Ran the Gibbet Hill 10km last night, interesting race. Thunderstorms, ankle deep mud and a genuine Olympic runner - a Mongolian marathon runner, who ran the 10km including hills, mud and a torrential downpour in a little over 30 minutes - astonishing.
I ran 45.13 which I thought was fairly respectable given the conditions, but this guy was amazing, he went up hills like most people run down hill. Small man, not unlike the Ethiopian long distance runners in build and totally effortless in the way he ran.
That was my last race before the Alps, I'm going to do a few easy runs, a few sprints and possibly a Parkrun but no more than that.
Hope everyone is well and enjoying Bradders leading the French (and all the rest) around France as much as I am!
Not as stiff as feared I would be today, must be getting fitter - or I didn't run hard enough! The first lap of 12km was relatively easy yesterday, I felt I had at least 30 seconds a kilometer in my pocket, which was unusual for me as I usually run flat out. Second lap killed me somewhat, but I was only 6 or 7 minutes slower than on lap one, which I was pleased with.
A guy roughly my age, 54, was 5th overall in the 12km in an incredible time for such a tough race - I know him, he's a phenomenal runner, captain of an athletics club, can still do an 18 minute 5km. He's been running all his life, which I believe makes a huge difference. For example I didn't start running properly until 3 years ago - I would jog around my local park once a week, but no races and no training.
I guess there are pros and cons to starting later in life - I have far fewer miles in my legs, I've never had a serious injury, even at my advanced age I can still improve. On the other hand I'm not sure I'll ever be as quick as this guy no matter how hard I train. Decades of running have given him a VDOT which I don't think I can get near. Interestingly he was amazed I had the energy to do two laps, the full 24km, which he claimed he couldn't have done. I think he was being polite but he seems more about speed than stamina.
Anyway, I'm rambling. Off to do a recovery run with my dogs - apparently there is some tennis match today with a Scottish bloke playing, are we interested? Hope everyone enjoys their Sunday.
Phew - that was a tough race, appropriately called The Hurt, 24km through hills and mud. Finished 25th, don't know how I did in my age category as everyone over 40 was listed as a 'veteran' - didn't see any old fellas by the drinks & cakes table when I crossed the line, they all looked fairly young to me!
That's my last competitive race before I head to the Alps at the end of the month to take on a few mountain runners. Heart rate got up to over 180 on some of the hills today, though the average was 153. Now for some well earned sofa time watching The Tour - come on Bradley!
My plan is to target specific races, run hard in those and aim to complete the rest in reasonable times. Last year - when I was not as fit - I found that I did better in the longer, tougher races and got out run in the shorter races. Made no sense to me as all I'd done was 5km training, mostly speed work (my 5km time last year was quicker than it is now), but I do appear to have 'natural' stamina. This year I've focused on endurance and stamina training and done very little speed work.
I tried to target races last year but they set you off at 15 or 30 second intervals, in race order, so the runners you are directly competing against are just behind and just in front. What I found very hard was to quash my competitive instinct and let myself take it easy and get over taken!