Tag Archives: pb

Run 160 – Sub20 Aztec West 5k!

Date:  Tuesday 27th January 2015 7:30pm

Distance: 5.00 km

Time: 19:35

Pace: 3:55 min/km

The Prep: Race #60 for run 160. Attempting this three days following after a trail marathon, I’ve been through a sports massage on the legs, and cold bath and “recovery” 8km run. Monday felt amazing, so light, and so ready. Tuesday was a different story. It may be psychological, it may be DOMS from my exuberant 8k Sunday recovery run. The legs just seem to be a bit more niggley than they were yesterday. They’re sore after the alternative lunch walk and they’re not as light on the stairs. Can I really do this?

I leave early and get back home and I’m tired! I last ate at 1pm and I don’t want anything bouncing around in my stomach for the 7:30pm race. Stomach is grumbling. I lie on my bed for an hour. The wait is killing me. And then the first of two saving graces; Prodigy’s new track. It’s brutal!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1AaKBbNGkk

I close my eyes, lie there, listen and let the images form. “The day is my enemy, the night; my friend.” There is no 9am start for this. It’s dark and I own the night. This race is on my turf. The bass kicks in just as the race bursts open at the start. Running round the curves, hunting down that time like a deadly animal.

I get changed and do a few minor stretches. I walk out the door, and I’m on my way to register. I’m listening to this track and literally bouncing around. Can’t wait to do this, COME ON!!!!

Then, reality hits as I see who’s registering. Fuck! I’d hoped that I’d get away with attempting this 5k PB without certain other people being here, but that’s not gonna be my luck tonight. And suddenly, here I am in this glass atrium, 1 minute away from my house, feeling like an imposter. Even though I’ve run this circuit more often!

But then I see a shining beacon, someone I know, but who I can actually talk to without a SWAT team taking me down! Marcus! The guy who helped me get round the whole of the Greenman route on NYE.

So I tell him I’m here to claim my first sub20 5k, three days after my 6 hour trail marathon, and he says something amazing. I can’t remember the exact words, but he refers to my stubbornness to finish the Greenman and trying to get this PB right after a marathon. He says something like I don’t know the meaning of the phrase “that can’t be done”. It just doesn’t apply to me. And hearing that, felt incredible. That, here in this room full of the elite of running in Bristol, to someone that was once given up on for not being inspiring. Wow! If only I could hear that, from the person over there.

Despite this, my warm up didn’t feel great, nor did my stretches. There’s a couple of faces I recognise, but don’t claim to know. And to be honest, yeah, it’s all pretty intimidating. I’m here now on the start thinking “I don’t know if I can do this”. This is despite Marcus saying he’s aiming for a sub20 tonight and that I should just pace him. And another Southviller in green, Pete, aiming for sub20 as well. Slightly less of an imposter now, but still intimidating. “30 seconds…”

The Race: And rather than the bass dropping in that Prodigy track, I’m thinking shit, shit, shit as the race starts and I set my Garmin going. I concentrate on only two things, keeping Marcus within distance, and watching where my feet are as they get very close to the kerb. I do not give a shit where anyone else is except my pacer. I only occasionally glance at my Garmin to check that our pace is neither too slow, nor stupidly quick. It’s 3:50km/min. I’ve run at least 2km at this pace, this is…manageable.

In a semi-haze I only half register that this middle lap is a little bit tougher than the first. There’s a small amount of moving around people to keep pace, but nothing that’s going to waste too much energy. All the pre-race studies of the inclines and pacing mean very little right now, even on the back straight. Suddenly, somehow we’ve crested the highest point and we’re well in to our final lap. This is getting really tough now, but it’s nearly over. I haven’t been paying any attention to distance, only pace. When we go past the 4km mark I remember that I’d calculated that I’d need to be bang on 16mins or less by this point to have a chance of a sub20. It’s 15:?? something. Okay, just keep this up. The pace has definitely quickened. Marcus tells me to keep up with the girl in front, Tracy. So without thinking, or emotion, I do. And for a while I over take. At this point I look further ahead in the field, and think I can make out someone in green in front, and someone tall in a white and blue top way out in front. Then Marcus comes back and offers me more encouragement. I’m losing him as we start the last little incline to the finish. 400m to go. I am so close to throwing up. I can’t be bothered to think about how shit I feel. I just try to sqeeze out every little bit of gusto I have going up that incline, knowing that I just have to keep going faster if I want that sub20. I can’t remember if I over took many people, it certainly didn’t feel like that. And it certainly wasn’t a highly accelerated sprint finish. Round the corner and the last 100m. This is it, do or die.

