Part of my comeback after asthma diagnosis plan was to get my fitness back and lose the lard I had acquired through lack of activity.
I set myself a few short term goals before Christmas, first as three 10km races one each month October, November & December. After I’d completed Grittleton 10k in October which was a tough comeback race I soon decided to go for two more goals. These were to be sub 10 in both weight – stone & pace – 10min/mile by the end of the year.
Octobers Grittleton 10km was covered in my October Roller Coaster blog post. In November I went back to Wroughton for the Swindon 10km. This is based at the old airfield that is now a karting track and used by Top Gear for TV filming.
Wroughton airfield was as cold as ever, car temperature reading 1c but with air chill it was more like minus 5c. Storm Angus had been loitering around the previous couple of days and left its mark, the roads were flooded, covered in debris & I think trail shoes or wellies would have been a better choice of footwear than road running shoes.
My aim for this race was to run to each of the drinks stations at 5 & 8km and not stop or walk in between them. Gloves, hat & Buff along with windproof jacket were order of the day and I was dressed correctly for the conditions.
It was cold but clear & dry and bang on time we were off for two laps away from the airfield and around the village. Trying not to go off too fast and die in the later kilometres I went out steady and it paid off as I managed to hold my pace for the entire race. I stopped for Jelly Babies and water but kept moving forward inbetween. There was a horrendous evil cold headwind for the last kilometre into the finish arch. 1:03:19 on the Garmin that was over 5 minute improvement on Grittleton 10km the previous month. Into the hanger filled with kart fumes for a coffee and to warm up. Bonus for my friend Alison who won a pair of trainers at the race number draw. Bbbrrrhhh.
A week later I went back to Avebury for a nine mile trail run. This used to be Avebury8 but the route has been changed again. Slightly warmer and not as muddy as no rain since the storm. To be honest I really didn’t want to do this race thinking it was a step up too far and beyond my current fitness level and comfort zone. But I was pursuaded to go and do it as a long off road training event.
Training event is a term I’ve created from my love of entering events, getting bling & tshirt then trying to fit them into my training plan !
Nine miles completed in 1:44 which would have been slightly better if it wasn’t for the 8 or 9 stiles within the last couple of miles. By the time I was clambering over them they were caked in mud and treacherous ! That’s 5 handmade pottery Avebury mugs now, this years a bright blue. Yes I actually enjoyed it in the end as ran with a friend with a hangover and met a new friend who turned out we are Twitter friends already !
So November was going pretty well and I had managed three weeks in the green with consistent training and hitting all my planned sessions. Then my godmother died ( who never took me to church but to many pubs so lots of fond & fuzzy memories), I’d seen her just a few days before. This news affected my training, I walked out of a turbo session half way through as wasn’t concentrating and then went upto Harrogate for the funeral where my mind was on writing and delivering the eulogy.
The unplanned easy week was probably a good thing for me for mind and body. So I thought I’d be going into my third 10km with well rested legs. Unfortunately I got a sore throat & headache. I felt knackered and maybe the toll of driving, emotional & not being too careful on what I was eating brought me down under the weather. My peak flow was dropping a little also.
On the upside I had my 3 month asthma review at the beginning of the week and my medication has been dropped in half to just twice a day, my peak flow readings have climbed and are holding steady around 450. I’m dropping weight at a rate of 1lb a week. Blood pressure 118/79 so a bundle of health ! Plus not had to resort to my rescue inhaler even though I carry in during all runs now.
Decembers 10km was Bromhan Pudding race, this sells out super fast as a popular, flat & fast local race where you don’t get a medal or tshirt but a Christmas pudding for finishers. Another sub zero crispy morning with ice on the roads. Luckily as its a road race and a later start at 11am cars and a few 100 runners ahead of me spread the grit around and cleared the ice for me.
A nice steady comfortable training event run and two loops fairly evenly split in time. Although not reflected in my HR which was revving high as always, peaking at 198. But it was the best of three 10k’s 😀🏁 1:02:12 which brought me in bang on 10 minute miles. Moving time 1:01:27 as I had not one but two shoe laces come undone – must change to elastic laces.
So still no PB’s this year but my three Tenners on my comeback to fitness has shown improvement and felt easier as I went on. Most were chilly to freezing temperatures but thermal tights, gloves, Buffs & hat accessories made them possible.
So whilst not the highest of highs I’m still finishing on a high compared to where I was after my asthma attack in Outlaw back in July. Of my sub ten goals by year end I’ve made the sub 10 minute miles, now to focus on the weigh.
From the races I’ve got finishers medal & water bottle/ pottery mug / Christmas pudding so not all bad 😀
No more races this year but training continues and hoping to get back in the Training Peaks green again to see the year out. Parkrun on Christmas Day & running in Scotland to finish see the year out.
Happy days, learning to be an asthma athlete, regaining fitness, losing weight, all good.