Tues - 8.5 miles intervals. 5 x mile, w/first steady, second through fourth fartlek, and last steady (CCW (.98 mile), CW (1.02), CCW, CW, CCW). Showed up for this one not really sure how much I wanted to put into it, so opened up running the first one at a reasonably casual effort with Leora, Ryan and Andy: 5:41. The next three were fartlek and I decided to push the hard segments a little harder than usual and float the medium ones a little easier: 5:34, 5:20, 5:34. Finished with a final steady mile, pushing the last quarter hard: 5:15. Felt some fitness there this morning. Promising.
Wed - 5.5 miles. Jogged some easy miles on the mean streets of Canterbury after the long flight from Denver. To the West Station to pick up a birthday present for my mom, then up the Crab and Winkle to Blean, and back via Rough Common.
Thurs - 10 miles (1,000) easy. Blean Woods outer loop. Trails were totally waterlogged, but it's always good to be back home enjoying the refreshingly moist air, at least for the first couple of days. Then the rain starts getting pretty old. Not sure how I put up with it for 20 years, but I guess I didn't know any better.
Sat - 5.5 miles w/5k Parkrun race. I always enjoy running the Whitstable 5k Parkrun races when I'm back home. It's a similar concept to the Tortoise and Hare races I put for the Fort Collins Running Club in Colorado, in that the races are designed to offer a means of promoting fitness for newer runners or a fun workout for more seasoned runners in an inclusive, affordable environment. If you ever find yourself in the UK on a Saturday and fancy a workout, then check out the Parkrun website and see if there's one being put on in a town near you.
Originally I was going to run the six or so miles up to Whitstable, but I didn't much like the look of the weather and with lingering jet lag I decided an extra few minutes in bed was the wiser option, driving out instead with Alistair and my Dad. Alistair and I got in a nice mile jog on the seafront to warm-up, noting a strong tailwind outbound and stronger headwind coming back, then after meeting up with my brother and his two young running proteges, it was off to the start line and time to get going. The goal was to run a hard workout more than it was to race, so I eased into things and followed the lead guy off the front. He put a few meters on me through the first couple of kms, but once we hit the sloppy mud on the kilometer long lollipop section of the out and back I quickly regained the ground and then muscled past him as we made our way back along the seafront into the wind. I forgot to bring my watch so didn't get splits, but I'd guess my first and third miles were probably right on 5:30 and the middle mile through the mud and strongest headwind at about 5:45-50. Finished in 17:25, which felt about right for the effort, then ran back out to run the last km again with Alistair who registered a course PR at just under 28 minutes. Always a fun morning on the Whitstable seafront.
Headed out in the afternoon to Canterbury Rugby Club to watch the first team play a top of the table clash against Cambridge in cataclysmically terrible weather. Brought back fond (I think) memories of playing through similar conditions on more than a few occasions during my youth.
Sun 18 miles (1,000') easy. Ran at a very easy effort out to Whitstable and along the seafront for a bit, then turned and retraced my steps. My legs were a little creaky for this one and not much enjoying the hard surface underfoot so it was generally a bit of an effort. Wet again.
Total: 60 miles (3,700')
It's always a tough grind crossing the Atlantic in the easterly direction, especially with kids in tow, so the running has been a little labored and my sleep not great since arriving in the UK. But I'm getting into the swing of things now, just in time for a run of three races in the span of four days between Christmas and Saturday. Fun times.