I have two favourite running sessions each week. The first is my Tuesday night visit to the track. I never know what I am going to be doing there until early Tuesday morning (provided the email gets circulated) but I generally turn up and run as hard as my little legs can carry me. I have no doubt that my consistent attendance at the track in 2015 has played a significant role in my steady return to form and subsequent PB smashing that I have enjoyed in recent weeks.
My other favourite session comes on a Saturday morning as I turn up at a playing field in Cranleigh to run the parkrun that was set up just a few short months ago. It’s a small but friendly community of regular runners and volunteers and it has been a real pleasure to see it grow in stature. Today, with Guildford cancelled due to the County Show, we set a new attendance record of 117, and in the glorious sunshine it was a pleasure to run amongst such a good crowd. A number of GGAC runners had made the trip over as they are usually Guildford participants and it was nice to see Gavin and Jonathon in the ‘elite’ lead pack of 5 almost immediately. I could see Caroline and Cecilia ahead of me, and it wasn’t until the turnaround point that I realised that Andy, Al and Matt weren’t far behind.
It was also nice that I could be a little miffed with my time, but still be under 21 minutes – that speaks volumes of how far I have come this year. My biggest problem with the day is that I knew on my warm-up jog that it simply wasn’t going to be my day, and probably for one simple reason:
It was my 5th ‘hard’ run in 6 days – and that’s a silly way to go!
Last Sunday I had a fantastic run which included running all the way up Barhatch Road which was a categorised climb on the Tour of Britain in recent years and which my car sometimes struggle to cope with – but I ran all the way from bottom to top in 19 minutes. I ended up doing just shy of 10 miles in 90 minutes which was pleasing.
On Monday I went with Rob at lunchtime, but I had forgotten my socks and decided to risk it. That was a foolish decision and whilst I cannot lay blame specifically at either the Salomon X-Screams or the Superfeet insoles, I did have a very uncomfortable 6 mile run up and down some hills that my quads were not enjoying as a blister formed right on the middle of my arch.
Tuesday was track and then finally I enjoyed a rest day on Wednesday.
Rob dragged me out again on Thursday lunchtime and although I managed to talk him out of a 10km effort, we still went for a hilly tempo paced session. Thankfully, he chose to carry on at a fork in the footpath so that he could get to six miles, and I took the shortcut to add up to four and a half.
On Friday I have been enjoying staff-yoga at work on the afternoon. It is a really good session that seems to push us ‘just-enough’.
And that is why a 5km parkrun effort on the cross-country Cranleigh course was such bloody hard work.
Here’s to a nice, easy 90 minutes tomorrow, and a few more ‘recovery’ style runs during the week!