January’s summary statement: Golly gosh I’ve been perspiring!
Due to lack of time from work and family commitments trying to train on a Monday to Friday basis is difficult for me. Any session I do manage to get in, even if it is a 2 mile jog I count as a blessing. So to counter this I decided that if I was going to have any chance of a successful PBR this year I would be as active as I could at the weekend. So with a coffee in hand a few weeks ago I pencilled in a race nearly every weekend from mid January to the end of March. Haha I thought, a race on Saturday and a steady 20 miler or so on a Sunday should do the trick. Nothing to strenuous with plenty of recovery and maintaining a weekly distance of around 30 or so miles; or in other words 1 day’s worth of running if you are called Anton Krupicka! The key word here is nothing to strenuous! My first race was for Severn AC in Division 2 of the Birmingham Cross Country League. January 15th came and it was a quick trip down to Wolverhampton for the race. It was good to see a few old faces from many moons ago and to meet some new ones as well. Within no time we were off at full tilt on the twisting course. After about 1 minute I realised I had completely forgotten how dam fast these cross country races are. Nothing to strenuous my ar*e! My garmin registered 5:39 for my first mile. I hadn’t run this fast off road for a decade or more and to make matters worse there was some strange liquid dripping down my forehead, ..surely it couldn’t be.., but yes it was; sweat! I had no choice but to slow; I was going to end up in a muddy heap after mile 2 if I didn’t. I eased back to a more suitable pace, which is always a bit disconcerting as for the next few miles I had to put up with a lot of fitter chaps filtering past. By about mile 4 I found my place though I just sat at a steady pace and finished the 6.5miler in 103rd place, with my Garmin giving me an average pace of 6:35 per mile and being the 3rd counter for Severn. Overall I was quite pleased with the end result. The main thing had been to test my hamstring, which I had pulled badly back in September. Although I felt it knotting up, it managed to keep itself together for the whole race.
|The twisty turny route of the Birmingham League Cross Country Race.|
On Sunday it was out for a local 20+ miler with my friend Tracy up and over the Roaches. It was a drab and wet day with not much happening on the view front. However, it’s always an enjoyable run no matter what the weather throws at us. We had being trying to beat our PB on this run for a month or so but had always just missed it by a few minutes. The thought of beating it this week didn’t even enter our heads due to the weather, however, with 3 miles to go we suddenly glanced at our watches and saw a great chance to snatch it. So with the thought of a cold Hobgoblin dark beer back in my fridge at home it was time to pick up the pace of Hen Cloud. We opened our stride length and breezed alongside Tittesworth Reservoir to get to Leek 6 minutes under our previous best. Another pleasing run which should hopefully stand us in good stead for the Dark and White Mini’s over the next few months. And o yes that Beer tasted so much sweeter J
|Probably one of the last times I ran in the North Wales XC league many many many moons ago!|
It was pretty much the same formula for the weekend of the 22nd. This time though I went to Lilleshall for the North Wales Cross Country League. I was running for Eryri Harriers (my second claim club) for the first time in 22 years! And I still had my old vest haha, it just about fits..mmmm must work on the pie thing :P It was a foggy cold day but once again I was soon warm and covered in a mixture of mud and sweat. This time I was a little wiser and ran at a more constant pace all the way around. The garmin gave me a 6:29 average mile pace and I finished 43rd whilst also making up the last team counter for Eryri. So I was once again pleased with the result and as a bonus my hamstring had still remained in one piece. Not quite a Hobgoblin beer celebration this time but it was most definitely a homemade cake and tea moment J
Sundays run this time comprised of a new route for Tracy and I. I had a daft idea I wanted to run to Shutlingsloe (1660ft) from Leek. So it was out with the map and after a bit of coffee slurping and postulation I decided it was within our striking distance. I christened the run the 3 Trigs. It was up Gun hill (1224ft), then onto Shuttlingsloe with the Roaches (1657ft) on the way back. It was a fantastic day for it and we had some sublime views from both Shuttlingsloe and the Roaches. However, by around mile 20 my legs were definitely tightening. I think Saturday’s effort was beginning to be felt. Good training though I thought then immediately shifted my thought to the beer back at home in my fridge! Well it worked last time :P After 24 miles and a total of 6000ft of ascent we got back to those poor lonely cold sweet tasting beers!!
|Sundays "3 Trigs Trot"|