I always find September as a runner a slightly strange month – on the one hand there’s excitement and renewed motivation to get the training in after some time off at the end of the summer, but I also don’t do much racing and the weather can quite abruptly change during the month which presents a bit of a challenge to that renewed motivation.
I do enjoy all the wildlife encountered when out running: sheep and deer in Ickworth and cows in Cambridge - it seems there is a runners highway code depending on the animal: deer are the easy ones as they scarper as soon as they see/hear you, sheep are also easy as they either ignore you running by or scarper as well, then there's cows who in my experience don't move an inch so you know to go round them and then there's horses and the need to give them a wide berth too as they're a little unpredictable. It's funny the experience we rely on when out running.
I’m pleased with my week-by-week progress: last week I was running pretty much daily, got the gym workouts in and had a great 9-mile run in Ickworth on Sunday – starting with an impromptu first mile or two with Kim and his lovely dog then heading round the estate and ramping up the pace mile by mile. At this time of year I’m looking for small signs of progress, I’m not recording any times or logging anything on my Garmin, just being aware of my body and how it is adapting as signs of progress – the last mile or so felt under 6 minute mile pace on Sunday and felt good, breathing was calm, arms and thighs were strong and form stayed consistent and I even managed a smile at passing dog walkers. These are the small signs of encouragement I look for. At the same time I know that there’s no real test better than racing, which will start in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime I’ll be getting some track sessions underway from next week to put some real pace and efforts into my training as well as continuing with my lunchtime 5 mile loop in Cambridge (as shown in the picture – I do this a couple of times a week) and weekend runs in Ickworth increasing by a mile or so every week but up to no more than 12 miles for the foreseeable future until the new year whenthe Cambridge Half becomes the focus and long runs will go up to 15 miles for some over-distance endurance.