In 2016, by this point in the year I think I’d run about 10 races altogether, this year, I’ve run zero, until today. Injury put paid to a few events i’d signed up for early on, and then I’d gotten out-of-the-way of running, but also didn’t want to pay to sign up for more races I couldn’t do. However, earlier on in the year I noticed that Phoenix Running were putting on a series of three dinosaur based races, one of which fell on my birthday, so I had to sign up. I’ve run a couple of their races in the past, the Top Gun run being one of my favourites. The race follows a standard format – it’s a timed 6-hour event, and you can run a minimum of 1 lap (3.28 miles) or as many as you can eek out in the 6-hour time limit. Today I just went for one lap; I’m out of practice.
The race is run a towpath which runs along the side of the Thames in a lovely town called Walton-on-Thames. I always enjoy driving up past some stunning houses, vowing to buy on if I ever win big on the lotto. Except day the satnav let me on a merry dance all over the bloody shop, and I made it to registration with about 10 mins to spare before the race was due to start. It’s a fairly relaxed set-up though, so no dramas. I have to say it was a beautiful day today, crisp, fresh air and the towpath was in great condition with only a couple of muddy bits underfoot. We set off at 9:30, and I just stayed towards the back and settled into a run/walk of 2:00/0:45. I’d been for a 2 mile run on Saturday, so just wanted to take it easy as life has been so manic and stressful in the last couple of months that I’ve let the running slip, so just wanted to enjoy it today. All the way out until the turnaround point I was wondering whether to make it 10K for the day and do another lap, but in the end I decided not to as my right hamstring/glutes are very tight and have been bothering me somewhat lately (the same hamstring I tore last year, albeit a small tear!). The upshot of it is that I REALLY need to start working on glue activation and hip mobility to sort this issue out once and for all, so i’ve found a set of exercises I can do daily for the next month to gradually build up mobility and strength which will help the running and hopefully prevent injury.
So today wasn’t about setting any records time-wise, but just about starting back at it with the Cotswolds Tri flitting about in my mind as my ultimate goal for next year. The tri is in early August, so I’ve got a training plan set up and ready to go from March. In the interim it’s just about building up each discipline so I’m comfortably doing a good amount of training every week. I like running over winter (just as well), so today felt like a good gentle start, and was a nice way to herald in my 42nd year of life!
Final scores on the doors: 3.3 miles in 41:01. A good target to beat 🙂 The medals from Phoenix Running are always great, and today’s was no exception. The dinosaur in the middle also doubles as a fridge magnet 😀 but for now it’s hanging with all of last year’s medals, just so it doesn’t feel too lonely!