Quick runs and an annoying ankle

Since I posted here last after the Durrell Challenge I’ve only had four runs which is probably a couple less than I’d normally aim for.

Last week was really rather busy which isn’t a great excuse but I did fit in a good gym session instead of my normal recovery run. Enjoyed that. I did the same this week actually but still I probably need to do the extra run a week anyway.

Last Thursday I decided I’d do the little hill circuit on the roads around our house. A good hard 5km was planned and it went really well, particularly on the shorter hills. I set a couple of personal records on route and managed to enjoy it too.

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Then came Parkrun #34. That went pretty well but unfortunately after the run when coming back up the course to find my wife I stood in a covered over hole and hurt my ankle. It’s still bothering me a bit now but is at least getting better and I’m able to do a fair bit on it.

Yesterday I had another strong run too with a couple more personal bests and also setting second best ever times for 1km and a half mile. All the time while my wife was doing a brilliant job at the Race For Life. All in all a great day.

9 out of 12 – The Durrell Challenge

https://www.strava.com/activities/576519351

It’s a little after 10pm on the night of the 13k Durrell Challenge and I have to say I’m pretty much spent. In fairness the couple of bottles of wine we’ve enjoyed since 11am have had something to do with that. I don’t think I’ve ordered a drink as early as 11 before except on the day of my wedding. And on day trips to France. And maybe when we did the Spitfire 10k last year.

So apart from those dozen or so occasions we’ve never drunk so early.

Anyway, right now I can honestly say I gave my all. It will not be my best ever race of its kind – it was “only” my third best ever 8-miler – but actually that’s pretty hard to judge because I don’t run uphill very much.

The start of the race felt slow but was actually quite quick so it was necessary to keep close control of one’s speed and effort levels. After the initial steady climb was a really nasty hill that I chose to walk up but it went well. And in all honesty most of the rest of the race followed the same pattern. As is currently traditional for me I faded a bit towards the end but had enough for a pretty strong sprint finish. 13km mainly uphill completed in 1:18:55.

I was hoping for 1:15 because that was 4-hour marathon pace but going uphill for this long wasn’t the day for it. But I finished up happy, met a few other competitors that I knew and made my way home. Via the pub for our traditional prosecco.

9 down, 3 to go. And all is well

Looking back…

Nine races into our 12 race adventure, we’ll occasionally look back or talk about our plans. Those conversations inevitably bring me to this song and video – filmed in, and partly about, Bexhill-on-Sea. I ran past the wooden structure they show and the Sovereign Light Café itself six times each in the Poppy Half. Amazing memories (rather glossing over the foul weather that day)

Watch “Keane – Sovereign Light Café” on YouTube

Two tunnels and a half marathon

… And maybe a marathon too.

No this isn’t the title of some dreadful new Richard Curtis film but it is a summary of some of the running related news from my last couple of weeks.

The Two Tunnels 10k “Return Ticket” was selected as our July event which will also double as the opening of a little short break we now have planned. As a Garmin addict I’m really not sure how I’ll feel about running in tunnels which I’d imagine have no GPS signal. I’ll be relyin on my own senses more than usual.

In Half Marathon news, we have made the slightly tough decision to opt out of the Silverstone Half in 2017. Not that we won’t be back – in fact I’m 99% sure we will be – but next year we have a better focus. It will likely be our last opportunity to run in our daughters current home town so the Reading Half Marathon gets our vote for our big event early in the year. As we now have at least some recognition of a few places in Reading it should be a great day.

And I’m sure it will be good preparation for London. Hopefully. Hopefully in the sense that we’re in the ballot again for the London Marathon along with the best part of 300,000 others. I was quite excited but it’s sobering to realise how slim the chances are. It almost makes trying another marathon and going for a Good For Age qualifying time look reasonable. Almost.

So lots to look forward to then. Training has been going OK. I did a hilly session on the roads around our home which featured a particularly strong and fast final climb. A mid-25 minute time at parkrun followed then a steady 8 miler and finally tonight brought a very strong 5k session, covering the ground in under 27 minutes – terrific for a training run.

Which then brings me finally to the Durrell Challenge on Sunday week. I think I’m perversely looking forward to this one. A largely uphill 13k really shouldn’t be appealing but at the same time I think I’m due for a strong run with how training has gone. Time will tell, but at the very least I’m really keen to get going.