Today is 31 March, the end of the first quarter of 2008. In the 13 weeks of the year I've run 523 miles, an average of just over 40 miles a week, compared with my 519 miles for the same period last year. I'm sure the purists/pedants would point out that this is a leap year, so there was actually one day less in 2007, but the main point is that I've run very similar mileage. I've completed 7 races: some good (the Inverness half marathon, the Nigel Barge 10k and the national vets cross country), some average (the Lairig Mor and the national cross country) and some not so good (the Dumfries marathon and our club's new year handicap). I dropped out of the Livingston cross country.
So it's been a bit of a mixed bag so far, with my running lacking any real consistency. I suppose that was inevitable: I have been really busy at work since starting a new job at the end of November, and have been even busier since taking on the interim chair of sportscotland role in February. On the positive side, work and the sportscotland role have been great, and I'm hanging on in there with my training for another West Highland Way race - even if I am struggling to keep up with some of the 'young turks' (and some not quite so young turks) who are going to the regular training runs.
As ever, the next couple of months are going to be crucial in the WHW build up. At the end of April there is the Highland Fling, a 53 mile race from Milngavie to Fort William. In May I'm planning on doing a 2 day run from Balmaha to Fort William with a few of the guys, then do the Stornoway marathon the following week. Before that it is the Troon 10k, probably my best chance this year of getting that sub 38 minute time.
I was through in Edinburgh yesterday for the World Cross Country championships. It was a great event, a fantastic showcase of distance running, and quite incredible to see the speed some of these guys (and girls) can run. The conditions - wet, windy and muddy - should have suited athletes from the northern hemisphere, but the African countries dominated all 4 races. The best British finisher, Liz Yelling, was 15th in the Senior Women's race. With the noteable exception of Paula Radcliffe, it is obvious that a huge amount of work is required if British (and European) endurance runners are to compete again successfully at the very top level.