After the high of achieving a sub 70 half marathon time it wasn't long before I was bought back down with a bump. The plan was to take a recovery week before pushing on with a block of 5k specific training to target the Mid-Cheshire 5k at the end of April. A fairly big spanner was thrown in to the works though after coming down with a viral infection less than a week after The Big Half. As a result I had to pull out of the Inter-Counties cross country race at Prestwold Hall and also missed the Midland 12 Stage Road Relays for Notts, gutted on both occasions!
Still not feeling 100% I eventually got back in to some kind of routine with my training and was able to feature in the National 12 Stage Road Relays and ran a short leg to finish in 16:36, gaining three places to get the team in to 7th position at the halfway point. The team eventually finished 11th overall on the day.
Less than two weeks after the relays was the Mid-Cheshire 5k, which incorporated the England Athletics 5k Championships. I made the long trip up to Kingsley in Cheshire on a Friday afternoon with a few of the guys from my old club Hermitage Harriers. In hindsight I should never really have traveled after vomiting on the afternoon of the race. The journey itself took around three hours after getting stuck in traffic. Not ideal preparation even without the vomiting episode! I went through my usual race prep and warm up as planned and still not feeling great I thought to myself "I'm not travelling all this way to not run".
Stood on the start line, the adrenaline must have kicked in as I felt "normal" and decided to start off at target race pace and see how long I'd last. The answer was not very long, 2 km in fact and by 3 km I wanted to pull out of the race. Something I've never done! I managed to keep going and on reaching the 4 km marker I told myself "there's only 1 km left now". I managed to drag myself over the finish line in 15:49, some way off the target of 15 minutes I had hoped for.
After narrowly avoiding passing out at the finish, I trudged back to the car to meet the others who had completed their cool down, got some warm clothing on and promptly fell asleep in the car only to wake up two hours later after returning to Leicester, crawled in to bed and went back to sleep.
Another lesson learnt, it is not a good idea to race when feeling ill!!