My wife was away this week, so running had to be squeezed in between taxiing children to their activities, dishes, and laundry.
M: swim 1300m
W: 7 miles (1:03)
Th: 4.5 miles (intervals with club on a cold night)
Sat: 5 miles cross-country race
Sun: 8 miles in the woods
Saturday was a cross country meet, and I ran as a member of my local running club. It was 5 degrees C (41 degrees F.), and muddy. The race was comprised of three laps through the woods and some saturated farmland. By the time I ran, the last race of the day, the trail was a shoe-sucking bog in places.
On the first lap I tried to stick with another member of my club, but other runners kept getting between us. Still, I was able to catch back up to him on the hills. On the second lap, he pulled away a bit, and I just tried to hang on.
Running hill races likely helps in picking one's footing through woods, and you get used to running on uneven ground. At least this is what I told myself.
The third lap eventually arrived, and I felt like I was just hanging on during the climbs. On the descents though, I could open it up a bit. Through the finish chute, I tried to push, and no one passed me.
I felt like a lot of people passed me during the race, but hopefully running this type of race helps with my conditioning.
And, on a cold, short November day, it seems fitting.
My times in the first few months of the year were better than last year, but still over 21 minutes.
Then, in June, I broke the 21 minute barrier. Over the summer and through this fall, 6 of my 7 5K attempts were below 21 minutes. This included my new PB of 20:33 (for a parkrun).
So, consistent effort has paid dividends.
Today I ran hard, but my time was over 21 minutes again. However, I'd been ill with a stomach bug mid-week, and may still have been weakened from this. Also, I'd run the Glen Ogle ultramarathon the weekend before, so perhaps my legs weren't fully back (though they felt fine).
It late in the year now, and the sun is low. On my run yesterday, I saw that the fields had now been harvested.