Back with a Boom!

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Back with a Boom!

March 7th 2020, the last time I raced in an event of a significant size.  A lot has happened since that date and a lot of races haven’t happened. Fast forward sixteen months to July 4th 2021 and my first race since COVID changed all our lives.  The Fradley 10k, and my first opportunity to race in the On Cloudboom. I’ve worn the Cloudboom a few times during training and could definitely feel the boost they give but with limited races and lack of fitness I’ve not been able to test them out in a race situation. I may be one of the last few runners to return to mass events but after struggling with motivation during lockdown and effects post vaccine it’s taken me weeks to return to feeling anything like a runner again.

Having not had a specific 10k build up in training due to participating in a couple of research studies I had no idea what kind of time to expect at Fradley. This is where it’s great to have a coach.  A few Whatsapp messages with Coach Perry and “5:20’s will get you close to 33 flat, I’d be happy with that at present”.  The gauntlet had been thrown down. I generally go to bed early the night before a race but there was the small matter of England playing Ukraine in the quarter final of the Euro’s. I couldn’t miss out on that!  A convincing win though for The Three Lions and onto the semi finals!

Sunday morning soon arrived and I made my way to Fradley with that pre-race excitement I’ve missed for many months. Warm up complete and a quick team photo with the Saxon Harriers after being made an honorary member for the morning, I then made my way to the start line.

A few familiar faces on the start line so it was nice to chat to somebody to settle the pre-race jitters. Slight delay before the start but the race was underway before long. First mile and my watch pings, 5:07, followed by a “whoops”.   I don’t remember running a mile at that pace in training recently but it didn’t feel that bad. I had to be sensible though and take my foot off the gas. Next mile 5:15, still a bit quick but feeling ok. Next mile 5:24, that felt a bit tougher but a half way split of 16:23. Still on track for 33 minutes but by this time I was getting hot and desperately needing a drink. Thankfully there was a water station, quick swig of water and chucked the rest over my head, which made an instant impact and felt much more comfortable.  

The second half of the race went ok , even giving Running Form’s Matthew Lear a gee up during the final mile and see him push on for a strong finish. I was able to maintain a steady pace with a 5k split of 16:36 for an race time of 32:59 and a 7th place finish. It was great to be back racing and Coach P’s target time achieved, just!  

Overall a pleasing result and a good test of fitness now that marathon training will start to ramp up.