In June, the first long-awaited spring-summer races took place. On the first weekend of June, we organized our own race at the stadium in Portovald, where I ran a personal best on 5,000m – 18:01, although unofficially. The plan was to run the pace for about 3:45/km, but after 400-500m I changed my mind and speeded up into a higher pace. I felt great and wanted to prove to myself at the practice that I am capable of running faster than in previous years. I really enjoyed the run and did not mind hot weather. I have found many times in the past that on days when all things are put in place, you do not notice any bad conditions at all. You go, you enjoy, you “win”. A good result comes automatically.
A week later, a race in Slovenska Bistrica at the same distance was on the plan. I do not remember the last time I ran at a meeting before that, as I competed more in championships and road races. After a whole week without proper training due to back pain, I was grateful to be able to participate at all. Of course, I wanted the result as in training, but I crossed the finish line at 18:08.50, which was a new official personal best time. I was also on the podium as second-placed. The pain in my back did not significantly hinder me during the race, but weather conditions with high temperatures and humidity made it more difficult to run. I also believe that there was no real speed in my legs due to the loss of training, but I still could not say I was not disappointed as I knew I could run faster. Nevertheless, I tried to take positives from the situation and prepare for the next races.
On June 23, I attended an international meeting in Maribor with 3000m scheduled. I was not feeling well already during the day, which reflected in the final result. In addition, extremely hot weather added some seconds to my performance. My result 10:27.46 was far from the indoor result; thus, I could not hide my disappointment, especially since I ran faster split time at 3,000m mark a day gefore on 5,000m in Slovenska Bistrica even though I still had 2,000m to the finish. Until the next race, i.e. Slovenian Athletics Cup (APS), I had slightly more than a week and it seemed impossible to train in such a short time in a way to significantly improves my performance.
APS started very late on schedule and my 5,000m race was scheduled just before I usually start getting ready for bed. During the day, I also struggled with nausea and abdominal pain, so the circumstances did not speak in my favor. To the last, I thought about not participating in the race, but at the same time I knew I was not going to do that. Race pace at the beginning was faster than planned as I preferred to go with the group rather than being left alone. The first two kilometers were very fast, but then the pace slowed down a bit. I tried not to slow down too much, but during the race, when it is not the easiest for you, all such ideas become distant. I finished with the time 17:40,38 as officially improved personal best time and club record. I was happy to achieve a great result already on Saturday making me feel less under pressure for Sunday’s performance.
The next day, 3,000m was waiting for me. I did not feel the race of the previous day in my legs, but the result showed that there were some consequences anyway. The start and the first kilometer were great, but then there was no real strength to keep the pace. I crossed the finish line with a score of 10:21.15, which is my new outdoor personal best. Since I know I am capable of more, I look forward to the next opportunity this year to improve on that.
Shorter distances were not my priority in previous seasons, I did neither perform well in them nor like them which are probably related to one another. Therefore, I competed on longer races. This year, I realised that even fast can mean fun which changes as you get faster. When you improve your speed, you see that you are going in the right direction and you get extra motivation for even more. Proof of this was already the race at the indoor national championship, which was a pure joy, although given the time of 10:12.13 it would be expected that everything will be sooner than that. At that time, after a long time, I said to myself that I would leave the half marathon and marathon distances aside for a while, because I believe that I must first run faster on shorter distances if I want to be faster on longer distances as well.
The next race on the schedule is Karlovački cener as a 10,000m road race followed by the national championship on the track at the end of July as the last race of the first part of the season.