Had a great week for running.
After the success of running at Riverside parkrun I was all geared up for Sunderland 5k on the Wednesday, hoping that everything would come together and I'd get round without being manhanded into a bush this year.
The plan was a pretty simple one, run as fast as possible down the first big hill, in the stampede, and then hang on till I ran out of steam.
Basically, take off like a whippet, ignore all the pacing advice and run like a loon.
It kind of worked ok too.
I got myself pretty close to the action at the front, maybe 20ft into the throng of runners (wondering if there's a collective noun there somewhere...maybe a gaggle of runners, or something similar), and waited for the whistle. I couldn't hear a damn thing of the pre-race talk up - seriously thinking of getting a loud hailer for the Harrier League to use, but the gist of it is that it's a tight course, and if you're not careful some overgrown lout in a sweaty vest, and dirty trainers will push you off the path with both hands into a hawthorn bush.. Not that I'm bitter about the last time it happened...much ;)
The whistle went, and I took off like Usain Bolt being chased by a T-Rex on crack. It's all downhill for at least 600m, so I took full advantage of the decent, thought I was a champion fell running nutter, and leapt forwards into action. I reckon I must have shrunk at least an inch from the impact on each foot. For at least the first 400m I was ahead of my team mate Mick 'the Machine' Joyce, so I'm guessing I went off a wee bit quickly.
Reality hit home pretty quickly on the first bend across the little bridge, where my speed went from Lamborghini to Lada, but I dug in, and set about getting on with the race in earnest. my plan (after the initial craziness), was to stick with and try to get past people in chunks of distance - so cruise for a bit, then work for a bit (we're all technical here eh). It kind of worked, and I made great gains on the up hills and downhills, and 'floated' on the flat bits. I managed to catch a fair few folks, and made few losses. I even caught Marie from Morpeth (though later found out she had a cold and wasn't too well).
The main thing was that I worked as hard as I could, did my best and managed a seasons best, by 40 seconds to finish in 22:20.
Over the moon with that one :)
On the Thursday (in what was supposed to be easy - lol) we did a track session 8 x 300m parlaufs, 71, 70, 69, 68, 65, 61, 69, 70. Went a bit mad in the middle where I was racing against Jimmy, but was otherwise okay.
Friday was a warm up for the golfing weekend - played a great friendly with Andy and two of his golfing buddies, and prolly played the best I've ever have. I was hoping this might gear me up for the weekend, playing Carlisle Mixed Open on Saturday, then Dunstanburgh Mixed Open on Sunday.
Dunstanburgh...sweet Jesus, the wind - it was like playing in a wind test tunnel. I really felt for the folks running the Northumberland Coastal Run on Sunday, cause the wind was hideous. The rough was hideous, it was up to my knees in places, and I'm no midget. And... the bunkers were pretty hideous too, not in a Royal Lytham way, but I couldn't see out when I was standing in one.
Still, after a little coaching from Yoda Thompson, I managed to play out of the one above (with the ball pretty close to the face) first time!
Not sure I'll ever like links golf though, give me some lovely parkland, big trees and water any day of the week.
So that's me worn out...all golf and running.. I'm creaking now.