Having beaten myself up after London 2015’s relative disappointment I made a conscious effort to reflect on the positives from Berlin to ensure I was in a good place to resume training with real focus once well rested.
There were many positives, with the main ones being:
- Going inside 2:20 for the first time
- Finishing relatively strongly again
- A consistent & enjoyable build up
Ok so I had geared up my training for a low 2:18 or inside on a good day, but in reality given I was slightly under the weather (& have been since!) & only ever on pace for slightly inside 2:18 without the windy last ~10K I’m happy to be moving on with a more respectable PB by my name.
After a hit-out at the National 6-Stage I got a tightness in my troublesome left glute so after a tempo effort for the first half of Peterborough Half Marathon I stepped to the side of the road & waited to make the romantic gesture of running in with Jo – a rare finish line photo opportunity & a good way to start our holiday.
Two weeks of relaxing in Cuba, including the first few days in Havana which was a great place to visit! Mostly I just ran easy but did introduce some tempo running & some short sessions so I was ready to start training again when we got back.
After not drinking for 5-6 weeks before Berlin & watching everything I ate my body certainly went into shock as I treated it to a few treats…so we returned from Cuba relaxed, recharged & ready to resume training but carrying several extra kilos!
Training has been quite gradual & the plan was to get to Cheshire 10K & be able to mix it towards the front to see where my fitness was at to build on for a good performance in December at Telford 10K.
I was pleased with how I felt winning Worksop Half Marathon the week after we got back. After some confusion regarding the start time meaning no warm up it worked quite well as the plan had been a tempo effort to ~9M & push on from there.
The following week was the Derby 10M & the plan here was somewhat different – attack the race from the start & see how it went. On a freezing day it went terribly! It felt very hard from the start & after barely breaking 5 minutes for the first mile I backed off the lead group & banked a solid run which was a measure of my fitness at the time & the adaptation to proper training through the previous two weeks. 4th on the day & a token PB but a time I’ve consistently beaten during marathons… Damn Cuban mojitos!
Then Cheshire 10K as part of my birthday weekend. A rare Saturday race so we had booked a B&B down the road for the Saturday night although it still meant a very early start. The weather was miserable but after a long drive to Arley Hall the weather wasn’t as bad as had been expected! After a disappointing session of 800’s on Wednesday I was still intent on attacking the race to set a marker for the next 4 week’s training. A good group of 6-7 formed from the start with the leader well up the road for a comfortable gun to tape victory. I wasn’t sure what the splits were but although it didn’t feel particularly fast I was in no position to push the pace anymore on current fitness so I did a bit of work & sat in through the middle part. An optimistic surge at around 6K did at least get some reaction within the group but unfortunately a small gap opened between 2nd & 3rd & me. Although we closed slightly through the last couple of K’s we never got close enough to challenge & again my lack of fitness told as despite looking to push the pace to secure 4th from 9K I ultimately wound up 5th after by best Bambi impression over the gravel track for the final 250m. Given the month or so previous 31:26 wasn’t too bad & puts me in a good place to push on for a PB at Telford.
Now it’s back to proper training again, but with the focus very much on sharpening up for the rest of the year. I certainly feel I should be finishing 2016 with a further revision of my 10K PB – be it either Telford or Ribble Valley – which will set me up well to push on for some more challenging goals in 2017! I’m certainly glad to get back into the routine & feel like a reasonable level of fitness is only a couple of weeks away…