AZTEC P
Race Pace Trace (try saying that fast, over and over and over!)

https://www.strava.com/activities/247032569/overview

The Result: I’ve made it in to the funnel, then I recognise a green shirt in front of the person ahead. I go to try to tap him on the shoulder, but I’m told to get back in position. I’m too delirious to be thinking straight. I hear someone take my number and I wobble back out of the funnel. There’s Marcus, I’m so relieved it’s over. There’s a couple of green shirts ahead so I wobble over to them and shake their hands. They say something to me, but I can’t talk. Only shake their hand and smile. Then I suddenly remember I haven’t stopped my Garmin yet. I go to stop it, and see 19:55. Holy shit I did it, I DID IT!! MOTHER OF GOD I’M SUB20!! And then as the euphoria hits like a tidal wave, I find my voice again. “Sub20” I squeek/croak! (Think of a frogmouse. I may have just made that up.) “I did it, sub20!” As I say it and the weight of what I’ve just done sinks in, I can see the two faces I recognise talking. I really don’t care about how far in front they were. I just wish to high heaven that one of them could hear me right now, and see the time around my wrist. After an appalling September last year, I vowed to make October better and to set my mind to running a sub20 5k. Tonight, I delivered on that promise. Half the satisfaction is achieving the time. Half of it is achieving that three days after running a trail marathon. If you only knew!

I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY RIGHT NOW. I walk in and get my bag. On my way out I see Marcus again and thank him so much for pacing tonight, and that I couldn’t have done that without him. As I leave the finish and get back on to the pavement opposite, I burst in to life again and jog home. My mind wants to run another marathon!

The Aftermath: I get back to the flat and tell my flat mate about it. I must seem like I’m off my face. And I am. I feel incredible. He has a couple of ice packs, which I use to rest my calves on. Bliss. But I can’t stomach much of the stir fry. I know that after such a natural high, there’s gonna be a crash, and lack of food and sleep wouldn’t help.

But even the next day, I went to work feeling so happy and bouncy. I wanna to tell EVERYONE! But in the end had to settle for a select few. It’s all I wanted to think and talk about. Had a good chat with fellow SRC runner Sergio. At lunchtimes, the official results come out. 19:35! Holy fuck! 19:35!!! I did that! My legs! Marcus and Pete are only a few seconds ahead of me. Someone else is now sub19. (Holy fuck that’s fast.)

AZTEC

And then another amazing thing. The effective boss of my boss is amazed at my time, that it’s bloody fast. That it’s “something to look up to”. Holy shit, that’s effectively saying that what I’ve achieved is inspiring, isn’t it? That’s almost saying that I’m inspiring, no?! And more comments “You are so quick”, “Just wow”, “fair shouts that’s amazing”.

But all I really want is just one single word of praise from the person downstairs. Or just an acknowledgement of how happy I am that I can achieve something like that. I leave work…restless. When I get home, I write a very short and concise message saying well done on a hugely fast time, and that I’m happy with my sub20. Nothing. And then I hear the door slam. And now, second day in a row, I’ve lost my appetite. I was happy with my 19:35. The more time goes by, the more I think it’s not enough.

AZTEC HR1
Heart Rate steadily increasing and going over 200bpm (that would explain the sickness)
AZTEC HR2
The Heart Never Lies: Did half my race in Zone 5 working anaerobically. The other half was Zone 4. Does this mean I have more juice in the tank if I want to do Zone 5 throughout? Time will tell. Until next time…

 

 

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Run 93 – Bristol 10k Race 2014

Date: Sunday 11th May 09:30pm

Distance: 10.0km

Time: 44:40

Pace: 4:28mn/km

Description: The big day! Massive pressure!

30seconds too slow 😦 Pretty gutted.  It wasn’t the underline that I wanted.

Work this week has been really busy.  Was in the office until Saturday evening.  Managed to cook some sweet potato in the office in the afternoons during the week, but didn’t really feel that I’d carbed up much.  Really nervous, so not much sleep.  Up early, three crumpets and jam.

Weather on Saturday was very windy and rainy.  By morning the wind has eased off, but it still looked pretty manky.  But by race start it wasn’t too bad.

The run itself didn’t feel fantastic.  I’m trying to run my fast races this year without energy gels.  My start wasn’t particularly fast, but this felt tougher than my run last weekend.  I should be enjoying the atmosphere around me, but instead I’m just thinking about how tired I’m starting to feel, and I’m not even off the Portway yet.  I get onto the back straight, and Oh My God I wish I’d run this route earlier this week.  I knew this road was long and had a hill but jees! On and on and on.  Still pretty much on pace, but I’m shatterd and so fed up.  I’m running up this eternal road thinking all I want to do is give up, ease up and tell myself I’ve done enough.  Give up.

But I haven’t, so I can’t  Oh Jesus and then theres the hill.  Where’ my final stage mojo?  It finally makes a bit of an appearance once I turn past the corner off the neverending road.  Over the cobbles.  Come on, you might still be okay for time, just keep it going.  Don’t let up.  Round the centre.  Let’s just try and keep up with this guy.  Oh great, another sprint finisher.  The b@st@rd!  Come on.  Last corner.  Finish line in sight, and clock is reading about a minute more than I want to see. Damn.  I cross the line and stop the GPS.  44:42.  Shitty f**ksticks.  30 seconds for Christs sake and I could of had it!  Yet again, so close, but too slow.

I’m in a pretty dumpish mood for at least a couple of days after that.  But I met up with some mates afterwards, who were pleased with their times, so that was nice.  As well as the running club.  But I went home in the afternoon and was a vegetable for the rest of the day.

