The last time I posted anything, 2011 to be exact so in that time we've had a Diamond Jubilee, an British winner of the Tour de France, the small matter of the London Olympics and a few other things along the way.
In terms of me and my running, 2012 was looking good with my highest finishes in the Northern and National cross, a PB over 10k (30:36) and some promising runs in the road relays. Then the track season came around and things seemed to go a little haywire. In my first 3k I felt as though I was running with the brakes on and a couple of further early season races I felt the same. Then in early June I was diagnosed with shingles so had almost a month off. Upon my return I had lost a lot of my endurance and I was battling through races until the end of the season. I then experienced my first triathlon, a local low key pool based one in Wilmslow. After 6 weeks of training I finished 3rd, I'll admit my swimming could have been better but my endurance background helped on the bike and especially on the run. After that there were a few cross country races, 6 stage relays, which put Sale back on the map, and a 10k in Leeds.
Then I had a little life event, my girlfriend and I went travelling for 3 and a half months. We took in south east Asia, the east coast of Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. We have overused the superlatives to describe our time and I am glad I had the opportunity to do it! I did a fair amount of running while I was out there, I started with a fresh pair of Kinvara's and these shoes are certainly well travelled. They covered over 500 miles in 6 different countries, trekked through jungles, navigated cities, climbed mountains, jumped out planes and helped save lives (well helped a boy with a broken leg). If they were a person they would have some stories to tell. I recently had to 'retire' them from running after 700ish miles of use. I'm not currently sure what to do with them I'm sure i will think of something in the next week or so.
So that brings us almost to present day. I've been back in blighty for just over a month and have just about brought myself up to speed with life, work and training. I was thrown into the deep end at the national 12 stage running 1st leg and, unsurprisingly, I found myself down on last year. Staying positive, I know that things are only going to improve as I am currently in a winter type training regime and will be until the end of May before I start to focus on races towards the end of June and July.
Hopefully I will try and a bit more frequent with my updates but below is my last weeks training including the races in the BAL in Lee Valley.
After running 73 miles the previous week this was going to be a slightly shorter week with the BAL on the Saturday, however as the plan is to keep the volume up to at least the end of May it was still going to be close to 60 miles.
Sunday: Out with Chris Warburton and Simon Horsfield from Parrs Wood down the River Mersey and back through Didsbury. I did 15 minutes before as the plan was only for 65-70 min. We clipped along at a good pace getting down to 6 min/mile, although I pulled it back when I saw that popping up on the Garmin. We averaged 6:34 for the whole run but the last few miles were certainly a lot quicker than that.
Daily Total: 12
Monday: (Am) Went out for a 3.5 mile run with the plan on doing some gym work after but got my timings wrong as i turned up at 9 and the gym did not open until 10. As it was a glorious day I went for a ride on my bike in the afternoon although looking back maybe should have taken it a little easier.
(Pm) At the University Playing fields for 2k, 2k 1.5k although it was timed rather than distance so 5.5min and 4.5min. Chris was flying and set the pace, some of the younger members also set off quick. I settled in and worked through, running around 4:55 min/mile pace for the 2k reps. For the final rep we set off considerably quicker and I ended up averaging 4:47. Pleased with the session overall but the legs were tired.
Daily Total: 10.5
Tuesday: (Am) a steady 3 miles from home where I was feeling a jaded after yesterdays efforts.
(Pm) Ran 5.5 miles to the bike shop where I had dropped the bike for a service. Then went for a ride with the group, I was expecting a leisurely ride around the Cheshire plains instead I had a slog up the Peak District hills, the thighs were burning a little but enjoyed it none the less.
Daily Total: 8.5
Wednesday: (Am) another 3.5 to shake the legs out after the day before.
(Pm) Down to the track for 7*300 with Charlie Hulson and Gavin Hill, kept them all inside 47 with a few dipping down to 45. First real speed session in spikes of the year and was a bit of a shock but need to keep the fast twitch fibres alive (the few remaining I have!)
Daily Total: 9.5
Thursday: Ran just under 4 during my lunch. Wasn't feeling it today so just did the 25 minutes rather than the 35 I had planned.
Daily Total: 4
Friday: A busy friday at work meant I was only able to get out after so just ran a steady 3.5 to keep the legs awake before the trip down to Watford.
Daily total: 3.5
Saturday: BAL Lee Valley. The plan was always to run the 3k Chase at this meet but due to various injuries and unavailability I also put my name down for the 5k. The chase was reasonable but I was a little disappointed with the time of 9:23 also being out sprinted was a bit of a shock in the last 50m. This was always going to be a marker and I know things are only going to improve. The 5k was just over an hour later, the plan was to work through the pack as best I could. A lead group broke away after a 2:56 first k and 3min 2nd. I was a little off the pace and went through 3k in about 9:04 while tracking the B runner from Herne Hill. I was hoping to up the pace in the final k, the lungs were willing but the legs were not and I finished with 15:17. Overall I was pleased with the 5k especially so soon after the chase however I would like to see improvements for the next race.
Daily Total: 9
Weekly Total: 57
As expected for the week in terms of mileage, races went ok but I know better things to come.