Blog 2: James Thie’s Masters adventure and winter build-up
James Thie is back with his latest instalment. He’s already run his heat and won in 2:00.81. A great read all about his winter build-up for the championships.
Blog 2. James Thie World Masters Indoor Championships
Winter Build-up to Champs
by James Thie
Thanks for the positive response to my firs blog yesterday. Today’s instalment is the winter build-up to the Masters Championship and my first race up in a few hours (the 800m heats at 1:05pm) – already completed.
My winter has been solid but a few blips along the way and far from ideal. My master’s debut was actually over cross country in November, with home advantage at the Home countries International. Over a fast and flat 8km course, I ran much better than my training suggested and won the M35 category with 2nd overall. This was mixed with a few local cross country races called the Gwent league, which by March would see me complete the series for the first time and actually win the overall title.
My second master’s race was a solid 25:28 5 miler just before the New Year and again for 2nd place. Just after that I went down with what felt like a sinus infection, which I’ve never had before. Even though it was never enough to stop me, I was feeling pretty bad in all workouts and even easy runs. I hoped easing off before heading out for the Bermuda International Mile would help! A few days in the sun and I felt much better, but in the race the last 400m was terrible and I was gutted to trail home in 9th with 4:18. In a race I have won twice it was tough to take, especially with my love of the race, island and people. Still I got back up the next day and tried to hit the 10km – and passing half way in 16:15 and then struggling in terrible wind and rain! This along with a long run the next day was not the best idea as took me a while to recover.
This sluggish feeling lasted through one of my big race aims of the season, the BUCS (British Universities) XC champs in Stirling. I knew from the off I was in trouble and with the teams three top guys flying I was our fourth scorer and was getting from bad to worse. The University has never managed a team medal, and this is with a couple of very close 4th place finishes and this might have been out best ever chance – which was all I could think about and that I may have blown it! Still on the last lap I dug deep into the empty pot and didn’t lose any more places for 55th. I finished with a real feeling I had let the team I looked after down! Then to find we had won the bronze was an amazing feeling and was so proud of the team I had managed for the last 5 years,
The indoors started with a couple of smaller university meets and managed a tactical 1500m win (4:07) and sluggish 800m (1:57). I then jumped on the track the day after the 800m with the guys and hit some 300s (10x300m off 45s jog rec) and was running 45’s and even kicked with Tom Marshall on the last for 41.9 – so clearly in better shape than 1:57! From that session on I felt like a different runner again and headed to BUCS indoors ready. The 1500m heats and semi-finals were routine and in the final it was the two St Mary’s Boys to watch out for: Ben Coldray & Dan Cheesman. I used every bit of my experience and ran the perfect tactical race to speed away in the last 150m (26.8 last 200m & 54.8 last 400m) to win in 3:55. Again a great feeling as more points and medals for the team that I help coach and organise.
So since then I have picked up the Gwent title, and ran a few good sessions to sharpen up. I like adding some change of pace sessions before major comps – something like 15x200m off 30secs with 2 steady and 1 fast or 5 x 300m 100 fast/100 steady/100 fast or 4x400m 200 relaxed and 200 fast. The last few days have been very easy and after flying out Monday morning, I ran to the track (& got lost!) did some strides and then ran back. Then today went for a lap round Margret Park, which is a must for any runner visiting Budapest as 5.2km with either trail or a lane or tartan track to choose from!
Today has just been a light 10 minute shake out when I woke up. Then I’ll head to the track 2 hours before my first race at 1:05pm. On the same track from 10 years ago, and in that time a lot has happened, but I’m still here and still racing!
Blog 3 tomorrow will have a bit about my pre-race routine and of course the heat results and description from my first race out here.