Sunday, 29 April 2018
Bad Cow Half: Bogs, Bogs, Bogs.
Sometimes, racing is about learning what you don't enjoy. It's as valuable in terms of learning, even if it involves Type II fun (more fun recalling it later than doing it was at the time). Such was this morning's race.
White Star are renowned for quirky, muddy, hilly, boggy and not-true-to-distance off-road runs. I've been training solely on the roads these past four months and it stupidly never occurred to me that the trails this morning might not be the most sensible thing to run, given that the marathon is four weeks today, and that my knee might take against being asked to strain and slide over what turned out to be closer to 14 miles than 13.1.
I ran the first nine miles dreading it would go pop as I slipped and slid, and my feet rolled over stones and I yanked them out of bogs. Mercifully, the knee held up to it all, but it was perhaps not my finest moment in terms of thinking ahead. I was also really tired and the entire race, apart from mile 11 to 12, was a slog. My time was about normal for me on a trail half and I was surprised when I checked the results later that I'd done as well as I had in terms of field and category position, I just didn't feel I'd run it particularly well.
So today taught me that I don't enjoy running through relentless bogs on a cold, windy day across blasted heaths. I am a confirmed Chalk girl: I need firm, well drained ground with big, sweeping hills and open views across green country. I'm glad acid heath exists, it's a really important ecological habitat, it just isn't my cup of tea in terms of landscape.
So, another half in the bag, a few more miles clocked in the legs and the knee tested more than it probably should have been at this stage of marathon training, but given that it was fine I think I've got away with it.
The moo cow buff, beer from the local Piddle brewery and oaty barley hazelnut biscuits which all the runners were given (along with the customary White Star Hug) at the end were nice touches. Now it's onwards and upwards to my final week of high mileage training before I start to ease off ahead of the marathon.
Hope you're all well and having a nice weekend?