Patchy but fun running.
I knew I’d find it tricky keeping on top of my running while studying. In the past, I have used travel time to run into work or elsewhere to make sure I’m getting my training in. I’ve even done a 20 mile run before a 10 am shift before, mid winter! But motivation does seem to more of an issue for me at the moment. Or energy, should I say. The mind is willing; the flesh is weak! These days, I commute by train into Salford, and 23 miles is just a tad too far at present too incorporate into my morning run. One of these days, though, I will do it.
I managed to stick relatively to plan week of 28th September – 4th October, clocking up just shy of 30 miles for the week. However, I missed a couple of planned runs for the week just ending and only clocked up 16.7 miles in total. But – and it’s a big but – 5.2 of those miles were at my first ever cross country race.
5.2 miles on a cross country course, I’ve decided, are worth about 10 times what I’ve been doing on flat canal paths!
The race was at Woodbank Park in Stockport and, for us ladies, the course was 2 small laps and 2 large laps, according to the website information. I managed to glance at the course map the night before the race.
Nothing seemed too scary about it. The course looked friendly, welcoming even. What the map failed to point out was the existence of one gigantic hill! To be ascended not once, but twice! It was so steep that I had to walk up it and it still wiped me out. Thankfully, everyone else around me walked up it too so my pride was saved somewhat. But I enjoyed the race, although I’m not sure I helped my club much with my shocking time. I just enjoyed not watching the clock, bombing down tree-root strewn hills, and running around in a totally new environment. The race was the first of five in the Manchester Area Cross Country League (MACCL) series. There’s one race per month over winter. It’ll be interesting to see how much I progress as the season passes. With that demon of a hill, it certainly felt like great strength training! As always, my club – the Manchester Frontrunners – made me feel like a hero every time I passed the cheering station, even though I’m one of the slower members. You can’t beat that kind of encouragement and it certainly put a spring in my step each time I passed them, and pushed me into what felt like a sprint finish but was actually more like a crawl at the very welcome end of the race.
The image at the top of the page is our post race shot. What a lovely bunch we are!
Fresh off the high of the XC race, I committed to running the Manchester Marathon in April 2016. I was thinking of a spring marathon and hadn’t quite decided between Brighton and Manchester, both of which I’ve ran a couple of times. I went with Manchester in end because it’s local and convenient. It also happens to be the flattest and fastest in the UK. So that elusive sub-3:45 might finally be mine! You heard it here first.
The past two Monday evenings I’ve also run 5.5 miles with the University of Salford’s Student Union Run Club. They’re a super friendly bunch and it’s nice to run with a mix of abilities. It’s a great way to unwind after a full day of lectures. I hope I can keep up running with them too. There’s talk of a a few people doing the Conway Half Marathon in November. If I can be talked into it, I’ll run in Frontrunner club colours, but that doesn’t stop me catching up with the USSU runners while I’m there.
This week’s running stats:
3 runs out of a planned 5
5.2 mile XC race in place of a long run
16.7 out of a planned 36 miles (ouch!)
Average pace of 9:28
Average HR of 154 bpm.