Cross Country 53-12 Harwich

This Sunday was the second of the 53-12 cross country runs at Harwich. It was a fresh but bright morning, pretty good running conditions although I did feel the wind go straight through me. I was glad to have had some rain the previous day to give the ground a bit of a softer feel and it meant I could get my trails a bit dirty. Although I had done this one last year I didn’t remember too much about it until I arrived and then it all came flooding back to me, only this year the course had been changed – not sure if this was a good thing or not. I remember last year there was a fallen tree trunk which, having already stepped over once I decided on the second lap I would hurdle – I’ve never been very good at hurdles so you can guess how well that went 🤦🏻‍♀️.

Anyway, there were no fallen tree trunks this year, there was however a lovely uphill struggle to start the run off with. Having already failed terribly at attempting to pace myself the previous day at parkrun I thought I would give it another shot and with the hill at the start it wasn’t difficult to begin at a steady pace. I was really feeling it as I climbed the hill, my chest was burning and I was struggling to take in a deep breath which worried me so early on. But then, I reached the top – inhaled deeply and really appreciated the downhill slope taking the opportunity to increase my pace. The rest of the route was predominately around farmers’ fields but it did incorporate some lovely inclines with some even nicer declines to follow.

I began to struggle around the 3.5mile mark, my legs were heavy and breathing wasn’t great but I could see Olivia from Tiptree was literally just a few steps ahead of me so I thought I would take the opportunity to have a little chat (when I say chat, I mean shout out the odd encouraging word through gasping for breath 🙈). This certainly helped with the following mile as I kept her in my sights and she literally dragged me along behind her! After a little turn back on ourselves where we got to receive and shout encouragement to fellow club members we could see a hill approaching, it was a nasty one. Olivia had no issues pushing up that hill, although I must admit I felt like walking I slowed my pace right down and just about managed to keep going. From here onwards it felt pretty much downhill and right at the end I was so close to a Springfield Strider I went for a sprint finish, unfortunately I didn’t get her but it was worth a try!

My time and position was an improvement on last week which is what I was aiming for so I am really happy with that, let’s hope I can continue to improve as the season goes on 🤞🏼. Now, I am going to get a little geeky here as I have spent some time looking over my stats on the old garmin connect. I can see my splits and although my first mile was my slowest the others are a little all over the place, this could be down to the elevation in those miles but I think I need to practise this a little.  If I am honest I don’t even look at my watch when I’m running I only use it at the end of the run to see how I’ve done.

There’s also some cool graphs I noticed this weekend, I can’t tell you much about the cadence but from what I can understand I could do with trying to get this to be more blue than green 🤔. Looking at the elevation graph this could explain why mile 1 and 4 were my slowest miles. There’s also other information available including my average stride length 😀 (its 1.06m – I have no idea if this is good or not 😂). I’m starting to wish I had a Garmin with a wrist based hr monitor so I could get even more geeky information!

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