The weekend just gone was meant to be a busy one for me, heading to Cumbernauld for the National XC relays with my team mates from Pitreavie AAC and then on Sunday heading down to run Jedburgh 10k which was a club counter for our championship series. That was the plan!
Friday evening social media was going a bit crazy with reports that Cumbernauld was getting some snow. Which isn't a problem in itself but if the snow was going to cause travel issues then I would need to leave a bit earlier.
Woke up on Saturday morning and all the snow had gone but the ground was quite hard, a nice morning for a run I thought and so had breakfast, got my kit ready and headed over to Cumbernauld for about 1pm. The juniors and ladies had ran the course a number of times already and by the time I jogged round the course, some areas were getting quite muddy and the ground was thawing making it quite soft underfoot.
I've ran Cumbernauld a couple of times before and really enjoy the course, I had however forgotten how challenging the first half was. You start at the lowest point of the course and within a couple hundred metres you are climbing up a hill. I always walk / jog a course before the race starts so I can get an idea of where the muddy sections are, if there are any likely bottlenecks or anything I should look out for i.e. uneven ground / tree roots etc.
Cumbernauld is a team event, 4 guys running as a relay, all running 4k each. The last time we ran in a relay was the Dundee XC and the team did really well so we kept the same order for Cumbernauld, Scott, then me, then Ben and finally Neil running last. The gun went and Scott was off. We estimated it would take us about 16 mins each to get round the course so I gave it another 10 mins and went and got changed. Then it was my turn, Scott ran a brilliant race so now my aim was to try and not loose too many positions or if possible, gain positions. As I said, the first half is mostly uphill and I found it hard going, my arms felt really tired and this made me generally feel much slower than I was actually running.
For XC races I wear my Garmin GPS but never look at it, its simply there so I have a record of the race. The second half of the race was better, I managed to get my breathing back on track, my arms felt better and I was able to catch a couple of people on the hills.
In the final results I only dropped one place which I was pretty pleased with since I lost about 5 or 6 within the first 800 metres of the course!
Looking at my Garmin it seems I actually ran better than I thought. The first mile was covered in 6 min 13 seconds, the second mile was covered in 6 min 9 seconds and the final 0.59 mile was in 5 min 39 sec a mile pace. All positive considering I felt like I was getting slower.
Sunday was meant to be Jedburgh 10k, if you had asked me I would have sworn that I had paid my entry. On Saturday night I checked my emails for entry details and then looked on EntryCentral and then I realised, I hadn't paid and I wouldn't be racing Jedburgh! I had a nice day off instead, did some housework and not a lot else.
I was disappointed not to be racing Jedburgh, it's a race I have been interested in doing for quite a while. You never know, maybe next year.
Over the past couple of days I've also been having thoughts about my ultimate goal of getting a qualifying time for the commonwealth games in 2014 and I think I'm putting myself under too much pressure and spending too much energy thinking about other people and how they are already hitting the standard.
Thanks to 'Interested Follower' who has commented on my previous blog post. It's always nice to get comments, it is strange getting comments from an 'interested follower', a mystery man or women - but all comments are welcomed.
I keep on forgetting that my training really has only just started in the grand scale of things. My times are starting to get quicker already and I'm enjoying my training. Still struggling to get out and do my double sessions, work seems to be getting in the way a lot of the time. Excuses I know and I really should try harder to get out there and get the miles in my legs.
This week is looking like another busy one in my work but also another week of pushing myself - yesterday I went out with the plan of a double session since I didn't run on Sunday, I ran in to work which is just over 5 miles and then I planned on 8 miles during my lunch hour, this went out the window due to meetings! Went to the gym in the evening instead though and did my weekly Les Mills BodyPump class. It never gets any easier!
Today (Tuesday) I didn't even think about a double session simply because I have the last 5 mile time trial tonight at the club, I want to get sub 30mins for the first time this season. Last year I managed it 3 times but not once this year. I would really like to finish on a high.
Tomorrow is 12 x 400m, 50m recovery between each and then finishing on a 200m sprint.
Not sure what Thursday has in store for me but I would like to get a double session in, run in to work and then training at the club at night.
Rest on Friday, easy run on Saturday and then its Lasswade XC, which I have been informed is one of the toughest cross country races I will do this season! Bring it on!