Increasing the pace, English XC relaying and WTF is wrong with 2016?

“Everything you need is already inside.” 

― Bill Bowerman

24 days till the 2016 Percy Pud 10k
66 days till the 2017 Brass Monkey half marathon 

51 days left of 2016

Since the not quite to plan day at Worksop Half Marathon things have picked up considerably.  The day after the Halloween horror show was a nice easy Monday 4mile recovery. This meant I had some energy back for Tuesday club tempo.  Dave had told me to go with the 2nd fastest group on their 7.10/7/6.50/6.40/all out blast progressive session not the 6:30 gang.  Sound advice and a great 10mile effort even if there was a few too many dicey road crossings and a few people dropped with the pace. Tuesday was an easy  3mile run In the dark with the dog again putting energy back in the legs ready for the session planned for Thursday.  This was 2 sets of 1mile blast up Long Lane,bolsterstone with 3min rest then 1mile blast back down for a 5min rest between sets.  

An headwind on the ups added an extra element to the reps to the top of Long(yep) lane which turns to…….. Wind Hill Lane (definitely wind hill). The reps are actually 0.92mile and my rep times 6.05, 4.54, 6.12, 5.01.   Good times and a little chuckle from the 2 Army guys sat at the top in their land rover . They were probably wondering what this crazy guy was doing running up, standing around, sprinting off the returning 11min later to stand around then sprint back off.  Post session was a 2.5mile wind down finishing at Costa coffee at Fox Valley for coffee & muffin

One other key element of this session was trying out my new Racing shoes.  It’s hard when you find a pair of shoes you love, run fast times in then are discontinued by the manufacturer.  I have been looking for a pair of racers I got on with like the Adidas Hagio’s I loved but struggled. I have for over a year sowing up the hagio’s . We’ve had many a last race but I always ended up back in the yellow beasts.  Well I’ve finally found a pair I love as much in the ASICS Noosa fast below.  They are just as fast and light.  RIP hagio’s 

So, Friday was again 30min easy with Saturday’s relays in mind.  

Saturday then I was picked up by the minibus after taking  photos at Hillsborough parkrun.  It was so cold I lost feeling in my button pressing finger despite wearing gloves.  It hadn’t warmed up much by the time we arrived in Berry park, Mansfield.  Club tent was put up, warm ups were done and the ladies event was started.   Before long it was the men senior race with me on leg 2 of the B team following Ben Mahoney.   Knowing he’d be coming in soon I made my way into the waiting pen.  Our team number was 188 and this is how the conversation went.  

Spotting official: 188

Makes way to start pen

Start pen official: not called your number

Me: they have

Spo: I haven’t heard it

Me(pointing): he just called it.

Spo: no he hasn’t

Me: he has

Ben shoots past to finish

Me: he’s there

Spo: your numbers not been called

Start official: c’mon Sheffield you’ve been called 

Spo: go on then 

So I was off chasing down people in front, I did pass a few in the woods but lost a couple of places to faster runners. I was conscious of Richard Mackie of Penistone footpath runners being not far behind and when I heard breathing behind I thought I t could be him so tried to hold the heavy breathing runner off.  Finally I was passed and as he continued to pull away I realised it was the 2nd placed team Derby runner lapping me.  Jeez.  Anyway I continued pushing knowing the finish was approaching for me to pass the gauntlet to Chris Ireland.   Over the finish line and I saw Chris fly past to start his leg.  Mackie was a few seconds behind but apparently nowhere near catching me.  I had ran 19:57 for the 3miles. I was a little disappointed on a flattish dry XC course.   Splits of 6.55, 6.40 & 6.20 shows unlike me normally I set off too conservatively and built to a fast fast finish helped by the Derby ac runner. A feat event but still not as good as the National XC championships in my opinion.  Still one of my favourite events. 

Time for a rest ? Nope nowhere near on Dave Yodafield plan.  Sunday was a 15 mile with 12 at 7.30mpm then a tempo last 3miles. I worked out a flattish route, set off, then at 2miles changed the route and instead went up some big hills. Plonkerish at best I was out for over 2hr, Climbed nearly 3000ft and was exhausted by the end. Monday was a speed endurance session but getting asked to come in for a shift on my day off I had to cut the session down with time only for 12 of the 20 400mtr sprints (sets of 4x75sec with 5min rest between sets). I can’t put 75secs into my Epsom watch so went for the 400mtr instead. 12 reps on an undulating course ranging from 65-68secs shows the pace is coming back nicely.  Carry on improving and I may again put a sub 36min percy pud target on the treble but not yet. 

Tuesday was again SRC club tempo but after last weeks incidents the route changed to a 3mile loop with the last a pick up in pace.  Two groups split into a 7min and a 6.40 went out with the slower group having  a 2.5min head start so we all in principle finish at the same time. Didn’t quite work out like that but despite getting dropped at 7miles and catching up a little from 8miles it was a worthwhile effort on legs that are getting tired now.  I did a 4mile recovery in the heavy snow this morning but made the mistake of putting on road shoes instead of trail shoes so it wasn’t as easy has it should have been.  A few more sessions over the next few day before finally I get a rest day Sunday. The 1st in 15days.  

Anyway, wtf is up with 2016? Loads of high profile celebrity deaths, a close personal death of Emma’s grandad, Brexit decision with the circus still going on around that and now the US of A voting in Donald bloody Trump. Be afraid, be very afraid by that .   Only 51days to go.  Surely 2017 can’t be as crazy can it?
Anyway Bye for Now

You can stil vote for this blog in the 2017 Running awards Here

“The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed”



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