It suddenly dawned on me last week that I haven’t really run in anger, since, well, 17th December last year at Stafford Common in the North Staffs Cross Country League.
It wasn’t through lack of trying though, my focus for the first end of the year was cycling, as I was training for the Ironman bike leg, and the intention was to get straight into running after that but a bit of knee pain/tendonitis put that back by another week.
I went out on Friday and did a nice cross-country 10k loop and my legs (and knee) felt OK. So, when Sam said we could all potentially run the Cheadle 4 race on Sunday I jumped at the chance. Good bit of speed work, and you always try a bit harder if the carrot is being dangled, and a number is attached 🙂
Cody did the fun run with Sam, running all of the way with a sprint finish, which was amazing! We took the boys to Nana and Grandad’s where they could watch the race, and arrived at the start with 10 minutes to spare. My warm-up was a steady jog around the recreation ground, which wasn’t enough but it’d have to do as it was time to line up for the start …at least the first mile was flat.
Flat out that is, I covered it in 5:34, and felt good. I went with Tim Twentyman of Newcastle, pushing on but not doing anything daft as Mile 2 is the climb up to Freehay. Cresting the climb I’d managed to pick up a few more positions, and still felt quite strong.
Descending isn’t my forte though, and Tim pulled away significantly on the descent to Cheadle. I managed to hold my position behind Tim by about 10 seconds, and reached the bottom of the hill running alongside Leon Bailey of Boalloy. I knew I must be having a good race to be around these runners in the last mile.
A sharp hairpin turn into the recreation ground and then a final sprint on the grass. I managed to just pip Leon to the line and finish in a respectable 15th position with a time of 24:02, still about 10 seconds or so behind Tim.
I was absolutely made up with my run and really pleased how I was able to maintain a high effort with some really decent bursts to gain positions all the way to the finish.
My legs can feel it today, probably due to the lack of run miles I’ve done this season, but hopefully I’ll be nicely recovered for the City of Sport Birmingham Triathlon next Sunday where I’m competing in the Olympic distance event.
Who knows, I may even do a run this week… Seriously though, if you are thinking about racing, please do, they are such sociable events, everyone wishing each-other the best and supporting their friends and rivals to the finish, they can be as easy or as hard as you make them, and finish off with a tea, a slice of cake and a huge chunk of achievement.