For the first time, I did a second Sale Sizzler in a calendar year. In the past I’ve only done it once a year but as I continue to chase times I decided to have another go. With my eye firmly fixed on November, it’s a few months off but I seem to hit my best period back end of October and then through November. My aim is to continue working till then on getting my shorter stuff faster. At the moment, I feel like I’m on a knife edge and just need everything to click at the same time. After recent good times at the last Sale Sizzler and the Trafford GP 3000m. I went into Thursday night hoping to post a faster time then the last Sizzler. While I won Ryedale it wasn’t a fast course and I wasn’t happy with my time.
So as always I set myself 3 goals, minimum at 5k now is to run sub 18, my silver goal was to post a season best and gold was a sub 17:30. I had ran well last time, running strong throughout, 5:43, 5:44 and then 5:54. I decided to try to have a faster first mile then hold it. I arrived again in plenty of time but noticed it was windier than last time out and was a tad cooler. Unlike last time thought I wasn’t relaxed before hand, outside forces meant I wasn’t fully focused on the task in hand, my head was all over the place and I had forgotten to do my usual loo visit before start of the race. I bumped into a few familiar faces and come race time I managed to get out faster then in my previous races and soon carved my way through the field.
I felt good as we left the track and hit the rough section that connected to Wythenshawe Park. The path was muddy due to recent rain fall and my old adidas adios 3 struggled for grip, I remember thinking I hope it does not get any worse for the return leg. As we hit the access road, I was flying, I also noticed less runners around me compared to the last race, either because at this point I was running at sub 5:30 pace which was sub 17 pace or there were less runners around my ability in the race. I had switched to KM splits on watch to try a new tactic but found it hard to monitor my pace as was used to controlling my pace over a mile. I clocked 3:19 for first KM.
Had I held this pace I would have clocked a 16:35 time. So yes I had started way too fast, I calmed down for the 2nd K which was 3:25, still faster then PB pace. (This equated to the first mile in 5:22) At 2k I still felt good but had dropped of the group I had raced with so far and meant I was now trying to hold this unknown 5k pace on my own. This was going to end well!
The route turned back into the park, I always struggle on this section, don’t ask why, as I can’t answer you yet. As I started the second lap, I felt the wind on the access road and really had to work hard to maintain pace on that section, I worked harder then I needed to and by the time my watch buzzed for 3k, I was on a hiding to nowhere as it was 3:37. My second mile came as we ran along the side of the road in 5:48, 4s slower then last time. However at this point in last race I had covered 2 miles in 11:27, this time I had covered it in 11:10. This meant I was 17s up on my time. My last mile last time was 5:54, if I could keep this I was on for around 17:22. However I was really struggling. I had cramps as need the loo, so wasn’t relaxed and pace was going the wrong way. Paul Bagan passed me and he was flying, I had lost it in my head instead of staying with him, the next split was 3:42 another 5s lost but still on for a better time. However as we hit the rough section I struggled with pace dropping to over 6:30/mi pace, I seemed to sort myself out when I saw track and picked it up again and tried to sprint finish as I saw the clocking ticking away.
I crossed the line with a 17:44 on watch (last time I clocked 17:43) I was hoping for same sort of time from chip but I was given 17:44, 5s slower then last time and all this had happened from last 2k. In someway I had gone off too hard and this caused me to blow up in last mile as had nothing left in the tank. At same time I know if I can work on holding pace a fast time is not far away. Not having my head in the right place meant I went off harder then planned and the need for the loo meant I wasn’t relaxed and that will effect pace.
There is one last race in the series, question is do I do it and hope for 3rd time lucky or do I leave the Sizzler for another year? Before then I have two shorter track races to work on my speed.
- 69th in 17:44
Kit used in race
- Zeon Lightweight Race Vest
- Zeon 6 inch Racing Shorts
- Adidas Adios 3 racing flats
- Sockmine Griplock running socks
- Garmin 220