Sunday, 24 June 2018

Got My New Shoes On

I’m going through a bit of a salad phase at the mo. This means a salad of some type most lunchtimes. If I can apply this to the evenings as well and ditch the snacks and beer, the flab may begin to drop off again. Having been down to 62kg a couple of years ago, I might have looked like Skeletors hungry brother, but the running didn’t half improve. I positively flew up them there hills.

The last couple of weeks have been a bit thin on the training front. However, it didn’t stop me eyeing up an open one mile event at Jarrow in South Tyneside. There was fixture congestion on Saturday with both Windy Gyle and Earsdon Hill races on, but a flat 4 laps round the running track sounded much more attractive.

I was in Newcastle on Wednesday evening on taxi duty so engineered a short run around the quayside. The Sunshine 5K Run was on. All well supported and for a good cause, but the numbers were a bit sparse. During the course of my 3 mile jog, I shoe-horned in a mile effort round a couple of blocks of flats and clocked 5:55 for the mile, so the target for Saturday was a sub 6 which I thought should be easily deliverable. A quick scan of the power of ten rankings suggested that for my age group, this would put me into the top 50 in the UK. I would add that there was probably on 50 or so running the distance so its not a 'big ask' as they say. 

I packed my spikes and a towel, in case I worked up a lather. I donned my new club top. The Committee have acquiesced to the club name and town coat of arms being put on the top which has really freshened up the look. Having not run in my spikes for years, I’m not sure why I packed them. Wearing spikes for a race without first training in them is a recipe for rapid achilles destruction. The sun was up and a gentle breeze blowing down the home-straight welcomed me and my coffee as I arrived at the stadium. I caught up with Mr G and Mr B and Pam. After getting my number and paying my £3, I sat down to change my shoes only to discover my trusty lunar-glides were still sitting on a chair at home. It was either the spikes or the Salomon trail shoes.  Step forward Pam offering her pink lunar-glides. Being a metrosexual sort, I nodded and eagerly took my inserts out of the Salomons and tried them on – a perfect fit. I was cutting a fine figure in my new shoes….Woke up cold one Tuesday I'm looking tired and feeling quite sick, I felt like there was something missing in my day to day life...
I asked Mr B for advice on running a 4 lapper. He thought for a moment then said that I should concentrate on lap 3. Lap 4 would take care of itself. I warmed up in my usual animated fashion on the back-straight before taking my place on the line with 10 others. There were a handful of girls from Jesmond Joggers. The bloke from Blaydon asked me what time I was going for and I replied ‘somewhere under 6 minutes’. He seemed disappointed and replied that he wouldn’t be able to use me as a pacer. The cheek of it!

At the start I tucked in behind a Gateshead vet for a lap. One of the Jesmond girls was out in front but I thought she'd started too quickly. I was chomping at the bit though and burst out of Gateshead's shadow after the first lap when the timekeeper said ‘87’ (seconds). I overhauled the slowing Jesmond runner soon afterwards. The second lap was about 70 seconds and the third maybe a bit more. I was out on my own but keeping pace broadly with the Blaydon bloke who was 100m ahead. I think the timekeeper said 4:07 after the third lap. The last lap required a bit of wellie but instead I ran like I was wearing a pair and had to dig deep to cross the line in 5m:30secs.  I caught my breath, cooled down and returned the shoes to Pam. A very reasonable first attempt at this distance, but well off my best 1500m time of 4:32 – mind that was about 12 years ago. A bit of track work and even more lettuce should see me creeping into the low 20’s. A bit of application is required. I’ve got the Bridges of Tyne 5m and the Sunderland 5k.