Friday, 14 January 2011

Contender... Ready!

I hate the snow. The heavy snowfalls at the end of November, coupled with having temperatures that have barely gotten above freezing for the past six weeks, have meant that it has been too dangerous to risk going out due to the icy conditions of the pavements, roads and trails.

But, as I write this, most of the ice has gone, the temperature is almost nine (nine!) degrees, and the rain is absolutely chucking down. I'm sorting a playlist, and getting ready to go out for my first run in almost two months.

A bit of background. I first took up running in early 2008. I signed up for the Great Edinburgh Run on pretty much a whim, trained sporadically for it (at that time I was playing four games of fives a week and that was my priority), injured my back three weeks before the race - I couldn't train at all until just a few days before it - and completed it in 59:41. I was pretty happy with that.

I started running more seriously in summer 2008, when a couple of games of fives got cancelled. I took the training more seriously, I concentrated on speedwork, building endurance, and running for longer times. I was able to use the gym at University to develop my leg and core strength through a good free-weight routine involving squats, presses, planks and deadlifts, amongst others.

I ran the Stirling 10K in September 2008, and completed it in 50:27. Nine minutes below the time I had ran just four months earlier - although, it should be noted, Edinburgh is a mass-participation event with several bottleneck areas, so this does not help times.

Nevertheless, nine minutes! A reasonably mild winter in 2008/2009 saw me continue to train and work hard, culminating at Grangemouth in March 2009, where I ran 44:31. A whole fifteen minutes taken off my 10K time in under a year.

The possibilities were endless - or so I thought. I ran Edinburgh again in May 2009 in 47:13 - a great time for a mass-participation event. But then I had a bad year injury-wise, and 2010 wasn't too good either - injuries, coupled with a higher workload at University and the snowfall I mentioned above, mean I haven't ran competitively since that Edinburgh run in May 2009.

Rather annoyingly I ran under 47:30 just on my own, in November 2010, before the snow came.

My target for this year is to run Grangemouth in March and Stirling in September, and to hopefully beat my record time of 44:31 in one of these races.

Right now I'm getting my tunes sorted out, getting motivated to go out for my first run in almost two months. It's chucking down with rain. This is gonna be fun...

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