I know what you’re thinking.
“Hey Steve, where have you been?”
Well, I’ve been very busy over the past few months and I’ve barely found a minute to myself let alone update the blog.
One thing I didn’t do was the Brampton to Carlisle 10 mile run in November. I still didn’t feel quite ready after the marathon and my runs since had only been between 3 and 6 mile, although there was one eight miler where I thought I might just have enough in me to do the 10 mile run. A cooler head prevailed though and I decided that I would save myself for another day.
That’s not to say that I haven’t been busy doing other things associated to running and fitness. I recently completed a course in Leadership in Running and Fitness so I’m now qualified to take running groups out and about. This is the first rung on a ladder which will hopefully lead me into some sort of coaching/personal training role but first things first.
I really wanted to get one last competitive run in before the end of the year and so, after two years of previous failed attempts at signing up and then having to work, I entered the Great Langdale Xmas Pudding Race. The race was going to be a bit of a family affair as DH Runners were taking a bus down for the running group and some members of Carlisle parkrun.
We were heading down right after the last runner finished Carlisle parkrun to ensure that we were there in plenty of time for the 12 o’clock race start. Everyone was generally confident of finishing in a decent time and as we left Carlisle the weather looked fairly promising. It takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to get to Great Langdale and as we passed Keswick the dark clouds started looming. By the time we’d arrived at Great Langdale it was looking pretty grim and within minutes it was raining closely followed by hailstones. Great!!!
The ladies in the group were keen though and they all donned their Christmas fancy dress outfits. While the guys were a bit more miserable and got the sensible running gear on.
My aim for this run was to finish between 50 and 55 minutes. With this being my first competitive run out since the Chester Marathon I didn’t want to push myself too hard. Taking into account the torrid weather I was aiming more towards 55 minutes as I knew it would take me a few miles to catch my breath to start off with.
It was fairly bunched up at the start as no-one seemed keen to move out of the way or move further back so that everyone could move between the crowd. In the end I think the organisers just got sick of telling people to move back and just started the race anyway.
The course was pretty much an out and back one with a slight deviation through a holiday park to get you back onto the right road to come back. It was relatively up and down most of the way but it was a very scenic and enjoyable course with the exception of the massive puddles which had formed of course.
About three miles in I couldn’t catch my breath so the asthma inhaler was brought into use. But for a good while after that there was a lot of grunting, or as my friend described it ‘dirty sex noises’, going on but that came to pass once I managed to control my breathing again.
The last two miles were relatively simple as that was the part of the run that we’d done on the way out so we kind of had an idea where we were and how many hills were left to push through.
Within 15 minutes we saw the marquee in the distance and pushed on for the final descent to finish.
The official finish time was 53.05 which I was more than happy with. There were points where I felt I could’ve pushed on a bit but having had a few breathing issues I thought it was best to just hold back. Now it was time to pick up our T-Shirts and our xmas puddings and cheer in the other runners in our group.
Overall everyone had done really well. Most managed personal bests or achieved what they wanted to out of the run.
The most concerning thing was how we were going to get our bus back out of the field we’d parked in. The grass had been churned up by all the vehicles that had parked there so the guy managing the car park had put carpets and cardboard down. We managed to manoeuvre the bus (with brute force) so that it was facing the right direction for the exit but as the bus approached the exit all the carpets got churned up in the wheels. Great!!!
We now had a very angry man in hi-vis shouting at us. There was every possibility that if he didn’t calm his tone down that there may have been a confrontation. Calmer heads prevailed though and when we explained that;
a) He really needed to stop shouting at us and
b) The carpet idea was stupid
He started to come round to our way of thinking. Once we escaped the car park, and the shouty, angry, hi-vis man we parked up behind a St John’s Ambulance while we waited on the rest of our group. Who should appear a few minutes later though but hi-vis man. This time he was picking a fight with two pensioners in the St John’s Ambulance who were giving as good as they got. I don’t know, you give someone a hi-vis and suddenly they become full of their own self-importance.
On the way back from Great Langdale we stopped off at Tweedies and had a lovely little meal in a very picturesque bar/restaurant before making our way back to Carlisle.
A good day was had by all.
But now the hard training starts for The Barcelona Half Marathon in February.
Dream, believe, train, achieve.