And that was the summer.

I knew I hadn’t blogged for a while, but I didn’t realise it had been quite so long! I’d fully intended to blog over the summer but once I got out of the habit of doing it regularly I never got back into it, so this seems like a good time to start again. It’s not like I haven’t run, I’ve been running and racing regularly through the summer, but I just never seemed to find (or make) the time. I won’t bore you with a massively long post about what I’ve been up to, so here are the highlights.

At the start of June I ran the Harvel 5m, a fun local event organised by the local Hash House Harriers club (the drinking club with the running problem!) It’s a lovely course, and in the start/finish area on the local village green there’s specially decorated loos and a beer tent. (There’s also a beer stop on the race route!) The race itself didn’t go so great, I set off at a pace hoping to beat my best time there, but it was pretty warm and around halfway I realised I wasn’t on target so just shut it down and enjoyed the rest of the race at a more sedate pace.

Post Harvel 5 – that tasted good!!

At the end of the month I did the first of three 10ks at Sandwich. To my shame despite having lived in Kent my entire life I had never been to Sandwich, so post-race my partner and I had a nice walk around including coffee and cake, and we’ll definitely be going back. The race itself was a really nice flat rural course on the edge of the town, and I was happy with a 47:35, as it was my first 10k for a while and I wasn’t too sure what I could do.

A couple of weeks later I headed off to New Romney with a few Harriers. I was hoping I could improve on my Sandwich time, but it was a very hot morning and if you know Romney Marsh you’ll know it’s very open with very few trees, so I quickly abandoned that idea and happily settled for dipping under 50 minutes with a 49:36, and thoroughly enjoyed the free post-race cake!

At the end of the month it was onto Bexleyheath for the Myra Garrett 10k. A strange race as I set off quite strongly, had a really rough spell around the 4 to 6k mark and then a recovery to finish strongly with a 46:58 finishing time, following a big sprint at the end! I’m not quite sure why I had the bad spell, it wasn’t too hot and I’d felt fine, but I was happy to crack 47 minutes on the day.

Post Romney Marsh 10k – some hot and tired Harriers!

The other highlights of the summer were some nice runs during a couple of trips away. In mid-July we had a long weekend away on the Isle of Wight, and I was very happy to find out that there was a Parkrun less than half a mile from our B&B, so I had a great start to the Saturday running that on a lovely seafront course with fantastic views across the Solent, and then another seafront run on the Sunday morning as well. A couple of weeks ago we had a few days in Weymouth, and staying just a short distance from the coast I enjoyed some early morning runs along a stretch of the South West Coastal Path, which was a really good way to start the day.

Looking across to Weymouth from the South West Coast Path

And now it’s September and my thoughts turn to the autumn and the winter. You know it’s coming when you start seeing provisional dates for the cross-country season. I did a little bit of planning yesterday to come up with the outline of a training plan. I’ve got a few races lined up – the Eridge Trail 10m next weekend and the Disneyland Paris half-marathon this month, which I’m using as training runs for the Sittingbourne 10m and Ashford 10k races in early October. These are both Harriers Club Championship races so I’d like to do well in them. Beyond that cross-country will start and there’s another club champs race in December, the Thanet 10m.

I’m really looking forward to the autumn and winter training, autumn in particular as I love running on those bright crisp mornings when the leaves are changing colour. I’ll hopefully be back to regular blogging as well!