Having chalked up 100 miles for the first time this year, October turned out to be quite a good month runningwise. In fact, I ran quite a bit further than a hundred miles if all the fractions were taken into consideration - plus the warm-up sessions and 1200m I raced at the Yorkshire Veterans T&F Championships - which I haven't counted. From a total of 19 runs 15 were enjoyable early morning jaunts over and around Castle Hill, most of them at an easy pace with just a few fartlek sessions prior to the two track races. Each of those 15 runs included an average 468ft of ascent so I suppose that could count as hill training. The only other training I did, to use the term loosely, was two supposedly 'fast' miles by way of sharpening, though I'll never know how fast they were because I pressed the wrong buttons on my Garmin and didn't realise my mistake until I connected it to my computer! It must have been enough for it enabled me to top the British 800m Rankings and reach 2nd place in the 400m Rankings - which have got to be the highlights of the month, if not the year. Here is a break-down of my 15 Castle runs....
|These times will be slow for most people - but look at those elevation gains....(Click to enlarge)|
|My wonderful partner, running up Hebden Ghyll....|
A 10 mile run round Mossdale on Saturday brought the week's total to 25 and was a cracking start to the month of November. A large shooting party up the ghyll, bagging pheasant and partridge, kindly held their fire and formed an impromptu guard of honour as my wonderful partner and I jogged by as fast as we could to avoid being sprayed with gunshot should their activities resume. After 2 miles we parted to go our different ways, she on a shorter seven mile route whilst I continued uphill to the high point at 1,540ft. The sky was darkening and a cold sou'westerly blew me up the hill. But it would be blowing full frontal as I dropped into Mossdale to turn for home - as it was doing already for some mountain bikers I passed, all of them togged up to their watering eyes.
I'd to literally force myself down the rocky track into the valley against the wall of wind, but I was
enjoying it in a masochistic sort of way. A dozen or so horses grazing a limestone pasture at 1,400ft were sensibly staying close to a sheltering wall - unlike some Aberdeen Angus yearlings that got a bit skittish as I divided the herd running through Kelber. By the time I reached Yarnbury I felt to be losing the battle, running out of energy and beginning to feel a wee bit knackered. Pace was slowing and my lungs weren't at all happy at being saturated with all that cold air. But hey ho, only two miles to go now, to the luxury of a refreshing shower, warm, dry clothes and a reviving mug of tea in front of a hot fire. Into the last mile and back in the ghyll I was thankfully out of the wind. Shooters had suspended activities for lunch and greeted me enthusiastically with waves and encouraging words as I passed through their ranks, belying the way I felt by trying to look good. It's amazing how we runners can put on the style when someone is watching. Or how we suddenly produce a burst of speed in the finishing stretch of a race when we've been almost on our knees a minute before.
|....and Old Runningfox breasting the wind down into Mossdale|
|Top of the British 800m Rankings, but was it worth the strain? Well, maybe.....|
|Pity about those three seconds...should have done some training|