Cleethorpes AC 5k Prom Race

Once again I was making the relatively short journey south of the river. Having not run in Grimsby/Cleethorpes for the best part of my first 6 years of running, I have now run there 3 times in 6 months with the Grimsby 10k again this year to come.

The drive over was relatively pain-free with only a little traffic at the roundabouts into Grimsby at the end of the A180. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t need to pee! I had got out of work a little early giving me time to grab a (very strong) coffee from Costa before collecting my number.

Handily the start is about a mile away near Cleethorpes Leisure Center which always makes the warm-up decision easy. However, I started by running away from the start to see where the far turn was. At this point nothing was setup but it did give me a feel for the course and work out the wind would be against us on the way back to the start. For those that don’t know the course starts at the Leisure centre, following the promenade all the way to the end before doing an 180 around a roundabout then all the way back to the start for another 180 and then just over half a mile to the finish.

After the warm-up, I made my way to the start getting myself close to the front. Before the race, I’d have been more than happy with sub 18 believing that is the sort of shape I’m in. At the very least another sub 18:30, anything above that would have been very disappointing.

As ever it was a rapid first mile to find some space plus all my best races I have a fast first mile and then slow down to “race pace”. First mile completed in 5:33 and feeling fairly comfortable, if I could keep this up I could absolutely smash my 5k PB. Around the mile and a quarter point, we make the turn to head back, I was just gaining on two other runners with the first lady catching me.

After the turn, we all came together and with the wind against started to work together well with various people taking turns on the front. Second mile in 5 minutes 50 seconds. Slowing as expected but hopefully, I could drag something extra out in the last mile and a bit. Failing that I would get the sub 18 had hoped for.

2.5 miles and the group of 4 is now 3, myself, another guy and current first lady. We now had the benefit of the wind and I had hoped I’d have a strong finish. Unfortunately, my legs went and the aforementioned started to push on. It was disappointed to be gapped but I still crossed the line in 17:52 for 11th place. A massive 5k PB on tired legs and big step forward.

Snake Lane 10

Snake Lane 10 2017

Coming into Snake Lane I was expecting a big result. It’s hard to be objective as I write this post race. However averaging 90 miles a week since the start of the year and some stellar speed and long strength sessions meant confidence was high.

Come race day and handily the start is about a mile away therefore after the usual pre-race pitstops myself and Danny W warmed up by running to the start line and adding a bit on. At this point, we bumped into club mates Danny J and Tom D. Danny J wasn’t racing but would be on pacing duties for Tom.

After a brief catch up it was time to get to the start. We were stood a little far back to one side therefore in the process of “losing” my warm-up t-shirt I got closer to the front, however, this meant I was no longer with the aforementioned. I wasn’t worried as I assumed they would catch me up at some point and it would allow me to run my own race at least initially.

The plan would be to go out hard as this course unlike Ferriby 10 is an easier first half, therefore, the aim would be to get to half way as close to 30 minutes as possible if I was going to get close to the converted hour mark.

The first 3 miles passed reasonably comfortable in 5:52, 5:57 and 5:54. Danny W caught me somewhere between the first and second mile but all in all, there wasn’t much to write home about.

Snake Lane 10  2017 - approx. 6 miles
Looking happy…. not!

Likewise, mile 4, although I had slowed to 6:12 (albeit on a slight incline), which was OK but I had hoped to be up on pace come halfway.

At mile 4 we take a left-hand turn and then the fun begins. I had hoped for a wind free day but it never as been and it wasn’t fourth time lucky. Danny W mentioned struggling and I told him to hang in there, at which point he promptly started to gap me, 5th and 6th miles in 6:07 and 6:11 respectively.

Just before 6 miles I was caught by Tom D and Danny J. I tried to tag on and did for about half a mile but by the end of the 7th mile, they had gapped me. The 7th mile in 6:17 by the way.

Now it was a real test of attrition. I was really struggling and knew I was way off the pace. I thought I could still get under 61 but it would be tight. I could still see my club mates ahead and this gave me the motivation to keep digging. The last 3 miles is one road back into Pocklington. It was surprisingly undulating affecting my pace, I really just wanted to finish. 8th mile in 6:25 and 9th in 6:20.

Snake Lane 10 2017
Just about managing a sprint finish for the crowds

I always like the sprint for home at this race with a decent crowd lining the streets on the run in and this year was no different allowing me to cover the last mile in 6:14 crossing the line just as the clocked turned to 1hour 1minute and 36seconds. I had to have a little chuckle as this was exactly the time I got at Ferriby 10, so much for sub 61! Hopefully, chip time would be slightly faster although I did start near the front.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 9 (27th February to 5th March)

Week 9 and I was hoping to get back into the 100-mile range. However, I missed a couple of runs and was just a little short of a couple of others, therefore, topped out at 86 as follows:

Week 9 – 86.2MI (11H 7M)

AM: 6mi easy

AM: 5mi easy
PM: 9.6mi (3.5mi warm-up + 3 mi speed work + 3mi cool down)

PM: 15mi LSR

AM: 6mi easy
PM: 10.3mi – strength workout: 4 x 1 mile @ 6:20 off 0.5 (plus 3 warm-up and 2ish cool down)

PM: 8 mi easy

AM: 14.6 mi hard (race, sort of)

AM: 11.5 mi easy

I cut Monday short as my legs were still beat up unsurprisingly from the race the day before. Tuesday then would be my first hard session and I chose to keep it short and do the clubs 3-mile speed session (3 x 1200m, 1x 800m and 1 x 400m). Not a bad session but just over 50 seconds slower for the reps in total shows the legs weren’t entirely recovered. It also didn’t help that there were only 5 runners that turned up.

Thankfully the legs had recovered somewhat for Thursday strength workout evening finishing in 6:09 for the last rep. I chose to stick to 4 reps and keep the overall volume low as I’d be running the short loop of the Golden Fleece Circuit.

After an easy Friday, Saturday rolled around and it would be an early start for the Golden Fleece circuit. It’s not really a race but I think a few at the pointy end treat it as such. Hard work but getting on for 20 minutes quicker than last year (what a difference an extra 400+ miles by this point in the year makes) therefore second place in 1:44:01 behind me old mucker Danny W.

Target 2:50:00 – Week 8 (20th to 26th February)

Another race week, therefore, the target was 75 to 80 miles as follows:

Week 8 – 77.9MI (10H 7M)

AM: 7mi easy

AM: 6mi easy
PM: 10mi easy

AM: 5 mi easy
PM: 13mi LSR

AM: 5.2mi easy
PM: 12.5mi strength workout, 4 x 1.5 mi with 0.5 mi recovery (plus 3 warm-up and 2’ish cool down)

Rest Day

AM: 6 mi easy

AM: 13.1 mi (1. 5mi warm-up + 10 mi race + 1.6 mi cool down)

After last weeks hard week, I decided to keep it easy Monday and Tuesday as the legs were feeling particularly heavy and fatigued.

Therefore it was Thursday before I did a hard session (even Wednesday long run was on the shorter side). With one eye on Snake Lane at the weekend, Thursday’s strength session was on the shorter side. All reps were spot on and were, in fact, a little under the 6:20 per mile pace.

I’ll do a full report for Sunday but in summary, a bit disappointed not to go under 61 or at the very least under 61:30. However, a PB is a PB even if it’s only 2 seconds!

Next 2/3 weeks are the final big weeks before tapering. Although I do have a 15 miler off road and a 5k planned.