A couple of weeks ago, Tuesday 10th May to be exact, I took part in the Moorclose 10k.
This was my third year running it and the previous years had seen me PB at 10k both times.
With the strength work I’d been doing since January and the positive mind-set I’d come out of Manchester Marathon with I was hopeful that this year would also see me finally dip under 45 minutes for 10k.
When I started getting serious about running in 2012 I set myself three distance and time goals.
10k in sub 45 minutes
Half Marathon in sub 1:45 and
Marathon in sub 4 hours.
Given the times I had been achieving that year then these were sensible and achievable goals to push for.
Surprisingly, the first one of these goals to fall was the Marathon time. That was achieved in 2014 at Chester Marathon where I finished with a time of 3:49.22.
The second to fall was the half marathon distance. It was first broken at the English Half Marathon in September 2015 with a time of 1:44.00 and then followed up a couple of weeks later on home turf at the Cumbrian Run with a time of 1:43.11.
The 10k was proving tricky though. The closest I had come was Moorclose in 2015 with a time of 46:58. I was consistently in and around 46 to 47 minutes but somehow 45 minutes seemed to elude me.
Following a discussion with my personal trainer I mentioned the fact that I thought that it may be my own personal fear stopping myself from achieving it.
I was diagnosed as asthmatic from around the age of three and was never the most athletic kid growing up. So, when I started running I had to put my own limitations on when I thought I was maybe pushing too hard. Every-time I was getting close to sub 45 minutes in a 10k I backed off. Even though there was no reason to slow down I had an ingrained fear that I was pushing myself too far.
Going into Moorclose this year I decided it was time to start listening to my body and not my brain.
Rather than sit at the back of the pack at the start like I tended to I pushed myself closer to the front in and around the people of my pace and I’d made a conscious decision to set off quicker than I normally would.
Once the race was underway I wanted to stay in and around 7 ½ minute miles for the first few miles before stepping it up towards the second half of the race.
Mile one – job done 7:09
Mile two – slight drop off 7:41 (some uphill was possibly the cause of the drop off)
Mile three – pace picked up again 7:10
On the turnaround at 5k there is a slight uphill before the route flattens out for a fast finish over the last two miles.
It was at this point at the turnaround that I started passing other DH Runners and we passed salutations to each other.
“Keep going Steve.” “Looking good Steve.” Etc etc. The guy running beside me said that he should probably change his name to Steve. I was too knackered to laugh at this point or I might have…but I probably wouldn’t have.
With the heat and the amount of DH Runners my replies soon went from a cheery “Thanks you too” to a grunt followed by a mere thumbs up.
Mile four saw a drop in pace with a time of 7:44 which was mainly due to the climb from 5k.
But the last two miles were coming up and here was where the time could be made up.
I’d gotten into a pack of four who were all running a similar pace but soon they started to pull away. In the past I’d have let them go and settled into a slower pace but I was determined to keep in the hunt this time around and decided to try and match them. I had a quick glance at my watch and I was running 6:18 pace at this point. I decided not to look at my watch again.
With mile five at 7:05 pace I was in with a shout of that golden sub 45 minutes.
I just had to keep this pace up for the last mile. I’m notoriously bad for slowing in the last mile but I was focussed and driven to keep the pace this time.
The last mile seemed to be over in a flash and the fire station was soon in my view. This was an indicator that the race was nearly finished. I spotted the support crew and started to build up for my sprint for the finish. I glanced at the clock and it was on 44:50…this was going to be touch and go. The legs were put into overdrive and I crossed the line. I had a sneaky feeling I’d done it but by the time I’d gotten round to stopping my watch it was showing 45:01.
I would have to wait until the next day when the results were revealed and my time was:
Talk about just sneaking under…that makes it three years in a row I’ve set a PB at the Moorclose 10k.
With that the final goal has fallen. It’s time to make some new goals. I’m not sure if I can get any faster but I’m certainly getting stronger and my core strength has definitely improved so continued improvements in that department can only mean good things, right?
As always, it was great to spend time with my running family and have a chit-chat and a buffet at the end of a race is always welcome. Many thanks to Cumberland AC for hosting another well organised event.
And, if you were wondering…I ran the final mile in 7:05.