Last week I ran the Compton Downland Challenge, this is an annual 40 mile (and has a 20 mile option) cross country race over the Berkshire Downs. It is organized by Compton Harriers, by Dick Kearn, the guy who also does the Grand Union Canal Race (I learnt this from other runners on the course). Read more
2011 was a pretty good year for my running. Two main themes – consistency and endurance.
In terms of consistency, this was probably the most consistent / frequent running I’ve had in years. I ran most of the year, with no real injury breaks or ‘loss of mojo’ periods. It was still a bit ‘ad hoc’ with no real structure, just running when I felt it, mostly long slow stuff rather than any speed or hills sessions or the likes.
Then, in terms of endurance, I pushed my distances up and up over a number of months, bypassing my previous longest runs of 16 miles, pushing onto 19, 24 and eventually 32.5 miles (my first ultra) and raised over £600 for Help for Heroes.
After the ultra in October things did tail off a bit, I pushed myself a bit too hard and needed some recovery time.
I guess I need to get a bit more focus for 2012. Hopefully this will be year when I push on to 50 milers and get a few more ultra races under my belt. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about running streaks recently – not really for me I think (my body doesn’t recovery quickly enough), but I might give it a try for a months or two.
I’m also thinking of giving the barefoot thing a try – just to see what it’s like. Here’s to 2012, enjoy…
Last Sunday I did the Bimblers Bluff 50K trail race in Guilford, Connecticut. It is apparently 32.5 miles rather than 31 (according to some people Garmins – personally my RunKeeper for Android measured it as 29.15 because the GPS craped out for a couple of miles).
This was a great race. The evening before I headed to KC’s Pub to register and the team there (race team as well as the pub team) were very friendly. I picked up my race pack, stayed for a beer and some good food, we sat outside and had a really good time.
Since that day I have done only a handful of runs, totalling less than 15 miles rather than the 84 miles I had planned. Not Good.
There are now 2 weeks to go (13 days actually) until race day and I will have done nothing long in the final month.
I have started doing a few short runs on it in the past 3 or 4 days, and with any luck I will get a 8-12 miler in at the weekend – need something to give me a bit of a confidence boost.
Actually, I am really looking forward to the race, even with the blip in training – with any luck my base and previous training will see me through well.
On a positive note, I have raised over £350 so far – feel free to add to it www.justgiving.com/kjhughes
So, it’s official, I have entered my first ultra – the 50K Bimblers Bluff Trail Race in Connecticut, United States.
I’m not to concerned about the distance, but am a little concerned about the terrain – both how muddy / slippery it will be underfoot and the elevation profile (i.e. the hills !!).
Here’s the elevation profile of the first half : http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=69264
Most of my training has been along the canal, which by it very nature is relatively flat, but I’m hoping that prior Mountain Marathon and munro bagging experience will see me in good stead. I’ve also been getting in good long runs 17 – 20 milers.
From today it is 5 weeks out and I have put together a focussed training plan for these last few weeks, I am also breaking in a new pair of Salomon Crossmax trail shoes – causing me blisters at the moment, hope I get them well broken in before the big day !!
Anyway, as part of the race I’m trying to raise some money for charity (Help for Heroes). In just the last couple of days since I told people at work I have just shy of £200 (what a great bunch C2C are !!), if you’d like to help my collect for this very deserving cause then you can donate on my justgiving page – or read more details on my Charity page.
Watch out for the race report in a few weeks…
Over the bank holiday at the end of May, Richard Kell (a.k.a. MidasMarathon) was running his ‘Gavin and Stacey Marathon‘ – a 203.4 mile route from Billericay, Essex to Barry Island, Wales, over 4 days.
I joined him on day 2, for around 10 miles (from Didcot to Wantage). Richard is a great guy and has raised a ton of money for the ‘Help for Heroes’ charity throuigh his challenges / events – over £21,000 as of July 2011.