I got home Tuesday evening after the session to find a letter from the TIA consultant. In the letter it says that the blood clot in my eye is to be considered as a mini stroke, he also went on to say that I was able to return to running but not maximum effort!
I spent my first week back taking it very easy, testing myself out, when I felt confident I started back with a light session before getting into my bench mark loop. Two good sessions in I decided to go ahead and race Manchester 10k.
How did I feel going into the race? Well, I always aim for a PB run, this will depend on good fitness, good conditions, good competition and a good course, Manchester ticks all these boxes. It’s a fast course and the best runners in the country always turn up for it as well as a good few world class runners. However my preparations haven’t been great, I’ve missed almost four weeks of training, but my bench mark PB show’s that I haven’t lost too much form, but 10k is a lot further and testing than 3.6 mile.
My PB for 10k is 32.13, but I’m always aiming for a sub 32 min race. Sessions I’ve done suggest I can do it, but I feel that I’ve set myself a target that is just out of reach, it’s dangling there like the carrot in front of the Donkey (me), but I always go for it. Having a target like that, means that I nearly always fail in my goal, but setting my goal so high means that I never settle and sit on my laurels. If I ever do run my sub 32 I’ll be over the moon at achieving the almost impossible.
Rosie was taking part in the Elite ladies race, she was running for the North of England. Her race was the first of the day and we were running a little late so we dashed through the streets of Manchester looking for the Radisson hotel for the Elite registration.
We found the hotel and Rosie met her team Manager and I picked up my elite pass. While in the Hotel I spotted Haille Gebrselassie and Jessica Eniss, I suddenly became Iain Twaddle the running Geek and went over to speak to them both, I don’t normally do this sort of thing, but although I’ve seen Haille a few times at races I’ve never spoken to him, but I thought I might never get the chance again, so I went over, asked for a photo and had a few words. After speaking to Haille I went over to Jessica and had a photo with her too, we also had a little chat and I wished her good luck for the Olympics. These two are fantastic ambassadors for the sport, they are the world’s best at their chosen events but they are also approachable and have time for their fans, that’s why the public have taken to them so much.
I really enjoy going to these bigger events around the country as it gives me the opportunity to catch up with my friends who are scattered around the country. The local lads there were Ian Hudspith, Peter Newton, Nick Swinburn and Michael Dawson, we all had a catch up, I saw my old training partner Matt Gunby. Also there was Paul Freary and Steve Milward, these two have been class runners, I met them through work and we still keep in touch and watch out for each other in race results.
The race got underway, it’s a fast start and you have to try your best to hold back, having said that I went through the 1st k in 3.01! I backed off a little and went through 3k in 9.17 (3000m pb on track is 9.10). My legs started to feel heavy, I went through 5k in 15.55, perfect pace for my sub 32min, but by now my legs were shot and I knew I couldn’t keep this pace going.
My lack of training was starting to kick in. As I suspected I had enough background fitness to run a good 5k but 10k was going to be painful.
By the time I got to 9k I was treading water, I looked at my watch, I needed to run under 3.18 to break 33 minutes. You might not believe it but 2 or 3 seconds makes a huge difference. I knew I wasn’t running great but if I didn’t break 33 I’d be upset, so I dug deep and went for it. I crossed the line in 32.58!
Like I mentioned earlier, I won’t ever really be happy unless I break 32minutes and I was a long way off that mark today, I couldn’t even see Michael Dawson in the last couple of Kilometers and he didn’t break 32 minutes, so how am I ever going to make up that time?
I’ve been blaming the course, the weather or lonely races for not getting my target time, however I couldn’t use those as excuses today. After a bit of time to think about it and being realistic I guess running 32.59 off next to no training in four weeks and recovering from the Blood clot in my eye I can’t really complain.
I hope people reading this understand, that when I write in my blog and talk about my target times aims and disappointment in running 33minutes I don’t think any slower times are any less of an achievement. My feelings are that everyone has their own full potential, I’m trying to reach mine, which is no more of an achievement than someone else breaking 45 minutes for the 1st time. Likewise I hope the better runners out there don’t think that I’m thinking that I’m a great runner by running as close to 32 as I can. I’m hard on myself and fully respect all athletes.