkrun #2 will be this coming weekend.

      Delete
  21. A mixed weekend of recovery. Saturday started well. The discomfort from the midweek swim had finally worn off and I set off for a late morning 10K-ish run. The early morning had been sunny, so it was back to shorts and a t-shirt. Unfortunately the clouds rolled in after the first 5 minutes and there were a few spots of rain before the sun came back. Not seriously cold or wet, but I did have the 'wrong clothing choice' thoughts for a while. It must have made me run faster though as I clocked up my third fastest 10K effort on strava. It is also quite nice that I am moving up the ranks on one local segment. Most of the improvement has been due to it being at the beginning of my 10K loop rather than it's normal position at the end of my 5K loop and this means I run it fresh!
    Saturday did not end so well. While attending my Wife and Son's Karate dinner/dance and after being persuaded onto the dance floor, one rocky number did something to my shoulder. No fancy moves, just a few simple twirls by my wife and ouch. No alcohol to blame either, as I was the designated driver! It seems to just be an over-stretch of something in the shoulder. The pinned collarbone still feels ok, the pain is else where. That ended my weekend running and I have not run yet this week despite the lovely sunny morning today. It is getting better again, so hopefully a run tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Presumably the karate dinner/dance is just "Kung Foo Fighting" on a continuous loop?

      Delete
  22. I’m heading into a taper so the weekend long run was a welcome drop in distance. My park hopping route has been a great way to observe the changing seasons in the city. This current training plan has been the first time I’ve had a go at track running. To my surprise I’m really enjoying it. Yesterday the torrential rain meant I had it all to myself. Splashing through the reflections of the floodlights and trees at a much more rapid pace than I’m used to was pure joy. Like being a kid again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love track. There's something especially peaceful about being there alone somehow. And I love how I always seem to run paces I don't even dream of on the road!

      Delete
  23. My last two weekends of running have been pretty rubbish 10 km jogs. I'd like to blame the weather and certainly the wind, though today I went out for lunch and had an absolute carb fest, with a side of macc n cheese. Hmmm, I wonder why my fitness levels aren't improving?! And please don't look in the glass recycling container!

    My plan at the moment is to just get through November as best I can and then December I am planning on challenging myself to running something each day, even if it's just a few km. There was something about the structure of Couch to 5k that I enjoyed and since finishing that and making things up as I go along since, it's been hard to find a routine. This colder weather doesn't help.

    Since we're discussing XC and wet trails though, does anyone have any insider tips on socks that prevent blisters/toe pain when feet get wet? Would double-thickness ones be better than single? I need wellies to walk around the local lanes at the moment so running routes are limited, but when I did manage, my feet quickly got wet and then my toes hurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For motivation, do you have a running buddy, or could you join a club? Alternatively, how about setting yourself a 10k (or longer) race goal, and following a structured training plan for that?

      Delete
    2. My OH runs with me and that helps, though he's far better (read able to go further and faster) than I am. At present, I'm not really based in one place so can't join a club or group of people at my level but that's something I might consider when we do settle.
      Setting myself a goal and choosing a plan is probably the best option but I keep finding reasons not to. But I'm due to be more settled at least for a bit come December so perhaps that's when I'll get into a routine.

      Delete
    3. There's something called advent running I've taken part in before - running a little every day in the run up to Christmas. Think they still exist on fb and instagram.

      Delete
    4. Thanks, Esiotrotting, I shall look into that!
      I've seen this for January for anyone looking for motivation once the new year starts...
      https://www.mind.org.uk/redjanuary

      Delete
    5. Run Rosie Run, I find there is nothing more motivating than entering a race, however short and however far into the future to get out of the running doldrums, especially once you've hit the "pay now" button on the online entry!

      Delete
  24. Still unable to make plans as I'm continuing on a week by week basis with ankle rehab. Had a bad setback following my last 5 mile hill run, and final three weeks of October were pretty bad. This month has been better so far though, touch wood. Have given up with the ice cold/hot water foot baths and also not doing massaging at the moment (unless calves get tight). Instead, have been doing more ankle strengthening and mobility exercises instead - really slow, steady and controlled, building up, doing a variety of things and pretty much making my own things up. This seems to loosen it up and strengthen it. It's still stiff and achy when I get out of bed, and at times throughout the day, but the exercises are helping I think. I'm also trying to take the approach that it's better to things frequently throughout the day rather than in one long session in the evening.

    I've left off balance exercises for the moment - will probably return to those soon. I also found out I can't do a forward or reverse lunge on the injured ankle which is pretty shocking. The side I have a problem with is when the injured ankle has to be the back foot, flexing heavily at the toes and going into a deep dorsiflexion to dip that knee towards the floor. Just have to try and work on that a bit at a time, although I can't risk doing it without holding on at one or both sides - I have minimal side-to-side control. Hopefully I will be able to do a run before too long - just have to try to be disciplined and stick to say 1 to 3km, rather than 8km!

    ReplyDelete
  25. how do you get involved with running xc i knew you have to be part of a club

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to the brave new world

The fight for equality in cross country continues

Iberian sunshine and helado