If you’ve followed my latest YouTube Series you would have gathered by now that the past few months training has been focused around speed work.
In April, I conquered the London Marathon for a second time, and made it through the whole process injury free – hurrah!
After a huge set back in 2015 I was determined to come back with a vengeance this year, with the main focus to enjoy the training process and ensure I had a good race.
I surpassed this expectation and secured myself a Good For Age spot by finishing in 3 hours 44 and 31 seconds. If anyone knows me well, I like to turn up just on time for things, never too early or late. So, coming 29 seconds under the GFA time, I passed the line perfectly 😉
Anyway… back to the ‘Speed Series’ as I’ve dubbed it.
Since the Marathon (and not being too big-headed) I’ve gone from strength to strength achieving PB’s left, right and centre. My times aren’t by any standards elite, but to see such improvements in my running recently has spurred me on to continue to only get better. I’ve even started getting my head around potentially doing Cross Country in the Winter Season, something I would have never entertained previously.
My recent video talks through how I feel I’ve been able to get that much faster:
Tuesday 27th June 2017
The Milton Keynes 10K, the last race of the East Midlands Grand Prix Series. Due to many of these races taking part during the week, I have been unable to make most of these as I am usually with Personal Training clients.
However, I had this date in my diary well in advance and made sure I was available for this race.
After achieving a recent 10K PB at the Bedford race on Fathers Day, I was a little apprehensive about what I could achieve on Tuesday night.
I had a few people questioning me beforehand if I was attempting for a PB and the doubts began to creep in. The pressure of doing so well at the moment put fear in my head!
Also, a few weeks ago at the Marston 5K where I got my most recent PB, I didn’t feel too great after the race. I blamed it being an evening run, heavy legs and having to fuel throughout the day was difficult.
The day prior I had worked my longest day and with minimal sleep due to a midnight airport run I had every excuse possible going if I had a bad race.
I tried to strategise a bit better this time and having the day off helped with this. Due to going to bed in the early hours of the morning, I gave myself (what I call) a lay in and took a slow start to the morning.
Breakfast was a bowl of porridge at around 10:30 before I headed out the door to run a few errands. I had a slice of toast and some nuts around 1ish before heading out for a late lunch around 3pm, where I had a salad filled with quinoa and salmon. A quick banana at 6.30, just over an hour before the race left me feeling adequately fuelled but not too heavy. The 2 mile shake out and yoga session the day before left my legs feeling quite fresh the too.
The lack of sleep was now pushed way back in my head.
I completed a 2 mile warm up with James and the guys before heading to the start line.
As we congregated at the start, the sound of a horn at 19:43 started the race. This startled a few people as the race had begun 2 minutes early and everyone furiously hit their Garmin’s to get underway.
The first section was over grass and due to the rain was a little slippery. I tried not to start too fast as I often do at the beginning of a race, and tried to settle into a comfortable stride.
Mile 1 passed and I clocked through at 7:01.
At Bedford I was aiming for 7:20 per mile and ended up averaging at 7:09, so my thought process from here was to try and hold as close to the 7 minute marker for as long as possible. The week before I had run a speed session of 4 miles at 7 minute mile pace, so knew I could get to around 6.5km and then ease off if I needed to.
Every mile I clocked my watch and surprisingly was SO consistent. I felt really good up to 5km and then the mental battles began. I had completely forgotten by this point about the rain that had joined us for the evening too and pushed on. At least it was a huge contrast to the blistering heat we’d had recently!
There were a few people around me who were pacing around the same so I tried to keep around a similar distance from them for as long as I could. I wasn’t aiming to race them, but having a person to focus on takes your thoughts off of the effort being exerted! Well it was working for me anyway…
Mile 5 passed and I managed a 6:55 mile, WHAT WAS GOING ON?
Me at around 8.5km (obviously I smiled just for the camera!!)
I furiously tried to work out what time I would finish if I carried on at this pace or how much time I had to play with if I needed to take my foot off the gas.
A few friendly faces supporting and marshals on the last part of the course really helped. I felt like I began to lose pace but tried to push on knowing it wasn’t too much further to go.
Mile 6 hit, another 7 minute mile and only 0.2 left.
Sprint finish, let’s be having you!
I ended up finishing with a time of 43:48, SUB 44!!!!!!!
Wow… utter shock. This was a target James and I had set myself post marathon and one I didn’t think would be achievable for a while.
13th lady overall and a huge smile on my face for a few days after. A pretty good race all round…
I wonder if I had finished in 45 minutes or so, would I have used the lack of sleep, long day prior and the fact it was an evening race as an excuse? Goes to show that there are no excuses! You put in what you get out 🙂
Unbelievably ecstatic with the progress I’ve made over the last few months and over the moon that I’ve been able to PB at every distance so far this year. All thanks to this one above – thanks JD 😉
My current PB’s stand at:
1 mile – 6:23
5K – 21:19
10K – 43:38
½ Marathon – 1:43:02
Marathon – 03:44:29
As I said before I’m not an athlete of any kind, but just a girl who is really enjoying their training at the moment!
Here’s to enjoying more running and hoping to continually improve.