Sunday 2 January 2011

2011.... Back to business

2010 has ended quite well. A run of 40+ mile weeks a light one incorporating christmas day (well a boy does need to do some seasonal celebrating - would be rude to work colleagues, friends and loved ones not to).

With a complete week off the target this week was a kickstart into 2011, 50 miles+, afterall I have the tough 28m North York Moor's based Tandem event next Saturday. The next weekend will be tougher still with the Scarborough Rock LDWA challenge (24m?) and a stage of the Ultra Tour Lake District the next day - which I'm sure will be over marathon length. I failed my 50m target today, but felt the quality was good and must have been worth about this total in summer conditions. 

My running week started on Monday with a day off (I'd run a hard-paced off-road 14 on Sunday). Tuesday saw 6.5 local road miles on a flat East Hull course but at good pace.

Wednesday was a return to the preferred hill and dales of the East Yorkshire Wolds. I did 22.5m, but it felt so much more. I'd parked up in the pretty village of Welton and headed up to the path overlooking the dale, before crossing over to the top of and into Elloughton Dale via a plantation path. With some snow and plenty of ice or compacted iced-covered snow around things felt difficult early-doors. At some stage here I thought of coining this my back to business week. I lost concentation running through the plantation coming out on Spout Hill and was suprised to hit a road. For some reason I was expecting a drop to the Elloughton Dale road, quite scary to have such a thought lapse within 1 hour of a run starting. Things got to be a grind as I tackled the tough short climbs and descents from Brantingham dale to South Cave as I found the path to still be covered in quite deep snow. From South Cave things got tougher. The pic above-left shows the gloom of the day behind me as I stop for a spot of malt loaf. The soaked look is due more to the moisture in the air than effort.

As the paths were snow or covered in thick ice everwhere in the woods I had to talk to myself at just 7.5m - following a "wobble". I would be doing barely a few paces before losing balance and fighting to keep upright, it was very frustrating and tiring. I just had to tell myself to slow down if needed - I was operating under 11m/m pace on a course with regular climbs that had to be walked and descents too slippy to release on - and remind myself that this would be my best opportunity to log big miles during the week. Even if I slowed down quite a lot I'd be finished before full darkness at 5pm. After Drewton woods and a brief distance onwards through snow-covered fields I changed my route slightly to throw in 1.5m on road to do some consistent pace. Then came the trek back. My 7.5m fears were unfounded as much of the return route saw the toughest under foot being on the downhill so my pace was better. I rolled into Welton Dale after a little over 4hr20 and was grateful of a warm shower and substantial meal out that night - see pic above right taken as I was finishing.

Thursday was another runless day as I battled to clear up my house and get some things ready for new year.... with stiff and achey calves from all that snow running. Friday saw just 3.5m squuezed in after spending most the day with out-of-town friends, before cel-ebriation began. Saturday I was more restricted still, 2.5m, run very fast. Sunday would have required 15m to hit target and in the end time escaped me. I squeezed in 8 undulating road miles in 1hr just before Sunday lunch. So no 50m boast..... but some good road pace and a more-than-its-miles-worth off-road LSR.

So.... here's to 2011. Like this week I may not achieve everything I desire, but I'll be happy with what I achieve if its taken some effort and hardship, but provided enjoyment, along the way.