Fortunately I had planned an easy day on Sunday as, provided I could manage a very rare 6.30 a.m. rising I would take Sally and friend Debbie B. to the SPEN 20 mile road race. I finished off week 10 with a 3 mile test run on the grass after the race and felt quite relieved that there was little pain from the calf. But as we all know calf problems tend to bite back and soreness came back on Monday at the end of a 5 mile run on soft but uneven ground.
I returned home thinking it was perhaps a good thing that I had no immediate races planned, only to be greeted by the postman. He handed me confirmation of an entry for the WILMSLOW HALF marathon (!) compliments of sponsors ASICS. Thank you Jon and team at ASICS.
I wouldn't normally regard finishing a half marathon as a daunting prospect but the way the leg felt on Saturday the next week of running would be crucial in determining my approach to the race.
Yesterday then was another "test" run and pleasingly a 6 mile road went well, in under 50 minutes. Today, working hard/easy days, I was back on the flat grass for an pedestrian 4 miler.
Further "test" days will involve a 12 miler at slower than race pace and a speed session at faster than race pace.
Going back to Sunday's SPEN 20 the 263 finishers were really blessed with the weather they enjoyed; possibly a factor in Sally's excellent 2:26 for 4th lady on the tough West Yorkshire course. Whilst this may equate to her marathon pace at Manchester it was not planned as such.
It was NOT a pace practice exercise. She gave it 100%. Should events conspire that she can't run Manchester then at least her training so far in 2012 has been rewarded with a very creditable 20 mile time. NOT a race run less than 100% practising to run slower than the athlete is capable of.
Sally's time suggests that she has some good performances to come over 5k, 10k and 10 mile once recovered from the Manchester.
It was interesting to see how the race unfolded. Both male and female early race leaders faltered but held on well to finish 3rd. GEMA ADAMS of Preston took the lead just before 5 miles and was never really threatened after that. But once QUENTIN LEWIS had faded , DAVID THOMPSON of BARNSLEY and ZAC MELLARD of KIMBERWORTH found themsleves shoulder to shoulder going through Roberttown with 2 miles to go with the Barnsley man easing away for victory.
I hope the video gives a flavour of the event which is not for the faint hearted.
It's 25 years since I ran the event but more of that tomorrow................................................