Week 19 – County 5000s

Day 127 – Sunday 7 May

10.4 miles – 7:39 – 136bm

I may as well copy and paste last week’s write up. Another pretty terrible Sunday run.

The only consolation is that even when my body is tired and tight and I am driving my body forward with will power and not physical power my pace is still comfortably under 8min miling which is always my benchmark pace for easy running.

Day 128 – Monday 8 May

3.1 miles – 8:15 – 130bpm

Slow run and stretches in Bushy Park. Where is the sun?

Day 129 – Tuesday 9 May

10.6 miles – 7:30 – 147bpm

My first session with Ranelagh where I joined in with the group since February because the 3×7.5 minutes tempo fitted in perfectly with my current phase of training.

I average exactly 6 min miles and kept my heart rate consistently just at the maximum of the threshold zone. I felt comfortable and strong but my calves felt sore despite sticking exclusively to the grass.

When running to a heart rate zone, I find it is so much easier to run on my own and not be distracted by the pace of those running near me. I am constantly obsessed by who is in front of me, how far ahead are they, could I beat them in a race, who is just behind me, what effort are other people running instead of focusing on myself. I become too focused on measuring my performance against my team mates and not my own fitness.

But it doesn’t matter how fast other people are running. All that matters is that I stick to the heart rate zone and whatever pace I run at is a true reflection of my form on that day and at that time.

However, in a balls out speed session, I need people around me to work together, share the pace and help each other push our bodies beyond their comfort levels.

Day 130 – Wednesday 10 May

2.6 miles – 7:55

First day of three back to back short runs this week. By Friday, I should feel amazing and ready for my race.

Day 131 – Thursday 11 May

3.1 miles – 7:57

Easy run back from Kingston Station following a day working near Kings Cross. Unfortunately, Kingston Station has inadequate provisions for the commuter runner and having failed to locate the men’s changing room and showering facilities, I decided against changing in the loo to avoid both the stale aroma of piss and the dampness of the floor. So I changed into my running gear on the platform in a semi-hidden area of the station that faces the shops and not the unsuspecting commuters.

Fortunately for the commuters, for my criminal record and my chances of spending the night at home and not in a cell, I had planned in advance and was already wearing my running kit underneath my work clothes.

I always feel very self-conscious whenever I take my trousers off in public and reveal running shorts – and not even my short shorts – to the concerned eyes of my fellow commuters. I have no issues walking around the station in my running kit, it is just the act of removing my trousers. I can imagine the hidden concern as people wonder what I am doing and if they need to avert their eyes to avoid getting an unwanted afternoon surprise.

Day 132- Friday 12 May

4 miles – 7:51

One day before my first race of the spring and my legs should feel fresh, yet they don’t. They feel tired and heavy. I’m not actually looking forward to tomorrow. I have no idea how my body will react to either the pace I intend to run (3.28 per km) or the seemingly endless pounding of the track. The track has recently been relayed and I hope it is softer than the old track which was quite firm and more suitable for sprinters.

Day 133 – Saturday 13 May

9.5 miles

Race day! 5000m at the Surrey County Championships and I could tell from the start list that it was going to be a lonely run for me and my main aim was to avoid being lapped, twice!

The race programme was running 30 minutes late which is a disaster for trying to warm up, keep warm and stay focussed for the race. By the time it started, I was feeling lethargic and in no state of mind to hurt myself. When the race started, I immediately sat at the back of pack and after a couple of laps I was already 10m behind the second from last runner. This was going to be the long, lonely race I anticipated.

I tried to keep a consistent pace, aiming for 84s laps but struggled to maintain this pace after the first few laps. By the final lap, I had nothing left in my legs and barely broke 80s on the final lap which is disappointing as I can usual finish with a sub 70s lap. Which may not sound very fast, but if you are averaging 84s per lap, a 70s lap turns a 17:30 time into 17:16!

Whilst I was disappointed with the time, 17:32, I couldn’t have run any faster and it a fair reflection of my current form. I am happy that once I add speedwork to my training programme, I will be back in sub-17 shape in 5-6 weeks and then pb shape in another month! I cannot wait!!!!

Weekly totals

  • 7 runs
  • 43.3 miles
  • 8 – leg freshness score

Yearly total

  • 160 runs
  • 133 days
  • 928 miles
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