Week 34 – The big finale

Day 232 – Sunday 20 August

5 miles – 8:41 – 121bpm

Slow and achy, slow and achy, slow and achy. Repeat for 5 miles.

Day 233 – Monday 21 August

4.2 miles – 8:14

My left achilles is very sore and I have only raced a few times. I’m have no idea how I could have coped with a full track season.

Day 234 – Tuesday 22 August

4 miles – 7:53

I felt better this morning and cannot stop thinking about tomorrow’s race. Saturday’s 1500m has given me a huge amount of confidence. Age grading calculators suggest 17:03 which is quite frankly ridiculous – or is it?

Day 235 – Wednesday 23 August

5.6 miles

The Hercules Wimbledon 5k Festival and the culmination of my short and rather poor track season. I cannot wait for tonight. Not just because I am looking forward to racing with 20 other runners my pace but I just want to put the summer behind me and started preparing for cross country.

I didn’t feel great during the warm up, my legs felt tired and my warm up was very slow.

I was in the second race which was paced at 17:20 and I thought I had a good chance of placing highly.

I started towards the back of the pack as we passed through the first few laps just inside 17:30 pace which was disappointing because I was hoping it would be slightly quicker.

The pace finally picked up and I started to move through the field as the runners ahead of started to fall of the pace of the leading runners. With a mile to go I had worked myself up to second place. Not by running any quicker, just moving ahead of runners as I sensed the gaps opening in the pack. But I was now starting to struggle.

With a km remaining I could no longer hold on to the leading runners who eventually beat me by 15s and left and a couple of other runners to battle it out for the minor places. I fell behind second by a couple of metres at the bell but managed to sprint enough to just pip her to the line. I would have liked to have run the final lap faster but I was concerned about damaging my achilles. I was very pleased with my time, 17:15, my fastest of the year and off what feels like very little training.

This was one of the most enjoyable racing experiences I’ve had. It is not often I get to race against so many people of my pace and to be part of a pack felt much easier and I cruise through the first few kms without feeling like I was putting in any effort.

And the bonus was to receive a print out of my lap splits! Although they added up to 17:10 it was still pleasing to get a rough idea of each lap. Mostly 82/83 with a few 84/85 towards the end and a closing 77 which, quite frankly, is poor as I usually close in 70s.

Day 236 – Thursday 24 August

3.5 miles – 8:40

I’ve felt worse the morning after a track race but apart from the expected pains in my glutes, hamstrings, calves and achilles, I also experience a strange pain in the big toe of my left foot. Another one to add to my list. It disappeared by the time I reached work so can’t have been too serious.

Day 237 – Friday 25 August

6.1 miles – 8:01 – 138bpm

Now I have my heart rate monitor back, I ran my benchmark 6 miler along the thames towpath towards Hampton Court Palace. Pre-injury/illness, I was completing this route at 75% heart rate and 7:15-7:20 mins per mile. Five weeks ago I completed it at 8:20 per mile pace.

Today’s effort was 8:01 pace. A significant improvement upon five weeks ago but still a long way behind where my fitness level of 10 weeks ago. Yet I am in very similar 5k shape! This has no explanation!

Day 238 – Saturday 26 August

6.1 miles – 7:58 – 132bpm

A similar distance to yesterday and pace was only a fraction faster but my heart rate was 6bpm slower so perhaps I am in better aerobic shape than I thought.

Track season has now officially ended for me and I am having a couple of easier weeks before building into the cross country season.

Weekly totals

  • 7 runs
  • 34.4 miles
  • 6 leg freshness score

Yearly total

  • 280 runs
  • 238 days
  • 1546 miles

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