Will I ever learn?
Once again I booked two races in a single weekend, the opener of our cross country season on Saturday and the Manchester half marathon on Sunday! I really do need filofax!
After what seems like forever my legs are starting to feel strong again, I’ve had a persistent niggle in my left calf all summer which turns out to be caused by my glutes not firing correctly. After a few sessions with my sports therapist to get everything stretched and massaged I’ve been supplementing my running with two gym sessions a week and touch wood it seems to be helping things along nicely!
If you have read my other posts or know me personally you will know that I love XC, I think it is running in its absolute purest form. Mud, sweat, cold and mud!
Last year I won my clubs XC trophy and I fully intend to defend my title as best as I can this season!
Our first fixture is a very flat and fast course with no real mud or hills and last year I absolutely detonated with my first mile being 5.40 and my last 7.40 as you can imagine it wasn’t a pleasant 10k! This year however I decided to start further back and run completely to feel.
The first 5k ticked by fairly steady and apart from the unexpected Oct sunshine I felt good so pushed the final 5k a little more, overtaking several runners (maybe they had tried my pace management from last year!). I finished feeling like I had plenty left in the tank and most importantly I didn’t have any calf pain at all!
The alarm buzzed at 5am I jumped out of bed quickly before my I woke my wife, slumped down the stairs and shoved the coffee machine on.
I met my clubmates at 7am to travel up to Manchester together, as each stopped arrived more and more sleepy looking runners boarded the metrolink all with the same nervous expression we all have on race day morning!
After much faffing and a couple of toilet stops we got underway. The course at the greater Manchester half is not the most picturesque but it is flat and fast and has plenty of pb potential.
My goal of the race was to see where I fitness wise so I decided to go with the 90 minutes pacer from the off and see how it felt, I have been lacking long runs recently and as such I knew my endurance would of suffered.
The miles began to tick off quicker than expected and pretty soon I had left the pacer behind, I thought as long as it continued I would push slightly from mile ten.
Mile ten arrived and bar a blister forming on my toe I felt strong and began overtaking runners more and more (60 according to the race splits). The finish at the half is exactly the same as the full marathon and you can see it looming in the distance for about half a mile (although it’s feels like 5!).
I crossed the line in 1.27.32 only 18 seconds slower than last year so maybe I haven’t lost as much endurance as first thought! Onwards and upwards!