|I was still feeling like crap after Trafford but rather than risk doing nothing I headed to Wavertree Tuesday evening with the intent of only doing part of the session and not full pelt. The session was 10 x 3 mins which I'd try to do in around 5.25 pace but I stuck to 5.35 and 'only' ran 8 of the 10. I felt okay but could tell I still wasn't 100% and my cough was getting worse. I hit my usual routime of 8 x 800 on the Thursday before the race, again doing the reps slower but sticking with the 1 min recs that I've had mixed results with.
I knew by Friday I was going to do the race and was still confident I'd at least be able to hit some of the race hard but knew I'd struggle to get a PB, never mind sub 77. The day of the race I actually quite excited, with the marathon getting cancelled this is without doubt the biggest race in the city. I've done it a few times before but never as a Penny Lane Strider and when the race wasn't on the same day as Wilmslow I'd always support it.
The weather was cold and the ground was wet but it wasn't raining. There was a bit of wind but you'd expect that as the start was underneath the three graces on the Mersey. My plan was to start off around 6 min mile pace because the first two miles are up hill. Once we got onto Princes Avenue I started to wind it up knowing the next few miles were downhill. A young lad came with me and pushed me along through to Sefton Park. Right form the start I was getting shouts seemingly every step of the way off people I know from Penny Lane and the Harriers.
I struggled a bit going up the hill towards the 10k mark in Sefton Park and went through in a disapointing 38.12 - I was hoping the markers were way off and looking back at my splits and others they probably were. Still I knew I had to get a move on, the toughest section of the course was over and I know needed to step it up. I started picking fellas off, I passed Nige Grant who was spectating in Otterspool and he told me I was 26th. I wasn't going to get a PB but I could still get a top 20 place.
The race dropped onto the promenade and wind was slightly in your face but not too bad. I passed the 10 mile mark just over the hour and tried to up the pace but it just wasn't there. I was following Knowsely Harriers Steve Nijs who's a very similar standard to me, when the course started to take a few twists and turns that spoilt whatever rythym I'd built up. I passed Steve with about a mile left and picked off a few more to move up to 23rd - I could see the Liver Building but once again the course started to take a few tight turns and right at the end you practically came back on yourself over wet cobbles to the finish. I thought it was a poor end to a great event, I crossed the line in 78.48 - not bad under the circumstances.
I felt like crap all day after the race but was still really pleased with my performace, it was the 2nd quickest I've ever been over that distance. I've got the relays next, we've got a team that's proabaly just a few short of getting in the nationals but you never know at these events - hopefully Wilmslow being run the next day will put a few off and we'll sneak in that top 25.