“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”
John Bingham, running speaker and writer
215 days till the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon
0 days since the Dong Great Grimsby 10k
I continued training hard the week following Crich, concentrating on speed over distance. Try and get some leg turnover in. It all began well but Wednesday I failed to fuel enough for a 10mile run including 6miles of 1/4mile speed/ 1/2 mile recovery and had to ditch. I changed tact Thursday so it was the 1st speed sessions in 3 days and I nailed it. Friday was a 3mile treadmill flat out 30s sprint session which again went well. Friday evening at work the throat began to itch. I had the 10mile run from Wednesday planned for Saturday but the morning that was out of the question. Full on man flu
Running on Saturday, Sunday or Monday was not an option. I had zero energy but had was using the hot lemon and honey solution. Tuesday I felt up to a run to clear the mucus off my chest but didn’t manage to get out and even had to leave work 2hr into my shift with swelled sinus’s. Wednesday I did manage 5miles but the pace was slow and heart rate high. This wasn’t the race week lead up I needed. Thursday’s 3mile was better which gave me hope. I planned to run Friday but was too busy and even Saturday I never got out. I should be bouncing at this point but the cough had slightly returned and I was still not energised. I used every sugary energy source and crossed my fingers a good nights sleep would have me waking up fresh and ready to race.
It wasn’t the best nights sleep but enough to still feel hopeful. We made our way from Sheffield to Grimsby, parked up and I did a little warm up. On to the starting pen and I bumped into club mate Shaun Ashmore. He was looking for sub 39min and on hearing I was aiming for 6min dead miles he said he would stay with me. Remember I ran 5:50ave two weeks ago at Doncaster 5k so 6min miles should be a doable thing. 10:04am and we off . Unlike last year I set off sensibly and a 5:52 first mile was a good start. I was conscious my chest was still a little wheezy but I felt…..well not perfect but ok. It was around 1.5miles I started to feel my chest get heavy. Shaun went past and I wondered had I slowed or he gone off too fast? I had slowed and I was coughing a little. 2miles passed with a
6.29. I was struggling and eventually had to stop. I coughed up the biggest green glob of mucus.
Instantly feeling a little better I shot off too regain some time. I went past the first water station unsure whether turning down the water was a good idea or not. I went through the 3rd Mile marker in 6.54 which considering the time I had spent dispelling the green blob from inner hell wasn’t too bad. I could see Shaun quite a bit in front but my pace now was slow, my heart rate was topping out at a full 189bpm. The words of the starting announcer about not racing if feeling unwell and the death of a steel city strider while on a running holiday was going through my mind but still I pushed on but at a strangely pedestrian 6.45 pace. Through 4miles in 6.36 and we were approaching the Engie mad mile at 4.5miles. I slowed to get some breath and energy and then going through the start arch of the mile kicked. I knew I wasn’t going to run a fast 10k but the hell I was going to do my best through this mile. I had passed a runner at the start of the Mike and he caught me has I faulted and went past. I managed to rally again and to his surprise I went past again. I pushed through the finish arch of the mile. I had gone though 5mile in 6.37 with a climb to it. The Engie mile time was 6.35
The problem was now that I was a little spent and even though this part is flat or slightly downhill I was back at maximum heart rate. We were back in Grimsby now and making our way to people’s park. I passed through 6miles with a 6.46. Into the park and I kicked for the last 400m but I was done. Nothing left. 40.38 Chip time. I knew I hadn’t even gone sub 40 which normally was something I could do with ease. I crossed the line, stopped to kneel, stood up took some steps and had to stop to kneel again. I moved, got my water then my medal and finally my t shirt but I was in a mess. I had nothing in my body. I spotted Emma and Lucas playing on a swingball set and made my way to them. A good afternoon in Cleethorpes after with fish, chips, ice cream and playing on the beach.
Now, I’ve done this race both years it’s been run and both years I’ve walked away with a feeling of not doing what I could be capable of. The race itself is great, flat, potrntially fast and a steal of an entry fee. I will probably enter again next year. Last year was my fault but there was nothing I could do this year. I knew it was a gamble but I don’t regret running it. This leaves me in a quandary. Do I accept my last race in my 30s was not the bang I wanted or do I find a race in the next few days hoping I will be able to recover enough to give it my best? Do I accept it and look forward to my first race as a vet40?
I just dont know.
Anyway Bye For Now
“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. “