Nowton Park XC – 8th place and then a 5 mile warm-down run over the fields to home.
A solid if not spectacular run – I didn’t have much of a spring in my step – perhaps due to the 30k still in my legs or not having had a typical training week with it being half-term and a few days away with the family, or perhaps due to a lurking cold which has suddenly appeared on Sunday night / Monday.
It’s always nice to run on home soil; you have loads of clubmates running, you have family there to watch and you know the place better than other teams plus the weather was mild and, by Nowton Park’s usual winter conditions, it was pretty firm under foot. I had forgotten about the naughty little dip we run through near the end of each lap – well done to whoever put that in the course, it makes for an ‘interesting’ little test just when you’re thinking about the end of the lap/race. Random thought but a little camera on one of those logs could provide entertaining footage!
I was hoping to get stuck in to a few days hard training in the early part of this week before easing off a little bit in the lead up to Tarpley, but now I have a head cold I will be a bit more cautious – frustrating but hopefully the wise choice. After 9 weeks of my marathon training schedule, the law of averages would tell me I was probably due a cold or similar hiccup. Colds are a funny thing – many runners swear by the mantra if it’s above the neck, crack on regardless. I don’t personally agree as I think it’s down to individual choice about how you’re feeling – if I feel like a 10-ton elephant when doing a 30-minute steady run, it’s probably not going to help me fitness-wise or health-wise. I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome about 16 years ago and ever since then I’ve been acutely aware of listening to my body, knowing when to push and when to ease off. I do get frustrated about such things when it’s the time I’d like to be out putting in a few hard days training, but I get a loss less frustrated than I used to thanks to a busy life with family and a full-time job to take your mind off running. I’ll just take it a day at a time focusing on the immediate short term – still doing gym cardio every day and running when I can, as the priority now is to be in good health for a real crack at the Tarpley 10 and Cambridge Half, before resuming the longer runs and harder training again for the marathon.
The spring-like weather of the last few days has definitely helped with training and will hopefully be in place for the upcoming races.
I’m looking forward to Tarpley – it’s a decent course, a great club event and a real testimony to the ‘core’ of Pacers people who put in so much time to these events. Talking about the ‘core’, it’s great to see the marathon listings up on the website (http://www.pacers.org.uk/club-records) – if you are in any doubt as to the depth in quality, historically, of our club members this is a very useful reminder. If I do run 2:45, I won’t even make the top 10.
Fundraising plug: I'm raising money for two charities as part of my efforts in the London Marathon in April and the Snowdonia Trail Marathon in July - if you'd like to donate, please have a look at my page here: www.justgiving.com/companyteams/tomkingsnorth.