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Posts Tagged ‘2014’

The kitchen sink

Telford 10k race report

 

The die was cast a month ago when I committed to one more 10k for the year. I’ve tackled it a fair bit in 2014. Five times including Telford. One of those was a steady effort but the other four were all going full guns to break 33 minutes.

 

Last year in November I ran a break through PB of 33:06 at the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k. It was over 90 seconds quicker than I’d gone before. I was over the moon. But the feeling soon settled into a “if I can knock such a big chunk off my time surely I can find 7 seconds more?” mood.

 

Thus 2014 became, as far as the 10k is concerned, the year to break 33 minutes.

 

It started in May with an attempt on the track at the Highgate 10,000. Unbelievably windy conditions (blowing tents and things over around the track) meant that attempt was put paid to before it even got started. I got around in 33:41 and couldn’t have found 1 second more.

 

The next attempt was sometime later. Also on the track, at the Trafford 10,000, in September. This race was inconsiderate enough to place itself the first weekend after our family summer break to Lanzarote. Needless to say my shape wasn’t razor sharp. I had kept the fitness up but didn’t have the edge required to turn 33:20 into 32:55 form. I laboured around for a very evenly paced 33:18.

 

Then came the first road attempt of the year, the Leeds Abbey Dash. The same race I had had the big breakthrough the previous year. I lined up with Dan, personal pacemaker (a seasoned veteran having bested the pesky barrier at the aforementioned Trafford race with a gutsy 32:50). Sadly the challenge never got off the ground, due to starting too far back, a schoolboy error, and being caught in a very congested field moving just a touch too slow. The quality is very high at the Leeds race and the road was wall-to-wall with guys running 3:25 kays when we wanted 3:18s. The cumulative difference took its toll and by halfway in 17:04 there was no chance of breaking 33. I pinned my ears back and buried myself coming home for a second half of 16:11. Partly frustration and partly just wanting to not give up on the goal. The resulting 33:15 was not what I wanted but the 16:11 told me I still had a shot if I paced it better. Commit more you fool.

 

Onto the 4th and final attempt, another road race, this time the Telford 10k in December. It has a mineshaft first km and gentle ups and downs after that. I was determined to get out fast enough to be in the game. I was sick of 3:25 openers and trying to claw back deficits. But I was equally cautious of selling my goat before 3k and ending with the opposite of Leeds, a fast start and a slow finish. That was not on the Christmas list.

 

With that bubbling away in my mind, the gun went and we were off. Thankfully temperatures the night before hadn’t gone below zero so the paths were ice free, a deal breaker if they weren’t and a common danger in December.

 

A reminder: I needed 3:18 per km to run 33:00.

 

Anything under was good, anything over meant I’d need to drag it back somewhere.

 

First kay 3:13. Factoring in the downhill start this was not fast, but was fast enough to get me in the game. Just what I wanted. I settled in. Passed a few groups trying to find a gang moving at a pace I felt was right. Second km in 3:17, still good. Third in 3:13, more of the same. I was starting to feel it now and decided to sit with a trio I had caught. 4th km in 3:22. Panic. Is this the start of a blow? I needed a good halfway split to motivate myself for the pain coming on the second lap of the two lap course.

Telford 10k 2014

I pushed on past them and found another trio but I had worked hard to get to them, 5th km in 3:12 and halfway in 16:17.

 

Excellent this was where I wanted it to be. But I was hurting now and needed to consolidate for the next few kays. I stuck with the group for a 3:23 and 3:18 6th and 7th km. They were slowing I could feel it. I’m not giving up on this now. I went wide and went past them. Keep the tap fully open Ince, keep the pace going.

 

It was hurting too much now. It had been hurting too much for too long and the fight was ebbing out of me. I want to stop fighting, I want to back off and let the pain subside. Come on. Keep going. No I need this to ease.

 

The 8th kay was a 3:27 as a result of this internal argument. That fired me up. What the fuck are you doing?! I’m not binning this after all the work I’ve done. Come on man. Two more kays to go.

 

We turned at the traffic cone somewhere around this point and I noticed Ed was much closer to me than he should be. Is he ok? Shortly afterwards I passed him walking. Clearly not. A viral infection had not cleared his system in time and sadly his race ended there.

 

Right, refocus you big girl. Two more km’s. Empty the tank. Give it everything. Do not let this slip through your fingers. 9th in 3:16. A good split. Was it enough? Had I lost too much with the 3:27?? I couldn’t work it out anymore. Just throw the works at it. No matter what. Even if you don’t break it, give it horns. Maybe a PB is on the cards if not a sub33. Thoughts just churning around in my foggy head.

