So, there we are. Season over.
I’ve finished on the track for the year. It didn’t finish me off, but came close! I ended with a couple of low key performances at the SCVAC League Final competition, good enough for third place on both occasions. However, being Team Captain/Manager took too much of my emotional energy, and I can’t really say I enjoyed the day, unfortunately. I was dead tired for the 24 hours afterwards, and have no regrets at all at missing out on a couple of the late season competitions I customarily attend. It looks as if it might even give me a chance to get to the superb Goodwood Revival “motor racing and dressing up for adults” event.
I’ve decided on two things. One is not to indulge in a long retrospective about where it went wrong for me this summer. I know, and can live with it. ‘nuff said. Second is not to take my traditional post-season training break. My momentum has gone already, and a few weeks off won’t help. I’ve pretty much begun preparing for winter training already. There are going to be two main focal points – strength training, and enjoying it! Last winter had a little too much emphasis on stamina training, and I didn’t enjoy feeling that I was constantly having to beat myself up in training.
I am very much looking forward to running in the European Masters Indoor Championships in Ghent, in Belgium. I’ve been to Ghent twice for short visits, once in March, and again recently. I really like it as a city. It still has culture and purpose, and a good atmosphere. Can’t get used to somewhere with big, open pedestrianised areas, threaded with tram services that creep up on you noiselessly, though! I had such a good time in Hungary, a couple of months back, meeting old and new friends at the European Masters Championships, and the opportunity to do so again with the indoor championships is rather a treat. Next year is also the World Masters Championships year, and it will be in Sacramento, California. Apart from being ready to go, I am not really focussed on that yet. Lots of time. I can do “focussed”, but don’t want it to become “obsessed”.
I’ve long loved those “it’s a small world” experiences. It must be an age thing, but I seem to be having them more and more often these days! Latest was strange and very evocative.
My good friend John Perratt, who compiles the South West Masters Club magazine (and does a great job) honoured me by using a bundle of my photos in the latest edition. He sent me a pdf copy. To fill space on one page, he’d added an advert for a French company offering mountain running holidays in the Pyrenees. Only the pic in the ad wasn’t the Pyrenees, it was the Tre Cime Di Lavaredo in the Italian Dolomites. The photo was taken right in front of the Locatelli mountain hut (actually a three storey mountain hotel dating from the 1930’s). Why do I mention this? Because I regard this area as my spiritual home! I was lucky enough to be able to spend many weeks every year for 15 years, leading walking and mountain scrambling holidays in this area of the NW Dolomites. Much of my spare time was also spent there. I’ve been unable to get back there for four years or so now, and miss it like mad. Not a day goes by without me thinking about times I have had in that area. I’ve never been running there, though. It’s all at about 2,500 metres, or 8,500 feet above sea level! I have skied in there on a couple of occasions (and skied out in the dark on one memorable trip!)
Ahh, memories. Thanks John!