The world was on fire and no one could save me but you,
It’s strange what desire will make foolish people do.
No chance to run until Wednesday and first visit to Eddie’s Revenge Fell Race at Shaw. A nice little trail 6km but with a sizeable 1000ft plus of climb, which would make a nice practice for Bull Hill in a couple of weeks.
After checking out the tough uphill start, I decided tonight’s plan was a nice steady pace building through. After setting off near the back of the field I began steadily overtaking all the way up the first km as it climbed up. Picked up the pace in readiness for the brief downhill, and then it was onto the 2nd hill, about 1.5km steady climb, moving up a few more places.
Paths were dry and rocky so even managed a decent pace on the descent, making a net gain for a change. More places gained on the uphill but things thinned out and lost sight of runners ahead as we headed down the final steep section.
A bit of undulation took us back onto part of the first climb and was closing in on next runner. Missed an opportunity to overtake at a switchback and got stuck behind on narrow path when I had the energy. As slope headed down legs feeling a bit tired but lined up an overtake on the descent. However surface got a bit rougher and was not to tendon’s liking and just lost a little ground as I protected it, catching him back up as we reached the line – 32:36 ahead of expectations, just behind the 2nd v65!
Brilliant race, £4 entry, free if you brought a cake, split between a charity and Mountain Rescue, lots of supportive volunteers and a great trail route. The only thing missing was a bit of flat ground!
So Thursday was back to fast start and hang on tactics at the first of the Todmorden 5k summer series. Feet and ankles had felt a bit battered all day so wasn’t really sure even on the start how I was going to run, as didn’t feel good in warm-up. A slight course change meant 5 laps were now just under 1km and then a bit extra at the start and end making pacing by watch more important, so it didn’t help that I had the wrong screen and misread progress by looking at average pace rather than current.
Had the extra pressure of having made the top 20 of runbritain’s monthly handicap improvers rankings, so needed a counting fast time before the end of the month.
Set off quick and a few tendon misfires went through 1km in 3:40 – PB pace – that’ll do, now to try and hang on to position! Surprisingly despite a gradual slip in pace managed to actually gain by the end with 3:49 > 3:57 >a tough 4th 4:07 and 3:54 to end for 19:28 and a new season’s best time.
Particularly happy with last ~700m when I upped effort after fading a little on the ‘hill’ on the last lap, even had the luxury of easing back slightly on the grass finish. Felt good afterwards as despite pace was relatively comfortable for first 3km and only really worked for last 2, promising signs.
That’s it for daft tactics for now – had enough tired legs practise – back to preferred pacing in the run up to Radcliffe with only one planned hard effort before then.
Just managed to aqueeze into Run Britain’s top ten ‘not as crap as last month’ national rankings… before the weekend would knock me down a bit!Saturday meant leaving Watergrove behind for Cheadle Hulme inaugural parkrun, a nice grassy perfectly flat course that looked like a small boy sat on the loo!
Well the cricket field was nice, going round the rugby pitches was a little rougher and made planned 21-22 min pace harder than it should have been. Few pains in tendon during and after, two rough runs this week not ideal, happy with 21:12 but felt should have gone slower.
Sunday was Burnley Boys 5k, another new course for me, but mentally and physically didn’t really feel up for a hard effort, so settled for vaguely aiming around 20 minutes or so. Had had a disturbed sleep with stomach pains waking me at 4am so was in half a mind to give it a miss as had a bit of a headache. But it promised to be another sunny run, so couldn’t resist.
I had hoped to make it a more even run this time but with 600m around the track to start, inevitably everyone set off like it was a 600m race and I got dragged along a bit. Managed to get pace under control going out on the first 1800m street circuit, but could feel breathing was not good. Gradually came round and made good progress but struggled badly with breathing on the slightest slope back towards the track.
Foot was bothering a little and combined with finding it hard to maintain pace with breathing issues, I switched off a little and lost ground at times, but still progressed a bit on the 2nd street circuit. Again really struggled getting back up to the track and motivation wasn’t there for a hard 400m finish, so plodded round and put in a token 70m burst to ensure no places lost at finish.
Felt unjustifiably unhappy with 20:14, despite it being 3rd fastest time this year on the back of 4 races in 5 days, and in target range. Slightly painful tendon afterwards and felt exhausted.
So not for the first time in my life, June ends in an air of disappointment, but nothing broken this time!