Tonight is the first race of my summer race season, that will see me increase the distance each month towards my autumn marathon build up. I write this while it is raining and gusting outside!. And forecast for the race isn’t much better but it’s the same for everyone racing.
This is the first time I’ve raced at York since I set my 5K personal best there back in April 2019, it’s been a long run but besides the last 7 days (more on that in a minute) I feel like I am back in the same if not better shape then when I set my PB of 17:06. Now conditions tonight aren’t great but I’ve raced in worse and you know what it could even work in my favour. In that I am a nightmare as I put so much pressure on myself to achieve certain goals I almost psych myself out of not racing. Its stupid I know but unlike the last two races at Podium where it was less pressure and more about enjoying it, this one because of how training has gone I feel for the first time if everything clicks then I could achieve my goal of sub 17 minutes for 5K. Now that is only 24s better than Podium but as everyone who runs knows that’s a massive jump.
In the last 7 days I had my first COVID jab last Thursday and been really meh since late Saturday afternoon. First day was just a sore arm but found all my runs since then have felt laboured added to that my constant internal mental battle it’s been a pretty shitty week. Going forward hopefully more races can help me overcome this barrier I put up before races. It wasn’t always like this and I used to race often so less pressure. I think with all my health battles I know that I may only have a limited window to achieve my goals. So when I get into a lean spell in training then the expectation builds up, bit like a perfect storm.
So to York, it will be different to Podium as we are set off in groups of 8 so I’m hoping that I can use this to my advantage and chase runners throughout. It is an exposed track so I’m hoping the wind isn’t too bad but it is what it is. The aim is to go out and have a good but controllable first lap, then aim to hold 3:25 per K as this would bring me home in 16:59. I’ve set myself the following goals, equal Podium 5K time in August if weather remains poor (17:40), next goal is to equal my time from Podium this year (17:23), then if going good equal my 5K time (17:06) then if it all goes to plan 16:59. In training everything is a lot better than where I was at Podium 5K where I did 17:23 and surprised everyone. I know I need a good start and to make sure I have others to work off and then stick to my plan. So if I can produce the same effort in a race that I have done in training, surrounded by other runners in better races then I feel I could surprise myself.
Let’s hope I’m writing a good race report come next week 🙂