Last Sunday, I set out for my run as per usual. It took me a little while to feel warmed-up and my left calf seemed never to really agree with the concept of running almost from the off. I thought briefly about another attack on Barhatch Road (super long hill) and decided against it, but what I probably should have done was turned around and just gone home.
After a few miles I still wasn’t feeling much love from the left leg and decided I needed to probably cut my 10 miler down a little, so I took the turning to the right and headed back home. The calf was so tight that as soon as I was back in the village and my watch beeped for 7 miles I decided to stop and use the walk back home as a cool down. I got home and was very frustrated that after the significant high of setting another new PB at parkrun with 20:20, my first time on the podium, in third place, and the celebration of completing my 50th parkrun, that this run had been such a negative experience.
Monday is usually a day for a lunch time run from the office, but my leg was still playing up and I was looking ahead in the week to a significant challenge on Thursday so I decided to rest. In fact for three days I was living in compression socks and calf sleeves in an attempt to squeeze some life back into the leg. It also meant that I missed the track session on Tuesday night.
Wednesday is usually rest day, so I took that to heart and rested some more.
The Big Walk 2015
Every year, once the A2 students have all left, the remaining AS students are set the challenge of completing ‘The Big Walk’ for charity. The concept is a simple one: We start at the main school and head off into the surrounding countryside to complete a tour of the boarding houses. The students are sold this as a 12 mile walk, though I was confident it was less than that. The first year I was at the school I managed to get out of doing the big walk thanks to a little trip to Chamonix for a long weekend of running. Last year, having been well and truly broken, I was unable to do the walk thanks to injury.
This year, there was no getting out of it!
Thankfully, resting all wekk seemed to pay off and our ‘fast’ running group set off first. By the bottom of the hill it was clear some students had significantly overplayed their ability and I lost the first person to the group behind us by the first road crossing. As tail-end-charlie I then had a sprint to get across back to my group for the climb up the hill. This climb took its toll on a few of the students, and I was not going to beat my current 3rd place overall on the Strava segment today. Here, I discovered just how out of depth the students were as one of them hadn’t run for a year and previously never run further than 9km – how he thought the fast group on a 12 miler was a good idea I shall never know.
From the top of Pitch Hill the route is a steady downhill to the first CP stop at Peaslake. Students were getting stitches and three of them seemed to swap places at the back of the group to take walk breaks. It was a shame not to be running more, but it meant I got to enjoy the outdoors a bit more.
At Peaslake we head east towards Holmbury St. Mary and the next CP stop at the final boarding house. We re-grouped here, but before long the faster guys, lead by Rob from IT, were off in the distance and I was walking anything that resembled a hill with the few at the back of the group, who were putting on a determined effort to get to the end.
The final stretch is a lovely downhill back to school where we were welcomed to the finish line with cheers and plenty of sugary treats to refuel with. It was nice to wait around for the next running group to come in and then ultimately all the walking groups too.
Hurtwood House is not known for its sporting prowess, but the students did amazingly well to complete this tough challenge on what was a particularly hot day.
On Saturday I toed the line at parkrun again, but I was adamant that I would take it easy having not moved very much this week. I strolled around the course comfortably before almost being beaten to the line in a sprint finish. Nice to have such a controlled run and still finish in 22:40(ish)
On Sunday, I gave half a thought to going for a run – but decided instead to hang out with the family and celebrate my lovely niece’s 1st Birthday! We had a brilliant day, and a delicious afternoon tea! yum
And today – well this is officially day one of my Frankfurt Marathon training.