It’s been a few weeks since I last posted, and things have not really changed. I’m a bit ‘meh’ about life at the moment, except for Leicester City’s season, which is using up all my excitement!
Since my last post, I have:-
- Competed in the first actual race of this year’s LRRL, the Barrow 6. Not my best run over this distance, but I was pleased to have got round in one piece. Percentage wise, I wasn’t too far off last year, but I have lost a lot of pace and stamina. More of a shock was the temperature. ‘Ne’er cast a clout ’til May is out’ is my motto, but even I would’ve baked in my long sleeves and leggings. Months ahead of schedule, I actually raced in shorts and vest (the long socks were needed, for their compression qualities). I even managed a sprint finish to take a Birstall girl on the line, which was temporarily encouraging (and perhaps a little mean, as she’s a better runner than me, but also had a hard time of late) but the euphoria was quickly replaced by the disappointment of finishing 2.5 minutes slower than last year.
- Took part in my first cross country league race. I struggled with grip at the Huncote Hash, so treated (ha!) myself to a pair of Mudclaws. Whilst they improved things for me in terms of grip, and they actually make running uphill slightly easier, they did not improve my pace or stamina. By the time I started the second lap, I was having to walk parts. Admittedly, I did seem to come down with some kind of virus immediately afterwards, and this might’ve contributed to a disappointing run, but I won’t let it stop me from self-flagellating. The mud was energy sapping, and the course description said ‘this is a two lap course with two stream crossings’. Now forgive me for mis-reading that, but I took it to mean two laps, and a TOTAL of two stream crossings. Not two laps with two stream crossings PER LAP! Needless to say, my surprise was hidden amongst my anger, although in hindsight, the opportunity to get rid of some of the mud I’d collected was a good thing. The only good thing about this race was having to hurdle a fallen tree. Now that is more my kind of thing.
- Tried to do something about my poor cross country running by doing more. Along with The Bloke and some running club mates, I rocked up to Bradgate Park only to end up in tears at the first hill. I don’t think I’d recovered enough from whatever virus is lurking, and found that not only was I struggling to move my limbs, my lungs had decided to pack up. It’s been a long time since my asthma has been a problem, and forgetting my inhaler wasn’t the cleverest thing to do, even if I could be forgiven. It didn’t help to see everyone running off into the distance, while I was going through the motions of running at barely walking pace. I think Bradgate Park hates me. Again, the best bit was having to jump across a ditch. Saying that, I nearly got it wrong, as I had to stutter just before the jump to lead off the left leg. I’m far too one sided for my own good, but at least I did it. The run did get easier, but I suffered for it afterwards. My asthma didn’t just present itself as a cough, but I was proper wheezing too (bit of Leicester for you). It meant my plans for the week had to be put on hold. It goes to show just how good my meds are, but also how vulnerable I am.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, but a lot of running is in the head. Mine has gone. I need a succession of good runs, whether training or races, to give me a bit of confidence back. At the moment, I’m struggling to see how I can regain my fitness and form. I see my peers literally running off ahead of me, and I don’t think I’ll ever catch them up again. I know that I shouldn’t worry what others are doing, because that isn’t helping my mind. I can’t help it though. That’s what I am. I’ve already decided not to focus on half marathons this year, to try and build my speed back up, but I’m worse now than this time last year when I was training for the Cov Half. I’m not sure on what I’m going to do, but I don’t think plodding along is helping. My training runs have got slower, so I think I need to start focusing on picking up the speed with those. I also need to get back to long runs, but the next few weeks is difficult as there are a succession of races coming up.