Sunday, 5 March 2017
Last Race Before The Cub
We headed off to Berkhamsted this morning (get up 6.15, set off 7am, brief detour to take into account the M3-M25 slip road being closed, arrive 9am, warm up, then run the HM at 10 (M and my sister-in-law) and the 5M at 10.30 (me and my niece).
It was pouring when we woke up, pouring when we left and pouring when we arrived. Cue more dithering from me about what to wear (this is becoming a habit, no?). In the end it proved a useful trial run for the Cub, in that I went for 3/4 length leggings (good call, Small P), t-shirt and tied a water resistant/ wind proof jacket round my waist because, having jogged the mile to the start through drizzle and sharpish wind, as my niece and I waited at the start of the 5mile the skies cleared, the sun came out and it became decidedly warm. Good Old England, she knows how to throw several different types of weather at you over the course of a single hour in March :o).
I ran a fast-ish Parkrun yesterday so was planning on taking it easy on the 5m, bearing in mind the need to exercise a little caution Knee-Wise still. It was a nice course winding along roads and lanes through the woods and countryside around Berko and it finished by going past the ruined castle, possibly the most romantic setting for a race finish I've yet come across.
It was mostly flat but with one steepish hill lying in wait giggling behind a bend in the road at around 2miles. This hill pretended to be Quite An Innocent Hill, assuring us several times that it levelled out just round the next bend, when in fact it went on for about a mile and contained some reasonably steep bits. It claimed casualties, but luckily through grim determination and literal teeth-gritting, I was not among them. It did take it out of me a bit though. My time slowed from 5.20 mins per km to 6.10. But my breath came back reasonably quickly once it was behind us and, (I kept telling myself), it was good practice for the cliffs that lie in wait next Sunday. More good Headology stuff too when I was running past people who'd run out of steam and were walking.
One thing that always surprises me on these races is how well the kids do at them. I was overtaken at several stages by little chaps who can't have been more than ten or eleven zooming along with their Dads. Good Effort, eh?
The final mile was all downhill and I decided to give The Knees a bit more of a test by stepping up the pace from 5.20 to 4.20 mins per km. The Knees held up well and I finished strongly, sprinting to the finish line (although less adroitly than last week's 10k, which I put down to having run a fast 3miles yesterday. Although looking at my average km times later I was faster overall than last week). The finish time took 3mins of my previous 5m best, so I was pleased. My niece knocked a couple of minutes of her previous best, M finished his HM in a good time and my sis in law finished hers well too, so everyone had a good run. All in all a lovely race (and a well-earnt burger and chips and chocolate fudge cake with cream in the pub afterwards) and a good prep for The Cub next Sunday.
Thank You All for all your advice, support and encouragement over these last couple of weeks- it does make a difference and I hear various of your words in my head at different times when I'm running which spur me on. You're a Great Bunch! I feel you'll all be running The Cub with me next weekend, which will be useful if I get blown off a cliff or my legs stop working altogether :o)
Hope you've all had a good weekend?
Seven Days to go.....Not that I'm getting nervous or anything.....