Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Spent the Bank Holiday with the family watching the British Grand Prix athletics in Gateshead. We'd never been to an athletics meeting before and all thought it was excellent. £8 each to get in to see a number of recently crowned world champions at close quarters plus a load of freebies, free kids entertainment and events and even reasonable choice of refreshments. It puts football and even the great family game of rugby league to shame.

Still from one set of elite athletes to another athlete of rather more modest talent: me.

Last week's Tuesday evening run with Abbey Runners was replaced by a team handicap event with a neighbouring running club: Valley Striders. Its an annual event with 17 teams of 5 runners all drawn from a hat. Each team member is assigned to a different 'wave' of runners (A-E) depending on their 10k times and each wave sets off 5 minutes after the preceding one. I was selected in 'D' - the second slowest.

It was a toughish course - mostly cross country with a couple of stiles, gates, hills, and runs across fields before running the path round Eccup reservoir. About 5 miles all told.

I found it hard work. I'm not sure if my legs were still tired from Sunday but I ran 17 seconds a mile slower (though terrain would account for much of that) but still finished ina position that I was pleased with. I was 4th from the 17 in my wave, went past several runners from the wave before, would have been 7th in the wave above and was caught by nobody from following waves. It was a nice test and a change from routine.

The next day Beth and I did a sedate 3 miles along the canal.

Friday I decided to do 7.24 miles along the canal and it felt like hard work. Harder than the pace implied. It may be that I wasn't well hydrated and I certainly hadn't slept well the night before or it may be that I was still fatigued. Partly because of that I didn't run with Beth on Saturday.

On Sunday I managed 13.18 as an LSR. The overall time was fractionally quicker than I'd have expected but pace was highly variable and, again, hard work. It was also slightly painful in my groin - I'd had that all week after runs.

At the moment I'm not sure how to approach this week on the back of that. There's a 10k race on Sunday and then a 10 mile race a week later. I'm guessing I'll cut back the mileage and add more rest. I'll see how I feel after tonight's club run.

Weight has been a bit variable (literally) too. After the race at Birchwood I happilly over ate with the result that the following day I appeared not to have lost anything compared to the previous week but by Thursday and Friday I was weighing in at under 12 stone - within sight of my newly set target of 11 stone - but over eating Saturday, Sunday and Monday mean the weight today is ostensibly little different to this time last week.

Part of that was down to a meal out (and making a cake) for Sue's birthday so without distractions and with forthcoming races I'm expecting the scales to show me back on target soon.

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