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.


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/ prescriptions for foam roller time via the comment thread, thank you.


Comments

  1. A nice weekend's running with parkrun on Saturday and a 'lazy' 10K on Sunday. Both in the sunshine.

    Parkrun was particularly nice as it is the first one I have actually run since breaking my collarbone. I did speedwalk one while still in the sling, but that did not really count. My token number was less than my age....always a good sign, but I am still 2 minutes behind where I was before the accident.

    Anyway, it's good to be on the mend and best wishes to anyone else recovering

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  2. I ran my slowest ever half marathon distance on Saturday - 1:40:30

    But...it's my first HM since 'prolapse day reset' so it doubles as a PB. Marvellous.

    I was watching live when the French dude took his dive...gutted that the German wasnt close enough to punish him à la Steve Ovett:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVxxaj1j9nE

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    1. PPPB is excellent - delighted you're managing to keep making progress. Hurt much after?

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    2. (sorry if this is duplicated...I posted a reply once but it has vanished!)

      Yeah...my hip/butt and ankle were sore afterwards but nothing too bad in the scheme of things and a hot bath + bottle of red + family being away helped me self-medicate ;-)

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  3. I had two day shifts at work over the weekend which obliterated plans for anything exciting but I took advantage of having no colleagues within a sniff radius for double run commutes, taking my total to a very healthy 64k for the week. And I did get to watch most of the cross country - enjoyable enough but usually a bit predictable with a sit and kick winner easily identifiable even a few km from the finish.

    The highlight was Tuesday when Orange Laces of this parish and I did the ABC Paarlauf. It's the first time I'd ran this as a competition (one runs, one rests for an hour, biggest total at the end wins - or for our goal, the lowest total loses) and it was cracking fun. Pace and targets immediately seemed off as we were whipping round unfeasibly fast before getting confirmation that the track was 230m and not 280m long. Aha. Nonetheless, we finished comfortably not DFL (26th out of 28) and given we were bottom of a group of several teams on 13.something km, we weren't a kick in the arse off being lower midtable mediocrity rather than true relegation fodder.

    Speedy mate was out with a broken toe so subbed in another speedy dude to defend his title with a former Ethiopian national footballer. Beers and injera by the bucketful after completed a glorious night.

    Day off today, hopefully a long run tomorrow will save a week which is already looking alarmingly crowded with life and responsibilities towards Junior Handsome (and a night on the booze Wednesday, admittedly).

    Well done everyone getting out and about.

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    1. I hope for your sake that the JH reponsibilities are not on Thursday morning...

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    2. No, I'm at work then thankfully...though he's 'developing his personality' (ie being a dick) quite a bit at the minute so I think the household got a combined two hours of sleep last night - urrrgh!

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  4. Just saw the XC faceplant on TV and am still laughing as I type.

    Brought a stinker of a cold back from Valencia so only a couple of brief recovery runs and now I've put even those on hold until my lungs calm themselves.

    Felt I needed a goal so instead of running I signed up for Manchester.

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  5. In the unlikely event that my absence was noted, I emerged late in the week a la Paddington from deepest, darkest Peru. Lima wasn't really deep and dark, except for when a taxi dropped my colleague and I in a dodgy area by a rubbish tip at 3 am according to a faulty address given to us by the competition organizer, who then refused to give me the correct address or even the name of the hotel. It was my colleague's first international coaching excursion so she got to see coach life in all its splendor.

    The competition was the Pan American Championships in modern pentathlon, a crucial qualifier for our direct Olympic qualifier next summer. We had a mission to accomplish over five full days of competition, never an easy thing when it involves wrangling a full complement of athletes of various egos and levels of maturity. Someone is always sick, someone else is always focused on hooking up with that cute foreign girl, another loses every critical bit of kit at all the wrong times. These are all adults - really - and thankfully, there are those few who are self-organized, positive and a joy to work with.

    And so we survived. We even accomplished our goals. As I get caught up with the mountain of reports, forecasts and other admin duties, I remain utterly exhausted.

