Hi all, me again.

Back in January I wrote a blog about my running journey from June and being coached to run a sub 22 minute 5k. I promised you an update when I’d finished, so here it is.

I’d left you on the 14th January having had a really bad third run at Lancaster and running it 30 seconds slower than I had in December, my head went during the race and I walked, not great when you’re trying to go fast. So, I wrote the blog in the hope that it would make me accountable to all 400 plus members, hmmmm I wonder if it worked?

Race four saw the lovely Ian Wharton running with me to try and help me stop having the head wobble moment. It was a good run and apart from Ian pretty much having to drag me the last mile (thank you Ian) I finished with a time of 22:21 and I’d knocked 23 seconds off Decembers time. However, over bacon sandwiches later my watch pinged up with a new 5k PB in 22:04…. just four seconds off if you were going on the watch time. We have since asked the organisers if the course was long, they’ve checked and it’s not apparently although most of us who run it get it long.

So that brings us to last Saturday and the final race of the series. I actually left a hen weekend to come and race this one and it was pretty difficult staying sober on the Friday night and going to bed early whilst the party was happening around me, however that’s what I did and I woke up fresh as a daisy on the Saturday morning. Jenny, Vicky and I turned up at 9.00am for the ritual of bacon sandwiches and lattes two hours before the race and then sat and chatted whilst we waited for the others, well actually I spent a good portion of that time on the loo, but that’s another story!

I slipped away to warm up at 10:30am as there just seemed to be more and more people arriving to wish me luck, the nerves were really starting to get to me by this point and I just needed some head space. Now I’m not going to give you a blow by blow account of the race but all I’ll say is I found it tough, really tough. I fought the demons in my head the whole way around and at one point they beat me, but I carried on and tried to make up the lost ground. Simon Barker, a fellow RunSmartie ran with me this time and he did an amazing job of trying to keep me on pace. In the last 0.4 of a mile I really tried to up the pace and with my husband and daughter at the finish line screaming me in I really tried for a sprint finish, but there was just nothing left to give and I crossed the line at 22:02 and promptly collapsed. I don’t actually remember much for a while after that but a big thanks to Ian and Simon for moving me, although why people couldn’t jump over me as they’ve finished I’m not really sure!!!

So the race was over and I’d finished in 22:02, not quite the sub 22 we had been aiming for but I couldn’t have given anymore. It was then that the good old watch went beep and up popped 21:57 fastest 5k. Now many of you will say that we should go off the race time and I tend to agree with you, but the coach says the brief was to run 5k in a sub 22 and that’s what I did so target achieved. Very, very happy Kate.

So, my sub 22 coaching journey is over, I have worked my ass off these last twenty weeks to try and achieve it. I have followed my plan religiously, never missing a single session. I’ve trained five times a week and completed sessions that have taken me to my physical and mental boundaries all in the name of getting quicker. Have I enjoyed it? Hell yes, I have loved every single second of it and I can’t recommend having a coach highly enough, especially if you are aiming for a particular target. (Obviously I’m biased, but Damian has worked wonders for this non-runner and the bonus is he is taking on clients, so get in quick).

During my coaching I have learnt so much about myself, the fact that I have a dogged determination, that I will try anything that is thrown at me and do it to the best of my ability, but also that I’m incredibly hard on myself and I can only see the negatives in everything I do, not good! However, the main thing that it has taught me, is that hard work pays dividends. And on that note before I leave you, just one last thing.

In June 2016, I was in the high 90’s on the female Red Rose Road Runners Run Britain ranking table, 96th I think, but don’t quote me on that. Now I know loads of you don’t like the rankings and feel that they’re inaccurate, but as runners we must have a system in place to rank us and this one does what it says. My journey has seen me improve on that table and I’m now 7th!!! Yes, little old me is the 7th fastest woman in Red Rose…how the hell did that happen? There is little chance of me getting higher in the rankings but I’ll keep at it, but for now the coaching continues just the targets change. What are they? I’m not sure to be honest, for that you’ll need to ask Damian but if you find out, be sure to let me know too please.