It’s April already?

Hard to believe we’re already a quarter of the way through the year already. It doesn’t seem that long ago I was sitting down and putting together my targets for the year, so this seems like a good point at which to review my progress to date.

10k: Sub 45 minutes – Haven’t run one yet! My original plan was to target the Larkfield 10k, a fast flat local race, but that’s been moved from the scheduled date of May back to September, so I’ve found another race in Ashford next month to see what I can do over that distance.

Getting wet at Folkestone!

10m: Sub 1hr 15 minutes – Getting close with this one. A solid 1:17 at Canterbury was followed up on Good Friday by a (just) sub 1:16 clocking on a wet and windy day on the Kent coast at Folkestone. I’d initially targeted this as a possible attempt at a sub 1:15 time, but I was also concious the weather was a key factor, and with a headwind to contend with on the out leg of the out and back course I knew it wasn’t on. I didn’t want to fight the wind on the way out so kept my pace to 7:45 minute miles until mile 4, then I started to pick up the pace and take advantage of the wind behind me, clocking up a succession of 7:30 miles through to the finish, where I picked up my medal and a very welcome creme egg! I’ve got no more 10 milers planned at present, so I’ll see where I am come the Autumn, with the Thanet 10m in early December in mind, although again, the weather could be a factor.

Tunbridge Wells 1/2 marathon

Half-Marathon: Sub 1hr 45 minutes – Tick…twice! I knew this was the most attainable race target, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to go sub 1:45 straight off the bat at Tunbridge Wells, which is a tough course with a couple of tough climbs around halfway, but I made good time on the early downhill sections, got up the climbs OK then just hung on for the final few miles. At 12 miles it looked like I would just miss out but with a slight downhill last mile I was more than happy to get a 1:44:30 on the board. I then knocked another chunk off with a 1:42:50 at Dartford a couple of weeks ago. It’s another undulating course, with a b*tch of a climb at 11 miles, but having settled in with some early 8 minutes miles I found my rythmn and picked up the pace and having survived the climb I was able to enjoy the downhill finish knowing I had the time in the bag. This coming Sunday I have the Paddock Wood 1/2m, which was my planned sub 1:45 race, so after my run at Folkestone I’m confident now I can shave a few more seconds off the Dartford time on the fast flat course.

More strength and conditioning work – Let’s call this a work in progress, I’ve developed a core routine for the gym, but I’ve probably not been as often as I should, so this an area to focus on. I’d like to get a routine in place for strengthening my glutes and hamstrings as my quads always seem to be sore after races and long runs and I’m wondering if a lack of strength in those two areas is partially to blame.

Volunteer more regularly at Parkrun – Tick. I’ve had three stints so far and have thoroughly enjoyed it every time, even the freezing cold morning when the Beast of the East first came calling!

Blog more regularly – Well, it started off OK, but March just seemed to be a very busy month for all sorts of reasons, so this post is my attempt to reboot this particular target.

I got to run around Bristol one morning in March.

March was also a difficult month running-wise. I had a dip in enthusiasm when I found out I couldn’t run the inaugural London Landmarks 1/2m, which I’d really been looking forward to. Basically there was a change in the dates I had originally arranged to pick up my daughter for her to stay with me at Easter, so while it was far more important that I got to spend time with her it was still disappointing not to be able to do the race, and what with other things I ended up really only running a couple of times a week through the month.

And of course it snowed a bit as well!!

I’ve got the show back on the road though, I had a good solid week of running last week and now I’m looking to spend the next few weeks maybe focusing on speed and building a solid base to start my Bournemouth Marathon training in the summer, so it’ll be back to the track tomorrow evening.

Something I am excited about is doing my Leadership in Running Fitness qualification in a couple of weeks time. I’ve had it in the back of my mind that I’d like to do some coaching at my club for a while now, so when our Head Coach said she was looking for new recruits I expressed an interest. It’s actually third time lucky as the training course has been cancelled twice already for the snow! Once I’ve done the course I’ll be able to lead training sessions at the club, initially at the track and then whatever other opportunities come up, but I’m looking forward to developing myself in that area.

Hopefully I’ll be back with a new post sooner rather than later!

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