I thought I might try some running.....
As the training has been stop start, not helped by a bad cold last week, which is still lingering a bit, I made a decision to basically 'sod it', and get on with it.
Last weekend was the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, which I took part in for the 3rd year on the trot. Given fitness levels at the moment, nothing spectacular was forecast, and I had only done about 6 miles of running in the week prior to the race due to the aforementioned cold. Spookily, I felt a bit better on the morning of the race, and since then I have been bunged up again!! The weather was very typical to every other day recently, very foggy first thing, quite cold but not as cold as November can be, and basically very bleak.
Things did perk up an hour before the race when I went in search of the Lucozade tent, and bumped into a Patron of Age UK (the race raises funds for them), and well known Leeds celebrity Nell McAndrew. So, having forgotten to put my make up on, not having had my hair blow dryed etc, I ventured across and had a picture taken with her, which was one of the highlights of the day I suppose. As I am sure it was for her also!!!
The course is a little boring, it starts in front of Leeds Town Hall on the Headrow, goes downhill for nearly 1k, and is then a pancake flat out and back along a straight road to Kirkstall Abbey, before climbing back onto the Headrow for the finish. But there are large crowds at the start, and it is a busy race, with 8000 entrants each year.
I decided on the start line to try and go off at 50 minute pace and just hang on if I blew, although I knew in the back of my mind I probably wouldn't be able to maintain it due to the lack of training. I actually got to the 5k turning point in exactly 25 minutes and felt ok at that stage, but the pace started to drop at about 7k, when not feeling 100% started to take it's toll, as I felt like I was actually speeding up, but Garmin and the km markers on the course were telling me otherwise!!
I saw Petecw at about 9 and a half km on the drag back up into the city centre (he had long since finished of course!!), and I finally crossed the line in 51.16 officially, and 50.55 or something on the Garmin, not sure how that worked exactly!!
My 2 previous attempts on this course were 49:50 and 47:55, so I wasn't ecstatic, but to be honest, if you had offered me somewhere around 54 minutes on the start line with how I had been feeling, I would have gladly taken it, so I actually went home reasonably happy that I had probably done as well as was possible at this moment in time!!
Although I am still sniffling, this week I have done a 6 miler on Tuesday morning, run quite slowly (9.30 pace), and I have done a speed session this morning, 6 x half a mile at sub 8 min/mile pace, with 400m recoveries, and these seemed fine.
To keep the structure and momentum I have entered another 10k, the RNLI Reindeer Run (those with very long memories will know I support the RNLI and chose to run for them at VLM 2010 although I had a ballot place), a week on Sunday near Wetherby, which is described as 'a hiily, off road course, which will be wet and muddy, so expect to get dirty', so to be honest, as I have not run a course like that before, I have no target, and no pressure, and just intend to have a blast and see what happens,
Oh, and enjoy the mince pies, mulled wine, and complimentary reindeer antlers whilst I am there!
So to be honest, I think the lesson for me at the moment is to have events booked, as that seems to have a better effect at getting me out of the door!! My medium term goal, although I have not entered yet (but I will KraftyKat I promise!), is the Great North West Half in Blackpool towards the end of Feb.
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