This short, flat stuff; I wouldn’t say it is a self-proclaimed strength. I much prefer the slog of a marathon and setting mileage goals, rather than an all out sprint over 5k or 10k. I’d much rather ascend an hill, mountain or a fell; only to descend like a rollercoaster down. A few years ago, 10k was my choice and my bare minimum. But not now.
My next 10k pencilled in, is April time, The Salford 10k, on Good Friday. Disregarding the Wombwell 5 in a couple of weeks time, (but I’ve only entered that because it is local) this is my shortest ‘race’ between now and the spring marathon season starting. So this is a real chance to push for a PB, slight climb on the way out and descent on the way back. A fast field, but also a busy field; so getting to the front to get quick out of the blocks in a must. It is chipped timed, so the other option would be to start at the very back! But I’ll leave that for the Terry Forest’s of this world.
Running 39:00 in 2014, 37:22 in 2015 and 37:12 in 2016. I strongly believe I was in better shape in 2016 to run a PB at the time, but unfortunately on the day it wasn’t to be; with a major headwind in the last 2/3 kilometres! Meaning my splits didn’t look healthy when I was supposed to be kicking on into my final gear for the finish.
Goal this year for Dewsbury, course PB bare minimum, I believe I am in PB shape at the minute, hitting Parkrun PB’s recently and judging by my performance at Inskip Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago. So an overall 10k PB would be nice.
I aimed to keep myself in good shape this week, especially after not enjoying Meltham 10k last week. Leaving me with a bruised backside and a frustrated mind! You can skip the photo or shut your eyes if you wish.
In a week where we have seen Ron Hill’s running streak surpringly come to an end. Finishing on 19,032 days of a mile a day. Even running through injury, illness, broken bones and crutches. Based on a fear of failure and a need to push his human body as far as it possibly can go. It should seriously inspire us all to find meaning in life through running. Proving that there is seriously no excuses, and seriously who needs a rest day.
Monday’s miles didn’t come easy for me anyway this week, feeling the aches a lot more than usual. Arse feeling heavy! I still managed to tick 60 miles off for Monday and Tuesday. Opting for a headtorch adventure with Lee Nash up on Leg 8 of the Boundary, out towards Dunford from Langsett. Choosing to run back on Woodhead Pass, for a quicker journey back; rather than through the boggy fields!
Tuesday night brought the end to January 2017! Seeing myself set a new mileage record for the month; now standing at 767.3 miles for the whole of January. 92 hours of logged running activity. About 50,000ft climbed.
The miles came on Wednesday as well, clocking 26.3 for the day. 26.2 came on Thursday as well. Making that 5 marathon distances in 5 days, counting Sundays effort coming back from Meltham. Friday’s recovery was well needed, although 15 miles was still clocked at recovery pace. 16 then for Saturday. This now meant for Sunday, it all was dependant on how my legs felt in the morning. Parkrun Saturday, went well, it wasn’t to be a PB, but there were worthwhile conversations with Shaun Dimelow and Mark Havenhand about Dewsbury 10k. Just backing my mind up about the challenge at hand, to PB on Sunday.
Onto Sunday now. It was an early start and I ain’t an early riser, my body clock is set to finish work late at night and start usually at midday. My runs are obviously fitted in around that. But to get to Parkrun for 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning is a struggle. So to get to Dewsbury for 8 o’clock in time for a Warm Up and the race at 9, is also a struggle. I could’ve slept standing up yesterday, I was that tired! I woke up at 6.30 porridge and Nutella down me. Showered, fresh, out the house for 7.30. It’s a 20 minute drive on the motorway from my house. Steady away. It is a 2 hour run/ 16-17 mile. I contemplated running back. But wanted to focus more on the race. Arriving for 8, off I went and clocked a 5 mile tootle for a Warm Up, jumping on the Cycle Route 69 to ossett. I was around the start area for 8:45 ish. Seeing plenty of familiar faces and plenty of fast runners. Plan here, run fast enough and hold on. That’s all it ever is really! 10k PB to beat was set at Percy Pud in the early part of December 35:07.
That course isn’t as flat as Dewsbury, mainly due to the climb coming back over the Dam wall! Averaged pace that day was 5:39 minute miles. So to try and keep every split under that is an absolute must if I am to PB.
Race go! Off for 9. With a wonderful announcement from the race microphone loud man! Be careful of all the car drivers, those non running drivers are all nobheads. Including a minutes silence Hamida Bai Dana who tragically got run over on the route yesterday; whilst out shopping.
Anyway off we went, I managed to break out of the blocks relatively fast, but not fast enough as the eventual winner. He was unbelievable! I was high enough up the field, to actually run. Something many of these ‘big’ events hinder you of, a fast enough start. But I was straight into race pace. My 5 mile warm up, kind of still in my legs but feeling strong for the first mile. I was passed by Joe Powell, who eventually finished 4th! And Arron Larkin, another local runner; just as we approached mile 1. 5:22 for the first split. I didn’t look at my splits during the race after I looked at this one! Then seeing one of the lead bikers, fall off of his bike! Marshalls were quick in attendance. Mile 2 I began to feel sluggish and I felt like I was putting loads of effort in, for a small return. Head was up and looking around at the sights around the road. I did not feel fast. I wasn’t getting passed which was a good sign, but my legs felt like I was stumbling to a fall. I had lost my drive, I knew in the back of my mind that we’re going up a slight incline but I didn’t expect it to feel like this. I love a hill! What is going on. Turns out I ran a 5:37 for that second split. Pretty much on PB pace. But still not good enough. The third split turned out to be my slowest, I was getting passed by some runners now. I didn’t think I could hold on. My bum bruise started aching, legs still stumbling. Steepest section of the route, toughest at this pace. 5k split approached, surprisingly before the turn. You would think it would be dead on the turn; it being an out and back course. About 50 metres ahead. That was it. I knew now, it was going to measure long as all my split beeps were dead on the markers in the build up. Some serious effort needed on the way back if I was to PB. I wanted to. 5:47 for my slowest split, way off target pace and PB pace.
Dewsbury 10k it’s a race of two halves; out and up, followed by a down and back. The turning point brought fresh legs, familiar faces and cheers. Seeing plenty of runners on the way back, each punishing themselves on the climb. Downhill now. With some ground to make up. I knew Julie Briscoe was close by from a few shouts. I knew if I could stay in front of her pace; then I’d be in with a good chance. I passed the water station, not taking a cup. Ticking the 6k marker off, seeing one of those ‘nobhead’ drivers pull out on the runners in front. 4th split 5:26, back on pace, bit of ground made up. I kicked on, still seeing plenty of runners on the way out. On your own for this 10k blast, no runners to tuck in with and too much effort to talk. Really trying now to pick up the pace, ticking 5:23 at the 8k marker for the 5th split evidently showing the ever so slight downhill. That would be 1.2 mile to go now or 1.3 as it turns out. Less than 8 minutes to get through this. Looking for the bridge! 9k marker down, effort still high. Then stitch, right in my ribs, 3 minutes left in my head. Gasping for air, I tried to ignore it. My split I don’t think evidences that. 2 minutes to go. Not long now! I could see the bridge, my watch started vibrating, beeping, race completed! 34:14. Flashing, doing all the singing and dancing that it does! But the race wasn’t done. About 200 metres to go. Under the bridge minutes still on 34:**. Nearly there. Crossing the line.
34:48 Chip Time.
It does appear that the race did measure long for plenty of other runners and a quick search around strava general consensus seems to be all the same distance of 6.3 miles. Adding a good 30 seconds onto my time at that pace. Watch rightly beeping for 34:14.