12th February 2017, the Etihad Stadium, Manchester…I was at the end of week 1 of marathon training for Liverpool and this was my first race since returning from high altitude training in Kenya.
How was I feeling? Was I able to test my body and see if it was ready for the next level after my good run of recent training?
You bet your ass I was! It could have been my usual positive attitude that got me feeling this way or perhaps my body was genuinely in good condition at the moment. I’ve certainly been feeling fairly strong this last week having hit the gym hard as well as my running.
It sounds like a silly question to some but when I’m in marathon training I can find certain mid distance races difficult part way through my training, even at this early stage. I can’t just go running as hard as possible every time I feel like it. Having said that, this was my first race in a while so I wanted to test out what I was currently made of. My pre-race attitude was that I was going to attempt to beat my previous PB of 41 minutes flat. I was confident I could get below 40 if I’m honest. I’ve improved a lot since I recorded that 41.
I think my mind is one of my most powerful tools having previously dragged myself through some grim races but I wanted to push that to the next level and teach myself to battle through discomfort in ways I’ve never done before. I know I can run faster, I just need to believe and work my god damn ass off too! My mindset is feeling frickin awesome at the minute! #beastmode
I’ll tell you how it went…I absolutely frickin nailed it! 37 minutes 41 seconds was my chip time! It was also funny because I had no idea when I’d finished the race. I certainly knew that I’d done well because I had set off with the front crowd and finished in 18th place but there was no clock on the finishing line! Another guy who finished after me assured me that I’d easily beaten 40 minutes because he knew that he had completed the first 5k in less than 19 minutes but his watch had ran out I think before the finish. I was getting quite excited to get back to the car and check my chip time on the text message they would have sent.
“Shit the bed! I’ve bloody smashed it!”
This wasn’t the wording of the text obviously :), it was my reaction. I couldn’t stop laughing in the car. I was over the flippin moon!
Well, it’s been many months since I ran a 10k race and I’ve been training damn hard. Not just my running but my strength and core too. I think my all round fitness is coming along massively.
The high altitude training in Kenya certainly didn’t do any harm either! It isn’t just what I got from the training though, it’s the people I shared the experience with. It made me hungrier for times than I’ve been for a long time. I love running but I started to feel I could push on harder than I have been doing so this really was a battle I wanted to destroy. I’m damn happy with how the fight ended 🙂
It also helped that this race is very flat, especially when compared to the areas I usually train in! In terms of the conditions on the day, it was absolutely horrendous. Freezing cold, windy as hell, and all of the area around the Etihad Stadium is really open to the elements. Clearly it made me run faster to get back to the warmth of my car. Not to mention the big breakfast if promised myself if I got a PB. As if it mattered what time I got, I was having that damn breakfast.
But as ever when I get myself a medal, I always dedicate it to the real champion in my life…Pippa the dog! What a bloody legend!