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.

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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?