A week removed from Manchester Marathon and I had the great idea of heading down to Lancaster to take part in the Three Bridges 10k.
The recovery plan said to run a seven mile recovery run on the Sunday which essentially meant to run around nine minute miles. So I thought I could combine that by running the 10k then adding another mile into it at the end.
I’ve long been a fan of this 10k since the first time I had a go at it back in 2012. I’ve only missed it once since then which was 2013 when our car broke down on the motorway. It also seemed like a perfect opportunity to give my brand spanking new Brooks Ravenna 5 (red edition) an outing.
So, we packed up the family and headed off just after 8am.
After a fairly smooth ride down we hit Lancaster just before 10am just as my favourite Duran Duran song, Serious, came on.
“Oh woman you make me feel
Like I’m on fire
Oh woman you make it real
It’s the only way for me
So, if we sometimes fight
Doesn’t mean we got problems
Ain’t always black and white
Who cares anyway?”
Just hearing the opening to that song, when Simon Le Bon belts out the first line with gusto and then the guitar kicks in, never fails to put me in a good mood. Tunes cranked up and it wasn’t long before we were at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre.
Pre-race prep wasn’t the greatest as the boy threw a little tantrum as he couldn’t get his head around the fact that he didn’t have a race number and wasn’t allowed to join in. We eventually reached a compromise of him going off with his mum for an hour and then joining me at the end for the after run mile cool down.
The race started at 11am. Weather wise it was looking fairly ominous to begin with as dark clouds hovered and threaten to unleash a downpour. Thankfully the clouds disappeared and the sun arrived instead.
I’d said to Mrs C at the start of the race not to expect me until around 54 minutes. “I’m going to be taking it easy after Manchester.”
That last sentence was thrown away almost immediately as I posted a first mile of 7:31. Rather than slow down I decided to see how long I could keep it up for…
The second mile was over and done with in 7:38 and the third was finished in 7:34.
Just after the third mile is where you hit the steps which you have to navigate up to the canal path. Naturally there was a bit of slowing in the pace as you climb up the steps and then have to build up speed again so mile 4 was done in 8:03.
The next stretch has a fairly decent downhill so mile five was finished in 7:52.
I started building up some speed in the last mile right up until the point where someone appeared at my side and started talking to me. By this point I was breathing out of my arse so a conversation was the last thing on my mind. I tried to be as polite as possible though so, when he asked a few questions about the finish, I answered as best as I could manage.
We soon approached the track for the final 200m and the race was over and done with in 46:55 finishing in position 49 (top 50 finish…go me). So much for the taking it easy but sometimes you have to listen to the legs when they want to have a good bash at a race.
Much to my surprise I had managed to beat all previous times for Three Bridges.
Luckily Mrs C and the kids had managed to make it back just in time so they all managed to see me finish…just.
There was the small matter of running round the track a few times with the boy to get another mile in. He asked if he could have a number so we pottered over to the organisers and managed to get a blank piece of paper and a pen so we could write out the number 10 (his favourite number) and get it pinned on him.
Seven miles bagged and it was time to treat the family to dinner. We stopped off at Tebay services and had a lovely lunch.
I remain a big fan of Three Bridges 10k. If I can make it I’ll always try to do so. It’s an interesting route for a 10k with the steps thrown in. There’s not a load of uphill and plenty of downhill so it can be a fairly fast course.
Next up is Moorclose 10k on May 10th. This is another fast course where I’ve set PB’s over the past two years so we’ll see how I get on.
Training continues towards the Lakesman. This is an ironman distance triathlon and I’ll be taking part in the relay where I’ll be doing the marathon leg. As well as this training continues for my one and only triathlon of the year at Blenheim Palace.
I’m feeling a lot more comfortable about training. I’ve come out of Manchester feeling fairly strong and having dropped a bit of weight. Everything seems to be clicking in place just at the right time. I’m all signed up for Chester Marathon in October and all my efforts will be focussed into achieving a marathon PB there.
For now though, I’ll be looking at few half marathons to sign up to over the next few months to build distance back up.
If you’re interested – Myself and the club are fundraising for a couple of charities throughout all of our events this year, feel free to drop us a pound or two in support:
Fundraising page for Kenyan Schools Project at this link.
Fundraising page for Eden Valley Hospice at this link.