Times Like These

It’s times like these you learn to live again
It’s times like these you give and give again

First run of the week was Crow Hill Fell Race, I still wasn’t feeling well after weekend illness so unsure how I would go on and probably wouldn’t have run if it hadn’t been a club Grand Prix race. Tried a 2km warm up road run but foot not settled and breathing heavy. The plan was to treat it as an uphill only race and then try to limit losses on an steady descent.

I made decision to go with a mad start and have a rest at early kissing gate, but in the event there was no real rest and it was flat out uphill. I knew pace was a bit high but kept reminding myself it was just 3.5km up so I was capable of it.

Things were going ok until reaching the steep hill field in middle and just tipped breathing into the red and forced to ease off. Took a while to recover and get going but plenty of Toddies to chase. Another slight breathing struggle towards the summit and then managed a decent start to the decent, until the dreaded steep field. Made a much better hash of it this year, only lost half a minute, as opposed to well over a minute last year.

Once back on the track the plan had been to pick the pace up but my legs refused to get going again, and all too soon it was another rough section and more places lost, including to a former school friend I bumped into last week, Andy.

Got taken by a couple of Calder Valley runners going into woods and had a Stainland girl trampling all over my heels but just about managed to hold her off, helped by the narrow path. Managed a decent burst of speed towards finish but still lacking in energy and ran out of distance and motivation to regain any places.

40:08 after a bit of consultancy work on the results!  GPS.


Wednesday was a nice short but steep packrun with medium group, but with a scramble up to Eagle’s Crag it was a while before we were running, just 6k covered as we went up Flower Scar.


Thursday was the final Todmorden summer series race, and whilst effects of illness had gone, legs were feeling a bit tired and air didn’t feel good. How I long for the good running weather of a couple of week’s ago.

With series regulars Annabeth & Autumn consistently going sub 20, plus Michael and Dan likely to be a little quicker there were plenty of targets to chase, and that was before I spotted Hannah who I’ve bumped into at a few parkrun’s offering a likely too fast option for tired legs. I was split between a conservative just sub 20 or a harder effort to try and get around race 1 time of 19:28.

A quick start for first few hundred metres, then settled into a nice effort level, but breathing a bit uncomfortable. It was clear after half a lap that Hannah was going to be out of reach and Dan was a bit far off too, so settled on keeping Michael in sight for first couple of laps. After a bit too speedy first km of 3:42, I dropped back to a more manageable 3:52.

Laps 3 and 4 felt increasingly difficult and chest still tight with breathing not flowing well, sure I was slowing down but 3:54 for both. Michael was just ahead and we had drawn Dan back in and I decided to pass them both. I immediately pushed harder to get the gap up the hill but tired a little at top. Got recovery in on downhill but had heavy footsteps close by. Unsure who they belonged to and concentrated on keeping pace going without overdoing effort.

After final tight corner, with about 300 to go really pushed hard, too hard, corrected, then pushed again. I hadn’t really been thinking about overall time but going onto the grass, thought that maybe I had a chance at a sub 19 and kept effort up.

It was going to be close, legs felt weak, felt like I was slowing but kept pushing. I could see the clock on the line and agonisingly saw it turn to 19 just before I got there. Final km of 3:38 with last 300m covered in 56s = 3:07 pace!

Can’t complain too much about my third fastest ever 5k, and a new official PB of 19:02 (the fastest being uncertified and other a trail, so are non-counters) but 3 seconds faster would have been nice.

Still in ‘slow’ phase until end of the month so a little surprised I managed such a good time without specifically trying. Unlikely to attempt to improve on 5k time this year as focus will be on 10k’s for the Autumn, might have a pop at a 6 mile PB next week if conditions right on the night though. GPS


Saturday was another stint Run Directing at Watergrove parkrun, where Andi Jones knocked a bit off the course record, which previously had been the slowest men’s record in the UK – read more here (The women’s record still stands at the 2nd slowest, at 21:56, so if any fast girls fancy a challenge…)

I went out later for a 10.3km run steady run and added another 17.2km (9km slow, 8 km steady) on Sunday in lovely rainy conditions as ex-hurricane Bertha breezed through.