Thursday, 22 November 2012

Why we run...

As some of you might have noticed, I have missed a few entries – in fact I had to take about a week and a half out of my training to avoid injury: my hip started giving me some trouble and as it was suspiciously like a pain that caused me to have to give up running altogether for 3 months last year, so I thought I’d take it easy for a while, rest and go for the odd swim instead.

The problem I have when I take a break from my exercise is that all the energy I normally put into it turns into a vague and all-encompassing feeling of frustration, pointless dwelling on unrelated events, concern over the number of runs I will end up missing and the consequences of that on my fitness and so long... which as you can imagine doesn’t make me the best person to be around! It was to Demi’s great relief then that I declared myself fit to run again last Thursday and she wasted no time in suggesting that I went for a run that very evening!

A couple of sessions later I was back up to pace, all the frustration had evaporated and I was back to being the adorable runner you all know and love! :-)

Moral of the story? Keep running or you'll die alone, unloved and unfit!


On the 18 November was the first race of the Derby Runner Cross Country League in Markfield. It comprises of 6 short cross country races (each between 5 and 6 miles long) and I had only taken part in the two last ones last year... I spotted it in the Harrier’s calendar just in time this time round and realised that I would be available for all 6, so I have put all the dates in my calendar and will make a conscious effort to turn up... I enjoy cross country / trail running; apart from the scenery, I like the more 'technical' challenge and   the variability of even the same course in different weather conditions...

But I also want to start running in more races with the Harriers and I thought that taking one league (6-7 races) at a time, I stood more of a chance than making a grand resolution and then fail miserably...

Markfield itself was a strange race, the course was very, very muddy throughout (ankle deep in some stretches), many sections were over narrow paths where you overtook at your own peril by running through nettles and thorns and there were long queues to cross two stiles in particular (according to my Garmin I spent a total 4’ 27’’ standing still and queuing!). Add to that fallen trees in the wooded sections and a first aid service that picked the day to not turn up and you have great grumbling potential... To the contrary however most people I spoke to seemed to have enjoyed themselves: it was a lovely sunny day (I ran with my sunglasses on), the scenery was breathtaking (the bit by the reservoir especially picturesque) even if we were too busy to admire it as much as it deserved, trying not to slip ... Racing down a slippery hill to a gate with the sun in your eyes was almost as fun as trying to power up the other side only to find your feet slipping in the mud but that’s what cross country running is all about after all! Can’t wait till the next one on 2nd Dec!

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos on the day, but here is one of me coming up to the finishing line courtesy of the official Huncote Harrier photographer – the full set can be found on the Harrier Flickr page:

(c) Huncote Harriers
In terms of performance there is no point comparing time and pace with other races, given the conditions, but I felt I did reasonably well considering it was my first race since July: I was slightly slower than runners who usually finish ahead of me and slightly faster than runners I finish ahead of... about half way down the overall classification - lets see if I can improve in subsequent races.

The team - (c) Huncote Harriers