On the starting line I quickly scan the opposition. I have two choices on how to run this race…
- hang on for dear life to Patrick Martin (pb – 65min)
- settle in for an easier ride with the peleton, then try to wind it up on my own
My target is sub 70min, I risk going way too fast then blowing up, or way too slow giving myself too much to do. I ask myself
“what would Ron Hill do?”
and the decision is made. The first mile clicks by easily in 5.05 and I’m sure it is going to be a good day. I’m cruising behind Pat Martin and Martin Williams, both elite runners, and I’m feeling smooth. I tell myself these guys are here to help me, I just have to relax and let them pull me to a fast time. I’m even enjoying shadowing Pat, who has a neat and efficient style. At mile 7, Martin drops back abit, at mile 9 it is starting to bite but I am still with Pat on 67min pace.
Then… disaster! I get a terrible stitch, it comes on suddenly and acutely. In 2012 I fell in the National Cross Country, pulled something in my abs, stubbornly tried to run through it, and caused permanent damage in the process.
Now in some races this pain comes back, it completely stops me in my tracks. Martin overtakes me as I am trying to stretch it off. I tag along behind him, still hurting, but the slower speed makes it more bearable. In the last 4 miles my average mile pace slips drastically. We share the lead into the wind until a mile to go, where I manage to pull away. My personal best is 68.51 and I am still hoping I can beat it, but cross the line in 69.03. Although I have to be happy I achieved my target, it is agonisingly close to my pb and very frustrating.
A fast course and great atmosphere, they were even playing Alexis Jordan – Happiness as I crossed the line, love that song. Michael Harrington and Cute Fruit Events are doing a great job of raising the quality of these races and getting good runners turning up and battling it out, which can only be a good thing. Plus I walked away with £75 and 24 crumpets!
The missus and kids are down in London this weekend, so I have a rare opportunity to go to the cinema. I rock up to see whatever is on, which happens to be John Wick 2. It is getting great reviews but I’m sorry, it is a pile of whack! Maybe I am put in a cynical mood by the adverts beforehand; firstly we are subjected to a lecture on what constitutes rape, and then a woman dies at her sister’s wedding because we are not donating enough to heart research. Fun times. I loved Keanu Reeves in the Matrix, but here he stiff and wooden. In fact, I find myself much more concerned for the well-being of his best and only friend (a dog), who completely upstages him. Needlessly violent, Wick kills over 200 people in ever more ridiculous ways, and is seemingly completely immortal.
Next race is the National Cross Country, aim is to improve on my best ever position of 38th.
|Tuesday||8 fell running||10 tm|
|wake up NOT feeling heavy and coldy, run in the mountains to celebrate!|
|Wednesday||3||16 x 400m (1min rest) in 69 sec, 1 x 400m – 63 sec. 7 miles total|
|hoping for better track times, very windy tho|
|Thursday||5 tm||10 tm|
|Friday||REST||20 x 200m (200m jog in 1.30min) in 32 sec, 1 x 200m – 29 sec. 12 miles total|
|20 x 200m in 32 is too easy, 1 x 200m in 29 too hard! Mild evening|
|Saturday||Dolgellau parkrun (17.00min) + 6 miles fell running. 16 miles total|
|volunteer at RunCoedYBrenin Academi, really enjoy it|
|Sunday||Village Bakery Half. 2nd – 69.03. 24 miles total|
|TOTAL:||105 miles. tm = treadmill|