John Fraser 10 – Sunday 7th September 2014

The last few weeks have been beset by “niggles”; not quite full blown injuries, but enough to be disruptive. I have rested, and I’ve eased down on my training subsequently, but the cause is tight hamstrings, glutes, and IT band. Going back to the stuff I should have been doing, but stopped once I was fully fit after the last injury, I think it is obvious what the problem(s) is (are); the same pattern has emerged, with a weakness higher up my leg manifesting itself in my ankle.

I tested my glutes, just to be sure, and my left one has weakened again, so much so, I can barely perform a single leg curl with the lowest weight (5kg). So I am now back on the strengthening regime.

I did find, however, that after my sports massage, I had some increased flexibility. Some good news.

The problem is, because I’m no longer used to the strength work, I’m feeling very tired, and achy. I eased off the running before this race, but I think the nerves kicked in, or maybe I knew deep down, but I wouldn’t be racing this one. I’d have to use it as a training run at what I felt would be my half marathon pace. I hoped that I would be wrong, and that when I started the race, everything would fall back into place, and I would have a good, run, but it didn’t. I settled into a slower pace, instead, and resigned to not getting a club gold standard of 1 hour 20 minutes.

IMG_7029.JPGLooking relaxed at the start, some way short of “race pace”

I had warmed up, and I had done a few looseners, but hills are not when you have muscle weakness, I guess. The course is described by some as “undulating”, which to me means “hilly”. Some nutters claim it’s a flat course, and compare it to Hermitage (which I have run), or other races I’ve not had the pleasure of running. Whilst it doesn’t have the same huge, sharp incline that Hermitage had, this race has long inclines, but short, sharp feeling descents. I know some of this is relative; going downhill at a quicker speed will take less time than struggling uphill, and may give the perception there’s more up than down. It’s certainly borne out by the elevation chart:


My glutes didn’t like it, and then my hamstrings joined in, followed by my calves. I think my legs may have been suffering with the work it should have been doing, that ought to be beneficial to my running. I certainly didn’t feel as good as I had in my last two races. The last three miles were quite uncomfortable, however, I didn’t lose any pace, and I finished in 1:22:42, enough for club silver gilt.

IMG_7031.JPG“I can see the finish, ouch”

I didn’t rate very highly, in terms of positions, which is unsurprising. At the time, I wasn’t bothered. I was pleased to have completed the race, but in hindsight, I’d like to know how much quicker I could actually run it. It’s very likely I will be running it again next year, where no doubt I’ll put myself under loads of pressure to PB!

The race was very well organised, and I loved the kit bag, and runner’s kit! I thought that was brilliant!


Robin Hood Half won’t be as hilly as JF10, and I have just under three weeks to go. I’m booked in for another sports massage, and I will hopefully be less sluggish because of the strengthening work. At yesterday’s pace, I would finish under my 1:50 target. I’m feeling more positive than I had been, in that respect.


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