Here we are then… back up and wombling after the joyous adventures of Operation Big Smoke. Whilst a large data driven project is being worked upon in the background the McCarkiss athletes have been grinding away illogical sessions on wooden legs – just because it felt like they should be doing something with a bit of ‘quality’.
Monday saw an opportunity for the athletes to meet up and run some 10k pace reps – only 4-5 x 1km – so easing in nice and gently. After the mandatory brew at MCKEP HQ the pair headed for the hallowed asphalt of Ashlawn Lane in Rugby via a quick trip to the bushes of Cock Robin Wood at the request of Simkiss. Despite the pleasant warmth in the air, McCarthy played it safe and went for the thermal upper layer which was discarded once a suitable internal temperature of 42 degrees celcius was reached, indicated by McCarthy’s heightened state of moaning and inability to hit 10k target pace – which was completely unknown and thus an arbitrary target of 5:15/mi was randomly selected.
Reps were approx 1.1km, the first being completed by Simkiss and McCarthy at 5:10/mi, McCarthy lagging his usual 1.5 strides behind. Simkiss get his legs moving quickly ahead of the weekend’s half marathon completed the reps at 5:04/mi, 5:06/mi, 5:01/mi, 5:00/mi… a pointless display of running ahead of target pace, but at least assured him he could move at a reasonable pace… for short periods… with a nice recovery inbetween. Confidence inspiring stuff.
McCarthy ran his second rep in 5:15/mi and having hit target pace spot on for the second rep immediately admitted defeat and coasted in the remaining reps at 5:33/mi, 5:20/mi, 5:23/mi whilst claiming he thought he heard a rustle in the hedgerow and was concerned the hamstring sniper was after him again.
Pointless session #1 complete, the athletes chose to run the second session of the week indepently – and not independently like the first session where they were for all intents and purposes completely detached from each other in all but start/finish location – but independently as in McCarthy ran his session on Wednesday – Simkiss on Thursday. McCarthy’s session report read that his 3x1mi at HMP unfortunately coincided with the three highest peaks in Britain and that the elevation gains of 157ft, 121ft and 59ft limited his efforts to 5:41, 5:44 and 5:45 for the three mile efforts. Simkiss planned his route a little more carefully, although could not avoid the net elevation increase on the final rep which included a small incline – elevation changes of +13ft, -7ft and +207ft brought about paces of 5:24, 5:20 and 5:21 – although truth be told Simkiss’ final repetition was cut short to 0.9mi partly due to a horse/traffic/road junction situation, but also due to Simkiss blowing out of his arse.
Simkiss heads to the Shakespeare Half Marathon on Sunday – and is not sure what to do. Advice from specialist MCKEP staff ranging from “Run around the planned route in as quick a time as possible” to “Run hard, and don’t be shit” will undoubtedly bring the most out of him on the day. Meanwhile McCarthy continues his non-preparation for Chester Half with a trip to watch the football.