This week’s been an odd one at work – things have been going well and I’ve had some fun; this doesn’t usually happen at work. With only 10 weeks ’til my US trip maybe I’m starting to relax a bit that having changed jobs at Christmas was the right move. I even managed to enjoy an ice-cream in St James’s park on spring-like Thursday and get to that evening’s Serpie lactate training session in Battersea park that James and Nic organise – usually I’m too late leaving work. And I even enjoyed it a little bit, yes that’s practically speedwork.
I’ve also managed to get back to Hot Power Yoga in the mornings this week; 6:30am class three times has helped with my hamstrings and general stretching. The lighter mornings and warmer temperatures have made the early-morning cycle much more bearable. And I’m taping up my more dodgy toenails to avoid those looks of horror from other yogis! It’s great to start the day with and I think may actually be improving my balance, I haven’t fallen on anyone all week.
Saturday I had a revelationary day at a club event – the women’s social get together club run. Serpie women’s awesome co-captains Sylvie and Becky had set it up with the aim of creating a better bond between the women in the club and I was pretty sceptical but willing to give it a go. I suppose never having thought of the men in the club as a threat or anything other than people who are also my friends I wasn’t aware that some women can find it intimidating and off-putting to be running with the quicker guys. I can’t think of anything that’s ever intimidated me, certainly not a load of sweaty men, so it was interesting to run with a group of women who really saw the benefits and preferred to run in an all-women group. After the run we nattered over cakes about what’s on offer at the club and there was lots of interest in cross country racing and helping the club – which is great to hear! I really enjoyed meeting runners who are pretty new to running and the club. I ran there and back to make sure I got 25 miles in; though sensing I’d already intimidated some of the beginners with my ‘EcoTrail 80km’ t-shirt (the only other I had with me was my TP100 top) I left it for those who know me well to figure out the event was only part of my day’s running.
Late on Friday I’d been in danger of having to actually do a training run this weekend- having realised I’d failed to book into any long races; but then thanks to the Serpentine events calendar I spotted a cross country 5 mile race in Bromley – about 7 miles from home. Perfect, a 20 miler with a hilly, speed section. The race organiser, Jane, agreed I could sign up on the day – in part helped by her being intrigued having clicked on my blog link. I set off in lovely crisp sunshine and made it to the park for 10am; to find 2 other Serpies also taking part in the low-key, friendly cross country race organised by the Bromley Vets AC (thanks Phil and Jane – and all the BVAC marshals!). 80+ runners set off on the 2 lap course – a varied course with a field and wooded sections and a few hills. Really good atmosphere and supportive marshals plus a great cake table at the end made it a lovely way to end the cross country season. I was a surprise first woman, by virtue of no other quick women turning up, and Richard Taylor was a very respectable 3rd man – 1st v35. Alison Nolan was our other Serpie and had a good run – funny that we both enjoyed it given on the starting line she was bemoaning the distance (usually does 5k and shorter) as I was wishing it was 50 miles not 5! The weather turned as we were awaiting the prize giving and we were huddled under a gazebo to shelter from the hailstones. Heading home and saying ‘bye to Richard and Ali at the train station I felt a heal blister from my inov8s and was very tempted to join them on the train which would take me to the station at end of my road – but with the US trip in mind I plodded on and the blister pain soon subsided.
On the way home I practiced my texting-whilst-running which is coming on. Good news from the women of the family who are training for the Greater Manchester Marathon in April – my cousin Lucy had a great Liverpool Half Marathon with a pb that hopefully will give her confidence to get under 4:30 in this marathon and my Mum celebrated (ahem) Mother’s day with her longest run so far of 18 miles. With 6 weeks to go it’s looking good for the women of the family! The men in the family having been depleted by my Dad’s knee trouble and my brother’s ‘I don’t have to train I’ll just run it on the day’ approach. Women rock!