Sunday, 24 June 2012
Making a point at the PLATT FIELDS 10K
Things have generally been going pretty well since the SALE 5, the second of 5 races the Manchester Parks Grand Prix Series. Perhaps too well. I hadn't race in the last 4 weeks and consequently I managed 3 weeks of sustained training with just the odd easy day per week.
I was looking forward to better run at today's PLATT FIELDS 10K than last year particularly as the temperature would be far cooler.
I finished last week with a pretty tough 2 lap trail circuit of the Strid Woods on the Saturday. An undulating "up on the forefoot" session which worked the calves well. Sunday, trying to stay in touch with medium length runs I ran 12 on the canal. Not overly swift but as usual a brisk second half.
"Coach" would have said, "you've had a tough weekend and you have a race next Sunday so do Monday and Tuesday at very easy pace, a few 300s on Wednesday then ease down.
I did have an easy Monday running wise but was stood up all day at the shop; but I attacked the 2 resrun too hard on the Tuesday , probably 4 minutes too hardt and as a result warming up for the 300s on the Wednesday the left calf (again) said...."If you put me through this, the moderate pain you are experiencing now will become acute and you will really suffer!!" Session aborted. Very frustrating! So....
Thursday...........jog 2 .....not too clever.
Friday............nothing......missed first day this year!
Saturday...........jog 3.......not 100%...............but could probably manage the 10K distance.
Given the rain hitting the North West over the last few days I figured large parts of the PLATT FIELDS 10K course would be under water and given the vulnerable leg I went to bed on Saturday having decided to give it at a miss.
But with the weather forecast reasonable and given that I would probably cover 5 or 6 in training anyway I changed my mind and decided to journey over the Pennines after all.
Having committed to the 5 races in the Grand Prix I knew I would be disappointed not to complete them all; I would not race 100% but if I could finish I would at least gain a point in towards my grand prix total.
I warmed up with friend Brian Bradshaw from Sale and our fears that the trail section of the course would be under water were quickly realised. Unfortunately so were several sections of the tarmaced park paths as well. I started to think that all things considered a time about 50 minutes would be satisfactory compared to 44.17 last year.
We hit the first stretch of water after just 2 minutes. I was running alongside Brian but whilst I splashed through trying not to lift the knees and aggravate the hamstrings he pranced through with high knee lift and immediately opened up a gap of 20 metres. I felt the odd tweak in the lower calf but I was coping and at least managing sub 8 minute mileing but Brian was maintaining the gap in front. (see pic above)
On the garmin the miles reflected the "interval" nature of our efforts; working reasonably well on the dry parts, slowing down through the water. 7.27....7.55.....7.54.....7.49....7.26.
I overtook a few on the 3rd of the 4 laps but at the five mile point decided to throw caution to the wind as they say , quite quickly closing Brian down and made a young Manchester Frontrunner the next target.
As we splashed along the trail for the last time I was singing the 3 Dog Night song, MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME! as I passed the marshal and slipped past my young rival who to his credit responded immediately by repassing me. But he couldn't maintain his charge around the lake as I prevailed, covering the 6th mile in 7.09 for a final time on my watch of 47.59. At least I'd done one mile near to race pace.
So to conclude on the plus side, a good solid effort , a point gained towards my Grand Prix total and still a chance of completing all 5 races.
On the negative side..............tell you after tomorrow's test jog!