Sunday, 19 February 2012

Fell, Road and Forest

Last weekend I had one of my worst runs for a while. OK, I still managed a top-10 at the Danby Beacon, and was running at a good tempo pace, but something was missing. I was knackered from a hefty week at work and trying to shoe-horn (too much) training into the week. I was rubbish on anything other than flat or downhill (wasn't as good as normal on these anyway) and even managed to get lost at one point, missing the tapes on the way back. oops!
Marking eventual winner Cam at the start - but not for much longer... (Photo: Esk Valley)
What doesn't kill me can only make me stronger. I'm still not too far behind in the overall Winter Series standings,  but really need to win all the races I can (think I can make 3 more) to finish atop the table - and with Cam in the form he is that's a tough tough challenge!

I headed back to the Peaks on Tuesday night to get in some much needed rest and see Dad (now sporting a rather suspect moustache as it's too warm in Africa for a beard) before he headed back to the Congo. I managed to get some good miles and hills in and was starting to feel good again. I recce'd Lad's Leap (rather unsuccessfully) and the second half of the Edale Skyline (me and Hobbs both went balls-deep in peat on Brown Knoll) before heading back North East.

Yesterday was the Signal Road Relays - effectively the North East 6 Stage Road Relay Championships. Billingham had 2 Male and 1 Female teams made up of runners of varying abilities. I ran the anchor leg for the 1st team on the 2x1.8km course. It was a really nice day and a good setting for road relays, the course around a lake and park having 2 drags per lap.

Banter Start (a photo taken by me for once!)

I pushed quite hard but felt comfortable throughout, passing our local rivals Middlesbrough & Cleveland 200m from the finish, completing the course in 11:55, which is the best Vdot (61.0) I've produced ever - according to Attackpoint. I was 7th fastest person on the last leg - although GB international Ricky Stevenson ran 10:09...

Tarmac! (credit Helen Johnson, BMHH)
 Maybe it's time to have a crack at a sub-17 5km, though I still maintain 9am is too early.

Sunday was the qualifying round for the National Club Orienteering Competition - or the Compass Sport Cup as it's also know, my first proper race for my new(ish) club (or should that be Klub?) CLOK. We had reigning champions SYO, as well as AIRE from Leeds and EBOR from York to compete against, but with only the top 2 to qualify we missed out in 3rd place. Oh well, at least we managed to get one over EBOR, and I'll just have to find something else to do on the weekend of the Final - in September!

Anyway, as for my run, I'm improving with this O malarky, but there's still some prety hefty mistakes to be ironed out. I made 2 big mistakes - including one early on which lead to scrappiness over the rest of the first quarter of the course. I eventually got going again, losing bit here and there but not too much, only to make a big miss again from the end - I just saw a hill and set off up it, when I was nearly at the control - d'oh!
The 8km/310 course took me 72:43mins and saw me finish 10th - a quite pleasing run albeit a large 12mins down on James Logue (where have you heard that name before...), but closer than I'd normally be to the likes of Duncan Archer.
Spot the errors! (2 and 20 the biggest, 11 and 12 not quite as bad) - click for better image.
I should be able to get a useful amount of O in over the next few weeks ahead of the big races in the spring and early summer - there's still a lot of room for improvement. Now I just need some more regular climb in my training else I'll suffer come the early Fell season.

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