So, over the last few weeks, my running has taken hit an incredible spike in terms of training and in racing times.
Let’s rewind a couple of weeks ago.
On Halloween, I gave myself a fright, literally. At the Newcastle Parkrun, running sub-21 was one of the many barriers that I wanted to smash through, I was close early in October and I was even closer then, running 21:17. Even without a solid base of training under my belt, I went hard for the time. Warm up was great, I felt great, so why not push myself? I did and it was amazing.
I missed the following weekend run but the weekend after, I entered the Mo Running 5k and used the Parkrun the day before, as a tune up/speed session to tick me over until the next day, just so I’m fresh and sharp for the distance.
Little did I know that heavy rain, strong winds and a bogged course lay waiting for me and the rest of the runners, who turned out magnificently to raise money for a wonderful cause and afternoon out.
I warmed up, visited the loo and dumped my bag to prepare. “It’ll be over in 20 minutes” I kept telling myself. I managed to squeeze to the front of the pack as I eyed up the other runners, I recognised a few faces and tried so hard not to let my competitiveness streak take over, “it’s for charity, it’s a fun run, time is NOT relevant, Michael!” but as soon as the horn went to set us off, I was gone, right up there with the leading pack – which made me feel incredible as I’ve NEVER ran with a leading pack before.
Of course, the quicker runners soon found their rhythm and pulled away, I was lying in the top 10 and thought if I could hold this, then this would be one of the best things to happen since I took up running and a PB could be on the cards.
Along the path at the 2-3k mark, it got difficult. The wind really picked up and nearly stopped me dead in my tracks because it was so strong BUT I gritted my teeth and pushed on, “you’re in the top 10 here pal, keep going, you’re nearly home!” was the phrase I kept telling myself over and over again. It was true, I was just 800m or so from the finish line but then I heard footsteps and seen a fellow competitor fly by me, I couldn’t let it bother me, I had to finish.
I didn’t dare look at my watch; I was goosed and didn’t want to be suckered into running quickly. So I thanked the volunteers and beamed for the cameras as I came home, I seen Emma who was snapping away and she caught some cracking shots of me crossing the line. I put my arms out to signal that I was flying and BAM, I crossed the line and looked at my time, 21:04, so, so close! But then I got my official time 21:00 – MAN that was even closer! But Two PBs in two days was an amazing achievement for me and finishing 11th out of 248 runners was something to be proud off.
Where does this leave me? Easy, to run 20:59 or under before 2015’s curtain comes down. It can happen, I just have to stay away from injuries, be consistent with my training AND continually believe that I can. It’s there for the taking!
A great weekend followed by a lazy weekend but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Don’t forget that I made a vlog about the day which you can check out at the bottom of this! Like it and then subscribe – go on, you know you want to!