Carl- go for it- I am a huge believer in entering races to keep you motivated and to give you something to aim for, even if you don't perform your absolute best in them. I entered lots of races a couple of years back when I had put on weight and was feeling very slow and unfit. Each race I did a little better in spurred me on. I bet Brighton marathon would be a great one, I have heard very positive reports of it.
Rob- you ARE awesome! I think you have such a great attitude to racing. You are also not afraid to be adventurous.
I had the Dunbartonshire XC relays this weekend. It is an event where a whole host of west of Scotland teams are invited to bring mens/ladies teams and the relays are across a 4k course. The course was through a forest and was very tough. You did one lap of a playing field, then about 800m solidly uphill through a forest, absolute killer on the legs, then about 800m downhill (I wanted to be shouting 'weeeeeee' as I flew down.) Very muddy/lots of leaves/tree roots, so not the easiest to run on. And the hills were steep! Up was just torture on the legs, and down was fun but you were worrying the whole time of slipping and falling. Back to the playing fields, run through them, and then start again and repeat the whole thing.
I was out second leg. My club had I think 4 ladies teams competing. I was part of the B team and we had a really good A team so knew we had a decent chance of winning a prize with them.
The lady who was out first leg in my team ran strongly and when she came to hand over to me we were in second place. I ran hard and held this place until about 400m from the end when a girl from the local uni running club stormed past me- she was a really fast runner and I had no chance of keeping up with her. She finished just in front of me.
I passed onto our third leg runner and she again ran strongly and kept her place in the field. So we finished third ladies team!
Our A team finished first ladies so our club took two out of three podium places.
The mens' team also won the mens' race! Totally great day out and I don't think I've ever been part of a winning team before. Time for me was just over 18 minutes though time is always slightly irrelevant at XC events.
Nick- I would go for spikes rather than trail shoes for XC... even trail shoes might not offer enough grip on seriously muddy courses. My local running shop always has a good selection of spikes to try on and they are not too expensive- about £40-£60 can get you a decent pair.
Rob- if I don't do a flat HM again before March next year, I'll definitely attempt Balloch again. It is where I got my current PB and hopefully with another shot I could knock another minute or so off! Another ultra coming up for you... you are totally awesome. I'm jealous.
Carter- Thank you, yes I feel good. First XC race at the weekend was really fun and I actually enjoyed it! A 30 mile week is very good indeed and much more than I've done recently- kudos! The off road stuff will be of such benefit to your strength and mental fortitude too.. well done.
IBB- great news! Are you excited?! Have you run London before?
Nick- that's a good result for your 10k and in line with your expectations just now. Always good to be realistic. Run in the New Forest sounds great. I think you can do 3:30 in Manchester given previous form when you are fit and racing lots. Go for it. A good build up will help.
The past week I haven't had a heavy week of running but an enjoyable time any way. Last weekend had a XC race with the club, I felt I raced really well and definitely enjoyed it. It was a short course relay, and I tried hard for my team. 4k course in 17:37, I think that's just over 7:10 min/mile pace, which was actually faster than I thought I could do given hilly/grassy course.
I then ran 12 miles on the Sunday, first long run after the half marathon and I must say my legs were quite tired but I got through it and at about 9:15 min/mile pace which is good for me. So I think I'm in decent shape. This week I've only had one tiny solo run, and one speed session with the club. It was 7 x 600m reps with warm up and cool down either end. I hadn't been to speed sessions in a while so enjoyed that.
Not sure whether to go to club tonight. Feeling pretty exhausted. This weekend, going to do parkrun on Saturday (number 49 so close to my 50 T Shirt!) and then have another XC race on the Sunday.
Nell- nice to see you! Glasgow was great as ever- brilliant event! Amsterdam will be a great marathon and a nice family getaway too
washwood- nice parkrun and sounds like you're going well and returning to longer stuff too!
Rob- hope you get into London. Well done to Elle- did she enjoy her race?
Carl- ouch- hope that strain goes away soon! Nice to see you posting again!
Carter- 30 miles sounds good... a relatively short distance to a madman like you January though? Might be miserable weather but you are hardy, much more than me!
Last week had a nice week of training then paced parkrun for 32 minutes, came in at 31:46 so a bit fast, whoops, but still had a few people in my wee group.
Then Sunday I ran the Great Scottish Run.
It was brilliant as ever and had a great atmosphere. Weather was ideal on the day with no wind, clear blue skies, and fairly cool but sunny.
I ran in 1:43:56. I was really happy with this. My PB is 1:43:12 for HM but on a very flat and fast point to point course. Glasgow is a lot more undulating with two fairly big hills. It's definitely a tougher course than my PB. So to come within the minute of my PB I was happy with. I did slow down quite a lot the last 4 miles though with them all being over 8 minutes whereas the rest was mainly under 8 minute miles.
Hey ho. I think it shows I'm in good shape. XC race this weekend which will be fun- start of the club XC season and always exciting events.
IBB- Well done on your pacing. Would like to visit Windsor, looks lovely.
Carter- you sound like you're moving in the right direction! A very positive weight loss in a few weeks! Well done.
Nick- good running from you. What's your local 10k like? Let us know how you get on.
Sorry again not posted in a week and a bit. Last week had a great week of training and culminated with the Linlithgow 10k which is where my parents live. It is a tough 10k as it's hilly, and varied terrain. Starts off on town roads, then there's a middle section (4-6k) on a very narrow loch side path, then it's onto quiet country roads up some big hills, and then back into the town and to the back of the loch to finish.
I did it in 47:08 and was delighted with that, I had set myself a goal of about 47 minutes beforehand actually. My PB is 45 but it's a tough course and last year I only did it in 48:34. So this year was a massive improvement and I paced it really well running a negative split which always feels amazing. The day before the 10k I paced at Edinburgh parkrun for 26 minutes. Had a wee group sticking with me and did it on my watch in 25:59 but official time 26:01! Annoying! However- still got a few people their PB or fastest time in a while. Love pacing- the best volunteer role.
This week training has been good so far. I am pacing tomorrow at Strathclyde parkrun, and then on Sunday I'm running the Great Scottish Run Half Marathon. Pacing very slow- 32 minutes- so that it is a really really easy run and takes nothing out my legs tomorrow. Quite excited for the GSR as I think I'm in quite good shape. PB just now for HM is 1:43. I don't know if I can break that. It's an undulating route. But 1:45 would be a good second goal.