I decided to have one more week off, just putting in one session last tuesday to see where I was in terms of fitness before having some nights out to relax and recuperate knowing that I could take this final opportunity to let my hair down before having to train again. I hit 4 x 5mins off 90 seconds recovery in the dark on the seawall around Stanley Park, and surprisingly I found I was in better shape than I thought I would be, hitting >0.9 miles for each rep, which isn’t bad seeing as it was freezing cold, I was in trainers and couldn’t see where I was going!
Having a laugh after winning the 2008 Boxing Day Challenge
Despite picking up a sore throat over the weekend I decided to start ‘training mark II’ tonight as the soreness didn’t develop into illness. With The Boxing Day Challenge on Cheltenham Race Course coming up I finally have a target race, and one where I am the defending champion... not that I expect to successfully claim that crown again given my somewhat limited training.
So 33 days to get into four mile race shape. I started tonight with a two mile build-up tempo, two mile relaxed and two mile tempo. All in all it went well and I finished off my tempo in bang on 11 minutes, a perfectly adequate time seeing as I was stripped down topless in the cold (my top started to chafe and my nipples were complaining).
Congrats to Charliiiiii, an 'old' training partner from younger days
I guess I felt an ounce of motivation come back, not least because some of my friends were racing down in the NCAA (collegiate champs) in the USA having been given scholarships for some of the top university teams. Watching the races on the live stream was awesome, seeing the relaxed style of the lead guys, the turn of pace, the surging, the sprint finishes... I wanted to race again.
So a big congratulations to Charlotte ‘Charliiiiiiiiii’ Browning on 21st place, hopefully that will be good enough to see her selected for the GB under 23 squad for the European Champs, and then a pat on the back for Ruth Senior (46th) and Andy Baker (78th). Cheers guys, hopefully you've just kickstarted my training!