Last Sunday I raced on the road over 20k in Alphen, Holland, finishing 5th in 60mins 30secs. This was the only race I have planned in my London preparation so I was keen to race well, which I think I managed. Conditions were very windy unfortunately which is apparently quite common for this event, making things a little tougher. I was aiming to run sub 60mins which would equate to around 63mins for the half marathon but the wind put paid to that, with a 4km section in particular directly into a strong headwind. I also ran the last 12km solo but found that I was able to get into a good rhythm and hold my pace well (when not into the wind). A good result and bodes well going into the last 6 weeks of preparation for London. You can find offical race results here www.prorun.nl/live/ my race is the 20k wedstrijdloop which you need to click on (far right on the tool bar).
Following the race I was back on my travels that evening flying back to London Gatwick before then jumping on a bus to Heathrow. I stayed overnight in Heathrow before then getting my flight to Nairobi, not before squeezing in an early morning jog around Heathrow I might add. I also had to stay overnight in Nairobi too as I arrived late at night before then completing my travels with the short flight to Eldoret (nearest airport to Iten, where I am based) and a 40mins bus ride to my final destination. Needless to say I was pretty tired but pleased that the travelling was over, unfortunately though I couldn’t run that day (which I had planned to do) due to my left knee & shin giving me some trouble, both had faired up after the race and I don’t think the long haul flight helped as my left ankle had doubled in size. Fortunately I was able to get some treatment on it that day from David Kirui a therapist who works with world famous Gerard Hartman, who is also based in Kenya during certain times of the year. Thankfully I was back into normal training the next day and the injuries seem to be starting to settle down. I even ran my first harder workout today which was 6 x 2k, I ran this with a small group of german athletes who also staying at the centre. I not quite fully acclimatized yet but I was happy to get a solid session under my belt.
One of my faviourite pics from my last trip to Kenya...
Today saw the arrival of further british athletes, namely Andy Baddeley, Mike skinner, Ben Whitby and Mark Draper, so it will be nice to have company on some of my runs. Although I came out on my own there have been some familiar faces on camp too, namely a few athletes (who are on extended training camps here) and friendly staff whom I met back in Janurary.
Today has been a busy day at the centre as they have played host to some Kenyan delegates for some kind of a conference. Apparently attended by one of the richest men in Kenya… I was told a story today he is not a man to cross, as apparently some of his rivals in the past have randomly disappeared without a trace!
Right that’s it for now as it time for my afternoon nap, which now forms part of my daily routine. One last thing, I had a really fun interview with Tom Williams from Marathon Talk the other day. Any keen runners there who have not heard of Marathon Talk, you should check it out, Tom along with Martin Yelling present the show which is free weekly podcast and well worth a listen. There’s been some really insightful interview with many well know runners and I certainly recommend you give it a listen.