Despite this my prep for the race had gone well; carb loading the night before rather than apple loading (in the form of cider), an early night’s sleep, and the prospect of a course where “road quality is very good and flat throughout”. I was feeling confident I could better my Spring 10k time.
I rolled up on the day and got chatting with club members before a quick warm up and off to the start line. It was a nice day for it – not too hot, but warm enough so that I was feeling comfortable in my skimpy running vest (what a mental image)…
We were soon off, and, as I’d started near the front, was swept along with the fast runners and completed the first kilometre in 3:59 – I felt fine… My subsequent two kilometres were equally quick times; 4:09 and 4:03 respectively.
It was around then that the twisting and turning nature, as well as the slight (slight is relative here) increases in gradient of the course knocked me for six. I suddenly couldn’t get my breath back and I slowed right down.
As I knew the course was a two lap affair I tried to get my breathing back under control for the half way mark. Due to this I slowed for the 5th kilometre quite a bit, despite this I delivered the first half of the race in a not too shabby 20:47. (Kilometre 4 & 5 in 4:14 & 4:22).
Problem was, I couldn’t catch my breath.
So, I decided rather than flog myself for a certain time, just go at a pace that was fairly quick and give myself a workout. You’d think this would allow me to enjoy the rest of the race.
Enter 8km guy… A local resident who nearly made me go all animalistic on his arse (not in a sexual way – even if I had wanted to I wouldn’t have had the energy) by exclaiming ‘not far to go now’. I feel my self-control at not shouting back at him ‘there are two bloody kilometres left, <expletive>’ was excellent.
The highlight of the race on the last lap was seeing fellow club runners going the opposite way and high fiving them, sweaty handed and all…
None of my last five kilometres were under 4:30 except for the very last one when I pushed on and tried a sprint finish.
I crossed the line with a time of 42:37, a full 45 seconds slower than Liverpool Spring 10k. I wasn’t a happy bunny!!
Final Race stats
First 5km: 20:47
Second 5km: 21:50
A good race – though not quite as flat as advertised. Well organised and a good mix of running ability amongst the entrants. I liked the way you would go past runners going the opposite way and give/receive encouragement from fellow club runners.
I was really disappointed and a bit angry with myself just after completing the race, mainly because of the time I posted, which made me feel like I didn’t enjoy it. However, at the half way point I was very happy, it was just the latter half, and I’d consciously made a decision to not over exert myself.
On reflection, I should be happy I completed the race in a half decent time considering the lack of running in the two weeks leading up to it, and how much I struggled. I’m back running again, and there is no better feeling in the world!!