Yes I am wearing red hot pants. No I did not lose a bet. But wait, I can explain..
Training this week has been really promising. I ran about 60 miles between Monday-Friday including some double days and a couple of speed sessions, then turned my legs over on the gym bike yesterday. It has been fun getting my lungs burning again!
On Wednesday night my brother Joe and I did a dummy run of the Woodbridge 10k course ahead of Sunday's race. I did a little faster session in the morning so my legs were feeling sharp. Towards the latter stages the conversation became rather one-sided (I basically delivered a 25 minute monologue) but to be fair though he did really well, especially as he runs with a piano on his back..
I was up at 4.45am the next day to meet my training partners Matt & Will. It was cool running in a little three man pack and I got in 13 sun-drenched miles. To anyone who finds it hard to fit training in, or the allure of the post-work sofa or beer garden too strong, I seriously suggest getting up early to run. It's a beautiful time of the day, the roads are dead and you get your daily exercise out of the way before breakfast. Don't believe me? I challenge you to try it once - you will be hooked.
Friday was another dentist appointment at Guy's Hospital in London. I've had some horrific toothache for the past two weeks, and due to the complexity of the reconstructive work I've had done I can't just pop to my local dentist, so I'd been counting down the days to find out what's up.
It turned out I need to have some root canal on three teeth. Keeping up the three theme, I also had six new temporary crowns fitted - my third different set of front teeth this year! Got to be some kind of record?
My next batch of work as part of the British Athletics Biomechanics team has been confirmed. On June 5th I will be at the Diamond League event in Birmingham, and then I'm back to the Alexander Stadium again on 25th/26th June for the British Championships. Then on 22nd/23rd July I'm super excited to say I will be working in the Olympic Stadium for the Anniversary Games (featuring some chap called Bolt). He claims to be the best in the world when it comes to performing for 10 seconds, but I beg to differ!
Right then, on to today's race. As I mentioned last week, the Woodbridge 10k is Suffolk's premier road race and just so happens to start pretty much on my doorstep! Aaron Scott, the England international whippet was always going to win and Andrew Rooke from Ipswich 2nd, so it was effectively 7-8 of us running our own race for 3rd place.
I worked out I probably had about 7-8km of hard running in me, so the strategy was to let the faster runners go and try to run a tactical race for the first lap and then give it the big one on Lap 2. It was supposed to be a "cool day" but it was both sunny and roasting!
The starting pace was pretty rapid with a 5:14 first mile but I managed to stay disciplined (even I'm amazed) and was in 9th place. I knew all the runners ahead of me and with all due respect, I knew there was absolutely no way they could sustain that pace for 10k so I moved up to 6th place and then just patiently bided my time.
At the end of the first lap there is a huge hill and I decided to push on and managed to swallow up the three guys and build a 40-50 metre lead. From then on it was basically a 5k solo time trial. My legs felt really strong so I tried to keep the pace going. I knew if I could keep to around 5:25 pace the boys behind would do very well to catch me on such a hilly course. I saw one of my oldest friend's Steph and got an epic high five from little Rory!
With about half a mile to go I was a good 100m clear of 4th and 2nd was way ahead up the road so I was nailed on for 3rd place. I just tried to enjoy the atmosphere from the immense crowd and the fact that I am finally back running pain free. In the home straight I was high fiving the crowds which was funny.
I ended up finishing in a time of 34:11 which was good enough for 3rd place. It was a long way off my PB of 32:52 but today was never really about running a super fast time. It was a really fun race and great to see so many friends and family out supporting in my hometown.
The highlight of the day however was undoubtedly my running outfit. I had forgotten just how short my tempo shorts were, so in basically every photo I have seen from the race you can either see my bum or willy! I genuinely don't know what I was thinking. It is fair to say they will never see the light of day again..
On to next week! After a four week hiatus, next Sunday is marathon number 8 down on the trails of London's spectacular Richmond Park. The route/course is one 12 mile lap and then two 7 mile laps. To be fair it looks hilly AF, but I'm crazy keen to get back in 26.2 action as these cute little 5k/10k races are barely worth getting out bed for :-)
As I'm running the Edinburgh Marathon the week after, my plan for next week's marathon is to.... wait for it... take it easy! You love it when I make my race predictions. In all seriousness though, Man v Horse is now less than four weeks away so I just want to try to get a solid period of hard training done and use these two upcoming marathons as training runs. I also have the small matter of finishing my degree in the next eight days!
There are now only four more blogs to go, although I'll probably drag it out a bit longer and summarise this adventure. However if anyone out there would like me to write some blogs for you or review some running products, you can catch me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See you next Sunday when I will hopefully be less-stressed and one step closer to completing my ten marathon challenge!
You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here. Thank you!