A perfect cool and overcast morning for a race but legs tired from half marathon training resulted in a just sub 40min 10k.
In the weeks leading up to this run I had been training for a half marathon being held the following week. Training consisted of a long (slow) run each weekend. During the week I was doing 12 min HIIT workouts.
I woke to a cool, overcast morning, quite different from the sunny mornings earlier in the week. I ditched my sleeveless base layer to stick with a singlet. As I cycled to the run it started to rain and the wind was cold. I was a little cold and wet when I parked my bike. I drank a reasonable amount of my energy drink and went for a warm up jog. I kept all my layers on, including my windproof cycling jacket. I felt sluggish and struggled to loosen up. The cold wind was a concern as I had never worn just a singlet at that temperature. Thankfully the rain stopped and took the bite out of the wind.
I met my sister, Helen, right before the start and she joked to her friends that the start was the only time she saw me at races.
I removed my final layer and went to the start line. I took it easy for the first 1km and did it in 3m58s. By the 2km mark I was about 14th and passed one or two before we got to the 4km mark.
Most of the course was into a headwind or had a crosswind. It wasn’t until the 4-5km portion on Furze Road that there was a tailwind. This would be helpful for the final km. I passed the 5km marker at 19m54s, far from ideal when aiming for sub 40. Worse still was my head that was full of self doubt. I never wear headphones during a race but they might have helped drown out those negative thoughts.
There was a good distance between me and the runners ahead and behind me. Approaching the 7km point I was very tempted to take a walk break. The final descent into the Furry Glen was a welcome downhill and break from the wind. I pumped my arms to help during the climb out, though my legs didn’t join in.
I was very slowly gaining on the guy who was about 100m ahead of me and holding on for the tailwind on the last km. Helen spotted me and waved as I turned onto that stretch. I hit the 9km mark at 35m11s – a big ask for a sub 3m49s km. I pushed it, aided by that tailwind (and a short last km) and endured thoughts of getting sick to cross the line in 39m58s.
The Garmin said that the distance was 9.95km. If the course was accurate it would have resulted in my first over 40min 10k in a number of years. My 39m58s time was 1m10s slower than the same race last year. Worse still is that that race was longer!!