    Which of course doesn't mean that I'm not running. While I didn't run at all (except after my athletes) in Lima, the day after I returned, I ran a trail race in a very frozen -5C. My sister looked at the temperature, declared it 'perfect' for winter running, then informed me that sadly, she couldn't make the race. So I ventured out alone to a frigid lakeside where people dressed in running kit were sitting in their cars with the heaters on. At the appointed race time, everyone emerged from their vehicles and ran straight onto the course. The same happened at the finish - people crossed the line and ran directly back to their cars. It was that kind of cold.

    I ran the first two miles very slowly, then picked it up progressively for the next 3+. The ground was hard, rocks and roots jarring the missteps, the creeks were frozen with the occasional patch of ice and mud. More than once I reminded myself that the day before, I was in South American summer.

    On Sunday I forced myself to run for 60 minutes on the treadmill. Due to current bizarre and stressful life/work circumstances, I've been doing lots of aerobic, easy HR-based running, mainly because I don't need to focus at all and I just haven't the mental capacity at the moment. I'd been planning to increase my total running volume, so this isn't such a bad thing after all, especially when outside it's -8C.

    As for the faceplant in Kate's post, that sums up my life at the moment. But we go on and find comfort in the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.

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    1. That's quite a sharp contrast in environments - racing in sub-zero temps - that's hardcore. Easy running at the moment sounds like the way to go - stress on too many fronts is not going to work out well. Good luck with both life/work and building up your volume.

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    2. Thank you! The winter freeze comes on quite suddenly here and it's always a bit of shock to the body. My sister had run at the same venue just two weeks before in sunny 12C.

      I'm a little concerned of upping my total volume via almost exclusively the treadmill but I know my outside opportunities are limited now due to cold, lack of light and other obligations. How on earth did people do this before the invention of podcasts?

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    3. I'm not sure how people run on treadmills tbh. I think I've run on one twice in the last two years, both times out of necessity - one a tempo session in a very hilly town; the other a tempo session with snow outside. One of them was OK, the treadmill had a TV and there was a Frasier episode on - almost took my mind off what I was doing. Podcasts sound like a good way to go.

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  6. I have always wanted to cross the finish line in a bike race with my arms raised aloft, but been afraid to for fear of something similar to the face plant.

    Running is going good, back up to 40 miles for the week, no aches or pains, not even feeling too tired. All easy pace, but long run was on the faster side of easy and fairly hilly, felt strong.

    Bit of a step back this week, then intervals are back next week.

    At the tail end of by far the most consistent year of running i’ve had (in 3 years of running, so not hard!). Might hit 1700miles by the end of the year - have 1702 planned, so not a lot of wiggle room.

    Hope all the injuries are getting better. Seem to be a lot going around just now.

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  7. Got up 6.30 am on Sat so I would have time to run the 4 miles to Lytham and then marshall. Got there and it was cancelled due to high winds and danger of falling branches... ah, well ... next time.

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    1. 6.30 on a Saturday? Ouch. Good on you though. I rarely get to a parkrun but am always very grateful for the volunteers. Did you run the 4 miles back?

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    2. I walked them back... Am still taking it easy distance wise in the ongoing 'knee' war...
      I dont mind getting up early... it can be a bit magical by the sea at that time ...

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  8. All day sitting - the curse of the desk-bound runner. I'm seriously considering getting a height adjustable desk so I can intersperse sitting with standing. Seriously, some days I go home from work with bum-ache, having sat for so long. Terrible for hamstrings, I agree.

    On the running front, I made a big fail last week. Work trip to London, running gear packed - just not all of it. I got up at 0600 hrs to set out for a run only to find I had forgotten to put my socks in my kit. And I have fragile feet that shred easily, so only spent a few seconds thinking abut going out without socks, before discounting that as a very stupid idea. So I went back to bed instead.

    The weekend was much better - 11 miles between Saturday and Sunday, keeping me on track for my mileage goal for the year.

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    1. Yesterday's work socks are today's running socks.....only works if you have socks with your work shoes, so maybe not for everyone.

