I’m pretty resilient and try my best not to let the weather stop me from my training and this week has been a good example of that. Running on the pavements is almost impossible as they are either icy and lethal or rutted and ankle breaking. However with the snow on all the trails I find it easy to see where I’m going running off roads at night.
I ran into work on Tuesday, as I passed Maiden Castle I checked out the track, it was covered in snow, so I texted Max to see if the evening session was still on, typical of Max, I got a message back to say that he’d been on to the ground staff and asked them to clear the inside lane of the track. So after work I set off to MC to do my session, when I got there Clare had just finished her session and was heading for the changing rooms to put on some dry clothe.
Click here to hear a few words from Claire before Iain's session.
The grounds staff had done a good job of clearing the inside lane, but it was so cold that the track still felt frozen and I’m sure that some spots were so frozen that my spikes weren’t digging into the track. We had freezing fog rolling in from the river and as the session went by the visability got worse and by my last effort I couldn’t see Max or Clare until I was about 20 meters from them. I was doing 2000m efforts, it was cold, misty, the track was frozen and icy so it was no surprise that my times were down.
Click here to see Iain on one his reps.
Because I raced on Sunday and had to work straight after I didn’t get a chance to get a long run in so on Wednesday morning I met up with a friend and did an easy 12 miles. We had a great run around Houghall woods, the Wicker man, Sunderland bridge, Croxdale hall, Shinclffe woods and back to Durham along the river. It was -9 and so cold it was burning my nose and freezing my jaw, but the sunrise was amazing.
I managed to get out again in the evening, an easy 3 mile followed by about half an hour of core exercises. Wednesday is a long day for Clare and myself, she starts work at 7am and doesn’t finish until 9pm, we share our car so we travel into work together, she drops me off and I do my run and then work and while I’m waiting for her to finish I get my second run in, but we don’t get home until 9.30pm.
I did a session on Thursday evening, this time around the cricket field at Maiden Castle, the session was 5x1 lap of the field with a very short recovery. My times were down on my normal reps but the snow was quite deep and the recoveries were shorter than normal.
I did two runs on Friday, nice and easy, but still managed to get into double figures. That evening I saw on line that the Aklam race was canceled, so I had to change my weekend plan’s. Saturday the weather was foul, proper blizzard conditions in the morning, I didn’t want Clare driving me back and forwards to work in that weather so I ran to and from work.
We’re now back to Sunday and the day I had planned to race, I wanted to push myself and have a good work out. I live in an old mining village and like all mining villages we have an old pit heap. Our pit heap has a plantation on it, it is getting quite well established now, but last year we were awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee forest, which is in the process of getting planted. The pit heap is a great place to train and it is literally at the end of my street. If you run around the outside of it, it is about two and a half miles, but during that loop there are three paths which dissect it. These paths run from the bottom of the hill to the top path, I use these for hill reps.
I did a 2 mile warm up, then picked the most sheltered hill (it was threatening to snow again) to do my reps on. It’s a steep hill and the snow was deep and uneven, each effort took me 1m47sec and I did 5 efforts with a quick descent to start again. I was going to do the reps only, but I still felt good so I did one full lap of the pit hard, that was a lung buster. I finished the days run with a long warm down, 6 mile around the pit and the old Quarry at Quarrington hill. A good day’s running and the end of another week back on track. I’m feeling good at the minute, but still need to work on my speed, I seem to have lost a lot during my time out.