Friday, January 04, 2008

Since I got home

I got home from Tenerife on Christmas Eve. I rearranged a few runs to different days over the next week or so. I did 8.5 miles on Christmas Day. I ran about 9am, and it was still very foggy running over the fields. It was an enjoyable run; I met a few other walkers out and about so I guess I'm not the only one who minds going out on Christmas Day. The following day I did 9 miles. It goes without saying that all my routes are on trails with just the bare minimum of road used to get me to the trail. ON the Thursday I did just 4 miles, the distance I intended to do on Christmas day. I was a little fatigued, so I figured 4 miles would just be a nice easy distance to keep me ticking over.

I got back to the gym on the Friday and did my usual strength and stability session with Clive. On Saturday I decided to re-run the route of the Cannock Chase Trig point race that I had such a disastrous time with back in January 2007. The race is coming up again next weekend and I might take part. However, in case it doesn't sit well with my training (it is supposed to be a recovery week), I repeated it on my own. I had a small problem when I arrived and my PDA decided to lose the route, so I had to recall parts of it from memory and stop to study a map occasionally. This will have slowed me down a little, but overall I remembered the route quite well. Last year I ran out of water and hadn't had enough breakfast. I got the most terrible cramps even before the half way stage of this 15 mile fell run(it's barely a fell route really, no mountains! It has around 1600ft of ascent). I literally was on the floor rolling around in agony, never had cramps like that before. I managed to stagger and walk around the rest of the course in an abysmal 3:07. I'm pleased to say I had no such problems this time. I didn't push myself too hard, and despite the few navigational uncertainties did it over half an hour faster. The course has quite a few long draining climbs and one 1/4 mile very steep climb indeed.

I was happy enough with my performance, averaging about 10 min miles over the course and terrain. I only carried a fairly light backpack, no more than a couple of kilos.

On Sunday morning my heart rate was a few beats elevated, a sign that I have no recovered from the previous weeks efforts. I did pack my rucksack and was going to do another 15 miles, but on the way over to my parents came across my mother who had been in a road traffic accident. Despite having a whacking big bruise to the head she was thankfully ok. Stopping and sorting out the car lost over an hour, and I decided that this was another sign to tell me to have the day off. This proved to be a good move I think, as I am probably still recovering from Tenerife (and possibly the Round Rotherham 50 the week before that).

Monday is my scheduled day off, and on Tuesday and Wednesday I did 8.5 mile routes, and Thursday I did 10. I actually felt stronger as the week progressed and performed best on the 10 mile route. I think the extra recovery day really helped me, and understand more how important listening to your body is to training. Now, every run in the week is at night, so I am wrapped up in 3 layers including a waterproof jacket, but also gloves and hat. I also wear my head torch because I run over fields and through woods too. It has been bitingly cold with a minus temperature wind-chill and on the top of hills I still felt the chill on Wednesday. All of these runs have a minimum of 1000ft of ascent, and this will be my staple diet during the run up to the MDS. I will be doing three runs of 8-12 miles Tues - Thurs and my longer runs of 15 - 25 miles on Saturday and Sunday. No less than 60 miles each week (apart from recovery weeks), and up to 85 miles for my 'peak week' before a gradual taper for the MDS.

I'm off to the Gym again today, and then I will prepare my kit and route for tomorrows LDWA event: The Hebden, which looks tough. There is 4500ft of ascent and the elevation profile looks like a rollercoaster; lots of steep up and down with practically no flat running. It is about 22 miles, so I will still likely do another 12 miles on Sunday to cap the week off.

2007 was a success for me. I did get a few injuries, but none as serious as in 2006. I achieved all of my milestones, most importantly completing the Round Rotherham 50. If I can complete the Thames Meander 54 in February then I can go to the MDS with confidence of tackling the 'long day' on day 4/5. I have just eight weeks of full training remaining. I need to train hard but stay injury free, so I will adapt my schedule as I think necessary. It's now time to gather together any MDS kit I don't yet have and plan the finer details. Next week I am going to approach local press, to try and get some publicity for my challenge to raise money for Blackfriars Special School.

I will post up on Sunday evening, and let you know how I got on with The Hebden. Have a good weekend.


Lloyd Biddell said...

Hi Rich, The Trig Race is still very tough - although as you say its not a fell race it is either up or down all the way. I was thinking about entering it this year but felt it was not core to my regime.

I remember a couple of years back on a bitterly cold day seeing dozens of runners coming past Beaudesert where I was planning a night orienteering event - turned out it was the Trig Race and at the time thought everyone doing it must have been hardcore. Good luck if you give it a go!

Also remember the same night for different reasons... We took over the car park at Beaudesert for the night event and the number of times we hard cars come into the car park very slowly, did a loop round and went back out again. Also a few other parked cars we approached would quickly put the ignition on and drive off at speed. Very disconcerting! Me thinks the area is used for other night time 'activities' other than orienteering!

MDS Rich said...

I can believe it! Wasn't Cannock Chase where Stan Collymore was collared for his infamous past-time?

The trig race isn't really core to mine either, but it's just about redemption after last years disaster. Having said that, I did the course fine last week. I'll see how I feel next week, but I'm scaling back the miles for a recovery week from Monday. Beaudesert is right by the steepest, though shortest climb, up to Castle Ring; a real heart thumper! That's almost the half way stage.