First virus of the winter forced a few days rest and blitzed it with essential oils, honey, lemon, hot toddy’s, steam inhalations and lots of citrus fruit. Seemed to do the trick and after helping out at Windy Hill Fell Race on Sunday, was raring to go again.
Key aim this week was to up the distance a bit with at least one 10k run, and managed a 6.2k on Tuesday, a 10.5k on Thursday including a 800m hard effort and an easy 3.3k on Friday. Foot was definitely feeling the effects of faster element, confirming that slow and steady is still the way to go for sometime.
Saturday was another inaugural parkrun, and a hotly anticipated one at that being based at the National Trust’s Lyme Park near Hazel Grove. Failed to set off on time and gambled on it being straightforward enough not to need sat nav, just about managed it despite a couple of unsigned junctions.
After entering the estate, it is a long driveway to the large parking area and it looked busy, with exciting glimpses of the course off to the side. There was a real buzz around the car park and the turnout easily exceeded my guess of around 300, with 374 finishers.
The plan was to take it steady and comfortable but with a challenging uphill first km and 1.3km uphill finish on a single lap course, it was going to be a tricky one to pace correctly with something between 27 and 27:30 being the target.
After a 17 second squeeze through the start gate, it opened up and I opted for the grass/ tree option to the side of the hard path having plumped for the advised trail shoes. Felt good and got dragged up the hill by a couple of overtakers before settling in line by the woods at the top.
Not sure if it was the nature of the course but was really enjoying the run but couldn’t help but think I was going a little quicker than target – a check showed 4:42 for the 2nd km and despite trying to ease off 4:36 for the 3rd – slowing down wasn’t an option, as I see-sawed places with a few runners around, enjoying the thrill of battle. Had opted not to wear HR strap so unsure of effort level but certainly not pushing hard.
After a short climb up to the high point of The Cage, I relaxed and enjoyed the views. I knew legs were starting to tire, so decided to expend remaining energy quickly and blasted down the hill. A tricky hairpin bend was the end of my overtaking and I then settled for an easy jog back up to the finish slipping back through the field to finish a neat 100th place in 26:31.
Given that on reflection the course is probably worth a couple of mins on a flat course, I was way too fast, but very satisfying. A shame it is a little far from home to be too regular but definitely will be back when fitter. Amazingly given the uneven terrain, foot felt great afterwards – random!
Added a further 9.5km run on Sunday for a total of 34km this week… but no walks.