Monday, 19 March 2012

One year ago

I completed an excellent week of training yesterday with a 20 miler, essentially out to Dockray along the Old Coach Road, returning via St John's in the Vale. Another wonderful day, though I ran out of water for the last half an hour, having only planned to do about 17 miles. Unfortunately, the drought came on as I ran through farm land back towards Keswick and there were no suitable streams; to say I was a bit thirsty when I got home would be quite an understatement!

Again, the hills looked beautiful and I made every effort to take in the view and appreciate the fact that I can train in this landscape every day.

Towards the end of the session, my legs started to get that ache/tiredness associated with hard training. Up to this point, I have not really been doing enough training to get that feeling as I have had more to worry about with the heel/tendon. In many ways, it is nice to get that "You're an athlete" feeling again and is another sign that I'm no longer recovering but am definitely back in full training. This is also a nice little prompt to remind me to take a much easier week over the next seven days, something I had planned as I have a particularly busy week at work.

The title of the post refers to the fact that it was exactly one year ago that my heel finally gave up the ghost after 10 years struggle. At the time I was devastated, especially as I had had such a good winter and was confident of breaking 20 hours for the West Highland Way Race. As we all do, I tried to carry on, telling myself that things would clear up, take a few weeks off and everything will be fine. It doesn't always work like that but hindsight is a wonderful thing. If I am honest, I think I am now in better shape than I was this time last year and I have very much started the countdown to the Highland Fling Race. Just talking about racing again gives a small buzz even though it is still six weeks away.

Must quickly add congratulations to two of my athletes. Simon and Adam both ran in the Lakeland Trails series race at Cartmel at the weekend in ground conditions described as "like the Somme". Both were trying new race tactics; Adam went for a faster start and knocked 8 minutes off his PB in a race of only 11 miles, while Simon just tried to hold things back a little to even out his effort during the race, finishing strongly instead of hanging on for dear life over the last couple of miles. Well done boys!

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