Thursday, 4 October 2012

Running update, life update!

It's been a long time, and I've been busy with my other life! Which you can read all about on my other blog, if you're interested. It's been an emotional time and I've found it quite draining, but it a good way.

My college course is going well - I've done fine in my assessments so far, but it really is continuous assessment, with a tests or a piece of work due every week. I'm sure continuous assessment was a lot more intermittent when I was at university!

I've survived what I think was my first ever practial assessment, unless you consider having to cover a book for my Brownie booklover badge in about 1980 to be a practical assessment. I found this much more difficult than studying and swotting to sit an exam, and to be honest I didn't really get to grips with what I was supposed to be doing before I went in. It's a bit alien to my head, to have to perform something correctly under scrutiny, and I hadn't really got to grips with the fact that this is what a practical assessment is all about. I passed, but I learned a lot about what I have to improve on too!

My running has been a bit of a disappointment too. Before the competition, I found myself running at a very, very silly time in the morning (okay, 0345!) so that I could fit one in before flying to London for a rehearsal! So it wasn't a lack of motivation! But I think the competition really took it out of me, emotionally and spiritually, and I got a bit out of my schedule and haven't really scrunised my performance in my last few runs.

Then a week ago, I got a niggle in my knee at the end of a 40-minute tempo run. I was nearly home, considering slowing down, when I got a sharp pain going through my right knee, which didn't pass. I've never had any knee problems, but I bet I'm not the only runner who lives in fear of them! I went straight home for R.I.C.E. and funny looks from the kids, and ran again on the Saturday, 12.5M with no problems. But in my easy recovery run the next day, I changed direction slightly - again, right at the end of my run - and it niggled again. It isn't agony, but I'm paranoid about it. I've taken four days off so far - although it feels like about a fortnight!! - and it still niggles a little bit. I've foam-rollered and cross-trained. Part of me doesn't want to know what's wrong with it in case it's serious, so I'm just sitting nicely with good posture and hoping it will mend.

In fact I'm hoping it will mend by Saturday! I've entered the Dunbar 10M Doon Hill Race, which I've completed in 2010 and 2011, and starts at 11am on Saturday. I found this picture of my slogging it from last year! It's a brilliant race - aah, selective memory is great, isn't it?! The course has lots of steady hills, which somehow I quite enjoy as I'm pretty good at keeping a steady pace through the gradients. The first time I did the race, the steward directed me into a big field, empty but for cow-pats, saying "up to the top, round the cairn and along the ridge!". I had no idea what a cairn was, but I know what a ridge is, and man, that ridge was really high up! The view, of course, was splendid!

It's a small race with a fast field (fast by my standards, I'm sure I was in last place for quite a stretch last year!) and truly amazing hospitality at the end with soup and cakes. It's the sort of club race won by ridiculously healthy-looking young men (like the ones on my college course!) where women a few years older than me look utterly shocked when they're awarded a prize for being best in their catagory. I aspire to that one day! I'm confident my knee will hold up for the up-hills but I expect I'll be slower on the down.

Race report soon!