Friday, 2 October 2009

Had a rest day last Monday following Sunday's exertions then ran as normal with Abbey on the Tuesday - 6.7 hilly miles averaging (despite a slow first couple of miles) 7:45 a mile.

Next day I ran again, this time with Kirkstall Harriers.

They run Mondays & Wednesdays so there's the option to join them as second claim club as the training fits nicely around the Abbey nights. My thinking is that during the winter when its dark and wet it'll be difficult to motivate myself to go out and keep up with the planned marathon training but if I have routine club nights I'll stick to them.

Similar sort of run - hilly 6.77 miles with a couple of slow miles at first and a final average of 7:49.

Thursday and Friday were rest days ahead of Saturday's trail race, the Saab Salomon Turbo X in Sheffield.

That proved to be a very taxing race. It consisted of a 10 mile route through woods, up and down extremely steep hills (on all fours to get up some of them), over felled trees, through a couple of becks and also several hundred yards of mud filled trench with the stinking grey mass between knee and bum height!

I got round ok but it was far more tiring than the 10 miles (or time that was 30 minutes slower than my pb for the distance) would imply. Really good goody bag and Salomon technical running shirt though. I finished 94th out of getting on for 400.

The next day was the Horsforth 10k. I know, its crazy to do two races on consecutive days, but it was local and as I'd payed my money I wanted my t-shirt!

Trouble was, my calves and glutes were really stiff and sore when I woke Sunday morning. I don't normally get any post race DOMS so it showed how tough Sheffield had been the day before. I got there early, did half a mile warm up and had a really good stretch. I felt better after that - still sore but ok.

I still had a real dilema in how to approach the race though. Common sense said to run it very slowly but, muscle soreness aside, I felt good and wondered if I could get a pb on a relatively difficult course...

The course profile is 2 miles uphill from the start along narrow private road, then 2 miles downhill to the canal, followed by 2 miles flat along the towpath and a couple of undulations in the last 0.2 miles to the finish.

I started a bit further back than I intended and was boxed a bit for the first mile. The uphill was a real challenge to aching calves and by the end of the second mile I was 67 seconds off target pace. I accepted then that a pb wasn't on the cards but recovered about half of that time in the next 2 miles of descent.

The canal section proved to be the most difficult. By that time my legs felt uncharacteristically tired and, feeling the effects of the previous day, keeping close to pace felt mentally very, very tough. I managed to pass a few people and battle it out with a girl from Kirkstall (eventually giving in on about the 4th time she tried to pass me) which helped drag me along but I lost about another 8 seconds by the time the 9km mark was reached.

I speeded up a bit then though and had a sprint finish of sorts, probably passing another half a dozen people, finishing in 46:13. That's 10 seconds away from the pb but considering the course profile and my legs being shot I was very pleased!

Problem was that within minutes of finishing every muscle south of my waist was seizing up....

...but that's the story of the first half of this week!

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