Let’s just forget about last week, shall we?
Eugh. Motivation was at a real low point this particular week.
A change of focus
After the disappointment at Silverstone, my mind was made up for me regarding what to concentrate on for the remainder of the spring and into the summer. The original intention was to race a half marathon sometime in May, but I’ve now decided to shift my focus over to 10k and 5k. Sure, I might look like I’m throwing the baby out with the bath water after one less than expected race, but I need a change of training stimulus. That sub-39 10k isn’t going to come easily!
For the immediate future, this is what the race calendar will look like:
- Ronnie Bowker 10k – Sunday 12th of April
- DK 10k Wednesday – Wednesday 6th of May
- Gwent Race for Wildlife 10k – Sunday 17th of May
- 2 Castles 10k – Sunday 14th of June
- Caerphilly 10k – Sunday 21st of June
The first few races will be a real shock to my system, I’m sure; the last time I raced a 10k was back in September 2014! I remember feeling burnt out by the end of June/early July last year, so I’ll have to put some thought into which races I hit hard and which I treat as glorified training runs.
5k from work
Cannon Hill Parkrun
Could things have gotten any worse for me? Of course they could!
It was nice to be back at Cannon Hill after the absence. I wanted to try and get close to 19:20, feeling that was a reasonable enough target to aim for based on recent performances. Whilst I didn’t feel 100% recovered, I figured the light week of running should have freshened me up somewhat.
I went out at just a smidge faster than the 3:50/km plan for the first split and felt fine. There were plenty of runners around me to work with and there really wasn’t any struggle at all.
It all started to go downhill quickly after that point, with all remaining splits slower than 4:00/km, with one clocking in at 4:11! 4:11! I hadn’t run a 5k split that slow in bloody months… That was the section where I found myself running entirely on my own, with humongous gaps ahead and behind me for an incredibly unpleasant few minutes. The only light at the end of the tunnel that kept me going was a sub-20 finish, which I achieved by the skin of my teeth for 19:58.
This was all I needed to convince me the above change in training focus would be the right move to make. Here’s the Garmin data for this run.
2x miles at 10k pace
I really wasn’t in the mood for a long run on Sunday, so I opted to head to Edgbaston Reservoir for a few mile efforts at 10k pace. There was no science behind the decision of what constituted as my 10k pace – it was simply what equated to a sub-40 finish time.
The intention was to cover 4x mile efforts, but I only had the motivation to cover 2x. I probably could have convinced myself to grind out 3x, but decided to call it quits and try again another day.
A real downer this week’s entry is, isn’t it? Here’s the Garmin data for this sesh.
Right. Time for some much needed relief from the dourness, so here’s the usual piece from Mark Remy’s The Runner’s Rule Book:
“Holding it” is always a crap shoot
It’s inevitable: someday, somewhere, you will be racing and feel a rumble in your gut. You will wait for the rumble to go away. It won’t. Instead, it will gradually worsen – well, “gradually” if you’re lucky – into a familiar a familiar, uncomfortable, and very unwelcome pressure deep inside you.
Soon enough, you will spot a porta potty along the course – again, if you’re lucky. And you will face a sudden, stark choice: Do I stop for a few minutes, possibly blowing my race and/or missing a time goal, to take care of this? Or do I press on, and hope for the best?
This is the question only you can answer. Only you will know the severity of the discomfort, the urgency of relieving it, and the importance to you of that particular race.
Personally? I typically err on the side of getting relief while the getting is good. Haven’t regretted it yet. And to be honest neither has anyone around me.