Monday, 14 September 2009

A much better week.

Beth returned to the juniors running club on Monday so I went for a 4 mile recovery run that turned out to be rather more hilly than planned. I took a turn on a whim and ended up going through some hilly woods before running back to the club down and then up steep hills. Ah well, tested the legs a bit after Sunday's race eh?

Tuesday was my own day at the running club. I still hadn't got round to joining up with a faster group but the previous week that hadn't been an issue as a small group of us had broken off and ran at a faster pace but this week that didn't happen. I took the first couple of downhill miles easy but from then on was haring off on my own for each interval. A decent enough run but not ideal to have to wait so long between 'intervals' and probably not ideal for the other runners to see someone shoot away.

After a rest day on Wednesday I went out along the canal on Thursday evening. It was still and warm as we went through a mini Indian summer and I found it hard work. The psoas was very painful for the first few strides and then 'present' thereafter and I felt a bit pooped. I'd planned on doing anything between 5 and 6 miles and ended up doing 5. I decided to pass it off as the bad run before a good race.

Rest day again on Friday and then 3 very gentle miles with Beth on Saturday morning.

Yesterday was race day - the inaugural Wistow 10 miles. Preparation had been much easier than for the previous week and I was that organised I even took a packed lunch to avoid a McDonalds visit on the way home! Got there early, parked up, listened to the Archers (!) and had a little warm up jog between visits to the loo.

Jogged down to the start with some of the other Abbey Runners (there must have been about 15 there)and off we went.

It was a flat, figure of eight course mainly on exposed single track lanes. That made it essentially traffic free but occassionally the steady wind proved a problem (I swear it was never behind us). Mercifully the temperature stayed at about 15c and the sun hidden behind clouds.

I'd aimed to run at 7:40 to 7:45 miles throughout. That would give me a time betwen 1:16:38 and 1:17:30. Based on the 10k times that looked ok - though it was a decent stamina test - and the fastest 10 mile training run (with a couple of untimed breaks too) only averaged 8:14 a mile.

I quickly got into a steady pace aided by the Garmin's new setting of displaying average pace to date and covered the first two miles at 7:36 each. A little faster than planned but not too much. Mile 3 slowed a little to 7:41 and then a few seconds walk to drink water from a plastic cup in mile 4 kept that to 7:42.

That was the pattern for the next few miles. I kept my eye on the average pace as it crept from 7:38 to 7:39 and on to 7:41 at one point, again following a few seconds walk to drink once more.

By this time the field had thinned out alot. In fact, I don't recall passing anyone after the first drinks station until mile 5 by which time one guy had noisilly and slowly gone past me. By the 6.2 mile drinks station I'd passed two others and went passed the noisy lad again. As I reached 7.5 miles I realised I was very slowly gaining on the gaggle of runners I could see in the distance and shortly after passed one and was within 30m of the next. At the 8 mile mark I passed him and a minute or two later the one after him - though one of the two I'd passed at 5 miles went easilly past me - and was within sight of another.

He was passed just as we headed into the last mile.

All the way round the mile markers had been measuring 0.05 miles short and I hoped they'd stay that way - giving me a nice little time bonus - but the 9th mile had speeded up to 7:34 again after a couple in the late 40s. I seemed pretty much on track.

As we entered the village I passed another runner before drawing alongside another Abbey for a brief word or two of encouragement each way before pushing ahead. I then turned a corner and the finish was suddenly 20m ahaead.

I crossed the line at 1:16:52. Not quite down to the first target but easilly within the second. I was pleased - especially as I knew I could have pushed harder in the middle miles and hadn't gone for a fast finish at the end (last mile was 7:28).

I did spot that the last mile measured long, something that everyone seemed to be commenting on afterwards, so that not only was the time bonus lost but the final measurement was 10.04. Ah well - more evidence of a moral victory and the average throughout was 7:39!

The psoas pain wasn't too bad during or after nd seems ok today. I'll keep working at it and hopefully the absence of a race this week will help.

Diet wise, after a couple of weeks where I'd gone up and down but ultimately lost nothing I stuck at things more and was rewarded with being 11st 12.8lb by the end of the week. Yesterday was a post race binge (popcorn, ice cream, malt loaf, roast dinner, Eton mess, M&Ms, digestive biscuits etc) but I'll allow that guilt free. Aim this week is to get some 'space' under the 12st barrier.

All in all a good week.

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