On Sunday I did my third race of the year, which was only two weeks after my second. My fourth (and last) is in four weeks; it feels strange to think that many people’s racing seasons seems to be over the summer, and mine is mostly clustered into a six week period at the end of the year.
Anyway! Two weeks ago I did the Kirkstall 7, a partially off-the-beaten-track route around Kirkstall and Horsforth by the river and canal. It was a very pretty route which had woods, canal paths and some (not very big) hills that I was thoroughly enjoying until two miles in where my left ankle decided it wasn’t having any of this and started giving me gyp. I ended up limping around – I was going to finish this come what may – and afterwards found flexing my foot was agony which made driving home hilarious.
Turns out I know a very good sports massage therapist (Dalia of Chapiteau) who agreed with me that I’d done something to my pereneus muscles which do flexing and stability jobs, and she did a number on my legs which meant I found walking a bit tricky for a day or so. I stayed off the running – just in case – until Light Night where I was a group leader for a bunch of people running around the city wearing glowsticks and blowing whistles.
(I became a certified Leader in Running Fitness earlier in the year. We all look like this.)
My foot stayed fine, so I reckoned I’d be good to go for the Scarborough 10k, which I’d booked months ago not thinking I might have to drop out for injury. So over to the coast I went; the drive over was lovely, clear, crisp, occasional low-lying field filled with mist. The weather was brisk, and the half-hour between dropping off my bag (with jumper) and the race starting was a bit chilly, but once underway it all felt fine. With decent strapping and being incredibly careful for the first half of the race I finished in a respectable (for me) 1:05:01; the route is lovely, mostly flat with some tiny inclines, and very pretty and easily distracting. And when I finished I went & got ice cream.
My last race of the year is the Abbey Dash (at which I’m raising money for Age UK, so donate if you feel like) and it’ll be the last time I run the Dash for a while because Kirkstall Road is soul destroying when running on it. And driving on it. Or getting the bus, for that matter. I think I can do sub 60 minutes there, if I concentrate hard on keeping my pace up. Usually I zone out and drop to 11m/mile until I realise I’ve gone wrong and speed up too much and then it all goes to pot. Fingers crossed, and all that.
So, now I’m thinking about next year. I have a few rules for next year:
1. Don’t run on Kirkstall Road.
2. Only enter races where there’s a t-shirt.
It’s decided: I don’t care about medals, for me it is all about the t-shirts. Other than that the plan is to only do interesting races that aren’t astonishingly expensive. And maybe see if I can get a half marathon in.
There’s a few races I’m already thinking about. The Sue Ryder Keighley 10k, for example. I’m tempted by the Wirral Half, too (mostly because I can stay with my parents & get the train at the start & finish) and the Humber Bridge 10k. I’ve got to limit myself of course, but I’m also looking at trail and maybe fells next year too.
Do you have a favourite race that I might like (distances up to a half marathon)? Let me know in comments or email 🙂