I decided against doing the Wilmslow 10k and focused on nailing the training. The past six weeks have gone well, only catching a bit of a cold that had no lasting effect, so I was optimistic of getting in a decent run at the Ribble Valley 10k on the 27th December. I’ve been putting in some good sessions, especially the Tuesday evening ones where I’ve been battling it out against Tim Raynes and Jack Hindle; Joe Monk also joined us over the Christmas period. The group has gone from strength to strength, with Tim, Joe and Jack knocking off pb’s in every race and it’s also responsible for my recent upturn in form. I suppose my only concern was whether I’d be a bit race rusty going into this one. It was terrible weather on Boxing Day with gale force winds and if things didn’t improve, I was thinking a sub 31 might be beyond me. Luckily it died down on the day of the race and it was certainly pb conditions.
We were off at 10am and I got a good start among the leading pack; I was feeling far better than I did at Cheshire 10k last month. 3km was reached in 9:04 and I was just at the back of the leading group. The race really started to take shape after 4km, when a group of four runners forged ahead including eventual winner, Mark Scott (winning time a rapid 29:33!). I was able to stick in with the chasing pack which whittled down to myself, Russ Best, Doug Roberts, Scott Stirling and Rob Samuel. We reached 7km in around 21:20 and by then I could see that Scott had broke away from Chris Farrell, Richard Allen and Peter Huck, but it was unlikely that they’d drop far enough back for us to catch. In the last kilometre the battle for 5th place was down to myself, Best and Roberts; Best managed to clinch it whilst I was just about able to hold off Roberts on the final sprint to the line. I was very happy with my time of 30:18, which incidentally was the exact time I ran to gain 2nd place ten years ago, so I’ve managed a decent level of consistency if nothing else! It has given me the belief, despite approaching 35, that I can put up my best performances going into my twentieth year of running.
Results can be found here.
So that brought an end to my 2016 of running, which certainly had a mixture of ups and downs; I covered 3,623 miles from 388 outings and will certainly be looking at getting back over 4,000 next year. Overall it was far from a vintage year, but in the last few months I have managed to get back to my best level of running in about three years and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into 2017. I got in plenty of racing and here’s some of the key ones:
Three of the best:
Chester Marathon: A turning point in my running this year, a tough battle that I managed to win with a decent time.
Ribble Valley 10k: It’s been a very long time since I’ve ran a decent 10k and I’m hoping this is a springboard for greater things in 2017.
Darwen Half Marathon: I never thought this race would get brought back and it was an honour to win in my home town.
Three of the worst:
Freckleton Half Marathon: The winning streak was bound to end someday, but to lose with such an awful performance was depressing.
Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon: A race I’ve consistently performed well in, that was until this year!
Bath Half Marathon: Not an awful time, but well down on what I expected.
I got in some solid training in December, which I’ve included below for those that may be curious…
Sunday 4th – 11:30am: 10.5 miles in 68:55.
Monday 5th – 11:30am: 4 miles in 21:09. 6pm: 8.5 miles in 62 mins.
Tuesday 6th – 8am: 4 miles in 23:48. 6pm: 7 miles in 44:45
Wednesday 7th – 2:30pm: 5 miles on the track in 26:24. 4.5 miles there and back. 14 miles total.
Thursday 8th – 2:45pm: 11.5 miles in 78 mins.
Friday 9th – 11am: Track – 26x 400m (jog 100m/ 30 sec rec) Averaged 74’s. 16 miles total.
Saturday 10th – 8pm: 14.5 miles in 1hr 32.
Sunday 11th – 11am: 11.5 miles in 74:10.
Monday 12th – OFF
Tuesday 13th – 11:15am: 6 miles in 38:35. 6pm: Track – 12x 500m (1 min rec) 89, 85, 84, 85, 89, 88, 89, 89, 88, 87, 88, 87. Struggled, felt rough. 9 miles total.
Wednesday 14th – 1:30pm: 12.5 miles in 1hr 28.
Thursday 15th – 8am: 4.5 miles in 29:35. 5:30pm: 6.5 miles in 44:25, followed by 3.5 miles with Run Group.
Friday 16th – 6pm: 17 miles in 2hr 01.
Saturday 17th – 8am: 7 miles in 46:50.
Sunday 18th – 9am: Session – 3x 2.5 miles around Entwistle Res (2:30 rec) 13:15, 13:24, 13:26. 17 miles total.
Monday 19th – 12pm: 6.5 miles in 41:50. 6:30pm: 11 miles in 70:25.
Tuesday 20th – 8:15am: 4 miles in 27 mins. 6 pm: Track – 8x 1km (2 min rec) 2:59, 3:01, 2:58, 2:57, 2:58, 2:59, 2:58, 2:59. Okay. 9.5 miles total.
Wednesday 21st – 11am: 12 miles in 1hr 21.
Thursday 22nd – 9:30pm: 9 miles in 57:30.
Friday 23rd – 11am: Session – 10x 2 min reps (1 min rec). 5.5 miles total. 6 pm: 10.5 miles in 70:15.
Saturday 24th – 9am: 4 miles in 25 mins.
Sunday 25th – 10:30am: 11.5 miles in 73 mins.
Monday 26th – 11am: 11 miles in 75:50.
Tuesday 27th – 10am: Ribble Valley 10k, 6th 30:18. 7.5 miles total.
Wednesday 28th – 9:30am: 11 miles in 75:14.
Thursday 29th – 8am: 9 miles in 59:20. 5:30pm: 8 miles in 55 mins.
Friday 30th – 9am: 3.5 miles in 21:05. 6 pm: Session – 6x 6 min reps at threshold (2 min rec). 10.5 miles total.
Saturday 31st – 11am: 21 miles in 2hr 30.