THE PREDATOR FIGHTS BACK
I went with team mates Paul and Ben to the Lancaster 1/2, the rain stopped just in time for the race, but we were given a warning that a week of very heavy rain had left a lot of flooding out on the course.
Ben had a plan to break 1.20 [at just 21 he's made rapid progress this year] and Paul was looking for sub 1.30, after reading this I decided not to go for a time but to go out and race it, attacking the second half and overtaking as many runners as possible!
We started on a cycle track that follows the Lune river, I managed to get near the front with Ben, the first mile went by in 5.48, we soon moved off the tarmac path onto a dirt trail, 2 miles 11.38, 4 miles 23.54 and 5miles 30.02, I was getting carried along following Ben but decided to ease back a little and covered 6 miles in 36.12 at which point we turned off the cycle track and out onto the road, it was here we encountered the first of the flooding, the whole side of our carriageway was under water!
It was goodbye light weight running shoes as I splashed through ankle deep flood water, soon the road started climbing up the only real! hill on the course, up ahead Ben was stringing out a group and I focused on the first of the guys dropping of the back. Like a big cat predator I zoomed in on my prey looking for weakness, his shoulders were rolling and head tilted to the side in the strain to hold the pace, I surged and passed him then went in search of my next victim.
I passed two more guys on the 1 1/2 mile hill, I seemed to gain strength from there weakness, I was the 'hunter' out for the kill!
Once over the top the route took a left turn and I plunged downhill along a narrow lane then back onto a cycle track, at first it was muddy then all of a sudden it turned into a river! Flooded right across the track the only option was to splash through the freezing shin deep water, after 200m I got to the other side and tried to pick up my pace but my legs protested feeling heavy and numb from the shock of wadding through the icy water!
I shortened my stride and picked up my leg turn over in the hope of getting warm again, the next 2 miles were difficult, I was running in no man's land with the next runner about 30 sec ahead of me.
10 miles went by in 1.01.25, I was now on a wide empty road into a head wind, I surged to pick up speed and looked into the distance to check on my next victim!
by 11 miles I'd pulled my prey back to about 20 seconds, at 12 I was closing in ready for the kill, he heard my footsteps and accelerated away again, but all of a sudden his legs buckled under him, like a tiger taking out an antelope I charged passed on his right hand side just as we entered the running track for the last 400m.
I kicked hard and kept accelerating all the way to the line, covering the last 400m in about 80 sec. I took 10 sec out of the guy I passed [in only 400m] and it turned out I beat him for the first V 45 prize!
Ben ran 1.19.32 [new p.b.] and Paul 1.30.12.
Its been a frustrating summer running below my expectations but Pete Magill's advice has made me see I'd been over training and this race shows what I can do when I don't over do it!
Pete's right you need to train differently as you get older!
I'll leave what he told me below, its very good advice.
"3 hard workouts a week is absolutely insane for someone our age (I'm 48 too). I wouldn't last a month doing that. And I doubt you'd see any improvement, even in the first weeks. One hard workout, one long easy-paced run, and one less-hard workout combined with as much volume as your legs can comfortably handle is the best plan for our age. Also, we don't respond well to the excessively long tempo or the tempo runs tagged onto the end (or in the middle of) our long runs the way some younger athletes do.
One of my masters athletes who I'm currently training for the marathon called me before his half-Marathon 2 weeks ago. He was panicked because his friends told him I hadn't been training him hard enough - not enough distance and not enough long tempo, etc. I calmed him down. And he ended up running his half-marathon PR ... by 11 minutes.
Be smart. Be sensible. And good luck!!! Pete".