May has come and gone. It was my best month of running/racing in over a year I reckon. A sustained period of excellent back to back performances and improving my 5k times. I didn’t want the month to end, however time stands still for no man and June is here and the first race was on the track. I renewed my membership with Manchester Harriers so I could do some track races. I had missed the first league meeting and the next two are in Blackpool which is a serious trek for a track race. However, this one was in Leigh which was still a 70 minute journey from my home but I was asked to race the 5000m which for me was worth it.
The good thing is it also fell at the end of my easy week. After 3 weeks of high mileage, it was good to give my body a rest. I went into the race feeling refreshed. The only gripe was the race wasn’t until gone 4pm on Sunday afternoon. This meant I was clock watching all day. We left just after 2pm and enjoyed an uneventful journey to the stadium. I arrived and met up with other Harriers, I didn’t know anyone but Mel, I was given number 55 so it meant I was the B runner but knowing Ed was a sub 17 minute runner it made sense. After watching the 200s it was soon my race. It’s worth mentioning it was another scorching day and the track seemed to reflect the sun and made it feel even hotter.
Ed pointed out who was who and what some had run at the previous meet. It helped me know who not to chase and who not to let get in front of me. I find 5000m on track tougher then road as it’s relentless. Plus I’ve only ever ran 2 so I still lack the experience of running 12.5 laps of a track. We was lined up and off we went. It was a bit crazy and I didn’t want to get tripped so had to work my way from the back. I soon got passed Ed and another runner who had run 17:15 at the last meet. I slotted in front of them after 300m. However I could feel Ed on my shoulder for a lap and he went past me. I responded straight away and passed him back on the home straight.
I then had a lad with number 4 in front of me and I spent the next 8 laps trying not to lose distance on him. The first lap went to plan with a solid 5:22. My aim was to run a sub 5:25. Then try hold it for mile 2 and give it everything on last mile. However I found myself after a mile too far behind the lad in front to work off him and in no mans land. So it became like a time trial I was doing ok till halfway and started to fade in the heat. I hit 2nd mile in 5:40 not what I wanted but I was working hard in the heat. The lad in front now started to pull away as the laps ticked by. I wanted to pick it up with two laps to go but body didn’t respond. I really could have done with someone pushing me after 6 laps but as I said I was on my own. What I didn’t realise was Ed and the runner Ed told me about had been racing each other and had worked together to close me down. I hit the final lap and picked it up but Ed caught me with 200m to go and I was annoyed as I just had nothing left in tank to respond and he pipped me by 2s. The other runner though I managed to beat.
I came home as 2nd B runner on the day with a new track personal best of 17:21.1 and also my fastest 5000m/5k time of the year. Going 2s faster then Leeds the other week. Even though I felt I raced better there. I was annoyed to be pipped by Ed but given the heat I know where I faltered. Good thing is, it was another improved time and looking back I know I can go faster in better conditions. Back to back track personal bests and my 3rd fastest 5k/5000m time ever! (I don’t count the 17:06 or 17:09 I did at Stretford parkrun as its not a accurately measured course).
What my aim is now is to beat all times then there is no doubt in my mind where my fastest 5k/5000m/parkrun time is. My next 5k is York on 14th June. I will miss the Leeds race as it clashes with the Manchester Mile on the 21st June. Next up though is the Hull 10k. Look out for a preview later this week.