This past week was the start of phase 1 of my next training phase with target races lined up pretty much till end of the year every 4 weeks. I had planned on this for a while and wanted to do it last year. After doing 10 miles at Thirsk two weeks ago I wanted to tick off another distance as I continued my comeback, so when I entered I picked the 5 mile option. Last time I had done a 5 mile race was back in April 2017 and I think it was one of my last races for Penistone. Going into this I had a decent first week of training (more on that next week). I went into the race with the simple target of going sub 30 minutes. This time was part of my original times I set myself when I began my comeback. After the 5k and 10 mile races, I knew where I was and was just a case of seeing how the race went.
The good thing now is my mindset is seriously different than it has been for a long time and I know it is helping. After the drive up from home we parked up. First stop was toilet before it got too busy then I picked up my number before I relaxed in the car watching the fun run. This allowed me to judge the first small loop. I said to Sarah on the way to the start, I would be there or there about if I did what I knew I could do. We spoke about race tactics and both agreed I had started too far back at Thirsk and I got boxed in. Good thing is you learn from it. So plan was to have a strong start. We also knew the wind would play a part in times and proceedings.
The 10 mile race started further down the runway and they had a medium and two large loops. We had a small and large loop. Bare in mind the runway is 3km long end to end and you run down one then round and back up the other. It’s that long on way back you could actually make out the curvature of the earth, It looked like the runway had an incline but it was actually following the natural curve of the earth, Well it looked like it. Sarah shouted to me, “I will see you when you’ve won!” now she is 95% spot on when she picks her race winner out. I tried to not focus on winning as this year is about enjoying it and slowly building back to where I want to be. Anything else is a bonus.
So off went the hooter and I was out fast and a runner from Spenborough soon took the lead a quick glance at watch we were doing sub 5:00 per mile pace. So I let him move off and settled down to a more sustainable pace. He had opened up a good 20 metre gap as we arched round to the other runway and BANG into the headwind. To give you an idea of how strong it was. I went from 5:20 pace to 5:50 pace. It hit the leader harder and he seemed to really slow down and I soon closed the gap and sailed past him. The first mile came as we hit the top bend back to the first runway in 5:27. Had it not been for the wind I have no doubt it would have been a lot faster and I felt strong as I headed back through the start/finish area and passed Sarah cheering me on as always. I knew that the run back up would be brutal and knowing it was 3K long meant I really pushed on down to the bottom. It seemed to go on forever but my pace had picked up soon as I was out the wind and I was sustaining 5:35 pace all way down the runway and for first time in a long time I felt like I could maintain it. Mile 2 came and went 5:35 (losing a bit on top bend in wind) As I hit 3rd mile I could hear the chasing field fade away and by time I hit the marshall at halfway I was on my own.
I continued my flying pace in the 3rd mile and as I arched round I had a quick glance and had built a large lead. I knew I wasn’t going to lose it going back up as I knew it was going to kill everyone’s pace. I just needed to keep my shit together and not lose too much. Mile 3 buzzed in 5:38 (again the final bit was into the wind costing me a few seconds) As I headed back it was like running backwards as there was no protection and I knew I had this for next 3k it was brutal. I just worked hard if not harder then first 3 miles going back up. According to watch I ran 17:16 for 5k which is something I would like to achieve this year that is for sure. The 4th mile was pure hell and case of just grinding it out. To give you an idea, my cadence and RPE was still the same yet my actual pace went from 5:30 to 6:15 by end of the 4th mile. It was my slowest mile in 6:09 I know for certain the headwind cost me at least 20s if not more. I hit the final mile and tried to pick up the pace. The spectators said I had a massive lead and I even had to run wide as security vehicle had parked right on the top bend. As soon as I was out of the wind my pace again went back up to 5:35. Kinda proving I was on for a much faster time had it not been for the wind. As I turned towards the finish I couldn’t see second place but I still pushed as I wanted as fast a time as possible. I even did my best Alan Shearer celebration as I crossed the finish line in first place. My official time was 29:09 not a PB but my fastest since 2016 and my 3rd fastest of all time and I won with a gap of 84s on second place! and yes Sarah was right yet again with her prediction.
This victory felt amazing as I had raced so well and paced it brilliantly. I had built a lead on way out and then increased it on the way back. If for arguments sake the wind cost me 20s in both mile 4 and 5 and I reckon at least 10s across the other 3 miles I would have run an all time PB. This bodes well as this month I have another 5 mile race in which to attempt a faster time. As I finished I was rewarded with an awesome medal, plenty of chocolate and a trophy. I have to say all 4 races this year have been organised by ‘runners for runners’ and so much better. Better organisation, better atmosphere and value for money. Yesterday just ticked every box, I highly recommend people try a ‘See York Run event’.
- Position: 1st
- Time: 29:09
- Strava Record
- Kit Used: Xempo Vest, Adidas Base Layer, Arsuxeo 2in1 shorts, Sockimine Black Griplock Lightweight socks and ND:R Sunglasses