Sunday, 13 March 2011

All Aboard the Slow Coach!

Slowcoach, friend of Bill and Ben (The Flowerpot men!)

Trafford 10k is billed as 'fast and flat'; flat it may have been (ish - though there were some very definite climbs in there... okay, so they were over humped back bridges, but that's technically speaking not flat... so a more accurate definition would be flat except for a few humback bridges and a couple of slight inclines... but that's just pendantics.

'Fast', however, was completely inaccurate; to be honest I'm considering placing a complaint as I'm sure it breaches false advertising laws: The Trafford 10k was my SLOOOOOWEST 10k in a VERY long time (I would say ever but in 2004 I ran the Great Manchester Run for the first time, didn't train, almost threw up, nearly died and finished in 1 hour 10 minutes!).

Today, my 10k time was: 57:58.

My fastest 10k time is still Leeds Abbey Dash 2009: 49:49, a time I am so impressed with, I still don't accept that it was me that ran it; the repeat performance in 2010 was a much slower 51:26. By far, my most consistent performance has got to be the Great Manchester Run, which I ran in 50:16 in both 2009 and 2010 - no kidding, precise to the second!

So today is most definitely the slowest of recent times. However, I'm still proud of my performance as I gave it everything I had...I'm just no Duracell Bunny! At the start of the race, I found a very reasonable 8.30 minute mile pace and felt quite good. However, as the race wore on, the same effort was producing less and less; no matter how much I pushed forward, my body seemed to be pushing back. By the end of the race, I had dropped to a 9.22 average pace and my breathing was short and heavy; what was odd was that my legs didn't feel tired, rather than feeling heavy, achey or lead like, as they have in recent days, my legs felt strong unfortunately the rest of my body was nowhere near!

As I said, I feel proud that I ran flat out for the full 6 miles (and even pulled a final sprint off at the end) but I can't help be a little disappointed at how slow I've become. I'm struggling a little to understand why all this training seems to be having the opposite effect on me as it is on everyone else; as the people around me get faster and stronger, I feel more exhausted and heavy but moreover, I am getting slower and slower. And it's not so much that I find this a problem - It's not like I used to be at the front of the pack winning prizes! - It's just the feeling of going backwards does, inevitably, feel a little demotivating at times.

Still, It's important to think positive: Fingers crossed I'll find my ability to run at some kind of speed again once this is all over, and for the time being, the 26.2 goal is edging ever nearer and I'm now starting to feel like I may just be able to complete the distance... even if the man in the 1920's diving suit does overtake me!

On the plus side... I saw Running Legend Sir Ron Hill MBE warming up today and we exchanged a little nod and a smile... he's 71... he beat me! But... don't worry there is a but... he has run every day of his life for about 50 years, he's never given up and neither will I!

Sir Ron Hill... Running Legend and Inspiration

Distance: Race - 6.2 miles. Total - 9 miles
Feeling: SLOW and exhausted
Weather: Just stopped raining, slightly windy, beginning to brighten.


  1. Well done. Great blog.

  2. Just discovered this blog - great one! Good luck on the marathon efforts - I am also training and I would be pleased with a 57 minute 10k...that is my target for the Bupa London! A 49 minute PB is amazing though.

  3. Running every day since 1964 puts Janathon into perspective! It was sweet of you to let him beat you.

  4. OOh you saw the Legend lucky you - apparently he is going to be at Milton Keynes Park run on the 26th March...I'm sure your times will get better...PRB!!!

  5. Well done on giving it everything you had, sounds like a tough one. Wow - reading your post you've had some great PBs! All your hard work will pay off - it has to surely, it may just take some time before you reap the full benefits. You'll be back hitting those PBs again before too long I'm sure. :-)

  6. Its obvious - just only enter 10Ks with the word 'dash' in the title!

  7. ha ha ha... Now that idea I like!!! :-)


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