Blinded by the Sun

I don’t mean to sound unkind, to you.
You’ll just have to go and find something else to do.

After Hendon Brook I made sure I got a gentle 5.2k recovery run in on Monday and surprisingly didn’t suffer any after effects, so it was straight back racing at Tintwistle for the Round the Resers 5 mile Trail Race on Wednesday.

This had been my first race back after tendon problem last year and after a torrid time thinking I would never run again, will always be a bit special. Aside from a short steep hill it’s fast flat and downhill running, on a mix of good paths.

Once again there was a great and noisy atmosphere at the start being well attended by clubs across east and south Manchester. The first 150 get a mug, so it’s not a race to enjoy the views on!

I doubted my legs would stand up to 5 miles after Hendon but decided on reverse normal tactics i.e. fast start and hang on to practise running on tired legs to prepare for Radcliffe 3 day event next month. Had a vague idea I might manage 35-36 minutes but it would depend how much I faded on a warm sunny evening.

After a struggle to push the record turnout back behind the start we were off and everyone hurtled down the bottleneck start. I checked a couple of times to avoid swerving legs but had a pretty clear run down to the reservoir – far too fast but spotted a couple of familiar (quicker) runners ahead that I settled on trying to keep up with for the first lap.

After going through 1 km at 5k PB pace, I knew it was going to get interesting, but felt surprisingly good as slowly runners started dropping back, and the tactic was to make the 2nd lap tough.

I went through halfway in 16:43 managed to keep pace going until slight slope in woods and finally started fading a little, another weak effort up the hill and slipped back a little. Having got caught at the top, I managed to get legs going better to hold the place and slowly picked off a couple more on the way down.

Used the dam descent again to launch sub 4 pace and went for line early with 1500m to go to gain a few more. Struggled briefly with about 500m to go but picked back up and even managed a brief push for the line for a very pleasing 34:08. Once again really enjoyed this race.


Another gentle run on Friday and I was really struggling for breathing in humid air, so cut it short for just 4.8k, foot a little unhappy too.

No run at Watergrove on Saturday, but covered 5k at run-walk-sprint putting out pre-event signs and had a great time marshalling at the Y junction.


We made a late decision to tackle the unusual distance of 7k at the Oldham Carnival, again another great atmosphere and strange to start off in Alexandra Park teaming with spectators. The tactic was the same again, start too fast and then work hard to hang on. With sun, blues skies and temps in the mid 70’s it was my kinda running weather!

This was made easier by nearly everyone starting off at breakneck speed with a bit of early downhill as we left the park. A hill in the 3rd km killed my legs and breathing maxed out which took a bit of working on to recover.

After a bit of undulations a nice down got the pace back up and approaching 5km, I knew the only was was up – and a long steady climb gradually took it out of my legs.

Re-entering the park I took a marshal’s advice to go straight down literally and got a late call back to lose the place to the first woman. Used my knowledge of the park to launch an attack at the start of the finish straight and then kicked for the line with 100m to go to regain it and just miss out on 30 min target time.

However, as the course was hillier than expected I was fairly happy with time, sure I would have managed it with normal running tactics, but the point was to work on physically dealing with tired legs. I also was unhappy with mental attitude at the end of Hendon, so wanted to work on dealing with fading and losing places at the end, so was happy with that side of things too.

Like a jigsaw, I feel I’m getting little bits right at the moment so hopefully when foot improves more I’ll be able to put it together later in the year. Really enjoying my running at the moment, possibly happiest running ever.