I'd no sooner entered the Great Langdale ½ marathon last weekend, online, than my race number plopped onto the mat along with a letter from the organiser that began "Dear oldest runner ever"..... and ended with a PS that said "even if you don't win the MV75 category you'll still get a prize for the oldest runner to finish". Now, isn't that nice? Thankyou Rocket Rod. But what's the betting some gnarled octogenarian will get wind of this and crawl over the finish line into a waiting ambulance just seconds before the prize-giving to spoil my day?
|Gaining height to the heather moors
Anyhow, I've stepped up my training this week, just a little. Good old Joe Henderson of 'Runner's World' fame has put me onto the 1-1-1 plan. What the heck is that, you may well ask? Well, all I have to do is run one mile, once a week, one minute faster than my normal training pace. In his book, Better Runs, Joe relates how this plan knocked 3½ minutes off someone's 10K time after only four weeks. I doubt very much whether that person was 78 years old but nevertheless I'm giving it a go. However, to speed things up even more I modified it slightly, making it into a 1-2-2 plan by running one mile twice this week at two minutes faster than average training pace. Watch this space!
|Grassy path by Mossdale beck
The weather was kind last week, at least while I was out running. In sun and wind, with heather in full bloom, I'm always tempted to run miles farther, enjoying the heady scent for the short time it lasts. On Sunday I followed a twelve mile circuit around Grassington Moor with a cool 1,800ft of ascent thrown in for good measure. With only four days to go until the 'Glorious Twelfth' the moor was brimming with grouse, all seemingly in prime condition. And I saw something else I've never seen before in the twenty years I've been running up there......lizards. At Howgill Nick a small one, not much bigger than a newt, scuttled into the heather a fraction of a second before my big foot was about to land on it. Then I disturbed a larger one, perhaps six inches, sunbathing on the gravel track towards Mossdale. All in all it was a wonderful run. I returned home a very happy man, and a very thirsty one at that!