Sunday, 28 March 2010

Windy Wakefield spoils PB attempt!

A proper taper this time with no speed work on Thursday, easy running on Friday and a gym session on Saturday. This meant that the legs were fresh and ready for the challenge. Having done fast paced runs of around 16 miles on the previous 3 Sundays I was more than ready to race this one.

The race is now an out and back course along the A642 Horbury road, setting off at the side of Thornes Park. This is different to the previous course around the city, which had more bends and turns.

At the start point the wind didn't seem too bad but as soon as we hit the main road there was a strong headwind. The legs felt good at that time and I settled into a rhythm, having focused on some runners who are capable of sub 34 mins. Tim Midgeley(Bingley), John Broom(Holmfirth) and Andy Whitworth(Meltham) were in the group with me. I felt very comfortable with the pace. I was also happy that the front runners were not disappearing out of sight, which can only mean they are also slowing with the strong head wind. I prefer racing in a group rather than out alone, this seems to make you focus more and the race pass by quicker. On the negative side it can also make you go faster than you are capable of. I was aware of this but felt I had built the fitness to take these guys on -that's what my mind was saying anyway.

At around the 5k turn round point Tim Midgeley fell off the pace and eventually pulled out of the race altogether. It then became a battle between Andy Whitworth and myself, with Daniel Fisher(Valley Striders) and Paul Humphries(Rotherham) joining in. Again, I felt fit enough to take it to the line and it was just a matter of knowing when to go for it. At the 9k marker I decided to go, I sprinted to the line clocking 5-19 for the last mile and just missing out on a sub 35. I was slightly disappointed with the time but pleased that I had won the battle with the group that I was with. I came second V45 with Carl Thackery taking first V45 by quite a long way.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Norton 9 - Stronger for longer

Cool and perfect running conditions on Sunday saw a good turnout for the annual Norton 9 Mile Road Race. I like doing this one because although it's all on the road it's mainly country roads and very scenic. It reminds me of parts of the Ackworth Half Marathon course or the Askern 10 Mile, both good courses. I wasn't sure what time I was going to get, I thought I was probably as fit as last year if not slightly fitter. I have been doing some long runs at tempo pace and I think this as helped my endurance enormously.

In the line up at the front was Andrew Pearson(Longwood), Pumlani Bangani(Salford), Kev Lilley(Sheffield) and Paul Marchant(now Leeds City). I had no thoughts about 'clinging on' or staying near to these guys and my plan was to try to reduce the gap over the full nine miles. As expected, Andrew set off like a rocket and Pumlani tried to follow but quickly had to ease back. A chasing group formed, which contained me, Paul Marchant, Kev Lilley, Steve Roebuck(Penistone), James Wardman(Rothwell) and Darren Newbould(Hallamshire). The pace felt good and I did think I would be able to maintain this pace all the way, hoping that some of the others would fade. I was mindful of the fact that Paul Marchant was well within himself at that pace and was just wondering when he was going to give chase to the second man(Pumlani). I was surprised that I was able to run comfortably alongside Kev Lilley, even up to the half way point. He is in the same Vet group as me(V45) but much higher up the rankings and showing greater consistency this year. At about the five mile point the chasing group started to break up with Kev Lilley and Darren Newbould from Hallamshire chasing for 4th and 5th spot, with me and James Wardman battling it out for 6th and 7th. A gap opened between me and James Wardman and I eventually finished in 7th, with a respectable time of 51-14 and an average pace of about 5-41 per mile. I was well pleased with it.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Norton 9 and training update

This Sunday is time for the annual Norton 9 Road Race. The hope of some mild weather and spring sunshine appear to be fading fast and it may be another cold one. For those runners who can't manage the full 10 miles the Norton 9 is a good race to do(joke!). Other than that I can't see why it is a nine miler - probably just to be unique.

Training wise, I am slowly getting back into increasing the mileage after a long period of reduced training to allow this knee problem to settle. The core strengthening and weight training workouts are definitely helping the knee. I am also trying to replace some running with aerobic workouts on the rower and cross trainer to reduce any impact. I can still run though and the problem is now much better than it was. Last Sunday I completed a long run of 17 miles at a steady 7-36 average pace, finishing with just some slight soreness. I hope to resume some higher intensity training in the coming weeks.