Sunday, 16 October 2011
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
The first was the Northampton-Tring double in January, at 45 miles each day. I ran these with a chest infection, which didn't exactly help, but that was the first two races completed in reasonably decent times. Annoyingly I picked up anterior compartment syndrome on the second day (effectively a painful lump on my shin which made me limp badly and have to take a complete break from running for a couple of weeks).
I was just about back to running again when the next round came along with another canal double, this time at Grantham, 29 miles each day. I did a bit better there.
Then there was the summer with the groin strain: no running and missing out on lots of events. I finally got back some of my fitness over the last few weeks, enough to do the Nottingham 50K on Sunday. A beautiful route through lots of woods and fields, along the Robin Hood Trail, finishing at the Castle in the city. I was pleased with 5:13 - not particularly quick, but better than I'd expected after all the time off.
And those 5 were enough to put me in third place in the championships. I got a big box of energy bars, a huge glass trophy and a cheque for £50. Shiny!So, same again next year? A brilliant series organised by Rory and Jen at ULTRArace - those guys rock!
Friday, 7 October 2011
So the new term has seemed a bit manic at work. Not sure why it should seem busier than usual, but it does. Fortunately this has been pleasantly balanced with the ability to run again. I'm still at the slow end but my fitness is gradually returning. And I'm really appreciating every run. (Picture grinning like an idiot at 5am running around the Heath...)
The Green Chain Marathon was hot but very scenic, following the Green Chain path which links up lots of pretty sections of woods and a stretch along the Thames in South East London. Quite hilly in places, but a delightful day out with great company.
The New Forest Marathon is always held on the last weekend of the year that our favourite campsite is open. It would be churlish not to go. Another sunny weekend, with donkeys and blackberries being the best nature around. Always good to get out of the city for a couple of days. And they'd changed the marathon route a bit, running some of it in reverse (though not actually backwards - that would be more challenging) making it more interesting. And at 4:20 for me, it was a bit faster than of late.
The Flower of Suffolk on Sunday covered some beautiful (and flat) trails along the coast, in blazing hot sunshine. I stayed overnight before the event in Lowestoft. I'd taken some work with me and sat on the beach in the evening doing some Maths - most enjoyable! It was an LDWA thing, the first I'd done for ages. Oh, how I'd missed the stiles, kissing gates, boardwalks, footbridges, filed edges - even a tiny patch of mud. I set off early to avoid the worst of the heat with Gil, a 60 year old 100 club member, who's done well over 400 marathons and ultras. We chatted the whole way round and had a good laugh.
The "enrichment" sessions at college have started up again too, so I've been running in the local park with a bunch of teenagers each week, training them up for a 10K (Greenwich in November). We have a really enthusiastic group, with nearly 40 of them this term!
Apart from the whole being-ridiculously-busy thing, I'm finally feeling back to normal. Nice.