Monday, 24 March 2014

Thirsk 10 and Negative splitting!

I can count the number of times I have enjoyed the feeling of a negative split on one hand!  I just don't tend to do them.  I would like to but I always think that maybe I'm just not that kid of runner. 

Thirsk 10 on Sunday I had a game plan.   First three miles or so fairly steady then pick up in the middle section and finish strong.  Negative splits are so far out of my conscience I didn't even consider this. 

Thirsk 10 has been in my race diary now for four years. 

2011 - Finished in 58.01.   2nd half was two minutes and twenty five seconds slower than the first half.  A fast first half turned out to be too fast and the last five miles were a painful experience with splits of 5:41, 5:49, 6:00, 6:09 and 6:30!   Ouch!  

2012 - A much improved Thirsk 10 performance in the middle of marathon training with a 27:52 first half and a 28:04 second half  gave me a solid 56:06 which remains a Vet 40 pb.  Missed out on a negative split by 12 seconds but it was a solid run

2013 - In great shape for this but the weather defeated me (and most of the field apart from Alyson Dixon who effortlessly cut through the wind I recall!) in the second half.   1st half of 27:56 was followed by 30:13

2014 - a first half of 28:23 was followed up by a second half of 28:09 (Yes you read that right - a negative split of 14 seconds) gave me 10th place overall in a time of 56:31.    Splits were:  5:43, 5:43, 5:41, 5:39, 5:37, 5:31, 5:39, 5:42, 5:35, 5:40. 

All smiles pre race!

The business end!

The race itself was great.  The windy first few miles was just a case of tagging onto a group, realising they were slowing a bit too much and then moving onto the next group.  The final group I settled with were some way ahead at the start but I caught then at around 3 miles.  This was the last big group and the rest were individuals in the distance.  I decided that being at the front of this group and pushing the pace from the front would be better rather than running behind and having them dictate the pace.  After a couple of miles of this there was only three of us pushing each other along at a nice steady pace.  Michael Joyeux (Quakers) was on his way to a storming personal best and did his best to drop me at the turn into the "lane" but I managed to stay in touch and we both managed to drop the third runner in our "pack".   I was more than happy to put some space between us to allow me a clear run home.  The "chimp" on my shoulder was telling me to take it easy and think big picture but had MJ come alongside me in the final 200m I would have found it hard to not give it my all!

Michael Joyeux has an excellent and informative blog called Run Michael Run! its well worth a read and I get a mention #consistency #outofreach #experienced !!!  Its always great to hear about someone who clearly loves his running and is making some great progress!

It's just under 2 weeks now until the big one.  Manchester Marathon.  The work is done now and I've just got to trust in the taper gods to get me through and on the start line in one piece.  



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