It's been a mixed few weeks since taking the victory at the Bosworth half marathon in May. Passing the one year anniversary of breaking my ankle saw the return of the Swithland 6 race and after re-joining my old club Hermitage Harriers as a second claim member meant a return to racing in the silver vest. Unfortunately it was a disappointing performance on the day.
The week leading up to the race hadn't been great though after suffering with yet again more illness which meant missing a few days of training. I'd been struggling with my breathing for a while so I decided to pay a rare visit to my GP for a check up. To cut a long story short, I was prescribed a short course of antibiotics and within a week I was back to feeling like my old self again! A couple of easier weeks followed before getting back into normal routine again, just in time for a busy race calendar. With not being used to weekly races it was certainly a shock to my legs but it was great to get some race wins under my belt with a hat-trick of wins at the Beacon Hill Solstice Run, the Heritage 10k, which was part of the Holme Pierpoint running club Grand Prix, and the Lutterworth 5.
The Beacon Hill Solstice Run is great race held at the Beacon Hill country park, a tough course with some steep inclines and declines. Course knowledge is always good though and regular training around the park certainly has it's advantages! I'm also based for work not far from the park, which meant I was able to incorporate my journey to the race as part of my warm up.
Holding the current course record and starting to feel good again I was feeling confident and determined to put the disappointment of Swithland behind me. It's fairly typical for conditions to be hot for the race and this year was no exception so it was great to come away with the win and set a new course record of 27:38.
With confidence improving I was keen to test myself at the Heritage 10K but I found it tough going in hot and windy conditions to finish in 33:33, over a minute off my PB. I still took the positives from the race though heading into the following weeks Lutterworth 5.
This is a charity event originally set up by Alan Slater, who is a local Leicestershire runner, to raise funds for the Dementia charities after his after father unfortunately passed away after suffering from the disease. With my grandmother also suffering from Dementia it's a condition that is close to home so I'm always happy to try and support Alan with the charity work that he's doing.
This years race was the 6th time it had been held and the course is a fairly fast 5 mile route. More hot conditions but also another course record to target. Again it felt great to come away with another 1st place finish and to complete the hat-trick, setting a new course record and a 5 mile PB of 26:29.
The final race in a busy few weeks was the Newstead Abbey Dash 5k, again another hot one!. A short and sharp race distance that I'm not used to but was keen to have another crack at setting a 5k PB.
This was a lesson well learnt in how not to race a 5k after blowing up after 3k (again!) and holding on like grim death over the final 2k. I finished 5th overall on the night, scraping a PB of 15:43 but as they say, a PB is still a PB!
I've got an interesting few weeks coming up as I'm taking part in a research study at Loughborough University, which is looking at fueling and hydration strategies for endurance races. Something that will be useful with working towards the London Marathon next year.
Races also continue to come thick and fast but luckily for my legs they wont be weekly for the next few months as Peterborough half marathon is now my A race for the Autumn.