Well! What can I say! I've been trying to beat the 50 minute mark on one of my favourite 6 mile runs for 7 years now. Yes, a 7 whole years! Known to some as the "Mark Allison Memorial 6 Miles" this course starts in Gosforth, works it's way to Grandstand Road and goes all the way around the Town Moor via Claremont Road and back up the Great North Road (past my birth place as it happens!).
I felt rather rotten and very tired this morning after a bad night's sleep. Jack has been poorly this week and he was very restless during the night. I wasn't best prepared for a pacy 6 mile run that's for sure. The plan was to run with Carl Hudson who was planning 5 x 1200m efforts. I thought that I might manage the first few with him. I'm glad he was keeping tabs on the distance because I was just concentrating on keeping my breathing as regular as possible during the efforts at 00:07:40 ish pace. I was making a right old heavy breathing noise during the last mile and it's no wonder when you look at how quick I did it:Mile 1 - 00:08:10
Mile 2 - 00:07:51
Mile 3 - 00:08:11
Mile 4 - 00:07:56
Mile 5 - 00:07:56
Mile 6 - 00:06:54
The final time was 00:46:58 which absolutely hammered my previous best time of 00:51:27. This time was set just a few weeks after I'd finished the John O'Groats to Lands End run in September 2007. I was in peak condition then. Where on earth does that put me now! And don't forget that I've still got over 2 years of training to get in! Jimmy Bell always said I'd beat 50 minutes and I've tried time after time after time to do it.
That was only the first session of the day and I still had 5 miles to do on the treadmill at teatime! "I'll take it slow" I thought! That plan went out of the window and my final time was 00:40:03 which is the 2nd quickest 5 miles I've done in modern times. I don't really count the treadmill miles though as they are all flat and can't be compared to the running I do outside. Still, I was very pleased with that time so soon after smashing my 6 mile PB.
My long standing 10k (6.2 miles) PB is 00:43:45 set back in 1995 on the Kielder run. I've got someway to go to beat that but I reckon that if I get down to my fighting weight then I've got a chance. I'll save that one for 2010! In the meantime, I've got 53 miles left to do this week for a total of 75 miles.
I can't end today without saying a massive thank you to Brooks Sports who supply me with running shoes and various other bits of kit. Incidentally, all of my recent PB's have been achieved in Brooks Glycerin 6 and 7 shoes. They should call them Brooks Slippers as they are so comfy! Anyway, I received a consignment of goodies today from Brooks Sports including a load of socks and some short sleeve base layer training tops. Both the socks and tops are the usual superb quality I've come to expect from Brooks. I really appreciate their support. Their shoes saw me through one major run in 2007 and God willing will see me through another in just over 2 years time!
If you'd like to try Brooks shoes for yourself then why not get yourself along to Northern Runner, 52 Low Friar Street (Just down from the Gate), Newcastle. If required, they'll take a good look at your feet and will always recommend the best shoe for your foot type.