Monday, 7 September 2009

Wow. Just spotted that last week was the lowest mileage week since the end of April/early May at only 14.49 miles, yet I feel fairly knackered right now!

During the 13.2 miles last Sunday I had some groin/lower abs pain that I'd had a hint of during the 2 races the previous week. By Tuesday morning it still felt a little sore and 'Fizz' one of the Paris veterans who is a Physio suggested it could be a sore psoas muscle. I looked it up and it matched the symptoms, location and cause so I've been doing stretches for that through the week.

I felt a bit below par during the day on Tuesday and by evening fleetingly considered not going out for the club run. I did though - mainly to test the psoas - which held up ok and I felt much better afterwards. It was a fairly easy paced 5.51 miles but it included the hill on Spen Lane that I'd last ran in March and found tough. On Tuesday it felt pretty easy.

On Wednesday I'd normally run with Bethan but we've got out of the running routine since the holiday in France and I'd decided to rest alot during the week anyway so that didn't happen.

Similar with Thursday - 5/6 miles planned but I dropped them for the pesky psoas and because I still felt under the weather.

I did do a short run on Saturday though. I joined the Virgin Active gym on Friday and did 2 x 1 mile on the treadmill. I found it hard work and couldn't do more than 1/4 of a mile at 10k pace. Between that and still feeling just a little ropey I toyed with the idea of skipping the Great Yorkshire Run 10k on the Sunday.

I didn't though, and duly parked up in Sheffield at 8am yesterday.

I'd been delighted with 46:33 at Birchwood a fortnight earlier and had decided that with no weight loss in the intervening fortnight I should go for 4:35 a kilometre to nose me under the 46 minute barrier. To that I added the proviso that if I didn't feel I had it in me on the day through muscle soreness or general malaise I could just trot round the remainder.

It was essentially an out and back course. The first kilometre was downhill fairly steeply and then there was 500m of undulating followed by 7km that was pretty much flat before 500m undulating again then a final kilometre that was relentlessly uphill.

I found it quite tough from the off. After the first downhill I had 26 seconds 'in the bank' as it were and didn't eat much into that as the race progressed but it felt harder work than it did 2 weeks ago - not that I was out of breath or anything just that I didn't feel too peppy and frequently felt negative.

The course wasn't exciting and the pace pretty even so little to report until the Garmin bleeped and I began the 9th kilometre, by which time I still had 24 seconds in the bank. I'd been warned the final hill was a bit of a killer but from 1500m to go I found I couldn't speed up and struggled to even hold the pace. I just about held the effort constant on the hills in the second half of that kilometre but i'd dropped half of the banked time.

The Garmin bleeped again for one kilometre to go and with me 12 seconds to the good and a strong finisher all should have been well but just getting up the hill felt really draining. I managed to speed up in the last 50m or so but it was hardly a sprint finish. Mentally I'd set my stall just to hang on in the final kilometre and when I looked at my watch as I crossed the line I felt deflated to see 46:04 - missed it by 4 seconds. I'm sure I could have found those seconds somewhere.

Interestingly the Garmin measured it long - with the first 10 kilometres being completed under 46 minutes but the additional 65m was what cost me. Splits were:

4:09 (6:40 per mile)

4:34 (7:21 per mile)

4:36 (7:24 per mile)

4:39 (7:29 per mile)

4:39 (7:29 per mile)

4:29 (7:14 per mile)

4:36 (7:25 per mile)

4:34 (7:21 per mile)

4:47 (7:42 per mile)

4:43 (7:35 per mile)

Then the last 65m at 6:02 per mile pace.

The official time rounded me down a little to 46:03 and as thats a PB by 30 seconds I should be pleased - especially as I didn't feel quite in tip top condition and the course had an extra 450ft of climb & descent compared to Birchwood, but having been on course all the way until the finish to breaking 46 minutes and running within the pace target on the Garmin I can't help but feel dissapointed not to have got under that barrier.

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