Following a steadier training week last I want this week to be bloody rock hard. (that's a technical term oft-used by Bolt, Radcliffe, Naylor et al.)
Nowt is harder than racing so Sunday gone I travelled over to Keswick to compete in the Derwentwater 10. It's a 10mile event circuiting Derwentwater. Sunday was the wettest day I can remember for some time. As I drove to the race I imagined it might be called off. The roads were certainly awash - at ten or more locations around the course we had to run through 6inches (150mm) of water. It was like doing a steeplchase event without the jumps. I had hoped to run this in a little under 59 minutes. It took me 59:57, I wasn't 'on fire', I wasn't pinging, it wasn't the best I have ever raced. but it was a solid performance and was the best I could achieve on the day.
With this latest result I have decided against racing the LancasterHalf Marathon next weekend. I had considered going to Lancaster to attempt to run sub 75mins as that time would qualify me for a AAA championship number in the 2010 London Marathon. It's equal to 5:43 per mile and I think that may just be beyond me at present. Plucky IS going to do Lancaster Half, and is also hoping to run under 75mins. I await his result with interest.
Tonight (Tues) I ran on the track again. Milly and Plucky joined me for 5x 1mile (4 laps actually so 9metres short). With an intention to run 5:40 for rep one I allowed Plucky to pull away slightly as he was keen to run all 5 in 5mins 30. I ran exactly 5:40. He ran exactly 5:30.
Rep two I said I was happy to run 5:30 as I was now fully warmed up. We ran bang on 5:30 pace for three laps when Plucky forged ahead for some unknown reason and beat me by two seconds.
Rep three was always to be my 'bloody rock hard' rep and I immediately ran away from the others. Five minutes sixteen seconds later I crossed the line for the fourth time and was very happy to have the additional 14 seconds recovery time as Plucky again ran 5:30.
Expecting to feel dreadful on rep 4 I tucked in behind Plucky for two laps. 5:30 pace felt absolutely fine so I front ran for lap 3 then ran 'bloody rock hard' for the final 400 to record 5:25.
I said I didn't intend to do anything silly on rep 5. From the beginning I ran slightly wide, just inside of the lane 2 line. Three laps in, perfectly paced to bring us in at 5:30 I really wanted to test myself again but resisted. As we neared the final bend I sensed Plucky was trying to get past me. I moved out to lane 2 and marginally increased my effort. I moved out to lane three and again increased the effort. As we reached the final 100m straight - both level - it turned to an all out sprint for the line. We both ran 5:26 and those 4 seconds were all made up in the last 300 metres.
Obviously a hard week needs easy days within it so tomorrow will be the normal Wednesday 7 to 8 miler at 7-7:20 pace.