A week of running

I’ll do another recipe soon, but I like to get a photo of the goods first, just to whet your appetites 🙂

In the meantime a running update. Because I’ve not spoken of running recently……..

So Chester Marathon is feeling a distant memory. The route and statistics are recorded on Strava and on Smashrun which is all very jolly (with the latter generating a number of new badges for my efforts having completed it quicker than a list of celebs quoted on their site!) and the T-Shirt (very nice!) has been worn, washed and this evening ironed. Most of the goody bag has been eaten. Well, except for the papery-bits as they didn’t taste very nice.

My last marathon experience in 2012 was less pleasant (I’m not saying running 26.2 miles could ever be considered a pleasant experience) as I picked up a couple of injuries then. This time, all was fine and dandy; a couple of pre-squashed toes and a lot of feeling exhausted, but actually that was it.

In fact it was only two days after the marathon that I laced on my Saucony 11s and went out for a run. Admittedly this was a gentle paced ‘do my legs still work’ 5k and the time hardly set the world on fire. I didn’t care, the important thing was that all systems were still fine. There was an ulterior motive as I needed to know that I could still run as this was going to be required for work two days later. Not that there would have been much I could have done if my legs had detached from hips instead. But it was nice that they didn’t.

Come the Saturday morning, 6 days post marathon and I needed to be up and about in the morning to go to a basic bicycle maintenance course. This might seem odd, but due to me not having ridden a bike much as a child (and certainly not after the age of 10) I’ve never dealt with the world of punctures, and the fact it took about 2 hours to change my mountain bike tyres for road tyres once has always been a concern that a long distance bike ride could take considerably longer should a mishap occur.

Hence the course.

So I decided I’d cycle there. But not directly, no. Because Saturday morning is Park Run morning. Due to work, I next to never manage to get to a Park Run, despite there being an epidemic of them in the surrounding area – I think there’s 5 in Stockport area alone! I’ve tended to do the Woodbank Park Run in the past because it’s not over-subscribed (it has a hill in it which has to be tackled twice, which puts off those fair-weather (sensible) runners). It was helpfully sort-of en route to my course as well. I was concerned whether the combination of a recent marathon and a bike ride might render me incapable of the course, but I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I pulled a PB out of the bag – 20.42 by my watch, although the official time was strangely 20.51 so I’m not sure how such a discrepancy occurred, although there was a problem with my finishing tag which may ultimately be the culprit.

Chuffed with my result I went off to learn about fixing punctures and following a cycle home set about being virtuous about my morning by being slothful all afternoon 🙂

I had thought about running a half-marathon the day later, but Oxford was already full and Wirral (which is a lot closer) seemed to be an A-B course rather than ending somewhere close to where it began and I decided I didn’t want to be risking public transport in an area I didn’t know to try to re-locate the car! So instead I sat down with Strava and looked at some local routes. I picked out an interesting 13 miler covering routes I’d never tried before.

On setting out it was clear that the energy available in my body, despite the irresponsible eating over the previous few days, was lacking. Having tackled the hills in Marple I decided that a downhill dash back home was more sensible than disappearing into the bowels of Lyme Park where more hills were lined up on my route. So it reduced to an 8 miler and to be honest it was more than enough. My only frustration was a shot at a personal best time on one of the back-roads being thwarted by the incompetence of a driver being unable to navigate past a couple of workmen taking up none of the road.

Come Tuesday and following a frustrating day at work, I was chomping at the bit for this PB and went for it. And SMASHED IT 😀 So much so that I came home and booked myself another half marathon (I know how to to live).

So off to Conwy in November, hopefully to make a better job of it than I did in 2013! On balance, this shouldn’t be too much of an ask!

And as if to prove a point (it wasn’t) – I mapped out a local 10 mile route  which I ran today. Lots of new roads which basically meant I got lost. Several times. But at least this time I found my way into Lyme Park, and successfully got back out again!

I wouldn’t normally have got this carried away, especially with the running injury still relatively fresh in memory. However, with relatively decent weather still available, it would be a shame not to. I just need to get the energy levels back in check for Conwy in 6 weeks’ time.

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