Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Cumbrian Run, or: How Not to Finish Training for a Distance Run

Well, the Cumbrian Run is over for another year, yet again leaving me with what feels like the legs of an 80-year-old man. The previous two years have been a bit of a let-down, with me not training as much as I could (especially last year) and being disappointed with my result. Last year's was 2:25, the previous was 2:15. So last year, I vowed to train all year and really boost my time. Which I did. Well... ish.

My training started off well, but throughout the year I'd had a couple of breaks of a few weeks or so due to commitments and general laziness. And the last couple of weeks I've been preparing for an exam, as well as just experiencing general apathy for the whole running thing (these things come and go, I guess). This may not be the best time, but priorities are priorities.

Anyway, about a month or so ago I would have estimated I could get a 1:50 time fairly confidently, so that's what I was aiming for and the pace I set off at. You couldn't ask for much better weather - still, sunny and fairly cool. Setting off, the first four miles felt pretty good aside from a pain at the back of my ankle - I don't normally get pain here, so that wasn't a good sign. Then Disaster Strikes! in the form of my watch stopping. It's a Garmin Forerunner 305. I've never had any problems with it in the past, and I'm sure I didn't knock it/into anyone, so this is puzzled me somewhat.

Anyway, at mile four I reset it and got on with things. The next four miles were pretty painful but I managed to keep up the pace, then the next three I dropped it a bit. I was happy with my last mile though - it was faster paced than my average for the race, and the crowd really helped me finish.

In the end, I ended up with a 1:52:13 chip time, which I was fairly pleased with - although I was hoping for under 1:50 going in, I wasn't sure how two weeks of sitting on my arse would affect things (and I still don't - would I have knocked two minutes off my time with extra training? Who knows...) my aim from last year was to get under 2 hours, so I can be happy with that. And I knocked over 32 minutes off my time - if I continue at this rate, I'm on for a pretty good time next year...

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