I had my races all planned out for March, I was racing twice with a weeks rest in between but the weather put paid to my plans. First up was going to be Combe St Nicolas a road 10 km which has always been on my radar but I have never ran it as it was always the week before the Grizzly. The second race which apart from Barcelona was the race that I have been training for, The Grizzly Cub which is the 9 miler race on the Grizzly weekend. For the last four years because of my injuries I have had to sell my number for the cub but I was determined that this year I would be able to run and I was fit enough to run.
However for both these races the weather got in the way of them, we had snow, lots and lots of snow. Even though on the weekend of Combe St Nicolas by the Sunday most of the snow had gone (i went out for a run) there was still a lot of ice around so the organisers decided to take the decision on Saturday to postpone it. So I gear myself up for the Grizzly Cub in two weeks time, the week before, my running buddy and I did 10 miles along Tiverton Canal which was amazing to do a run in double figures.
The week of the Grizzly the weather just said it was going to be bitterly cold with a small chance of a snow shower. Well towards the end of the week the chance of snow increased dramatically with it coming in on Saturday. On the Saturday the committee decided that there would be no full Grizzly but there would be an adjusted route of 10 miles. Wake up to a few inches of snow, it wasn’t snowing and it looked like it was going to thaw quickly. Off we go to Seaton but within the 20 minute drive the weather had closed in, it was snowing heavily and was becoming a white out. We parked up and had a little chat and we decided to not run and drive straight home as we thought it was dangerous weather, didn’t want to risk an injury and we didn’t want to get stranded in Seaton. Within the 10 minutes of being parked and driving back up out of Seaton the snow had started to settle on the road. The race still went ahead although the 10 miler became an 8 miler, I was gutted that I hadn’t stayed to run it as the pictures looked amazing. However when I heard that it took people 2+ hours to get home, instead of the normal 20 minutes I was glad we had made the decision not to run.
So what are the two races I did do this month? Well I did The Monsal Trail 10 km and The Kilmington Kanter which meant two races in five days, two trail races but two very different events. The Monsal Trail is in Bakewell, I was in Sheffield for a wedding and this race was taking place on the Sunday. It wasn’t booked in until the beginning of the month as I was offered a place as I was on the waiting list. The race is an out and back race along a disused railway line and it flat and the path was mostly gravel and because it had been dry you could have worn road shoes. More people were running the half marathon so the 10 km was a small field and on the way back there were hardly any runners around you. This didn’t bother me as much as it might do other runners as I do run by myself so I am able to push myself when there isn’t anyone to over take. At the start and for the first half I decided to relax and enjoy as I thought I would be tired from the wedding the day before but as we turn around to come home I was feeling good and I kept pushing the pace. I came away with a post injury/ season 10 km pb, 51. 33 minutes and I was 4th lady.
From a lovely flat, barely a trail race run in sunshine, five days later and the Kilmington Kanter was completely the opposite. It was freezing cold with heavy rain (later that afternoon it snowed) it was soo muddy and very hilly. The first mile is all up hill, on road first which was ok but then you enter the wood and the mud just sapped the energy from your legs. The mud just got worse on the rest of the course and I was reminded that it is not fun trying to run up hill through muddy bumpy fields, luckily I was with a fellow club member which kept me going. Before you can have a downhill finish, through the wood you climbed up through on the first mile, you have to get to the top of the wood. I decided to walk this hill as it was loose big shingle and I was worried I would twist my ankle, but the downhill wasn’t much better as it was rocky underfoot with lots of tree roots too. Eventually I made it to the finish and had my free hot cross bun, trying to eat it with dripping wet hands was an enjoyable way to eat a hot cross bun. I was so tired, wet, muddy and hungry that I could not be bothered to change before the drive home, i just sat on a plastic bag. This was my first proper TRAIL run back after injury, I probably would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t rained as I used to like getting muddy on runs, buts there’s muddy and then there’s this level of mud.
So March was not the month of races I thought it would be, I was geared up for the grizzly and I hadn’t planned on running Kilmington until the snow affected my plans. March has been a good month with a surprise of a PB at Monsal, then a test of my knee at Kilmington which my knee was fine plus a run in double figures, 10 miles which is amazing distance to have gotten too so quickly. Definitely interested to see how I feel about trail runs that are similar to Kilmington come the autumn.