So, I'm back running after the latest setback - saw James at Abbeyfields today to get some rehab strength exercises for my feet and ankles and came away feeling reassured too.
With such positivity comes a little frustration at feeling quite unfit again and the realisation of how much ground I've got to make up and a few kgs to lose! With that reality check in mind, I'll have zero expectations by the time of my first race at the Hereward Relay (first race for about 7 months!) and this year i'll be miles off the front on stage 1. I'm fine with this though as my objectives have changed to simply get back to a point, like I was in September, when I felt strong and relatively fast. Woodbridge XC is still a doubt as I'm a little more cautious running fully off-road at the mo until my ankles are stronger. For now it's using the gravel trail part of the Ickworth estate and possibly starting sessions with Tuesday hills and the track in a couple of weeks time.
Given the above is more positive than my last blog post, I've surprised myself with how p*ss*d off I felt at missing out on a place in the Cambridge Half despite trying repeatedly online yesterday morning. When I calmed down, I did feel it was worth pinging them an email for future consideration, just my views whether they are worth anything or not. Essentially I said they know it's the biggest and fastest half in the eastern region and so instead of being preoccupied by selling out in record time - if you know a race will sell out it really doesn't matter if it's in 5 hours or 5 weeks! - they should be offering more to serious runners and clubs in the region. At the very least offer a second exclusive wave for IP and NR postcodes after Cambridgeshire which is understandably first but perhaps also offer a wave exclusively for affiliated members of clubs in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. The Cambridge Half is a great race but at present they only care about those living in Cambridgeshire whether serious runners or not and filling up the rest of the places asap. They need to strike a balance and offer something to the groups mentioned above. It was constructive in tone so hopefully it's useful feedback and next time I'll have to use my brother-in-law's address to enter given he's a CB postcode.
Having said that, I know I'm relieved to simply be back running and not worry too much about one race in March, as there's the Tarpley 10 to have a real go at and hopefully Stowmarket Half will return to its usual late March slot. Despite the lure of the flat big city atmosphere offered in Cambridge, my 73 minute Half pb is still from winning the Stowmarket Half a good few years ago so clearly a quiet country route still has its merits.
This photo was taken about 2500m up above Verbier over half-term - stunning place but if / when I ever go back there I'll make sure I can run there too!