Mud, Mystery and Mayhem with the Sweatshop Running Community Hyde Wednesday group!

Posted on Aug 01, 2012 under 10-15k, Injuries, Milestones, Trail Running | Comments are off

After my first outing to the Sweatshop running group, related here, I elected to try the Monday “improvers” group for a while and have enjoyed running up hills and down dales, and have felt a definite improvement in my running form of late, also helped by learning to build some easy runs into my schedule, and slowing it down on my long runs rather than running fast just because I feel good (while slowly breaking down tissues too quickly!)

Anyway, I decided I wanted to give the Weds group another go, and this time I would know what to expect, so it was planned in my week as a hard run, and I made sure I hadn’t just done an insane long run the day before with a race coming up at the weekend on this occasion!

On the way to the shop it started raining heavily and seemed pretty miserable, when I got there I presented my card and in return got my “5 week” prize, a bright yellow Sweatshop Running Community running top! I immediately jettisoned my grey top and decked myself out like a bumble bee! I chatted to people and then went outside to try to get a Garmin signal, and then we set off. The route was headed towards the canal, so I issued a silent prayer of gratitude that there were unlikely to be insane hills tonight! It was also pleasing that the rain had stopped and the sun decided to show itself!

I noted the faster runners from last time, some of them went off really quickly but I didn’t try and fly after them, but did keep them in sight. As luck would have it I had forgotten again to switch off my Garmin pace alert so it was going bonkers at me while I was definitely not in the mood to slow down, I managed to switch it off when we paused to let the runners at the back catch up, but I had to stop it and by then the lap thinggy was off so in the end I left it running but didn’t really bother with it.

The route now looked like it was going to be the same route as the last time I ran with the Weds group, but in reverse, so it was a nice trip through the woods again. The front runners did keep disappearing, but after a second “pit stop”, I found myself on their tail and stayed with them for a bit before they once again zoomed off, but I wasn’t massively behind. I knew I was running faster than I have for a while, but that was part of the plan!

We crossed Stockport Road at the end of the woods and headed into the fields at the other side which lead up to the farm and Town Lane, funnily enough where I used to run back when I very first started, though I had never seen it quite as muddy as this! We reached a stile to get through to the next field, and had to line up, and as a lady was telling me it was nice to see me back at the Weds group, suddenly my feet were going from under me and I was freefalling – all the way down onto this rock in the ground, the base of my back smacking into it hard. For a moment the world blurred and the wind was really knocked out of me. I had visions of ambulances skidding through the muddy fields to rescue this broken runner, and thought of my Dad and how he had never really been the same after a similar incident caused by a bag of frozen peas in the Co-op (mind you he did get a compensation claim for that!). All these things ran through my mind and Tony the coach came to see if I was OK, but I managed to get up and had to run a bit gingerly for a little while, up some hills towards the farm.

It was at this point that the faster pack and those of us in the middle and back got separated, much to Tony’s consternation, we didn’t even know which way they had gone, but I pointed out that if they had gone left, they would be in Reddish Vale before long, and that we should go right! We cantered up Town Lane while I suggested to the lady at the back it would be a good idea to sneak of and get an ice cream from the ice cream van that had nearly run us over, and then eventually we regrouped with the faster runners.

As we ran along St Lawrence road, I realised I was up with the faster runners and for a short time I moved in front of them, am sure they were just taking it easy but it felt good to be up there for once and although I was pushing myself it felt quite good. On the way through to the fields to Mill Lane they zoomed off again, and then on the final leg to the shop we did another big hill, one I imploded on last summer, just past the railway station. I held my own on this, and although the top runners went off quite a way, I wasn’t miles behind this time, and worked hard on the hill even though my legs were turning a bit rubbery by this point!

Arrived at the shop and felt great, chatted a bit and checked the distance we had done, which was about 6.36 miles, in some tough underfoot conditions. My back felt OK, but I took some painkillers just to keep the inflammation down and so far as I write this it’s not complaining too much, I guess it could have been a lot worse!

I think I have definitely improved and it will be interesting to see what time I can knock out a 5k time trial in, this weekend. Better give it a few days for my back and legs to recover though!

Thanks to Sweatshop for my brand new top. It needs a wash though as it certainly got christened when I fell in my back into mud and rocks!!!

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