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    2. I only had tights! It's - mostly - a girl thing, but I mustn't over-generalise.

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  9. Not much to report. A very rainy ten-miler on Saturday that I can put in the bank as a character-builder.

    In January my schedule becomes much more flexible and I'll be able to run during the day more, which will be nice. The weekday runs in the pitch dark have been getting to me.

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  10. Howdy all. Saturday was a beautiful day in Auckland; warm without being too hot and early enough in the summer that the humidity isn't oppressive. So I went out for a lovely 12km run around my normal route taking in road, park, beach and hills.

    Sunday came and went, I meant to run last night after work but got home too late...so tonight I forced myself out for a 5km jog around the blog. Then undid all the good work by making pancakes!

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    1. "jog around the blog" - like the comments on this page?

      The 12 km run sounds lovely.

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  11. I've been away the last few weeks but did especially enjoy reading all your comments about running with friends, and how even when you go slower to be social, you still enjoy it. My OH tells me he's fine running with me and in fact likes it, so it's good to hear he might not just be saying this. Well, and now what's he done: signed us up for a 10 km run this Sunday! It's a hilly one so my aim is to complete it without losing all dignity, rather than focusing on a time. If you never hear from me again, you know why...

    I did a hilly 10 km this Sunday just gone, where I confess I had to walk up the two main hills, but by doing so I managed to run the rest so that felt like a bonus. I did a similar course to one I did about 2 months ago, doing 10 km this time when I only managed about 9 km in the same time then so there's progress of a sort.

    Also, I'm based somewhere long enough to have joined a gym and am killing my core muscles at lots of random classes, and gave my legs a shock with a spinning class yesterday, the first in about 10 years. No idea what impact, if any, this will have on my running but I do feel like I'm getting fitter.

    Parties, changing location and gym classes mean I haven't done any Advent running events but I do hope to do RED January...

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    1. What is RED January Rosie? I'm all up for starting the new year with a 'thing' as long as t doesnt involve giving up beer (dryuary) or proper cheese (veganuary).

      :-)

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    2. Run (or walk) Every Day! I might also say that in the interests of compensating the alcohol industry in a tough month, I could drink red wine every day :)
      RED January can have some sponsorship/charity elements but I'm not going to do that, just do it for myself.

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  12. Hello all. I finally have a week of running worthy of the name again, capped by a steady 10 miles on Sunday morning. With a variety of niggles, illness, apathy and work getting in the way for the last couple of months, my fitness has taken a hammering, and it's been mentally tough to struggle through runs that would have been a breeze not that long ago. But compared to some here (looking at you asta) this is minor stuff, and last week I felt a turning of the motivational corner. It was also officially week 1 of my training plan for Manchester - I'm heartily glad that the first month is mainly aerobic endurance work as I'm still a little scared of the faster stuff...

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    1. Is it already only 16 weeks until Manchester? Blimey. I'm hoping to manage a 90 minute half by then so that means finding 2.5 minutes per month...hopefully doable.

      Is there a Manchester target time?

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    2. 17, I think. First weekend in April, so...

      As for target - really not got one yet as the lay-off really had me doubting my ability to get back up to speed. But I’d like to try and shave something off the PB (3:09) and getting under 3:05 is the goal for 2019 though that may have to be an autumn target.

      Given your current rate of progress, sub 90 sounds very doable.

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    3. Are you a 2 marathon a year man now LB?

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  13. That's a brilliant way to break the tape :-) I haven't face-planted in a XC race (yet) - the nearest I got was probably in the National a few years ago, Spectator: Watch out for the ditch! Me: What ditch? oh.

    My running this weekend was better than last weekend. It was my work's Christmas party on Saturday, so I worked up an appetite by running 8 miles in the late afternoon. Then, after not a lot of sleep, I got a rare opportunity for a lunchtime run on Sunday - while the sun was out - yay. I thought I would go for a 90 minute run, maybe 12/13 miles. Only my legs were feeling pretty good and I ran along at a fair click, so I called an early halt to the run after I'd run a HM. I was very pleased with the speed given that there was approx. 800ft of uphill in the route. I'm getting around to looking for some HMs to race next year, in the meantime I've got to get 'comfortable' running for blocks at HM pace, ugh. A friend has recommended tempo sessions, including 3x3m - I think it will take a few weeks to build up to that. Today's lunchtime session was interesting, not clock/pace-watching just trying to keep the pace going without tying up, consciously trying to relax without slowing.