 

I hammered the final km. I was hurting so much but I was thinking in minutes not distance. Suffer for 2 more minutes, it can’t be more than 600m now, suffer for 1 more minute. Come on. Dig in. Push harder. Someone was passing me. Go with him. Let him drag you until you can’t go anymore. I rounded the bend, less than 100m to go. The finish clock was on low 32’s. I could do this. I was going to do this. I sprinted with every fibre shouting its displeasure at me. Get over that line! I did it. Crossed the  line with the clock still on 32 something. I don’t even know what.

 

32:44.

 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

 

1 00:03:13
2 00:03:17
3 00:03:13
4 00:03:22
5 00:03:12 00:16:17 1st 5k
6 00:03:23
7 00:03:18
8 00:03:27
9 00:03:16
10 00:03:03 00:16:27 2nd 5k
0:32:44
Ave 0:03:16 per km
78.4 s per lap

 

That right there was the 33-minute dragon slain.

Full results here

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Saturday 17 May was the 2014 British Masters (BMAF) Road Relay Champs in Sutton Park, Birmingham.

 

I was running leg 1 in the M35 race (age 35-44). M35 race 6 legs, M45 race 4 legs and M55 3 legs.

 

Each leg is run on the same 3 mile loop.

 

I set off steadily and successfully managed to avoid being trampled in the mad stampede from the gun. Us old timers take this seriously. And start fast! (just in case we don’t finish fast at least we’ve done something quickly). I must have been well outside the top 20 going up the hill about 400 yards into the race. I eased into my running over the next minute or two and started catching and passing people as they tackled the climb. Based on the people coming back to me even at this stage, it seems time and experience doth not necessarily a savvy racer make.

 

We hit the top of the climb, a nasty half mile or so of ascent and the toughest part of the route. I felt ok and continued to accelerate. As I made my way past the small groups working together which were getting slightly separated from each other now, I could see the lead pack of about 6 runners ahead. Without thinking about it I had pushed ahead of the second group and suddenly found myself completely on my own between the lead pack and the chasers, in no man’s land. Idiot! At this point we passed the 1 mile mark. I made a decision to put everything into latching onto the back of the lead pack if I could, which was in single file now.

 

I managed to catch them over the next few hundred yards and thought oh my gosh I’m in the lead pack at nationals. I savoured the moment whilst also thinking, hang on, I’m actually ok at this pace, what happens now?? Before I knew it I had edged past a few more and was now lying in third place.

 

We were approaching the halfway point which is a switchback around a traffic cone and back down the other side of the road. Slowing down to make the 180 degree turn and accelerating back up to race pace took a lot out of me. Not to worry I thought, it will have done the same to the other two. We continued to run in the 3 man breakaway.

 

One of the three dropped back a little bit and I thought he was gone. Wow, where is this going to end? Could I even entertain the thought of being in the lead??

2014 Nationals Masters Relay

 

Before I could answer that question we hit the long drag down the hill back past the lake and towards the final climb, twist, and climb for home. 2 miles came and went somewhere here. On the downhill the lead guy stretched away and the guy who I thought had been dropped came past me as well and latched onto the leader. I was hurting all over the place now, and the pain was sapping the fight from me. They got a 10m gap and then it was too late. They were gone and I was running on my own. It became survival to the finish now, just hang onto third you sissy. I could hear cheering and support not far behind me so I knew the chasing pack was close. I dug in and thought no way I was losing third after putting myself out there for the past 2 miles. I worked up the little pull, focused on pace through the twists and turned right into the final climb up the finishing straight. I put everything into the climb, no-one is passing me now I kept telling myself.

 

Third over the line! 15:24 for the 3 miles. I raced hard, gave it everything and will most definitely take that time on a far from flat course.

 

(Truth be told I’d take that time on a pancake flat course. I had a good day, simple as that).

 

I wasn’t able to stick around for the rest of the relay legs so I’m not sure how everyone else did, other than by looking at the results. Well done to everyone who turned out for the club.

 

M35

15 BRAT A 1h45.58m

Mark Ince 15.24m

Kevin McMillan 17.27m -10

Adam Higgins 18.11m -6

Robin Biles 16.45m +2

Simon White 20.02m +3

Jort Vanmourik 18.09m -1

 

M45

38 BRAT 1h22.02m

Peter Brown 21.30m

Nicholas Iliff 21.44m +2

Paul Robertshaw 20.07m +7

Owen Doherty 18.41m +28

 

M55

8 BRAT 56.10m

Richard Gray 17.07m

Martin Ludford 18.58m -14

Robert Andrews 20.05m -9

 

 

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