First there was a Cross Country meet at Penrith, then 4 days later an offroad, hilly, half marathon then 3 days after that another cross country, this time at Burnley. Inbetween that I haven't trained - didn't seem to be any need to.
The first XC was for the veteran Championship of Cumbria. I didn't win! The following day I enjoyed an outing in the valley behind Skiddaw, running about 15 miles or so in real gloomy conditions. Very easy pace though and little climbing.
Then Monday I met up with Milly who was doing some fartlek training. Id done a handful of miles easy and basically was going home but I joined in a five minute effort with him, then a two before jogging the short distance home while he got on with the rest of his session.
Whilst I never intended the midweek race to curtail my normal training I figured that to run 10m brisk with Plucky just 17 hours prior would be likely to get me injured so I rested up on Tuesday.
The half marathon was on forest tracks in an RAF base about 20 miles from Carlisle. Only about 120 entered it and most of them were RAF personnel. I knew the winning time in previous years was more than 1hr 20 and reckoned I would be able to run somewhere in that time region myself. It wasn't to be though as a young gun recorded 1:18 to my 1:21 (for third place). I was quite strong for most of the run. I almost caught the second placed lad with about 3m to go but then I faded in the final 1.5m and he pulled away again. Some lads were talking afterwards about how they both ran approx 2 mins slower at this event than the Cumbrian run just a few weeks earlier. So that would have given me a 1:19 or so if I had followed suit. 1:19 is not quite where I want to be though. I reckon I should be able to run sub 6min miling for all distances up to and including the half. However, I think the time to run a good half is when the marathon miles are in your system, perhaps early march.
The two days following the Half I did bugger all really, just a four mile jog one afternoon.
Then suddenly it was Saturday and the Burnley Cross Country was upon me. I know I shouldn't have ran it really, or certainly not at full effort, but I'd said weeks ago I would have a go at the Mid Lancs League meetings and I didn't want to back out.
Conditions were blustery but dry. Very muddy in places, but avoidable for the most part. There was even a section of about 200m of tarmac path which was Ideal for me as I was one of the few not using spikes so I could blast past folk taking care to keep to the grassy edges. With 350 runners I was always in company, and notably with fellow Border Harriers Jason Holmes and Chris Neil close by. I managed to drop them both after a lap or so but then about half a mile before the end of the race my half marathon came back to haunt me as my legs turned to mush. I was overtaken left and right and only the fast approaching finish line saved me from losing a lot more places.
Bearing in mind that I always said one race per week was too much for me, to run 3 within 8 days was a bit daft. Better than going training though. Next weekend is yet another race - the Derwentwater 10. At least there are 8 days between it and the XC so I should be OK. Theres also the Brampton to Carlisle 10 two weeks after the Derwent 10. I will be tapering a little for the B to C and therefore NOT racing the XC the weekend before it.
Yesterday (Sunday) I had a walk up a local fell - not far or steep. Today I jogged out for about 4 miles with Scamp. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel able to push on a bit with Plucky but I certainly couldn't have done anything tough today - legs are not trashed and sore just aching from deep within!