A fairly good race in Argentan, despite (relatively) hot weather that saw the winning time increase by two minutes and a half. (Last year’s winner actually lost 3 and half minutes on the same track). Gaining 18 seconds over my time from last year was thus a significant achievement. This was my 17th—or 18th including one I ran on my own as it had been cancelled—Argentan half-marathon. The first half [of the half] was a bit unpleasant under the relentless sun, and each wee slope made me miss my 3:52 kilometre goal. But very few runners passed me for good after the 5th kilometre and reaching the forest part was a blessing, providing shade and cool. A single runner passed me there, although I had not slowed down, and I did not realise it was another runner in my V2 category as I could have tried to keep up. The last kilometres were indeed much smoother than in previous, thanks to a change in my training where I increased the number of long distance trainings. And presumable thanks to the previous week abroad when I trained twice a day. Anyway, I was still surprised to end up as the second V2, 15 seconds from both the first and third V2 runners. Which got me a nice Timex watch as a reward! And a pretty ugly cup… [Thanks again and again to the photographs of Normandiecourseapied for their free pictures!]
Archive for the Running Category
When I started the ‘Og, in 2008, I was about to run the 23rd edition of the Argentan half-marathon… Seven years later, I am once again getting ready for the race, after a rather good training season, between the mountains of the North Cascade and the track of Malakoff. with the last week in England, Holland, and Canada having seen close to two trainings a day. (Borderline stress injury, maybe!) Weather does not look too bad this year, so we’ll see tomorrow how I fare against myself (and the other V2 runners, incidentally!).
Yesterday, I flew from Amsterdam to Calgary to attend the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Leadership Retreat (15w2214) at the Banff International Research Station (BIRS). The point of this meeting is to brainstorm towards building a research policy and strategy for the newly created CANSSI. To which scientific advisory committee I joined last semester. I just hope my brain will remain functional enough to contribute to the discussion, if not to storm, despite the eight hour time lag! (The drive from Calgary to Banff was beautiful, with flashy yellow bursting from the green landscape: Fall is coming.)
I came upon the news by mere chance: the first Salomon Glencoe skyline mountain race took place last month, on Aug. 22, in one of my favourite mountaineering spots, the Valley of Glencoe. I have hiked and climbed in this valley six or seven times, and “bagged” seven of the nine local Munroes, mostly in Winter conditions. The race includes all of them in a 53km route with a 4,256m total ascent (and descent!), with a scramble of Buachaille Etive Mor via the classic Curved Ridge route and the west-to-east traverse of the Aonach Eagach. Absolutely awesome!
The winners completed the route in 7:36 for Joe Symmons and 7:44 for Emelie Forsberg, with the last runner finishing in 14 hours. I really wish I could enter this race but the organisers screen quite thoroughly entrances based on past experience, insisting on previous mountain races, and so this must remain a dream..!
This morning at breakfast I read this New York Times article on the impact of age on running abilities. The perfect article to get me in the right post-birthday mood! The results of a physiological study reported in this article are not crystal-clear, but they primarily show that “older runners used their ankle muscles less but not other muscles more.” A point on which I have no opinion, although I think I now run more from the front of my feet than I used to run, if the imposition on my running shoes is informative: the sole under the big toe is the first part to wear out! Then, at lunch, I went to train with my friends of the Insee Paris Club on 1km splits, with a good soul playing the pacemaker on the last lap. And helping me to achieve an average 3:31 average I was not expecting! Too bad I only have one serious training left before the traditional Argentan half-marathon, early October…