I know what you’re thinking: this picture is taken in a pub! You’d be right, but let me explain. Every month, our club has a competitive training session, called the Distance League, which is always rounded off with presentations and refreshments in a local pub. This evening we all did a couple of laps around Wrenthorpe totalling about 2.75 miles, the 5th event of the season. For reasons that I won’t go into now, we didn’t end up in a pub in Wrenthorpe, but in “The College” which is in central Wakefield and always offers us a really warm welcome.
One of the things we did this evening was award trophies for our two Club Champions for 2015, Adam and Jenny. It was a special evening for Jenny since this was the first time she had won a trophy in any sport and it really was well deserved!
Earlier in the day I visited my physio at Coach House, Leeds for a general check-up, massage and advice about how to stay out of trouble injury-wise during my marathon training. On the way out you can imagine the surprise when I saw another champion, none other than Jonathan Brownlee waiting in reception. It was a rather surreal moment when Jonny had to go and find out if it was Alistair’s car blocking mine in the car park. The best thing was that he did have some words of encouragement regarding my marathon training which was truly awesome!
This isn’t what you think, I haven’t abandoned my excercise routine and decided to visit Costa for a coffee and a bun instead. I have now established a rather agreeable routine for Monday mornings, go for my usual excercises and swim first thing, then sit down for breakfast at Costa before going to work; an inspired plan.
As for my legs, after the 15 miles yesterday, yes they are tired! Hopefully a trip to the physio tomorrow will equip me for the arduous training to follow and help me avoid picking up an injury.
I quite like running in the snow but it hasn’t always been that way. When the first time as runners, we were faced with persistent icy conditions, Helen and I resorted to an isolated stretch of country road, gritted (because it was on a bus route), so clear of ice that we could run up and down, relatively undisturbed by traffic. Later, we realised that compacted crisp snow is quite good surface to run on and so we did routes around Temple Newsam park in the snow. Once we discovered Yaxtrax, it was clear that with the right equipment, practically no surface was unrunnable on. Today alas was not Yaxtrax weather since it was all very melty and slushy but I did fancy an off road route for my long run, so I found myself running down the “Yellow Brick Road”.
There is a path that follows a deserted railway line from Bottom Boat (near Stanley), which goes under the M62 and ends up near Methley. It is now part of the Trans Pennine Trail. It used to have a rather attractive fine yellow gravel compressed in to Tarmac, hence the nickname: Yellow Brick Road. Alas, much of the yellow has now worn away but I expect, quite rightly, the Council has other more pressing priorities. It is about two miles long and it’s great to run along wihout any traffic to worry about or curbs to trip over; you can let your mind wander. Today it still had a nice snow covering in places.
My destination was Methley to see how under water the St Aidan’s nature reserve is since the floods (fair dos, it is supposed to be a wetland). To my surprise and contrary to some tales of it now being more of a lake rather than a wetland, it seemed to be almost back to normal. The lakes were a bit high and the causeway was cut off, but this is nothing exceptional so it looks like things are retuning to normal. All the canal towpaths are passable if a bit damp and muddy in places.
All in all a pleasant 15 mile run though the countryside but it was time to return home since it was rather cold and my fingers were feeling rather numb!