Today I had a 3000m at the southern athletics league (SAL) in Crawley. I felt alright today, just a bit tired and perhaps still feeling fatigued from a hard tempo on Thursday. I could have probably done with a bit more sleep, but that’s something I can work on for my next race.

The coach arrived at Crawley at around 11 am. My 3000m was at 2:15 so I had plenty of time before my race. 2:15 for me, is one of those annoying times of day to have a race because it is right after lunchtime, so I had a banana and some dark chocolate as I was feeling peckish before.

Beforehand I just tried to make sure I was focused, stayed out of the hot Sun which I was hoping would go away for my race and around 40 minutes before I went out for a 2.5km jog with some strides before doing some running drills prior to my race. I felt slightly uneasy in my stomach which was unusual as the last bit of food I had eaten was 3 hours before, but it was probably nerves kicking in. I really wanted to get under 9:20.

As well as Crawley AC, we were competing against Bracknell AC and Southampton AC. I was hoping that this race I would be able to hang on the back of a runner who could run under 9:30. The gun went off and the pace settled. It felt slow and I was tucked right in the pack of 13 runners. I felt an urge to go to the front, but before I made that decision I realised that the pace always feels slow in the first 200m, but in the last 1000m it can be a struggle to keep up.

I hung onto the back of the front pack of 5 for the first two laps going through 800m in 2:31 and then the pace picked up. The next lap was 72 seconds and I was thinking to myself, I can just hang on if I stay strong mentally. This was the sort of pace that would get me a personal best, but towards 1400m the pace picked up to 68 seconds per lap and I could just not keep up. I dropped back off to a 76 second lap pace and went through 2000m in 6:18. I was still on target for a 9:30, but I could feel myself struggling. I had no one close by to chase in front and the two runners behind me were sitting comfortably.

The lead pack was slowly breaking away from me on the third lap

My 6th lap slowed down to around 80 seconds before I picked it up and gave it all I had on the last lap to finish in 9:31.57. I was pleased to have a pb, but somewhat gutted to have missed out on running under 9:30. My legs felt very shaky after the run; I tried to walk up the bank our team was situated on, but ended up walking backwards twice when I tried to walk up.

Later on in the day, I took part in the 4x400m just to score points for the club. I ran the first leg in 61 seconds which I was pleased with.

Altogether, I am pleased with how the day went and I’m looking forward to racing more. The 3000m did feel mentally painful after the third lap so maybe I’ll go and do a 1500m next before going back up to the 3000m.

Did you race this weekend and how did you get on?