Sunday, 5 January 2014

Loving to run: muddy cross country races and Parkrun PBs

Dulwich Park Run
After the Abingdon marathon I didn't have any upcoming races to focus on and I wasn't sure if I'd take a break or keep on running.

I took three weeks off and then gently got back into running and to my surprise enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to. Without 'needing' to train I wanted to run. It was a lovely feeling and using the fitness I'd built up during my marathon training I found that I could bash out 80 - 90km a week with relative ease. Which probably sounds sickening to some.

At the end of 2013 I had two great outings at Dulwich Parkrun. On both occassions I was feeling off colour and had done a hard training session the day before. I didn't think I was up to much and managed to run 17:20 and 17:07. The second effort lowered my PB by 11s even though it involved stopping for a dog which ran in front of me and swerving to avoid a collision with another runner wearing headphones. All his fault of course.....

If everything comes together could I dip under 17min some day? They were definitely great runs for someone who didn't feel up to much.

Yesterday I ran in the Kent Cross Country Championships in Sandling. It was cold, wet and muddy, but strangely enjoyable. It was a four lap course and was getting seriously cut up and boggy by the end. One section was sloping just enough make it heart thumpingly difficult to run as I slipped and slided along. I wasn't brave enough / didn't have long enough spikes on and was overtaken each lap on that downhill section meaning I had to work twice as hard on the uphill to retake the place(s) I'd lost.

By the end of the first lap I had got into a good rhythm and was battling it out with four other runners from Kent AC as well as people from different clubs who were running around me. In the last four hundred meters I managed to win the midfield battle over taking two other Kent runners to finish first in our little battle. I only came 49th overall and was in no danger of troubling the winners who finished 9mins ahead of me. The only downside of the day is that I seem to have lost my running gloves!

I've entered the Wokingham Half Marathon on 9th February and with a race looming I'm finding that some of the enjoyment of running is slipping away. I can't decide whether I actually want to run it at the moment.

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