MONDAY AFTERNOON. I'm typing this with the first day of Wimbledon showing on the home office TV and with a solid 12 miler banked this morning as an opener to week 25. It was good to make a return to my prelunch run routine today after 4 days of evening running after gardening and other house chores took precedence for once.
It was good also that the strong winds, which made the first part of both Saturday and Sunday's runs tortuous, had diminshed and certainly helped achieve the targets as set. I've haven't yet booked a half marathon but when I do I want to be "ready to launch" so I was keen to nudge the recent 10 milers back up to 12; hopefully without a loss of pace. (Chasing numbers again!) Hopefully progressing this up to and maybe beyond 16.
Last time I tackled this canal run back in February, after the usual intro 2 miles easy (because I'm a still old b*****) I clocked 85.50 for the final 10. Today 82.44. So pleasing improvement.
Going back to last week the year's average was maintained with 43 miles. Shame about the missed track session . Saturday and Sunday runs both proved extremely uncomfortable having to cope with strong winds from the start. The worst scenarion for the asthmatic! Even worse in low temperatures.
A case then of modifying the session on Saturday evening from 8 miles steady planned setting off to an easy 4 , slogging very uncomfortably into the wind, with 4 brisk on the way back. 37.08 out . 31.52 back.
Yesterday, seeking trail free of walking groups, I made a return to BARDEN FELL where with 12" of snow laying down, my piriformis problems started back in early December and blighted the end of 2010 for me.
The handicap of the snow in December was replaced at nearly 400 m. yesterday by a strong chilling wind which for a second successive day bit into my lungs on the way out. Not pleasant but fantastic scenery!
Monday is of course the main day for checking race results from the weekend. I had toyed with racing the STRAY 5K over in Harrogate but didn't decided against when I saw it wasn't on the road. Also looked at the STAVELEY STAMPEDE but despite being a relatively low key event they weren't doing "entry on the day". Bit surprising at £10 per runner. Amazing that fell races can cope with a field of 200 or so...all entry on the night.
Elsewhere it was the usual clash between the FRECKLETON HALF marathon in Lancashire and just down the M6 at Horwich the British Masters 5K championships. Viewing Freckleton first time I noticed at least a dozen had been DISQUALIFIED. No reason given. But viewing again it was stated that they had been disqualified for "number and other violations". Curious. Anyone enlighten me?
At Horwich, some great positives and some negatives. The performance which stood out for me was that of DAVID OXLAND of Notts A.C. who won the M60 category in an amazing 17.03! Reading his profile he only started running in 2003 but can boast an 800 in 2.20 35.53 for 10K and 61.56 this year. Great stuff but of course puzzling that such a talent didn't show itself in some form until over 50.
There would appear to have been no "easy" medals won in the mens categories at the BMAF 5K CHAMPS but my wife's eyebrows raised when I told her she might be looking at a gold medal today as her F60 category was won with a time around 27 minutes.
In addition, many team medals were left unclaimed on the presentaion table as so many categories failed to see teams finish.
MENS 35/44......only 1 complete team Salford
MENS 45/54......only 1 complete team Sale Harriers
MENS 55/64.....only 2 complete teams Bingley & Blackburn
MENS 65/74......No complete teams
WOMENS.... no complete teams in 35/44 45/54 over 55 age groups
Is it the new age groups? Is it the venue? Is it the marketing? Is it apathy of the clubs? Who knows?
Plenty good vets no doubt reading this who also didn't compete. Any thoughts?
For me with absolutely no chance of medalling and no team interest the consolation is of course a fast time but the drag up the incline at Horwich 4 times didn't go down well with me last year.
Perhaps next year a team medal?