So the first day proper of Australian GP preparations saw me arise at 3am, catching around three and a half hours sleep before being rudely awoken by the fear of the alarm clock going off rather than the alarm clock itself. A quiet day in Melbourne and here ensued as a fair majority of the F1 media and paddock folk were delayed by five hours when an Emirates flight went technical. The journey from London to Melbourne typically takes 22 or so hours flying alone with 2-3 hours in transit, so add a five hour delay and you have a fairly arduous journey.
It’s little things like this that mean I lose little sleep over no longer being a (very small) part of the traveling F1 circus. It is, for the mind and body, a lot healthier and easier being based at home. I may moan about having to be up for 1am tonight, but at least my journey to work can be measured in footsteps rather than thousands of miles.
After a few hours sleep in the morning and lunch (or was it breakfast, or dinner?) it was time to head out for a run. I’d not much planned other than I wanted to do some decent miles. The weather was simply stunning – after a foggy morning, the cloud had burnt away during the morning to leave blue skies, weak sunshine and barely a wisp of wind. The temperature was around 11C, which was just perfect for running comfortably in. At points on the fields near Belvoir Castle, the mists were just starting to form again. It’s times like these I wish I renewed my habit of taking a camera with me whilst running for such occasions.
I headed in a similar direction to yesterday, this time running past Harlaxton on the A607 and towards Denton. The legs were feeling reasonable, if a little tired – running seven minute miles was comfortable. At Denton I headed towards Harston, the intention to turn off on Woolsthorpe Lane to Woolsthorpe. Not entirely sure where I was going, I went a bit early and turned off on the first road I came to, soon finding myself on a public bridleway. Thankfully although the path was a bit sticky in places and heavily grooved from passing 4x4s it was mostly dry and not too hard for a bad cross country runner to negotiate.
The path spat me out after a mile or so at the top of the Cliff Road – a hill much easier to run down than up – as you do at the Newton’s Fraction Half Marathon, taking place this Sunday. It was here, at eight miles, I just raised the effort a bit, from easy to moderately steady. Heading onto the canal path back to Grantham, I gradually ramped up the effort, taking the pace by the end of the path and into Grantham at approximately marathon pace. It was reasonably hard work but it felt as though I was reaping the benefits of being at the business end of marathon training, despite those little doubts creeping in, thanks largely to not racing for a few weeks, that perhaps I’m losing form.
The run was a bit stop/start as I ran through town and into home. It was there I was reminded I still have the remnants of a cold and cough and possibly in the throws of catching another one. Every time I stopped, the cough began, and when I stopped for the final time, after 15.3 miles, the coughing fit persisted for several minutes. My neighbours have already commented that all this running lark cannot be good for you if you sound this dreadful at the end of a run. Hopefully the results over the coming weeks will prove them wrong.