Training Diary – Day 709

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No #parkrun for me today – due to having entered into the #Warrington5Miler event this morning. (Part 1 of the series) Just the start to the day you would think a runner would love to have – if it wasn’t for the weather/course conditions, cold, wet, muddy, wind chill factor and quite a few puddles to keep you interested.

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Five of us from our #WidnesRunningClub had entered – #Rob, #Kerry, Alison, #Me & #Jan – but #Jan wasn’t well so couldn’t attend. That left just the four of us on the ‘DarkSide’s Turf for the event. (Felt a little lonely for the pre-run meet, as the others didn’t arrive as early as I did – I send a message out asking for reinforcements – lol!!!

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Then it was time for the run briefing – and yes it was as cold as we all look in the above picture – waiting under the bridge for the briefing to finish just made us all much colder too.

The course was quite a good one for the first 2 miles, mainly along the tow-path of the canal and fairly wide enough for us to overtake. #Alison shot off ahead of us, as we started nearer the back of the masses – #Rob, #Kerry & I kept a steady pace for the main of the tow path, until we got blocked a little crossing over a single path bridge. (As this point I increased my pace, thinking the others were following me but they got stuck a little longer.)

After passing #Alison, I reached the turn round marker – where the route changed completely onto the grass – becoming more of a cross-country event for the next 1.5miles or so. The surface was most definitely slippery under foot, easily way too muddy and harder to keep up a steady pace – no matter what route you took, it was all the same issues …. balance, speed & puddles.

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The last mile was back onto the pathway/road – with a section of grass in the middle, which enabled us to increase the pace again to a reasonable speed. By now the masses had been strung out along the route and I was beginning to pick off the other runners – although I didn’t check my timings/splits, I knew I had been running a quicker pace than I had expected.

A final few hundred meters sprint was the order of the day to complete the event – feeling strong whilst running but then totally shattered once I had finished. (Think it was the adrenaline kicking in.) All I had to do now was wait and see where the other #WidnesRunners would finish & to take the photos of our group.

I also met a running buddy from the ‘Darkside’ #Stuart and he also had a great run too

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The photos taken and a group ‘Congratulations’ to each other and it was time to go and get warm & a change of clothes from the car. I was beginning to cool down and the wind was getting through my running top. When I got to the car – about 1/2 a mile away, I realised that my legs were covered in mud and I looked a right scruff …  meant I had to sit on a dry towel to stop the car getting too dirty.

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So once home it was time to reflect on the day’s events; was it worth all the hype; did it meet my expectation and most importantly would I do it again? The answers to these question are simple – Yes, Yes & Yes!!!

I would say that the event was well organised and really enjoyable. As for meeting my expectations – beyond them I would say – simply due to my official time/result. My last 8km/5miler event was about 9months ago, shortly after starting back training from surgery – I managed a time of 52mins, which I was pleased with at the time. So today I set myself a target time of #Sub46mins, as I had been running around that time for the past few weeks.

My official time for the run today was: 43mins 15secs – a New PB of over 9mins from my last 8km/5miles event, but more importantly I was over 2mins45secs ahead of my #sub46mins target time.

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And YES the medal was quite good too – along with the ‘Goodie Bag’ you get.

All I have to do now is rest, recover and plan for tomorrow’s 10km ‘Bolton Mask’ event in the morning ….  and of course look forward to the ‘GIMMEE’ from that one.

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