After a few days off I was itching to get back running. Everything felt good after a rest. While trying my had at some geocaching with my boy we managed to include some running. Helped by the fact we were starving and late for tea. A nice 6 miles with run walking was a good introduction back to running. The weekend was two lovely firsts. My first proper run with my lad. As a budding rugby player he needs to keep fit, but certainly wasn’t enjoying the 3.7 miles we did. An easy start with a few walks he did well not to hurl and we both enjoyed the experience. My friend has been working hard to build up to her first half marathon, we have done a couple of runs and she easily hits the next marker each time. She requested her first 10+ route. I’d mapped out a nice variation of my long route. I was a bit unsure of route in places but it went well, she ran a good 11 miles and healthy confidence for her half marathon goal. It’s nice to run with others with no pressure, your just there to help them achieve that particular goal. It’s not effortless but nice to just run without a personal objective. Training has been going well, the sessions are starting to look towards winter now and that’s all about strength. A decent 5x1k session saw me run consistent 3:42/3:43. A couple of shorter sessions and I’m now starting to see a 70 something 400 regularly towards the end of session and even a first 60 something.
Biggest decision of my running time so far had occurred. I’ve always been a fan of scenery and hills and recently a 100 mile race caught my eye. Cardiff to Brecon and taking in all the hills and sights, I thought what a great adventure. I’ve always been a bit afraid of the marathon but this seemed like fun and not a race. Unfortunately and sensibly you need to have experience of doing a few 50’s before entering. I’d heard of the Vale Ultra as one of the machines from club had finished 3rd in it this year. As I have now managed to get up to 15 and a bit miles on a run, I thought the short version of 18 miles could be achievable. Not too much further and a taster of what the full could be like. Having convinced myself it was a goer I got ready to sign up. Where possible I review the start list to see who else may be doing the race. I was surprised to see that from the 15 or so on there only 1 was doing the shorter version. This made me wonder if maybe I could attempt it. After a quick post to Facebook and lots of positive comments I signed up before I could convince myself otherwise. So I’m in “The Vale Ultra 30″(32.49 miles) will be my first ultra and also first time I’ve raced a distance greater than a half. I’ve already told myself it will be more like a tour rather than a race. As with all races I’ve decided on a goal time. Training will let me know how feasible it is, but I think sub 5hrs would be a great time. Plenty of time to prepare so will look at training after the Cardiff half as thats been my goal all year. Still hunting the magic 7 minute mile average.
I recently ran in the inaugural Kenfig nature reserve XC 5k. This was designed to be a race for the local clubs to the Kenfig area. Bridgend AC, Cornelly, Brackla, Cwm Ogwr & Porthcawl, the first 15 finishers from each club to score. Luckily it was a dry day and had been quite windy, the course was a loop with a lot on sand. This made it tough and unforgiving. I went off a bit fast and but settled after 2k and progressively got slower. The sand sapped at your legs and it was a long slog. A great route and fun competition between the clubs. Bridgend finished first team and I was 26th. Not too bad from 108 runners in a time of 23:25. I hope there can be more races like that, it would be good to get some interclub competitions as Bridgend and the surrounding areas has a mass of runners and clubs.
This week is the Cardiff 10k. I’ve swapped doing the Swansea 10 for this one this year. Not done it before, but is supposed to be a fast and flat race. Hopefully I can look to lower the 41:37 pb to something closer to 41 or at least 41:36.