Considering that last year I was so unfit that I took 64minutes to run Brampton to Carlisle 10miler - I should be pleased that yesterday I was comfortably inside the hour. But I'm far from pleased as I raced terribly.
The course was shortened due to a flooded section of road, and my time of 53 minutes translates to 5:50 pace, or 58:20 for the full ten. I knew Plucky would beat me. Despite there being nothing between us in training, he is still chasing PBs and has an edge that gives him something extra over me on race day. To beat him in a race I think I would need to regain the fitness and speed that would allow me to simply run away from him in training, and that's not something I'm bothered enough to strive for.
In the first few miles I was in a group of about 8 lads running hard, very hard. Too hard according to my pulse of 175+. Sure enough by mile 3, going up a hill, I was dropped as my pulse showed 183 (max pulse is about 185). The remaining miles were covered with an ever dropping heartrate (and ever dropping speed). In the final mile I was so slow that I must have been passed by 6 or 8 runners. When you consider that in training I recently ran an out and back 8 miler at night on the pavements, in 5:56 pace, - runnning 5:50 for a slightly tailwind, overall downhill, 9 mile, important race is really a very poor result.
Anyhow, never mind, its all over for 2009 now. A week off altogether, then an easy week of daily fast 5milers, then NEW YORK, then a short week at work and then Christmas. And of course Christmas sees the beginning of scheduled training for London Marathon 2010.
This year has been a real surprise to me. It was never my intention to reach this fitness/speed on the roads. I expected to mainly run on the fells. I've enjoyed the time I have spent on the fells - Iains BG was a privilege to be a part of, and is up there in the top 10 days of my life. The 50 miler was an eye opener into a different world to the one of six minute miling I know so well. Going up the fells has been a contributing factor to an injury free 12month period. Training with Milly for the first four months of the year gave me a kick start, gave me a reason not to miss training sessions. I was so gutted for him when he couldn't finish London marathon. Now, with such an injury interrupted summer, and my improved fitness, there is a huge gulf between us. I'm not sure how we will manage to train together in the immediate future.
In 2010 I will run two PROPER marathons, London, and either Berlin or Chicago. I will also be on the fells at least once a month from January and helping Stu and others on BGs from May.