Learning to embrace the filth

Feeling less than 100% this week has actually helped with mt attempt to ease off at the end of my busy running year.  I’ve made a good start at the short term goals I set last week and also decided to hunt out some muddy puddles!

Road runners are a strange beast.  As we can run all year round we don’t really have a season and as a result, we don’t have an off season.

It’s not something I’ve thought of before but after my biggest running year to date I was starting feel like I needed some time off so in attempt to switch off from this year and prepare for next, I set myself a few short term goals.

I’ve already switched my watch to hide pace and not missed the pace information once.  I hope temptation to look at pace can stay away for another 4 weeks.

I’ve started reading “The Chimp Paradox” and despite being only 3 chapters in, I am already aware of some techniques that will help me in my running and work life.  Looks like even this slow reader will be able to complete the book by the end of the month.

The third goal hasn’t quite started so positively.

Given my previous failed attempts at introducing strength work, I’m not entirely surprised I haven’t spent 20 minutes doing exercises, on two occasions this week.  The fact I haven’t even done one session is pretty poor.  Must try harder!  I will definitely do a session tomorrow.

As a gesture towards what January has in store for me (my first ever XC event) I decided to take a scenic detour to pick up my car on Saturday morning.  I strapped on my Hoka trail shoes and took myself down into the Windrush valley to put them through their paces.

I was lucky enough to grab some blue sky
I was lucky enough to grab some blue sky

The Hokas are a relatively “mild” trail shoe so I was skidding about quite a bit on the loose muddy tracks from the top of Tower Hill.  As I got down into the valley, the mud cleared up and the Hokas were able to get a grip.

Moving closer to the river meant the ground got boggier and I danced my way through as softly as I could but by now my feet were wet through.  As I squelched on to firmer ground I was pleasantly surprised that my feet still felt comfortable and stable in the Hokas.

Leaving the river I appeared back on to the paths of Witney to head up to my friends’ house where my car was safely stored.  People must have wondered what the heck I’d been up to!

It was a very different 5k to ones I’m used to, and it was unexpectedly huge fun.  It was fun exploring the valley.  It was fun experimenting with running in different conditions.  It was also fun getting wet and muddy!

I’m sure I won’t be quite as enthusiastic when the Oxford XC comes round in early January!

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