Saturday, 26 April 2014 16:51

What's with the wind?!?

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What’s with the Wind?!?

A week after my Bolton outing I found myself in Leigh for The Gin Pit Double. I love this event although 11 miles along the canal can be hard work. Having done it twice before I knew what to expect. The route is varied and pretty much off road with no major uphills, although there are stretches along the canal that are resplendent in that muddy stuff.

Day one was a mixed bag weather wise, rain, a bit of hail, more rain, wind and to top it all even more rain with the last few miles in glorious sunshine. My waterproof was on and off more times than??????????????? As usual I went through a bad patch during the middle of the run but managed to hold on and finish in under 4 hours, pretty good for me on this course for day 1, in fact my best day 1 here. I was just a tad worried that I might have over cooked it a bit for the next day so was eager to get into my post-race mode but this wasn’t going to happen today.

I had to get back to work so shot back home for a quick ice bath and then straight to work, no rest for me then! One good thing about going to work is that I was forced to use my tired legs which helps to shift any lactic acid out them and actually keeps them nice and loose as well, much better than sitting on ones backside and watching the latest episode of ‘strictly come jungle icing’ or some such rubbish.

Day 2 dawned bright and breezy with a forecast for heavy rain. All the way down on the motorway I had been watching the black clouds in the distance, it looked like it was going to another wet day. I registered and had the usual banter with the guys I know, as it is in the North a lot of the northern running junkies turn up and the same faces appear time after time. We all have a good natter, find out who is running where next, talk about the weather (well it is a national pastime) and what we shall be wearing for the run.

After a bit of briefing we all saunter off for the day, for once the first few miles didn’t seem too much like hard work and I was enjoying the sun, yep that’s right the sun was beating down on us, although there was still a nip in the air. At the 8 mile point there is a sharp turn onto the canal and this is where I realised why I had felt so good for the first part of the run, the wind was squarely in my face and everyone else’s I suspect and I was somewhat peeved that this was going to be the case for the next 11 miles…deep joy.

At 13 miles I felt great, at 14 miles I felt crap, the wind was really getting to me now and was not enjoyable. The mind is a wonderful thing sometimes, I don’t know how it works or what happens but after a few miles of abject misery and general fugness I seemed to sort myself out and stop feeling sorry for myself. My mile times started to tumble as I picked up the pace and got going. Two miles later I blasted off the canal, well ok then, sauntered at a genteel pace off the canal looking forward to the last 7 miles or so. I was fairly well up the field and was able to pass a couple of guys who looked like I had done 6 miles earlier.

My increase in pace bought me over the line in a sub 4, whoo hoo, two sub 4 hours for the first time at this event and a cumulative top 10 finish (9th) over the two days. Cracking stuff. Bring on Blackpool, this was going to be my crack at a sub 3.30 time for the year and I was feeling confident I could do it.

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