Crossing the line felt good.
But after fifteen miles on tarmac I was ready to stop.
Running the Cranleigh 15 then recovering from it helped me learn some lessons.
Preparing for the run
With my focus on a half marathon I have gently increased my long run. Ted the Sproodle joined me to explore trails in the local Surrey Hills and tot up the distance.
Managing a muddy 12 miles off-road meant my strength was improving. Riding high I signed up for the Cranleigh 15, described as an undulating road race. It fitted perfectly allowing me to:
- Get another long run ticked off.
- Explore Cranleigh.
- Enjoy a run with like-minded people.
- Support Dorking and Mole Valley AC, in the MABAC league.
Running the race
The start was a wonderfully relaxed affair with many participants in their last throes of marathon training.
With my sensible head securely fastened, I settled into a steady pace. Having trained on hills the inclines did not faze me, and I was happily knocking off the miles.
Two thirds in though, I started to lose concentration on the task in hand. Without countryside views or the ever-changing terrain under foot my wandering thoughts became a hinderance.
It dawned on me I had not trained my brain for road running.
To push through the remaining five miles I kept my mind busy. Using my trusty marathon technique I dedicated each final mile to a special someone, Jon, brother, Mum and Dad.
By now I also realised I had overlooked the impact of tarmac running. The repetitive motion on a hard surface meant my hips and IT Band were tightening up. For relief I decided to mix up normal running with drills! High knees, strides, quick feet and heal kick.
It worked and I finished in two hours. Quicker than I had planned, but the surface had turned round and bitten me on the backside!
Recovering after the race
With no muscle aches only wobbly legs from battered ligaments, I took a few days off from running. Even yoga felt a bridge too far.
Instead I embraced food, rest, compression leggings, foam roller and the odd Guinness. I am unsure if anything other than rest worked, but within a few days I was back to normal.
Five days on Ted and I were back on my beloved trails breathing in the Surrey Hills.
So, what will the next race be?
Taking heed of the lessons learnt, my next race is going to be a trail run.
Having put the miles in my legs I have signed up for the Fox half marathon in late April.
I will let you know how I get on.
Anyway enough from me for now, but as always keep on moving.