National 12 Stage Relays

The National 12 stage road relays are a brilliant event where the best clubs in the country put their fastest 12 runners out to war. For a club to get that many athletes out, fit and healthy, at the same time is a massive challenge but it can really build team spirit.

I had some demons in me from last year, where I was 1st leg (my favourite) and I pulled a hamstring halfway through my run. I limped home in nearly last place, letting the side down big-time, although they rallied fantastically to 12th. I have been waiting a year to put that right.

Tuesday the week before the race, I am feeling great in my morning run, but because my legs are so achey from Sunday run up a mountain, I can’t read my body’s warning signs, and I pull a calf muscle. I am determined to compete at the 12 stage this year, I can’t let the team down again. I don’t want to be that guy. I have 4 days to heal. It’s a big ask with less than 3 weeks till London Marathon. Lots of stretching, resting and massage from Nina gets me to the starting line feeling pretty nervous. I think that if I can control my effort, I can put in a shift which should be strong enough for the team whilst protecting my weakness.

I had wanted to do really well here, put down a marker before marathon and blow away memories of last year’s failure, but sometimes life gives you lemons, I have to let go of those goals and focus on what I can realistically achieve today. My body will only give me so much, if I over reach I will blow it, the calf will pull again, and I will be traipsing home near the back…again.

I hand over to leg 2 in 23rd, better than last year’s 54th, but nowhere near my best of 5th place.  I am so relieved to have turned in a respectable showing, and with no injury. Kent AC get up into podium position at one point but then we slide to 7th, still, a top 10 position is very good at this level.

Quick warm down and then I have to jump straight in car to get home and cut up a tree (3 trees actually) that has fallen over the track on our land. The holiday already feels a million miles away.

3/4/2017 AM PM
Monday REST REST
 whole body aching after mountain run yest
Tuesday 5 3
 calf pull am. very easy jog pm
Wednesday 10 REST
calf eases off towards the end. Fly home
Thursday REST REST
 Let calf rest after lots of travelling yesterday
Friday 10 REST
v slow run, but calf feeling looser
Saturday National 12 stage relays. 5.4 miles – 27.42min. 12 miles total REST
just happy to get through it with calf in one piece
Sunday REST  REST
 Could run, but body aching in weird places, decide to let dust settle!
TOTAL: 40 miles. 
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