It only seems like last night, but it's a whole three days since the Clive Cookson 10k. Maybe it's because I've blocked last night's track session out of my mind...another of Coach Jim's evil torture sessions, but more of that in a bit.
First to the race.
I doubt I'd had enough time to recover from the Pier to Pier to have really had a good bash at this one, but it's one of my favourite races, and a bloody quick course to boot, so I thought I'd give it a go.
Craig had asked for a lift, so i picked him up, whizzed through the tunnel, avoiding all the traffic in the van lane...white van woman and all that ;) and arrived in time for him to take part in the 5k race. While he hurtled round the course at a breakneck speed, I wen't for my warm up, had a chat to the girls, and to some of the folks from Low Fell, and a couple of other clubs.
Craig managed a super time, 15 seconds off his pb and a really quick time of 17:36....not even if I had a bike I reckon :S
It was only another 10 mins to the start of the 10k, so we took a wander over to the start, had a bit more of a natter with the Jarrow & Hebburn girls, then decided on some kind of race plan. Given that my legs felt like they'd been beaten with bamboo sticks, I opted for the "just get round in whatever time I could muster" plan. The horn was blown and we all set off, I wasn't up near the front so I had a bit of weaving past folks to do, but once we'd made it through the estate I settled into a comfortable pace.
The route takes you through a housing estate, into farmers fields (staying on trails) then up a winding country lane, then back out onto Rake Lane which is a good 2k long stretch back round to the start again. I found the trail through the fields a little hard going, as my legs were still sore, but I got a few shouts of encouragement from the marshals (thanks Andrew!), which really lifted me up. I started to target people to pass going along the lane and tried to pick up as much speed as possible on the long down hill stretch of Rake lane.
On the first lap I must have clawed back around ten places, then passed through the 5k mark in 23:21 - was very happy with that to be honest, it was a lot quicker that I'd expected. Even though I'd done a mile warm up before the race my legs only seemed to really get going on the second lap which seemed to be a lot easier than the first. Again I got a load of support from the marshals and the lads from Low Fell (cheers guys!).
I managed to catch and pass a lady from Claremont who'd been infront of me for ages, then pass a fair few others in the last 2k again. I caught a girl from Gateshead, but she responded well and we had a little cat & mouse before I told her to push on and try to catch the next three folks infront of us. I settled in to try and maintain my position now, but got caught by two guys in the last 200m, coming in in a time of 46:41.
I'm actually really pleased with my pace on this one - looks like I maintained a good even pace throughout (or I managed to speed up on exactly the same bits of each lap). The Jarrow & Hebburn ladies all did very well with a sprinkling of pb's and third place for our team (out of three mind you, but you've gotta be in it to win it ;)).
Results from the race are available on the NSP site: here
Many grats to Craig who managed to come second in the 5k (17:34) before going on to do a sub 40 in the 10k...oh to be 21 again :P
I was going to take it easy on the track after racing Sunday & Wednesday, but Coach Jim had us doing 200's in a relay. We were in teams of three, doing 10k in total. I wasn't the fastest there by any means, and the other team beat ours, but I gave it my best shot. My legs felt like jelly after 17 reps, and my 1200m warm down took forever. I woke up on Friday hardly able to move :S
I took the day off on Friday, before deciding that I'd go diving today (Sunday), which meant I had to somehow fit a 2 hour run into my weekend. I was going to do it on Saturday, but by the time I'd finished up with stuff I needed to do it was too hot. I did a neat little 6 miler and opted for Monday early am for the 2 hour run. Will keep you folks posted!
Happy running :D