Monday, 22 November 2010

Sunday's Longsleddale lope

  Every year I receive emails from Help the Aged  reminding  me about the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K.  Initially I think about  the possibility of nudging down the year's best 10K time as so many seem to manage on the very fast course.....well done to those to whom that comment applies amd commiserations to those whose injuries prevented their taking part ( been there with the hamstring problem, Alan).....but then  I think about the hassle of it all and the prospect of charging down Kirkstall road at 9.30 in the morning
and then  press the delete button!
Instead  we headed  across Saturday afternoon for
 another couple of nights up in the Lake District  and whilst thousands were charging back down Kirkstall Road from the Abbey, Sunday a.m.  we were driving up once more to Longsleddale north of Kendal for my up and down the valley 10 miler.
  As we turned off the A6 heading down to the starting point at Garnett Bridge the view up the valley to the snow capped hills confirmed that the 5 miles out would be into a chilling, northly wind.
  It wouldn't matter too much though as the plan today was not just to do another "steady" 10 rather to inject  some pace into miles 6,7,8,9 for 4 miles of effort with a mile easy to finish.  The wind behind hopefully  working  in my favour.
 Not a lot of parking spots in this picturesque hamlet of Garnett Bridge; so Pat dropped me off and headed up the road ahead of me to do her run. As predicted the 5 miles up and into the chilling wind were laboured.  Very laboured!
         9.40     9.18    9.15   9.10    9.24
 Quite reminiscent of  past Saturday morning's  when friends and I ran the out and back Beamsley Bash just a few years ago. The "young ones"  would generally  leave me for dead  going out
(the rule was no regrouping!) and I would invariably shorten the gap on the return.   The kind of run that has been missing from my training as I've tended to do 5K tempo runs on the track.

  The  difference could immediately be felt at the turn. Shod with a "fresh out of the box" pair of SAUCONY Progrid TRIUMPH 7 in eye catching ViziPRO colourway the speed started to come and was maintained over the 4 miles as per plan despite meeting the odd vehicle head on along the narrow country lane.
        7.49      7.46      7.44      7.41
 A pleasing reward for the effort. 4 miles all actually faster that the 1K reps on the track last Wednesday.
 The new shoes had certainly not let me down!
  It had been well worth driving out a few miles to be able to thrash out  a reasonably flat road tempo run; especially as this narrow lane is not a favourite with big groups of cyclists as the Beamsley Bash from Ilkley out and back to the A59 was.

Meanwhile Pat had done her run and was back in Garnett Bridge recording the fact that also being put to the test on the 10 miler  were the new fluorescent yellow FASTRAX  jacket and the new FASTRAX
tights.  I'd  tucked away hat and gloves on the return 5 as the pace hotted up!
 That 10 with 4 tempo miles closed off another week of very mixed running.  Totalling 49 miles.   The times for the 8 x 1k on the track were hardly encouraging no matter the weather but Sunday's times were reassuring.  A good reintroduction to the schedule.
 Saturday was a fairly insignificant easy 5 miles but for this I returned to former familiar terrain and instead of heading for the valley to run dead flat, headed along the moorside up to the Swastika stone and back.  Previously I wouldn't have considered this to be particularly uphill but Saturday I found it fairly testing.
  So this will be another change for easy days as schedules are re-examined  and tweaked. I suspect age will prevent any return to times of the past but hopefully by reviewing the schedule as I have for this weekend I can stop the rot in the coming year!

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