Another 70 miles in the bag this week, and another week closer to the big day in Spain. Just the 5 weeks to go now. I’ll keep this post relatively short as I’m aware I seem to harp on for ages once I start typing.
This weekend was my great mate (and very accomplished runner) James Bosher’s stag party in Nottingham. The coach was picking us up from Bishop’s Stortford on the Saturday morning, so I decided to stay with my Mum on Friday to save having to travel across really early from London on the day.
Of course, Saturday wouldn’t be Saturday without a parkrun, and there was just about enough time to squeeze one in. The nearest parkrun to Bishop’s Stortford is in Hatfield Forest, which is about 5 miles away. It seemed silly not to run there and back, so I decided to do that to bring up the total mileage for the day to 13.
Upon arrival I immediately bumped into Bosher, and we jogged the rest of the way over to the starting area. The course in Hatfield Forest is a mixture of road, trail and mud – the best way to describe it would probably be ‘off-road’. It also incorporates a fair few hills, so probably not the best route to set a fast time on.
Within 5 minutes of arriving we were ushered over to the start line and set off promptly at 9am. A group of 4 guys immediately shot off up the road, while Bosher and I went for the more conservative approach. He moved ahead of me pretty quickly, and I spent the first 3 kilometres despratly trying to hang on to his coattails.
I probably worked a bit harder than I planned to (this was only meant to be a training run), but it’s hard not to get caught up in the race once you’re running. Eventually Bosher eased away from me – I could always see him ahead of me in the distance but could do nothing to try and pull back towards him.
With about a kilometre to go I had more pressing issues, as I realised I was slowly being caught by someone behind me. I allowed myself a half glance back and could see a chap in a yellow t-shirt about 10 metres back. I kept running hard with the fear of being caught instilled in me.
Disaster nearly struck as I took a wrong turn and had to double back and correct myself, losing a couple of seconds on my pursuer. Coming into the last 200m I was really spent, but luckily I’d done enough to ward the guy behind off, and didn’t need to contest any kind of sprint finish.
My final time was 18.40, and I stayed in 6th position for pretty much the entire run. Bosher however, ran all the way up from 5th to 2nd, all within the last kilometre – what a cracking effort!
We all enjoyed a few well earned beers in Nottingham on Saturday evening as James celebrated one of the last nights out as a free man. Amazingly, Paul Brown and I dragged ourselves out of bed on the Sunday morning for a light ‘jog’ around town – the perfect recovery tonic.
2 more weeks of hard training before the 3 week taper period (where the amount of running I do is reduced to enable me to be fresh on the big day), where I can relax a little and start to plan my strategy for Barcelona.