I've been trying to get more faster-paced sessions and races in, with two Parkruns over the holidays, the County XC and my first track session for several months.
The two Parkruns were odd - starting with a heavy legged effort in Nowton Park mud followed a week later by the Bradford Parkrun on tarmac albeit in strong winds and yet only 10 seconds faster. Either Nowton Park isn't as slow a course as I thought or a 45 minute run up on Ilkley Moor (where this photo was taken early morning) and staying up til midnight drinking wine with my Yorkshire cousins the day before took more out of my me than I expected.
It was then onto the County XC which was a pretty sobering experience - I felt incredibly one-paced throughout and disappointed to be so far off where I used to be. The plus was seeing our mens team win the title! However giving it a couple of days for a more rational reflection, I knew I simply needed to work harder and remain patient.
So it was time to get back on the track last Wednesday and what a pleasant surprise it was - cracking out 6 x 1km reps in 3:20 odd pace and feeling great. It wasn't the full session and sure enough my calves were tight for a couple of days afterwards, but in the space of 40 minutes or so I'd got rid of any lingering disappointment about Culford and was already looking forward to Haughley Park.
I wrote this blog post on the train home from work last night. Then I got off the train and started the run home only to go flying seconds later over a tree stump by the pavement on a poorly lit residential street. A runner's mentality is to get up and going again as quickly as possible but once I'd got home and peeled off my lycra tights I saw my knee had split open and subsequently needed to go to hospital last night to get it stitched up. So, no Haughley Park XC after all for me as I'm told to wait a week before running so I don't open up the wound. One step, forward one step back - although it's already in the past so I just move on and it's only a week out.
There's still a long way to go but I'll keep plugging away until I get there.