Well I’ve been away for some time but the timing couldn’t be better to explain why …….
In my last few blogs I was covering of trying to get back into running from a string of injuries and indeed that’s exactly what’s been preoccupying much of my time. A full on schedule of trying to military precision in training, sessions, recovery, physio and well everything else you try to do and manage to get yourself back to fitness without doing yourself another injury!
One of the other things I’ve alluded to in previous blogs is that basically I had no idea how fit I was while I was injured/ coming back/ having a slight lean towards more x-training as opposed to 80 mile weeks. There’s only one way to find out though really and we all know it, so time to hit the track and see what my legs had in them …
That was a Friday night a few weeks back and it was quickly evident 2 reps into a fairly standard 3 x 1mi that my pace was back – how long I could hold it for was another question, but at least my legs had remembered how to turn over. I don’t know how or why but do suspect that trying to replicate ‘track sessions’ in the pool had a lot to do with it – you might not have the forces of the ground or the impact to contend with but you can narf not get your legs flying round and genuinely push your joints (and stride) to its absolute limit under that water and usually have to, to get anywhere fast.
Between me and my coach we decided to cut our loses while we were substantially ahead and see how I could fair at a race – as it happens the Terry O’Gara 5k was on the following Sunday (the day I was supposed to be running the London Marathon) so without completing the full session, though it was a risk, I should be able to cope with the race. I’ve got to be honest I’m not the best of racers – my nervousness is typically beyond comprehension, we all want to reap the benefits of training and not let all that effort go to waste after all but I do wish it didn’t have to be like that. This time round was an entirely different story however as it wasn’t about reaping the rewards, more about fear of the unknown having not put my racing shoes on since a previous disaster of a run (Brass Monkey half) and the time before that was the North Easterns where Id managed to come a cropper and tear lord only knows what now in my foot in the process. So this was real genuine reasons to be nervous.
Somewhere in amongst all this I was asked if Id like to run the BUPA Great Manchester 10k in the Elite field and having lost the chance to run North Tyneside and Blyth due to injury I’d looked at it as a potential comeback opportunity and after the run at Terry’s race that was now definitely a realistic target.
So how do you prepare for a 10k in 4 week’s time then? Well with the race season in full swing I’ve effectively trained for Sunday by racing for sessions and trying to squeeze recovery in around them, get as much out of my sessions as possible when I could do them and then getting onto the next race …
Terry’s race Sunday, Club Grand Prix Tuesday, first full track session back Friday, Gordon Smiths following Weds (2nd on night! PB again Get in!!) , no track session Friday, so Sunderland 10k Sunday (OMG – no idea what would happen – just ran and hoped my legs wouldn’t fall off – 2nd again, long and hilly, legs didn’t fall off – whoop!!) , track session Friday (3 PBs), physio advised could do without a lot of time on feet so Middlesbrough 5k Sunday – winner! Massive PB and windy – very, very pleased) … 1 week to go … last session ahead of race PB again …
Tomorrow then, I’m off to Manchester and it’s a very, very odd feeling as I’m basically prepared to come quite conceivably last but I don’t really care at all as Ive got a real opportunity to go after another PB. It’s a great course, with a big race atmosphere and a bit of pressure of National TV will no doubt add a bit into the mix.
Winning isn’t everything – it’s great when you do as you get a different sense of satisfaction at the end of a race, especially if it was a ‘race’ with all the drama of overtaking and sprint finishes which Middlesbrough was, but if you know you’ve actually gone out there and performed better than you ever have before, then Im not sure it matters whether it was gold, silver, bronze or 9,967th place – control the controlables and all, of which ‘who turns up on the day’ most certainly isn’t one!
So that’s a short but hopefully insightful bit blog – look out for me on telly on Sunday – it’s on BBC and starts at 10:10am, I’ll be the one on the back row looking extremely nervous (who then proceeds to go off like a rocket – its just nervous energy I can’t help it!).
I’ll be back to let you know how it went ……….