10K-a-day Day 13: Rhubarb

I live in a former mining area of West Yorkshire. Many of the country parks and nature reserves round here are what remains of “deep drop” and opencast coal mines. Now this might conjure images of pubs where if you enter, everything goes quiet and some chap in a flat cap gives you a stern look and says “yer not from ‘raaand these parts are ye” (even though you’ve been a regular of the pub for over 40 years). However, full of character this place may be, it certainly isn’t like that. The area where I live is known as the Rhubarb Triangle because most of the UK production of rhubarb comes from round here and it is famous for “forced” rhubarb; a process involving taking the plant into dark warm sheds, thus developing a distinctive flavour.

The village of Carlton, which was on my route this evening, ran a tongue in cheek campaign several years ago to change its name to ‘Rhubarb”. This was so it could get EU Protected Name status such that you could only call Rhubarb grown here, Rhubarb. (A bit like Champagne, which can only be made in Champagne). This was a bit of fun but Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb does have that protected name designation and you can pass the rhubarb sheds when running round Carlton and Rothwell.

As for my running, after the exit emend and frustration of yesterday, I took it steady and had a nice run this evening despite a little rain (and yes, I am getting mightily fed up with the rain).

“‘As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.’”

‭‭Gen.‬ ‭8:22‬ ‭NIVUK

Richard is running 10K every day during June, to raise money for a public access defibrillator to be situated at Rothwell Baptist Church.  To sponsor him and make a donation, please visit his Just Giving Page.‬‬

10K-a-day Day 12: Cotton brains and lead feet

Most runners know all about DNF (Did Not Finish) and DNS (Did Not Start, where you pull out before the race even begins) but I’ve got a new one for you: DNE, or Did Not Enter! This is reserved for the most mind-bogglingly incompetent numpty who turns up at a race, to realise that he hadn’t submitted the entry after all and worse, all the entry-on-the-day places have been sold out!

To say I was annoyed with myself is an understatement! To drive all the way to Doncaster and then back again, only to have to run 10K anyway adds insult to injury.

So later than usual on this dark and dusky evening, I set off to run my favourite canal-side run (I certainly didn’t feel like innovating this evening) and of course, the usual running effect kicked-in and everything didn’t seem so bad after all. I also realised that it was probably a good job I hadn’t tried to run a race tonight.

You will recall that yesterday I ran a negative splits speed exercise with my running club and to be honest, this evening, I don’t think I could do anything fast. Going over the canal bridge, which is the first uphill bit of my route and even though it’s only a hump, my feet felt like they were made of lead.

I don’t usually run so late in the evening and it was a nice atmosphere similar to that in the early morning with not many people about and lovely low light effects on the water. By the time I got home I really felt OK because I had been spared an unfortunate race experience. My wife Helen also wasn’t sure about running today because she has just got over an injury and it was probably a good job she didn’t race.

The best news, of course, is that we hadn’t entered, therefore hadn’t paid the entry fee.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Richard is running 10K every day during June, to raise money for a public access defibrillator to be situated at Rothwell Baptist Church.  To sponsor him and make a donation, please visit his Just Giving Page.

10K-a-day Day 11: Negative splits

I have for many years been a fan of negative splits. This, being the achievement of running the later parts of a race faster than the first. My best performances have been negative splits and very often, my best 5K times are in fact the second half of a 10K. I love the feeling of getting faster and faster through a race and then be able to power through to a strong finish. The slower first part allows me to warm up and also protects me from injury. This contrasts to going off too fast, struggling and slowing down as time goes on (a valid strategy but not as effective I think).

Therefore I really like the exercise we did at running club tonight, where we run (jog) for 20 minutes away from the club and then try and get back in under 18 minutes. The trick here of course is to pace yourself in the first half, which I believe is the secret of achieving your best in races.

Tomorrow I have (foolish me) entered a 10K race! Usually I wouldn’t dream of doing training efforts the day before a race but I’m not in the “usually” world at the moment. Far from being on my last legs after running 10K-a-day for 10 days in a row, I was able to comfortably do my run back in 18 minutes and then run some more to make it up to 10K.

I won’t have any difficulty in reaching 10K tomorrow of course because I will be racing it and that really will be a test of my stamina. Bring it on!

“being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:11‬ ‭NIVUK‬‬

Richard is running 10K every day during June, to raise money for a public access defibrillator to be situated at Rothwell Baptist Church.  To sponsor him and make a donation, please visit his Just Giving Page.