Tonight was the return of the club 5k time trial. After my previous stunning performance (read that I managed to be slightly less slow than the last time) I thought I might improve my chances of a decent outing by a trip to my favourite store, and the only reason I go into Newcastle, Start Fitness.
It was in that hallowed place that I saw the mighty orange Saucony racers and didst purchase them. And they were bloody light. Actually both shoes weigh less than one of my new Asics Nimbus 12s
This didn't however help me in any way, as they have daft sparkly slippy laces and the sodding things came undone as I left the car park at the start. So I'm blaming the laces (even though they were double knotted) for my time. However, I did get round in 22:38, so at least I was exactly the same as last time, and therefore quicker ...had I not had to stop blah..blah..blah.
There was also the matter of the 20 miler I dragged myself round on Saturday. I had some kind of tummy bug at the end of the week, so I wasn't really sure if I was going to manage it at all, and after some pretty poor times on the track I thought I may have to knock it down to 10 miles or so. But I was fine after work on Saturday afternoon, and stepped out in the new Nimbus 12s - see above right.
I have to say they are aptly named, and I did feel a bit Harry Potter-ish as if I was floating along for the first of the four 5 mile laps. I'd chosen the Hebburn-Jarrow-Hebburn route again, as it's easy on the legs and there aren't too many hills. but boy is that wind savage on Leam lane as you run up by Felgate. Each lap seemed to get windier too, but at least it was at my back on the trip down Victoria Road each time.
It was a pleasure to see some folks I know on the way round - Brian on laps 2 & 3, and Alan on laps 1 & 4, and the back of my parents car on one of the laps - I didn't see them pass as I was engrossed in Mambo no. 5 which is at my perfect running pace. Talking of the music I'd downloaded some just for the run, so it was nice to have something a bit different on the phone to listen to including Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Shakira, Katy Perry etc. I know I'll have the atmosphere at London to get me round though.
By lap 4 I was really starting to feel the burn, I had a gel at 2:15, and I think I prolly could have taken it earlier - will have to look at my fueling strategy. As I came round to Leam Lane again the wind seemed to pick up again, and I was trying to just battle my way through to the turn on to Mill Lane again. As I rounded the corner I saw a figure at the top of the hill heading my way - Helen!! After 18 miles of slogging it round the town, it was like the sun coming up! I could have hugged her but I didn't have the energy - just one more hill, then the run back down to the lights at Station road.
It was excellent having that bit of company for the last 2 miles - I really appreciated it, we kept up the pace, and ran through to the finish.
decent consistent speed throughout - though I did get a little quicker according to the garmin, it definitely didn't feel like it, and in fact I felt like someone had stolen my legs and given me a duff pair as I walked back down to my car. I hope I can manage to keep the same consistent pace on the big day, there isn't any reason why not. I will not take off like a whippet at the start - that's a promise.
Looking at that course profile it looks a bit uppy-downy, but it's really not that bad - more like gradual inclines. Unlike my golf course - now that's hilly as hell, and the perfect way to do a recovery the day after a race pace 20 miles - talk about knackered, I was worn out, and ready for Andy to give me a piggy back by the time we got to the 15th. Bless him he was as tired as I was, what a pair of crocks we are!
Still...training is all in the bag now - just got to get through Hartlepool 5m, and Blyth 10k then I'm on the home straight - London here we come!
Happy running folks :D