Thursday night's track session took a lot out of my legs...I know that because the last three days of running since Thursday has felt heavy legged, hard work and at times a bit of a struggle! That said after an easy Friday I managed 11.5 miles at a fairly decent 6.14 per mile on saturday and today an 8.5 miler at 5.59 pace. Today's run really pleased me - that one second under 6 min miling made all the difference to me at the finish! After 5 miles my intended sub 6 minute mile pace was slipping away as a combination of tired legs, wind and rain made the run seem harder than it should be. I thought about easing off and just running the last three miles at an easy pace back home but (after a mental kicking up the backside) I upped the effort a bit more and managed three consectutive miles at 5.59 pace. This just left a mere half mile to make sure that the Garmin showed 5.59 ave per mile and not 6.00 or worse 6.01! In reality the second or two difference in my average mile speed today would be no big deal on any normal day. This however was the last "effort" before I line up in the Chester Half Marathon next weekend.
I have done Chester twice before with a best place of 10th in 2007 with 77.22. I was in much better shape when I returned in 2008 but suffered with the after effects of a heavy cold in the week leading up to the race and finshed 13th in 79.04. Some unfinished business with the race it seems and it would be great to get close to or under 75 minutes with a Top 10 finish thrown in!
My build up has been good and I feel in good shape. Now just have to get through the next 6 days remaining injury free, not overdoing it and making sure I line up fresh and raring to go next week!
A sub 75 next week will also get me a place in the London Marathon 2012 as the championship race is open to those who have done a full marathon in 2.45 or a half in under 75 minutes. All being well I will get one of these times under my belt sometime in 2011 but I would prefer to get it out of the way early in the year. I have pencilled in Nottingham Marathon in September but if Sunday goes to plan then I will revert to the Half in Nottingham and concentrate on shorter distances over the summer.
It's always nice to go back to Chester to race as it was whilst living and studying in Chester that all my current pb's were achieved. Quite appropriate then that I will set my first pb as a Vet 40 in Chester!