|Runner 467 was certainly surprised|
A loooooonnnnnnngggggg way down the track - that's where.
(I'm not counting those daft hill reps I did twice with Border Harriers in December so) tonight was my first proper session of reps in many many months. 3 times one mile.
To warm up I ran the mile circuit at a slightly elevated pace to the pace I had ran there from home. This took me 6:20 and felt pretty easy. Based on my experience of many years I then shed a layer or two and a hat in preparation for some hard work.
Mile one - 5:56 - no huge effort involved. Relieved to see it was under 6
Mile two - 5:50 - put a real effort in for the final one third of a mile straight headwind finish
Mile three - 5:45 - Concentrated on putting in a continuous hard effort all the way round including the tricky downhill twisty bit
So, even if I counted the soft mile warm up I ran under 6 pace for 4 miles (and 5:51 for the 3 real reps).
Whilst this seems a gulf from the 5:30 average I was verging on last summer, it's probably quite acceptable for my first time. And in the crappy winter weather cold and dark, and on a (ok not very hilly but certainly not as flat as a track circuit), and on my own (training companions ALWAYS eek out more speed)
Next time I will run four times a mile and I see no reason at all that I will not average inside 5:50. Based on 10 years experience I reckon whatever pace I can run 5 by one mile at, I can run a 10K race at the same pace. And based on that I reckon I could run a 35 minute 10k right now. (it's easy to make bold claims when there are no races ahead to fail in)
There is a race looming large - the Four Villages Half Marathon. It is under two weeks away and I have been wondering what time I might realistically run. Now then, based on Martin Andrew (former teammate in another life) running 6:05 pace for a flat half marathon in early January, I reckon I can do the same in the more hilly event I have entered. This supposition is based on the fact that after initially pulling away from me in last weekends 8k cross country event - I then reeled him in as he struggled from lack of long training runs.
Before we get to that race though we need to go back just one day to Wednesday evening. Very little to report really - 5 miles steady effort. 32:27
Before that was a day off due to being a bit worried about my dodgy left leg. It had ached a bit after Mondays run (5 miles in 32:30)
Before that was a ridiculously easy half hour jog with Scamp on Sunday, and before that was the Cross Country race. I went through nice and early so I could take photos of the first three races. This went very well with good sales considering how few runners there were. I had put myself in for the last group. The supposed greyhounds. I didnt feel very greyhound-like as I started plum last of about 15 seniors. Within a couple of hundred metres I was into my stride mid pack and trying to get people to chat. Within 400 metres we went up the first small hill and my CV system was experiencing long forgotten depths and my legs were hurting very much please thankyou.
This moment of struggle allowed a couple of lads I was hoping to beat to pull away from me a little. The leaders were already forging a big gap to us 'midpackers' but I knew they were irrelevant to me at this stage of my comeback (and probably will remain irrelevant forever if I am honest).
As we passed the start/finish area for the first time I realised I didnt have a clue how far the race was. We had done about a lap and a half when I asked a lad just ahead of me how many laps the race was. I was hoping he'd say two and a bit. He said 'four' and I had a mild panic. Could I press on this hard for four laps?
Ahead was Penrith Stu and my old mucker Martin A. But they weren't far ahead and weren't really pulling away any more. I caught Penrith Stu with about half a lap to go.
Run hard along the flat then when you get to a hill increase the effort a little to avoid a drop in speed (and maybe pass some people) Presuming a downhill follows then even the best runners will struggle not to take a tiny bit of 'rest' as gravity takes over. Then once flat again you feel able to get back to the original speed due to the wee rest you just had. I can see the reasoning behind running same effort up and down but if the race is less than 10 miles then I say eyeballs out, go for it. Road racing on a bike features such ups and downs in effort. One minute cruising along comfortably in the slipstream of the pack, the next minute your lungs are searing as you more or less sprint to remain within the bunch as it reacts to an attack. Or a climb is encountered and the non-natural climbers have to go to 100% to avoid being dropped.
I caught Martin with a minute left to run and we chatted briefly about how knackered he was and I wasn't. Then he outsprinted me.
Oh I nearly forgot to say who Base Don is. Well, based on my extensive knowledge of organised crime I can reveal that the top boss of a crime ring is known as the Top Don. Some well known examples of Top Dons are Don Quixote, Don Attello and Don Perrignon. The top Dons give out orders (for example to give somebody a horse or part of one for a surprise). The Middle Dons carry out the orders but they don't like to get their hands dirty so they have a group of lads they can call upon to help out with the messy bits. And these lads are known as the Base Dons.
Yes I know it's DoM Perrignon but I couldn't think of any more well known Dons - Oh I just though of one - Don Keykong