I’ve not done anywhere near as much running recently as I would do usually. The impact of a busy summer work season has meant that running has taken something of a back seat.
I did fit in 2 ultramarathons during that time. It was a challenge to say the least. One of the races which had an 8 hour cut off had to be fitted around an 8 hour working day. Far from ideal but I decided that I had to fit something in for me; working big hours every day for 13 weeks is tiring. At least the bigger race I only had a few hours work to fit in before it so that wasn’t quite so stressful.
I haven’t really done any of the preparation for fast club-based races such as the cross-country series. It is very competitive, far more so than your average road race. Last year was my first experience of it and that asked did catch me out a little. That said it was an easier series last year due to the long dry summer we’d had. Cross country is known as much for the mudfest as it is for the running. In terms of wet weather, it’s been business as usual this year. And Wythenshawe didn’t disappoint.
As the senior mens race was the last of the day, the course was already well churned. Having not replaced the too-small spikes I purchased last year, I was reliant on my fell shoes which meant that I probably couldn’t get quite the same traction as I’d otherwise be able to to have done. However this was a calculated gamble based on the fact I’ve got a big race left to do this year and I don’t want to jeopardise that by trashing my feet whilst trying unknown footwear. But having come into the race with a possible niggle in my back I wasn’t going to be pushing hard anyway; again not worth the risk.
As it happens I was pretty slow anyway and completed the 5700m course in 44m11s, something like 3 minutes slower than last year. And last year I blew up on the second lap and did some walking…… On the plus side I stayed upright and I don’t think I aggravated my back, so that was a good thing. Overall I was 4th counter for the team which was slightly disappointing compared to how I was running at the start of the year. But then I haven’t done any speedwork for most of the year so I was hardly going to pull off anything more than this.
All in all a reasonable day. The shoes will need a clean though!