There was a time – shortly after December 2015 to be reasonably precise – when I could, and occasionally did, bore anyone within earshot about how good my running form was.
I would babble on about how I’d got myself into such good running form that I broke just about every personal best I track in a period of a couple of weeks. What was (slightly) interesting in the preparation of this very blog post was that this was a complete fabrication – lots of PBs were broken but not all. And it took a couple of months too. But evidently my brain has re-worked this period as a golden age of my running.
For what it’s worth, I should have been talking about what was actually a two-and-a-half month period from the final leg of the Jersey Marathon relay where I set my 5 mile best as part of a sightly longer run to Jersey Parkrun #13 during which I broke every best from 2km up to 5k, and took in the Poppy Half and my first Regent’s Park 10km on the way.
Anyway, the point of all this is that i seem to have run myself into some pretty excellent form again just in time for some big races. It’s about time too really. I’ve had a few too many races spoiled recently by injury or illness so I’m determined to make the most of a good run of success. Up until very recently all of my personal bests were set in 2015 with the exception of all those longer than a half marathon, mainly because I’d not run beyond a half until 2016.
That’s all changed in the past couple of weeks.
I’d previously mentioned breaking my 5k / Parkrun best with my first time under 24 minutes but I’ve followed it up with much more. On Tuesday I set out to have a crack at my one mile and 1km bests. I broke both of those plus every other shorter distance best as well. 6:55 for a mile was just brilliant.
At Parkrun on Saturday I had resolved to run steadily, like a threshold run I guess, keeping my heart rate under good control. I did that well but evidently my basic steady speed has increased to such an extent that I could still run a 24:22 without really thrashing myself. I was really happy with that effort.
For today’s long run, I had originally planned to run 8 miles but decided this morning that I’d make it 12 miles. I used an unusual route combining the seafront promenade with a more inland path, just to make up the extra distance without finding too many hills.
Then on the way back home I still felt strong albeit starting to slow up a little, and I’d decided I could add a loop around the harbour to find an extra mile or so to take me up to an unplanned half marathon. I continued to slow up but kept a pretty reasonable pace and ended up finishing the GPS measured half only eleven seconds slower than March’s Reading Half Marathon. I think with proper race day preparation and tapering I’ve definitely got a really special run in me.
So it’s the Durrell next weekend. I’m feeling a little anxious about all of the hills but I’ve run it before so at least know what to expect. Then two more weeks to Liverpool. Certainly exciting times!