The weather is picking up, as much as is possible, and this can only mean one for runners in the UK: the return of track and field. Who doesn’t love running round in circles in front of everyone? Sprinter and distance runner unite under a common aim, to get as many points as possible to either avoid demotion or strive for promotion, usually dependent on the division you start in. My club were demoted last year and we now find ourselves in league 3W of the Northern League, with the goal of finishing in the top 2 so we can go back up to 2W (probably to return to 3W the year after, there is a pattern).
I find myself at a track in Cleakheaton, Kirklees, as the A runner in the 3000m. Desperate times appear to call for desperate measures. Bizarrely my 3K PB is strong in comparison to my others distances and is in a different league to my shocking 5K PB. So obviously, I have some sort of natural 3k ability, if that exists. The bad news is, is that I haven’t done any track training or threshold runs, so I am not prepared. I am aware of this fact before I agree to run. Jason has agreed to run the 5k, so I will be there anyway and Debbie, the Ladies team manager, sent out pleas and I can’t really think of a reason why I can’t do it.
I am in acceptance before the run that I will be nowhere near my PB, however, this presents another issue: how do I approach this? Do I run as fast as I can? Do I plod round to get the guaranteed points that finishing with bring? I opt for a middle approach, run, see how I feel, see if I’m close to anyone and if so try and beat them. Of course this isn’t quite how it unfolds. I go off far too fast, doing the first 200m in 40 seconds. I try to slow down but the damage is already done and with 4 (out of 7.5 laps) my muscles have seized up, I’m breathing very loudly (Jason said he could hear me) and I just need to keep moving. All time targets go out the window and luckily there are no other runners anywhere near me, I literally just need to finish. I do, but that was the longest 7.5 laps of my life and I hated it. Which is why I must beat this time next time.
In more positive news, my club finished 2nd and Jason ran round the track 12.5 times in the 5K.