Hi all – Happy Xmas!
The last couple of posts have prompted me to report my progress over the last year. I do 5k parkruns most Saturdays and was struggling to reliably get under 25 minutes, especially as I had 3 separate weeks in the Lake District doing recce work for the Joss Naylor challenge (48 miles, 17,000 feet ascent). These weeks were intense and took a lot of recovery but were good for getting me some downhill speed over technical terrain (never could run uphill). Managed to piece together the second, more difficult, half of the route in under 12 hours so it looks like I well have a chance next summer. Spent the summer road running and trying to build speed by incorporating intervals – local park has a 660 metre path around it, almost flat, so started doing Tuesday’s session running full or half laps with 1 or 2 minute rests. Started feeling like a proper runner! parkrun times came down to 23:39 at 2 different courses, replacing my 6 year old PB at one of them, and I now expect sub-25 mins every time.
October last year my wife ran the local half-marathon in the most miserable conditions of rain and cold, and wanted to do it again so I entered as well – 11 years since the race that stopped me doing halves because I struggled so badly. Conditions were much better this year, near perfect, and I managed 1:52:53 to take the V70 prize – but the last 5k were really hard and the finish was uphill. On the strength of this performance I entered my bete-noir Turkey Trot half and managed to get 1:52:33 in conditions of freezing fog (but little wind) which was 5 minutes faster than the same day 11 years before – and got me another V70 prize. Again, I was exhausted at the uphill finish but no harm was done.
In summary, my 8 y.o. Birmingham hip and my 5.5 y.o. Zimmer ceramic THR are now allowing me to perform at a Masters level equivalent to my natural hip days. My 2009 Turkey Trot, age 58, calculates at 72.95% – 13 years later age 71 it’s 72.54%. The horror-show 2011 race was 62.15%. Both these recent races equate to just a tad faster than my actual half PB of 82:53, set in my late thirties…
Hope it lasts! Currently tired after racing 5k and 6 miles last weekend, and 4 parkruns over the Xmas/New Year period will be hard, but very pleased with how the last 12 months has gone.
Best Wishes to all for the New Year,