After the track session on Thursday which was my first for a while I enjoyed an easy day on Friday. Easy at the moment is just an easy run am of not more than 3 miles or so at a pace outside of 7 mins per mile. On Friday even this was a challenge as my legs were stiff and tired from a very satisfying track session.
I arranged an early run on Saturday morning with Steve Hepples which focussed my mind to a) try and get to bed early on Friday night b) Not to drink too much red wine and c) wake up early to have a decent walk and some breakfast before hitting the road (especially as there was talk of this being a tempo session!).
So after a late night, drinking probably slightly too much red wine and waking up to a text message at about 6.45am from Steve confirming the run at 7.45am I realised the error of my ways!
Actually it turned out to be a great run with a steady pace out to Lazenby and a good runners type gossip about the previous nights Diamond League, training, race plans etc we arrived at our destination ready for a stretch, few strides, more stretching and plenty of limbering and a few encouraging words we set off on our tempo pace effort back home - a distance of slightly under 4 miles.
Knowing that Steve was giving me a 2 min head start I set off with great intent and managed to hold a super steady fast pace of 5.29 miling pretty much all the way. In fact we were both buzzing about our session at the finish as Steve managed a pace under 5 minute miling as he chased me home - his best for a while!
This tempo was followed up with another decent run on Sunday (Pre Great North Run TV Spectacular training run!). I set off at about 6-15 miling and gradually increased my pace to under 6 minute miling for the second half finishing the run at tempo speed. An 8.6 miles decent run in the bag again at an average of just over 6 minute miling.
Tonights run was therefore the third hard session on the trot and was to consist of 4 x 1 mile hard with a 400m jog plus 2 minutes recovery. I was joined on my session by Phil Musgrave who is slowly returning to full fitness after his recent wedding and honeymoon break. Probably my most satisfying mile session for ages as I did three intervals from the bandstand up the hill at Saltburn in 5.31, 5.28 and 5.29. The last mile we decided to reverse the route which meant an uphill section early in the mile but then a nice long downhill section in the mid part of the interval. It meant a nice quick finish to the session with a 5.15 mile - feels great to get the legs turning over with gravity helping me along!
There has been some wonderful athletic performances over the past few days but here are my own highlights...
Galen Rupp smashing the American 10,000m record in 26.48.00 to set a new American record
Keninisa Bekele coming back from injury to run a World Lead 26.43.16 in the same race!
A stunning Great North Run winning Mens time of 58.56 by Martin Mathathi and having the energy to do a celebratory jig after finishing!
Ian Hudspith claiming 15th place in the Great North Run in a superb 64.14 as a Vet 40!
Lucy Kabuu from Kenya winning the Womens race in a super quick 67.06 and also a great debut from Helen Clitheroe in 70.57.
Now its ease down time ready for Saturday's relays...steady running from here onwards then its back to the pre Sheffield 10km work...no time for slacking!