Wow! So I am a month in and what a month it has been! I’ve found out that if I really focus I can run fast, well fast for me! I’ve managed to clock up some impressive stats, including a 6+ mile club run in 57.34 (matching my 10k PB), 8.5 miles in 10.14 ave, Swineshead 5M in 49.35, 2.25 miles in 8.26 ave, plus a few more sub 9.30 ave runs, it’s been a good one! I also clocked 25 miles in one week (something I haven’t done since London 2015 training!).
The feeling of getting home after a run and finding I’ve smashed out a fast ave min mile is one of the best! Although I still very much beat myself up, always trying to push harder (for example, after completing 2.25 miles in 19 min, I punched the air in delight then kicked myself for not continuing on to 3.16 and smashing a new 5k PB!). Note to self: get better at self praise! So here goes…..see the pic below, that’s me at Ampthill Trophy! In 2011, as a rookie wannabe runner, I entered this 8k event. Two laps of the toughest Cross Country in the county. After one lap, I was battered, mentally and physically, so much so I pulled out of the race and got my one and only ever DNF! Yep, that’s right! This year I completed it in 53.52, even sprinted up a couple of the hills, and with two fellow LFR ladies won third ladies team! Plus I’ve FINALLY got flying feet in a race picture! Didn’t I do well?
So Cross Country started….and I hate mud! The first of the season saw us in Wellingborough, Northants and the course (described by AFF) was 2.5 laps of playful parkland! Are you serious? Playful? Hell on grass would be a more fitting description. The uphills were tough, and the downhills were just a brief reminder that shortly we will be going uphill again! And if all the ups and downs weren’t enough to contend with there were the ditches , did I say don’t like mud! The first ditch pictured below, consisted of a small muddy ledge and what felt like a 10 metre leap across onto a muddy verge. After a quick second to brace myself, I took the leap of faith, actually quite enjoyed it, and as you can see below, got a cracking action shot (full credit goes to Debbie Roff who I am going to take to every race as my official race photographer). Now the second ditch, not quite as enjoyable, as we had to jump knee deep into muddy water. The only way out was to be dragged across the muddy floor, and bashed into the muddy wall, by two unforgiving marshals 😦 it wasn’t great, and afterwards my hate for mud had increased! Anyway after a good wash, and a hot cuppa, the pain was gone and in its place a feeling of sheer awesomeness! I was Kelly McGall, Cross Country Extraordinaire!
So what does next month hold! Well the temperature has dropped and the winter running clothes are out of the back of the wardrobe and I have the Dirt Half to take down, chew up and spit out (like a bit of fight talk with this race because it hates me as much I hate it, however I’m adamant I’m gonna win this year!).
Big thanks to everyone for their support, including my running buddies Michael, Harriet and Clare!
Happy running everyone and I hope you enjoyed the second instalment of my MK Marathon Training blog!