But in the hours and days that followed, I forced myself to at least acknowledge the positives.  Part of the reason why I think I missed out was keeping to my GPS pace.  That was saying 4:24! Well on target.  And by the end it was 4:22min/km (7min/mile).  But I also ended up running 10.2km, hence the longer time.  So next time, be 5sec faster than GPS pace to be sure!

Also, that’s two runs now at sub45.  I can safely say that I’m back up to fitness after three months off at the end of last year.  I’ve got a better running style.  I DID IT WITHOUT ANY ENERGY GELS! And no water, maybe I should have grabbed some halfway.  I’m closing the gap to my target times.  Am I faster than I was at the end of last summer?  Not sure.  The Towpath 5k and Bristol Half were pretty bloody fast paces.  But this is a great place to be coming in to the start of summer.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/500771992

Bristol10kroute

Race number 1904:

http://www.runbristol.com/Results/Default.aspx

wpid-wp-1400875407721.jpeg

Next Round: Towpath Series: Race #1 (10k)

Run 94 – Towpath Series #1

Date: Friday 16th May 19:30pm

Distance: 10.0km

Time: 43:26

Pace: 4:24min/km

Description: Round 2.  And what a lovely evening.  Running club group photo beforehand. I’ve left the office and come straight here, and I’ll need to go back after.  But I boss this! Even without much carbing up, hydration and no gels.  I was arguably faster last weekend if you trust the GPS (9.85km for this course).  It’s over a minute closer to my Towpath target.

So the race? Pretty bloody good.  I love the Towpath series, and this is why.  I seem to be able to take it steady at the start, you don’t have much choice as things are pretty congested.  It’s a nice route along the river bank under the trees and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. But you get to the halfway point and you’ve been just a touch slower than target pace, which should be good for a negative split.  You’ve been inching up the pace from about 3.5/4k, but you turn and now it’s time to go up another gear.

You now have people running in both directions, so if you’re gonna overtake, it’s got to be opportunistic and quick to avoid a pile up.  Right…space, sprint, in front, ease off, close gap to next person, pace, pace, sprint, overtake, in front…and so on…and so on.  NO ONE is overtaking me, and I’m knocking these people down one by one.  Maybe that’s because I started behind my target pace, but this feels bloody great.  I won’t lie, I still have to ignore the voice that is shouting “give up, ease off” in my head.  All I want to do is stop, curl up in to a little ball on the side of the road and hug a cup of tea.  But if I can just catch up the the next person in front…

I’m so tired, GPS is showing slower pace than last weekend, but if I keep up with this person in front.  And after a short while I’ve had enough and ease out in front.  The worst bits are the long gaps, psychologically it’s so much easier to be pacing just behind someone and then power past.  But I’m on the bridge now and if I can negotiate this up and down bit without falling flat on my face I’ll be there soon.  Bystanders and runners are encouraging me on.  I get to the edge of the park, and all I want to do is run the shortest route to the finish, but around the edge of the park we weave.  It’s this point I dread the most.  I’m exhausted, but the fear of being overtaken by a sprint finisher and a fellow running club runner keeps me pushing until I’m over the line.  I can hear the shouts of “come on Southville” from here.  How far behind me is he? Come on, push. PUSH mother**ker PUSH!!!

I’m through! I’m logged.  My GPS says…says 43!  Holy mother! 43!…43:26! Ha HAA!!  I’m up against a tree trying not to throw up. GASPING for air.  I feel like an asthmatic about to have a heart attack. But 43:26! Oh YEAH!  43:26!  Two weeks ago I hadn’t broken sub47.  Now I’m nearly 4 minutes faster!  4 minutes CLOSER!

But I think the best bit about the whole evening, after getting a couple of cups of water and my breath back, is walking back to the large mob of green garbbed Southville runners screaming “come on Southville”.  The adrenaline is still pumping, and you’re screaming ” go on, get him, GET HIM” at the girl sprint finishing past another runner.

“COME ON SOUTHVILLE!!!”

I bloody love this!

After a brief gathering in the pub afterwards, it’s back to the office to finish the job.  Like a boss!

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/500772000

Towpath Route

http://www.greatwesternrunners.org.uk/index.php/results/2014/483-towpath-results-2014-race-1

Looking forward to a less pressured Cheddar Gorge 10k on Sunday…

Run 85 – RACE – Ashton Court Parkrun #150

Date: Sat 12th April 2014 09:06

Distance: 5k

Time: 22:25! (PB!)

Pace: 4:31min/km

Description: Fantastic new time for AC Parkrun: 22m25s!

Couldn’t believe it when I saw it.  And it didn’t feel too dreadful either.  (Maybe that’s down to getting some breakfast, a later bus, a caffeine gel, and small warm up to get the heart rate up.) Makes up for the 24:27 and hyperventilating of a few weeks ago and trumps the 23:29 of last August.

Starting to get to where I want to be with that hill.

Ashton Court Parkrun #150

RUN 85 – Ashton Court Parkrun #150