So although the last few days in St Moritz didn’t pan out quite as planned following a slight trauma to my vastus medialis (inner quad muscle) caused by coming to an abrupt halt due to a car have no intention of slowing down, it did mean I was forced to take some rest from the high quantity & quality training of the previous few weeks. Everything sorted itself out for me to put in some fast strides late in the week before attacking Wilne on the Sunday.
Mon 28/8 – 7M Easy, whole leg tightened due to VMO. Bus back from Sils.
Tues – 4M E. Very tight today.
Weds – REST! First complete rest day for a long time & not particularly welcome. A full day of travel was something of a distraction, including an epic train journey from St Moritz on the .
Thurs – 5M Steady. Afternoon run feeling much better having also had the all clear from the physio (Tony Woodward – top bloke & quality local physio)
Fri – 6M Relaxed inc strides + XT
Sat – 8M Steady + XT. Leg seemed ok…
Sun – 14M Inc Wilne 10K, 1st 30:59.
Total 45M + 2hrs Cross Training.
Certainly not the week I wanted but I just couldn’t get on top of the VMO issue. It would feel absolutely fine, but then after a brief run would tighten up throughout the area & be painful to run on. So no double days all week, but there was no adverse reaction to running at pace so I cracked on with some fast strides on Friday evening. Having been a week since I’d done anything fast it took some waking up but the pace wasn’t too bad & I had no reaction on the run back to the gym.
So onto Sunday & our ‘home race’! I’m not as familiar with the loop as I was this time last year, but I’ve still put in plenty of laps this summer. The elite field looked reasonable, & with the late withdrawal of Ben Connor the win was there for the taking – depending how my VMO reacted as well as my lungs back down at sea level!
The race certainly got going from the start, with Shaun Antell pushing the pace as expected. I was just off that while the enthusiastic lad from Heanor who led the Ramathon for the first few miles was back again tearing it up at the front! Those two must have gone through the first 1K inside 2:50, so as we left Draycott it was soon just me & Chris Rainsford chasing Shaun.
It was a windy day on the loop & as we turned you could really feel it. It didn’t help that despite the extra oxygen available my lungs were screaming already! It really was a shock to the system. We caught Shaun briefly but he immediately pushed on (perhaps he wanted to £50 first to 5K prize to help towards petrol?) so it was Chris & I 10-15 seconds back from ~3.5K until the rise into Draycott for the second time.
By this point my body seemed to have settled down a bit & became more accepting of the pace. Although Shaun was well ahead I knew from recent training that I was well capable of holding the pace & picking up for the last couple of K’s. So I set to work as we got onto the loop & at the 7K mark felt I could potentially close the gap by 9K with a big push to enable me to sit in briefly & try to take the win on the final turn.
Knowing the course certainly helped & I eventually got within ~5 seconds at the 9K mark. A final push to latch on & I briefly sat in but sensed Shaun was struggling (as we should be with 1K to go!) so decided to push straight by. Referring to it as a kick would be generous, but after all the long hard runs on the loop I know how sapping the final short climb onto the main road can be when tired & I knew if I could get a small gap before then I would give myself a chance of taking the win.
Luckily for me I had just enough speed in the legs to get a gap & maintain it to the line. So a pretty awful week training wise was finished off with a most welcome win.
No issues with the VMO through the warm up or race, with just some minor tightness during a short warm down. It was very tight after stopping though so still no second run.
A win 3 weeks from the Big Day. The time was rubbish but I took consolation in the fact that everybody was well off what they expected so the wind clearly wasn’t just in my mind!
Back again next Sunday but this time for 5-6 laps at marathon pace for what will be the final big workout before Berlin & we’ll have a good idea from that what the plan is for the race!