It’s been a while since I last posted a blog but I’m happy to report a positive update. Since I had my operation in May I’ve been able to quietly put together 4 weeks of training. I also entered the Great North 5k in September which I planned to be my return to racing and my first real pb attempt since I ran 18.52 in the Terry O’Gara 5k in April 2013 (although I have run 18.23 at Newcastle Parkrun in May last year). That said I got the chance of a late entry into the LGBT 5k run on Friday and I couldn’t resist as I felt in pb shape despite only training 18 miles a week for 4 weeks leading up to this one.
The reason I felt in such good shape is because I believe I have my health back and in particular my iron levels. Also, I’ve been training well, running my easy runs easy and lactate threshold runs at the correct intensity, following the advice of Dave Tune at Blizard Physiotherapy. Dave literally told me that my current pb was “poor” and an under achievement and that my lactate threshold test results showed I’m capable of a great deal of improvement. This was music to my ears and gave me a huge confidence boost after all of the disappointment of underperforming in 2014. I can’t thank Dave enough for the support he has given me, especially given that I was at a pretty low ebb and considering quitting running altogether.
But even I was surprised to be running close to 5k pb pace at lactate threshold after just 4 weeks and therefore couldn’t resist giving the LGBT 5k race a go to test the training form out.
The great thing about racing sparingly is that I was able to get quite excited and nervous about running again and I knew it was a good sign. That said the doubts still crept in. Felling a bit tired after work, dry month, feeling hungry as I’d not eaten for 4hrs etc. But thats running…
The race started and I had a loose plan to try to stay in touch with any lead group. That didn’t last long as I suspect they were close to 5min miling so I settled on my own, aware that it was going to be a solo run. That was a shame as it was quite breezy so I had to tackle that alone. I went through the first mile in 5.40ish which was faster than plan but within a safe range and I felt comfy. I was actually saying to myself “you’re comfy”.
As the race went round the military museum I was aware that one of the lead group had fallen off pace but was still about 100yds ahead of me so I just focussed on catching him although I was also aware I wasn’t maintaining the first mile pace. But I was catching the guy with every stride. That said I was running a bit ragged and it’s something I really need to work on as I waste a load of energy with my languid style.
At about 3k I passed the lead group straggler. I gauged that he was struggling so didn’t see it as an option to work together and went straight past, didn’t see or hear him again. That meant I was still alone and I knew Grandstand Road could be a drag. Luckily that section was calm so I was able to keep on pace knowing that I was on for a pb but maybe just outside sub 18 so I needed to concentrate. At this point I was able to relax and smile! I was enjoying this. As we turned back onto the moor I could see I’d closed on two or three runners ahead. I was hoping to catch at least one but this was where the wind felt dead against so it became more a game of refusing to slow.
There were a few people on the side of the course clapping and giving encouragement which was great. It was starting to get really tough but as I approached the last few hundred metres I was able to pick up. There was great support at the end and I managed a sprint finish. As I approached the finish line I saw that I was just outside of sub 18 but had improved my pb a significant amount! It was great to feel that sense of elation again. Further, I feel I can definitely go sub 18 which is the key milestone this year on my road to sub 17. The plan would be to achieve that at the GN 5k in September and then take that form into the cross country.
Then I can look forward to 2015 and getting as close to sub 17 as possible (if not get it) as I now know that I can do it with the correct training and application of my running ability. I’m hoping to keep working closely with Dave Tune to keep on the right track and, as is tradition, I’ll hopefully owe him a few bottles of wine for the many pbs on the way!