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  14. Marshalled for the Greenwich Park 10K!
    Weather was pretty miserable but had a good time, it can be just as fun on the other side sometimes!

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  15. It was nice to get a bit of speedwork going on during the weekend when I went to the track to take advantage of the hour we’re (club members) allowed between 10-11am on Saturday mornings. I wish it was available more liberally but it’s that, or organised club track nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No public access at all! Anyhow, it made a nice change from the plods I’ve been having lately. I’m missing not working next to Hyde Park as I could vary the type of runs quite considerably. Being on the Thames is actually quite restrictive … yes, unlimited routes up and down and over bridges, but the office and tourist population puts paid to any fast work. Maybe I’m just being lazy .. probably!

    I don’t know what’s changed in me but I’m glad I’m not on a plan right now. I used to really enjoy the training and structure but I honestly just can’t be arsed these days. Happy to run and run, 60-80km weeks, but pleased I’m not checking off a list and working out how and where to do the next challenge. Lost my race mojo? Will it come back? I have the Big Half in March, could start a 10 week plan from 1st Jan. Wonder if I will!

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  16. Sorry been a bit absent of late. This weekend I had my running friends from London visiting which was ace! I somehow managed to convince them to come to Parkrun, which in normal circumstances is about 45min from where we live in paris by metro (they weren't so keen on an early rise)... so off we went on saturday morning...however with the Gilet Jaunes protests, the police had taken protective measures and closed a lot of metro stations which meant we had to detour and ended up having a 4km walk/jog warm up instead of the normal 1km... ooops. Think one of my friends was ready to kill the rest of us for this. However, we got there and possibly due to the time of year and the protests but we ended up making up nearly a third of the whole parkrunners! It was really nice to have my girls running as we're all roughly the same speed on a good day. I guess i had the benefit of knowing the course and where to push so ended up leading the ladies out and came in 1st lady with a pretty decent time (2nd fastest on this course and 4th fastest ever 5km), we had a lovely 1,2,3,4 of the ladies and MrMessepip and our friend Dan were 2 and 3 in the men too! :)
    Somehow my friends wanted to go for a long run on the sunday too before they went back to the UK so i had a nice route planned (avoiding gilet jaunes) to the Buttes Charmont, a lovely park in the east of Paris which used to be a quarry so is really scenic, but the weather had other plans! They close the parks when there's a risk of high winds because of all the trees so we got there and it was closed! :( so we ran around the outside instead before heading back...taking a selfie along the way which i don't think the older runners nearby appreciated as we got encouraged to keep running. :D
    Also a strange thing in Paris, running as a group of ladies, we got a lot of "Allez les filles" (Go girls) - never had this in London but it's meant in a nice way rather than a catcalling kinda way so have to appreciate it. On the way back the reason for the park closure became evident as the heavens opened on us and the wind picked up... i don't think i've been that wet other than when intentional (i.e. shower, bath, or swimming)...we made lovely puddles in the apartment when we got back! :O

    In other news, my coach (Fred) and another clubmate (who i've not actually met) have started a podcast about running... which people tell me is good, although i don't understand enough french yet to be able to follow it enough to say whether i agree with this or not. If however you do speak french check it out - it's (free) on spotify - "Dans La Tete d'un Coureur". :)

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    1. Thanks for the fun read, MessePip. Your parkrun sounds like a triumphant expedition into the unknown and a true test of group cohesion. :)

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    2. Did the Etape du Tour in 2008. Only 124 women in a field of around 5500. Got a lot of 'allez la femme' and a few 'allez le mignon'

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    3. I'm not sure how I feel about allez le mignon or generally being called cute unless it's by my other half! Allez la femme/fille is fine mind you just a new experience

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