...though at least a little better than last year.
North Mids XC - Derby
Decided to run this without GPS pace other than mile splits, and to race it by effort and against those around me in the field. On the road those two things would have dovetailed nicely, but here, having quickly spied the two Long Eaton runners just ahead who had dragged me through to 18:51 at my last parkrun, it just led to an unsustainable first mile of 6:18.
That would have been bang on for the approx 10k distance on the road, but I was stubbornly making no allowance for my XC shiteyness, and thereafter I managed no other complete mile at better than 6:51. Slowly but surely found myself being swallowed up by many of those who would have been ahead of me in XC last winter, but had been behind me on the road and, in one or two cases, track this summer. Depressing. Breathing was fine, HR seemed ok, but the legs just weren't interested in playing ball. Tried shortening the stride, swinging the arms a bit more, ensuring I stayed upright going uphill, but no matter what I did they just weren't having it. Getting some strength into the feeble bastards with some steep hill repeats therefore looks like being a priority for the winter's base training.
I managed to at least stem the bleeding from around the end of the 4th mile, my slowest, and was pretty much holding station through the final lap. The appearance of a chap on my shoulder as I began to hunt down one or two others in front of me in the closing stages finally seemed to stir the competitive juices. Fairly motored through the last couple of minutes taking back or defending several places, and with some University young spunker desperately trying to reclaim the position I nabbed from him, I somehow dug out the last minute at 4:38 pace according to the Garmin:
A pretty hopeless 3 minutes longer for roughly the same distance covered compared to Shelton last week, but there were some plusses. It's the first time I've averaged under 7mm for XC (6:48) which was good enough to make our Vets A side - 3 to score - and we sit in a healthy 4th position (just behind Redhill in 3rd) in a high quality league which draws clubs from all over Notts, Derbys, Leics, Northants, Lincs and Staffs.
It was a fairly tame course though...I'll probably get worse as the conditions and courses get tougher!
Richard - Congratulations! I also approve of your change of racing emphasis for next year. I've similar 5 mile PB issues to address as you and Lit, though have nothing on the radar for doing so.
Well done, Marrows! Target achieved and nice report...enjoyed the chicken dance interludes.
Get those fast-twitchers woken up again, Charlie - and who knows? You might find you're still well suited to the track. Look forward to comparing notes and given I've travelled (from Notts) as far as Oxford to the south and Leeds to the north, there's every chance I'll travel to something local to you. The 6 x 800m at a bit faster than current 5k pace sounds a much better option for your parkrun training than 2 x 1.63m incidentally.
I concur with the thoughts on the conflicts between Strava curiosity / mistrust. And on a similar theme is why I don't tend to mention holidays until I'm back.
Lou - Congrats on the 18:48...git. Seriously, was a great feeling going under 19 for the first time, just as good as sub-20 so well done. May have a run out myself this weekend in an attempt to get my nose back in front. Good running, and report from the Rugby 10 - impressive Mile 9 even if it was downhill.
Tommy - Well done - that was a good first effort. Much closer to your road 10k PB than I was to mine.
Lit - Sounds like a tough little course. Tougher than ours but as alluded to above, I was still crap...
Welcome back, CJ. Hope to see you back running, racing and posting a bit more regularly.
Enjoyed your excellent summary of the weekend's events, Skinny!
Glad you seem to be improving, DT. I'd stick with short, easy runs until things settle down a bit though.
Lou - I always find even when I do try on the uphills, that I would still appear not to be! 6:31 for 20 mins at threshold bodes well. That 10k PB needs sorting out. You'd be well in for sub 39:30 now. Can't remember if you've got any coming up?
Pete - Nice recovery session.
Some great running from you, Mace - looks like Lit's going to have some competition again at the 'top of the shop' soon enough.
I read your session as 4 x 1.7m @ 10kp first off, Muddy - and thought, 'he's at it again!' I see now the first loop was a warm up which makes it not quite so exhausting to think about.
Are you on one of your sensible recovery weeks, Lit?
A quiet week of mostly short recovery running for me too with the only quality being 6 x 2 mins @ 3k off an average of just over a minute, plus 90 seconds very hard (4:45 pace) after a longer rest mixed into an 8.5 miler. No reason for the hard running at the end, other than I'm already missing that BURN of the MD stuff. Covered a total of 2.4 miles @ 5:38 average, closer to 5:45 without the 800 pace stuff at the end.
I'm also curious about what I might have done had I started running when I was younger, but have no regrets. I enjoyed my various obsessions when younger of watching (and playing a bit of) football in my teens and early 20s, clubbing in my mid-20s to early 30s, and cricketing from my late 20s to my early 40s. Bit of overlap between those, and with a theme of a surfeit of beer running through the lot them, and all of which meant that the running would never have worked anyway. Still plenty you can achieve on a local, regional, national or even international level as a runner no matter what age you start anyway. Certainly enough to keep me interested.
Looking forward to joining Tommy in his first competitive race for the club in the North Mids XC tomorrow. He's at the beer-fest today - not ideal prep, though he is pulling pints rather than supping them, so it could be worse! Speaking of footwear, I'd hoped to get some XC spikes but ran out of time for tomorrow. So looks like being the clumpy Kanadia Trails I performed so miserably in for the most part last year then, though will take a pair of roadies along as well in case it stays dry, and the course is in good nick - which it can sometimes be for this one apparently.