Saturday, 12 November 2011

North Wales Cross Country Northop

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. -Steve Prefontaine

Do you agree with this quote? The word gift could be interpred in a number of ways: 
- Talent; 
- Ability received without effort;
- Free without cost. 

Gift seems to insinuate that we've been given something (the ability to run) and we should use it. I think though, with running, that most are not given a gift, we have to work hard to get good. 

I was pleased with today's race. The legs felt strong, I kept up with the runners who are usually ahead of me and beat some of them. Matt Rose was still quite a bit in front of me. One day I might finish a race in front of him! 

The route was very good, plenty of beautiful trees around (I'm into my trees at the moment): check out my trees logged: Link (roll over me to see where I go) 

I started off the race full of beans and want to lead but thought I shouldn't overtake the leaders because that would be silly. After the first loop (4 loops in total) I was surprised to be close to the people I was with. My team mate James was keeping up with me which I was pleased with because he's a new runner to the Senior league and I wanted to help him along. Throughout the race I was overtaken and I took about the same amount of runners. My position at half way was about the same as at the end. 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Lake Vyrnwy race

Quote: "‘talent’ is made, not born"  From the book Bounce by Matthew Syed. (

Today I did an amazement achievement, for me: A half marathon at Lake Vyrnwy in 1h11m39s.  This is a good time for any runner and one might say that I have a talent for running but after reading the above mentioned book, it's not talent but:
- Effort  - Hard work  - Focussed training  - Persistence.

Most things can be achieved through the power of practice and often in our society praise is wrongly given for the so called 'gifted'.  Not enough praise is given, in my view, for hard work and effort.  People who are prepared to work hard are not scared of failing because they don't have to fear loosing their reputation of having a magic talent.  Failure is the learning curve on a road to success.

Lake Vyrnwy is beautiful

Enough of that!  Back to my race report.  I knew that there was a big hill at the start of the race and the wind was strong today so I started off conservatively.  But after the first three miles I noticed that my pace was fast but I was still feeling fresh.  I kept saying to myself, this is easy and I'm prepared for this.  I focussed as much as I could on being relaxed.  Between the start and up to 5 miles I was chasing a pack of around 5-10 runners.  I caught up to them at 5 miles and said, we're on for a 73minute time, then I stayed with them for 1 mile and drafted from the wind.  Then I noticed that they were not keeping to the pace I wanted: 5m30s so I decided to overtake them.  One person came with me and stuck with me until the last mile.  This was a great help and we spurred each other on.  We both agreed to try and catch the person in front and imagine that the road was downhill.  He said to me "use the downhill".  We kept to the 5m30s pace and caught the runner up at 11 miles.

In summary I did much better than I thought I could and I felt strong.  I feel I could have gone faster.