Aldbury Cross Country Challenge
Sunday I decided to take part in a race in a village nearby. The Aldbury Cross Country Challenge. The race was 5.3 miles. And full of hills. This is the profile:
Yup. I didn’t like it either. True to form, I walked up the hill. Ran. Walked up another hill. Ran some more. Finished. Pain.
I also tried out my trail shoes for the first time. Salomon Pro Sense 2. Pink. Great. I was not used to these at all though. They were obviously heavier than my usual trainers and it felt like I had bricks on my feet! When you’re used to running in trainers that feel like socks, this is to be expected. Solution? Keep running in them. I will hopefully be wearing these at the Trail Half Marathon in June...if I can make it up the hills (mountain).
It was a lovely event and I would recommend it to anyone. Aldbury is a little village in Hertfordshire, sporting two pubs. The Greyhound - which sponsors the event - and The Valiant Trooper. My friends and I took to the Valiant Trooper following the race. CAMRA Pub of the Year 2017 (Mid Chilterns) so my friends who were with me really enjoyed their selection of ales. I opted for some alcohol free beer (Day 60 today).
Hopefully next time I take this on I will be better prepared. Having had time to reflect on Sunday, I know exactly what I’m doing. I don’t run enough hills anyway and must incorporate these into my training from now on. I don’t push myself. At the first sign of trouble, I stop. I say to myself “no, Jen, this is wrong, just walk.” I know there is a difference between injury pain and training pain. I am not pushing myself up these hills or to the limit. I also know this as I cannot even remember the last time I tried to run a fast (fast for me) 5K.
This must be mental mostly. I’m not sure how to combat this apart from to keep trying. If anyone would like to give me some advice, please do!
This does only seem to affect my running though. Last night (Wednesday), I had my favourite class at the gym. Body Combat. It's great for letting out the stresses of the day. I make some great noises as I'm pushing through. I keep trying, even when I can't do it and lose my balance, or my shoulders are aching so much. I push through the pain. Surely I must be able to do this when I'm running?
The next big event is the MK Half on Bank Holiday Monday. Running is obviously still a challenge for me. I struggle to find the motivation to run on my own, particularly the long runs. I often turn around and walk home. I know I can do it, I’m not injured. It’s all in my head. Much like I’ve said above and running hills.
I want to complete MK and know with the crowds around me (and it being fairly flat) I should be ok. I’m not planning a PB time at all and I’ve certainly not trained for one, but anything around 02:20 would be great. It will also be amazing to finish in the stadium again. I finished in the stadium last year for Milton Keynes Marathon. That was my first marathon. Immense.
So….I’m still nervous. I’m still daunted by everything. I still need help. But I’m still trying.