Thursday, 14 May 2009

Esholt 5k - Stay In Sight Of Blue And White

There's nothing in any book that explains why you do a good time after doing a hilly half marathon 4 days before. Mood definitely plays a part. I really was up for a go at the Bingley lads this week and the added rivalry from Kevin Ogden got the fire burning in my belly.

My plan was simply to stay in sight of blue and white - namely Tim Midgeley and John Convery from Bingley. They both seem like nice chaps and a bit of friendly rivalry only helps everybody improve. I felt good on the start line.

As expected Tim Midgeley and John Convery set off with the leaders and shortly after that a gap developed. I was also aware of Kevin Ogden making a break and opening up a gap. I think he had a similar plan - which was to go full out from the gun and try to stay as near to the front as possible. At the turn round point there was only about 15 seconds between the two Bingley lads and me and Kevin. Approaching the 3.5k point I felt strong and tried to push the pace, this was a mistake as there was a further 1.5k to go. I had a few seconds lead on Kevin by then and felt that I had the race all but 'wrapped up'. On this race there is a downhill section to the finish, which is where I was overtaken by Kevin. I tried to respond but was 'spent' by then and this race went to Kevin. I finished in 16-32, which was 31 seconds faster than the previous race and a new 5k P.B.

I have also learnt another valuable lesson; It's not always about what you have done(training and racing) but how you feel that counts.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Leeds Half Marathon - No P.B

It didn't seem like a year since the last Leeds Half, and when I checked it wasn't - last years race was run in September. This was the 3rd(and hardest) race in 6 days, the others were Rothwell 10k and Esholt 5k.

The first half of the course is uphill, so this years plan was to run steady up to the top, this is where the A660 Otley road from Leeds meets with the Leeds ring road at Lawnswood(see photo). The race route then heads steadily downhill for the next 6.5 miles to the Woodside roundabout, then left, and left again on to Kirkstall road.

I Still had memories of last years race having burnt out on the uphill sections. Last year I faded badly and at the end was just 'crawling' along Kirkstall road to the end. This time there was still some energy left and I was still 5-40 miling along some sections of Kirkstall road. I managed to catch up with David Watson of Holmfirth, who appeared to be limping, and was contemplating pulling out altogether.

I finished in 1-19-44 and 4th vet over 40.

Esholt 5k - First of Three.

Last Wednesday night saw quite a turnout of Spen runners at Esholt for the first one of three 5k races. The regular sight of blue and white(Bingley) was somewhat spoilt by the solid red of Spen
(makes a welcome change).

This annual event takes place in the village of Esholt, and involves a series of 3 races over 3 Wednesdays in May. It is named in memory of a St Bedes runner(John Carr), who died suddenly aged 30. The race is run on mainly hard surfaces within the Yorkshire Water Estate. Ideally, I suppose, the aim is to improve on each one over the series, and then achieve an accumulated time for the whole 3.

After doing the Rothwell 10k on the previous Sunday my legs were aching and tired. I was hoping to do somewhere about 16 -40ish - but ended up with 17-03. This doesn't sound too bad and with all things considered I am happy with the time.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Rothwell 10k - Sub 35 Again.

The idea of just 'trotting' round the Rothwell course and using it as a training run for the Leeds Half soon disappeared. The first part of the race was furiously fast and the only thing that was aching was my neck - staring at the Garmin bewilded by the pace. I even tapped it 3 times to see if it was working properly. I did the first mile in 5.08, second mile in 5.11. This was faster than I had raced before and it wasn't long before my legs were telling me that.

Despite the bad weather there was a large turnout for the race. Andrew Pearson(Longwood) and Stephen Hepples(Newham) were this years main challengers. Andrew Wasn't about to run along side Stephen for any of the race and built up a sizable gap right from the start. I lost sight of the leaders when the race route veered right towards Methley. I would say the gap between them was about 30 seconds by then. I had my sights on a group of runners from Bingley Harriers -containing John Convery and Tim Midgley. They are always reliably close to or breaking 33 minutes for 10k. I knew if I kept them in view a possible sub 34 minutes was on the cards.

When the race route turned left onto the main Methley road, that was when the early pace began to tell on me, and my pace began to slow down fairly rapidly. I was aware of Kevin Ogden from Spen and that he would take full advantage of this weakness(rightly so). Every available resource was put into a strong finish and I managed to run through the pain and was rewarded with a 34-29 time.

If there is one lesson I have learned from this race - it is;- never set off too fast even if the race is down hill.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Training Is Back On Track.

Thursday nights track session involved a paramid of 200, 300, 400, 600, and 800 meters, and then back down to 200 again. A group of mainly 'veteran' runners from Spenborough do these track workouts every Thursday night. In recent times I have only done solitary track work on the athletics field at the back of my house, so this was quite a shocker for me and it developed into some short battles between me and John Gallagher. Some of the other lads had done the Three Peaks Race a few days before and I was lucky that my legs were fresh. I didn't want a really hard session because I had entered the Rothwell 10k -which is on tommorow. I have also got the first John Carr 5k race which is on the Wednesday(6th), then the Leeds Half Marathon on the Sunday(10th). I will not be pushing too hard at Rothwell tommorow because of all the races I have entered and will need most of my energy for the Leeds Half.