One thing I don't think I've talked about in this blog so far, is "what does success look like?". Perhaps it's because there was still a small, very small, part of me that was sceptical that I could really get faster. And at 49 years old, I'm not talking about breaking some of the personal-best times I set in my early 20's!
Should I measure success as "best ever age graded run at a particular distance"? I quickly dismissed this as a soft target; I've been increasing my age grading over the past few years anyway (as a function of not slowing down as rapidly as I am getting older!).
Of course, success will involve a race, of a certain distance, covered in a certain time. I guess success could also be declared with another 800m national title (or better!), but that rather relies on the relative condition of the other competitors on the day (i.e. having fewer injuries in training than them)!
In terms of what distance, I am cognisant that I embarked on this journey for the sake of shaving a second or two off my 800m time, so, in theory, only a 2:02 or 2:01 at 800m could qualify as success against the primary goal. That hasn't changed. I've had an immense amount of fun running longer distances, learned a lot about myself, about running gait, and about shoes, but I still consider myself an 800m runner. So, success is a 2:02 (or better) over 800m. Right?
...as an interim, tentative, declaration of success, a performance last Sunday can't go without mention. On 27th Nov I ran my 3rd fastest ever 10 mile race ever, just 31s off my pb set in January 1990, almost 27 years ago. My second fastest was back in 2005.
The graph shows, in blue, my best time for a 10 mile race that year. The red dot is the age grade % for that performance.
So I think I am going to allow myself a little luxury, to declare success! Huge thanks to Keith Bateman and Heidi Jones, authors of Older Yet Faster, to Jon Tilt my coach, and Mrs.B for letting me go out running so much!
That's a week shy of 16 months since the first Older Yet Faster run in Lyon. What a journey!
Below, just some of the successful Southampton AC team at the Hayling 10 on Suday. Thanks to Sarah for the pic.