10 miles was always going to be a real test for me having never really got my head around the longer stuff on the roads until recently. Until May this year I’d only ran 30:48 on the roads for 10k but Manchester 10k changed all that where I PB’d in 29:04.
Going from 10k to 10 miles is a big jump and I just had to hope the training was in the bank from all the miles i’ve done in the past and I I’d make it round respectably. My last blog mentioned about getting under 50 minutes. My dad seen that and gave me some stick saying how I should be doing that in training never mind races! It’s all well and good saying that but when you’ve ran 45:xx for 10 miles 50 is easy!
I have to say though, my preparation in the early stages didn’t go so well going into this. I last updated on the 18th October and I was going through a rough patch then, I was really struggling in training. The Tuesday after the road relays I couldn’t hold 5:20 pace for 5 miles and I was very worried at that point and was speaking to the doc about getting blood tests as I thought my magnesium was playing up again and my body wasn’t recovering. What I didn’t pick up on was the fact I had a bit of a chest infection early October and Barry Fudge pointed out I could have some post virus fatigue.
After some easy days I began to feel better and I decided to run a local league race, The Sherman Cup in South Shields. I was up home for the Lee Evans concert on the Sunday night so it made sense to do the cross race as I had a 40 minute fartlek to do anyway. I Garmin’d it at 2 miles per lap and it was 3 laps. I just wanted a confidence boosting run really to make myself feel better after the week i’d had. I set of steady just incase it wasn’t going to be my day but I felt fine running in the group. So on the 2nd lap I just opened up and ran hard for a 2miles to stretch my legs then relaxed again. On the final lap I worked the last 2minutes practising finishing strong. I came home in 29:00, very surprising considering it was 6 miles!
Lee Evans was fantastic, my brother and I were sitting 2nd row right in front of him! Cracking seats and I laughed my head off all night.
I was feeling worried again that I’d struggle in the Tuesday session so I was prepared to pull out of the Great South if it didn’t go well on the track this time. The session was 6x5mins off 60 seconds and John wanted me doing the full lot at 5 minute pace. Beattie was doing his last track session before NYC Marathon and he was doing 4 minute reps. I felt good warming up (no sign of that dreaded fatigue) so I just decided to share the laps with him at 4:50 pace instead. We worked well and I hit some nice relaxed mile reps averaging 4:46 in the end. The last one dragged the average down though as after 800m Guy Learmouth popped on my shoulder at the end of his 1k rep so I pushed on with him and decided to work the last 2 laps and getting down under 4:40.
After a decent session I made the decision to go ahead as planned and race the 10 miler. I had no idea what to aim for but I thought I’ll just get in the mix and run with the familiar faces and hope for the best!
I was rooming with Scott Overall and him, Mellor and I all had a good laugh on the PS3 the night before playing FIFA12. I’ll not going into the scoreline’s but lets just say they were entertaining games! Next morning, I got out the next morning and did my morning shuffle after an early wake up.
The race got going at 11 and immediately a Kenyan shot off. We weren’t going slow either, probably around 4:30 for the first mile and he had a significant gap. I found out after the race he ran a 4:12 first mile on the road into a headwind. That’s just mental!
I settled down and had to let the group of Mellor, Overall, Lemonchello and Moroccan Bouramdane. Ahead of them was 2 Kenyans, Chris Thompson and Alistair Cragg. I had to run on my own for 2miles or so till Bouramdane came back to me. We worked together until about 5k then Walshy joined up. We passed 5k in 14:35 according to the results. As a trio we worked really well together with none of us letting the pace settle and someone was always surging. This kept us in contention with the group ahead and Overall looked like he was coming back to us around 5 miles. We kept working and trying to reel him in passing the 10k mark in 29:40. I didn’t get a 10k split for some reason but the Moroccan was right next to me and he did.
Scott rallied well though and got back onto Mellor at 6 or 7 miles. The Moroccan went very hard to catch Overall before the 8 mile marker and the strong headwind with Walsh following soon after. We passed 8 miles in 38:20 (Walshy told me after), but I couldn’t go with either of them at this point. I got detached from on my own at the wrong time with the wind just around the corner, not ideal.
Jonny started to come back to me as he hit the wind and I just shut my
eyes and worked as hard as I possibly could. I caught Jonny, took a breather for 20 secs or so then went again to try and get Walshy. It took about a mile to get on terms with him again but I finally did. I knew if went by him within the last mile he’d just take a ride as i’m not exactly a small frame when sheltering in the wind!
I felt bad but I just had to wait and bide my time and run for 8th as Overall was 10 seconds clear with half a mile to go. As we entered the last 300m I started to worked hard and begin my sprint for home. I managed to get clear by 5 seconds and come home in 48:33. I was delighted with the time but judging by what we were on at 8 miles (47:55 pace) and I felt like I picked up I was frustrated to have the wind there. I just have to take the positives from it though, I’ve ran my first competitive 10 miler and mixed it with some great company so I’m delighted with my performance.
Now it’s a case of structuring the training with Nuttall and getting the winter right this year ready for next summer.
Today is going to be fun, I’m off for a trot now so i’ll see what my body is feeling like off the back of yesterday and then make a decision on Mansfield Cross Relays later this week.
Finally I have to say how well Nova looked after the athletes this weekend, I find myself repeating myself after each race of theirs I do but Pete Riley and Andy Caine do a fantastic job assembling fantastic fields and then the other guys Tom and Gareth on the day. It’s great that there’s a company like this creating such fantastic events in the UK for British endurance athletes. Next step- get the media on the side of the Brits and show the race as I like to think we’re slowly getting better again and it would be quite entreating for some to see!