A quick bank holiday blog.
I decided a few weeks ago to slot Melmerby 10km into the race diary. For no other reason that is filled a weekend in my pre marathon training "mini speed block". It was a new race for me as I've not done this one before but an undulating course, country lanes and tea and cakes in the village hall was just too tempting. But it was a B race......not one that I specifically targeted and therefore off the back of a fairly normal week. Tuesday a decent 10 x 800m session, Wednesday a steady 8 miler and Thursday a run out at the North York Moors AC 4 x mile relay at Stewarts Park ( a very well organised and enjoyable event next planned for 28th August - www.nym.ac) meant just an easy Friday and Saturday "ease down".
The race started at a very leisurely pace with team mates Shaun O'Grady, Tristan Learoyd, Paul Dalton and Paul Cook from Darlington and a few Harrogate/Ripon vests in a pretty large group all running together for the first km or so. At the front of the pack it seemed there was a huge number running together and made for quite a surreal experience as we approached the first "undulation" when eventual winner Shaun O'Grady attacked and at that point effectively won the race.
After the first mile (5:19) I found myself in about 6th place and working my way comfortably through the field in the next mile (another 5:19) settled into third place with Shaun about 30 seconds or so in front and eventual runner up Andrew Grant from Harrogate about 10 seconds in front of me. Looking back occasionally it seemed the gap behind was never going to be pulled back so it was a clear 1-2-3. I tried to pull 2nd place back but he was just too strong and ended up clear. Mile 3 (5:27), Mile 4 (5:30) and Mile 5 (5:29) meant a 27:12 clocking at the 5 mile split. Still feeling strong I had a final attempt at pulling back 2nd place but it was clear the gap was widening and at that point thought I would enjoy the run back into Melmerby secure in the knowledge it had been a decent race and my time would be a seasons best on a fairly challenging course.
I think because I hadn't set a specific time target I wasn't really focused on my time and the first few miles felt like a "proper race". So to stop my watch at 34:11 was a nice pleasant surprise and much quicker than I had hoped or expected.
Based on my last blog this then becomes the best road race I have ever done (based on the WAVA Rankings). It clocked an 85.01% age grade which exceeds any of my previous performances including all those from 1994/95 when I set most of my all time pbs.
Using this age predictor it predicts a marathon time of 2:34.20! I've been in the game for too long to think that sort of time will be easy and there is a huge amount of work to be done but maybe just maybe that could be done!
Whatever the predictions say I know that sometimes things just go well and a "stellar" performance can just creep up on you without you noticing. Sometimes just being relaxed, enjoying your running and letting things just flow can work wonders! Sometimes you can just work too hard and that's a lesson Ive learned only too well in the past!
Next week its the Middlesbrough 5km. Its a super loaded field and there are loads of people throwing out predictions some wild and some achievable. Me... I'm staying quiet about mine....I'll let the running do the talking next week. Another 85% er would be nice though!