Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Leeds Half Marathon

The race plan last Sunday was to run the first half very conservatively and then to try surge past runners on the downhill bits and along Kirkstall road. I still had memories from last years race and suffering total burnout by overdoing the first half. This meant that last year the 'run in' along Kirkstall road was a hard slog to the finish. The Leeds course is virtually uphill for 6.5 miles and then mostly flat and downhill after that.

During the line up at the start I was aware of the presence of John Convery(Bingley), Richard Pattinson(P&B) and Duncan Clarke(Abbey Runners). All these runners are in my age group, but I wasn't in any position to give chase or run side by side this year. I was sticking to my plan of running very steady and totally within myself until the halfway point. This is so hard to do when you see other runners that you know in front that you should be running with. I had no intention of listening to the devil and going with the reaction this time.

When the race started Andy Pearson(Longwood) was off like a rocket and seemed to be averaging well under 5 minute miling. In my sights I had a group of Abbey Runners containing Andy May and a few others. Andy May is in great form so I knew that if I kept him in sight I should be in for a reasonable time. Before reaching the two mile point I noticed Duncan Clarke on the pathway along the race route. This was the end of the race for him and I didn't stop to ask what was up. Up to the 5 mile point I felt comfortable, very relaxed and felt that I had loads of running left in me. When I reached the Ring Road towards the end of King Lane at the Moortown roundabout there was a downhill section in which I decide to open up the pace. I checked the Garmin and it read 5-17 per mile. I thought this was slow considering that this whole section was downhill. The group of runners that I had tried to keep sight of were gaining more lead on me and that seemed to destroy my confidence for the uphill stretch. I tried to dig deep into that uphill section and this had the effect of wasting too much energy. The race route then dropped down towards Horsforth and the Hawkesworth roundabout. At this point all form had gone and I was running at near maximum just to maintain even pace. When I reached Kirkstall Road the pace slowed to just under 6 minute miling and I was in no position to improve on that. With 4 and half miles to go from there I was just trying to make sure I didn't lose any position towards the finish. I eventually finished in 1-20-23, somewhat disappointed, but with 2 previous races in my legs(Rothwell 10k and John Carr 5k) I couldn't really expect much better.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

John Carr 5K

Can anybody ever say that a 5k is enjoyable? Only when it is all over I say.

These 5k's are usually run at close to aerobic threshold pace and if your not careful some step over into anearobic running. In my view these are perfect training for the distance runner; virtually flat out pace but must still be controlled, painful but not too far and fairly easy to recover from. A few of these must make a half marathon seem like a walk in the park. I will find out on Sunday at the Leeds Half.

I was happy for the race to start as the midges were starting to bite. After Mondays run at Rothwell my legs felt tired. However, when the race started the reaction kicked in and the pain subsided. I finished with a respectable time of 16-39 and second V45. I was chasing Kevin Ogden who had a storming run to finish in 16-20. Sister Nicola from Pudsey Pacers came in at 22.22. Well done on her first 5k.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Rothwell 10k - changed course

This years Rothwell 10k was a changed course and most runners I spoke to said that it was harder than the last course. This was no surprise bearing in mind that the other course was mainly downhill.

When the race started I set off with the two leaders which included eventual race winner Andrew Pearson. This pace was way beyond me but surprisingly I felt very easy and relaxed for about 1k. I was aware of the charge from behind from Spen pal Kevin Ogden, V45 runner Duncan Clarke, Kev Lilley V45, Tim Midgeley and John Convery V45. Also with others that were in that fairly large chasing group. Most of the course is on one of my long Sunday run routes through Methley and then onto the main road back to the sports centre, so I know the course well. In my mind I had a time of 34-30, which would have been excellent given the changed course and windy conditions. However, I was still happy with my finishing time of 34-52 and third V45.

Thanks to all the organisers and others who were shouting support along the route.