Position: 27th Time: 18:55

What a weird time of year for a 5K race. Considering everything I’m actually quite pleased with the time. Preparations for the race couldn’t have been any worse. Fresh from my five-hour train journey from Cardiff, my warm-up felt awful.

Maybe because the race started at eight was a factor too, my only food was a banana

Not to mention it was pouring with rain and windy as well. The course, which was 5 x 1k laps of the cycle track, was actually quite flat and would be perfect for a race over the spring or summer.

Anyway, I just wanted to get started, some runners were in a vest, but even my undershirt wasn’t keeping me warm.

Honestly, the race did feel like a bit of a training session. The first kilometre felt fast with everyone concentrating on trying to find a good position, but after that, I felt fairly comfortable.

The main thing for me was battling the wind and trying to make sure I was cutting the course as narrowly as possible.

My splits from the race website read; 3:42, 3:47, 3:51, 3:54, 3:46. My pacing wasn’t terrible, I just would’ve like to have kept the splits all under the 3:50 mark. On the last kilometre I felt like I was cruising and managed to take a few places as well. Unfortunately, the race just became a case of trying to make sure I got under 19 and that’s not what I wanted it to turn out like.

Strangely my watch had my first kilometre at 3:32, my average pace at 3:42 per kilometre and the course 100 metres too long. Obviously, I’ll always take the official distance and pace over my watch. In the last few races I’ve had my watch telling me different distances to the race length – for example, the XC last week at Pembrey Park was 9.9K on power of ten although on my watch it said it was 9.47 kilometre’s long. Anyway, I’ll take that I ran 18:55 for this 5K and leave it there. As you can see from the photo I was absolutely drenched afterward! At least I had free Snickers though (Jack also took two chocolate bars but don’t call the police!)

Jack did really well coming in 8th place with a 16:40. I think he, like me, was pleased with his race considering the circumstances. Jack has had a very good 2019 in terms of racing so far and I’ll give some updates on how he’s doing going forward if he lets me.

As I’m finishing up this blog a good few days after the race happened, I might as well tell you about my latest training. On Friday I doubled, running 6.5 miles in the afternoon and having a general explore of the York campus. I ran around the East Campus which is situated next to a lake. It was one of those runs where it’s so quiet that all I could hear was my own footsteps at times. I probably should’ve been running at a slower recovery pace, but I was so excited for stuff I had on for the rest of the day that I averaged 4:32k’s.

Then in the evening, I went on a 5.5 mile run with Jack. Obviously, this is nothing to do with Jack, but I found the run a little less pleasant than the earlier one, probably because my legs were tired and because of all the traffic. Some pedestrians really just hate runners too.

So those runs were on Friday, then we went out in the night and I found my ability to take alcohol is worse than ever. In terms of the following day, I feel the repercussions are getting worse than ever too. I would say I drank a lot but not a ridiculous amount. However, I’m still feeling the shakiness now and the night was four days ago.

Anyway, yesterday I went on an 11.5-mile morning long run with Jack and I managed to up my pace slightly more than usual. It was a good run don’t get me wrong, and I enjoyed the scenery, but I still felt my alcohol exploits from two nights previously were making it harder than it should’ve been. I know a lot of people say hang-overs get worse when you’re older, and I’m not sure if me feeling bad is a placebo effect from drinking a couple of days earlier, but it’s really starting to affect me.

There are loads of outside factors that can shape you when it comes to running, but having a few drinks and feeling shaky for the next two, three and in this case, four days clearly isn’t a great help. Not in 2019, but at some point in the future, I’ve got to evaluate my priorities.

I would say my running goal at the moment is to get a sub-18 minute 5K and represent South Wales like lots of my fellow San Domenico runners. Maybe giving up alcohol is the only way to do that.