This time round I have been tied up with the triathlon training and had not done any specific 10k work since the Longhorn back in March, so was relying on the fitness gained from the 3 disciplines to get me round, along with my new running technique.
Race morning was here far too quick and I was regretting not focusing on this race as I would like to get close to 50mins this year, but there are not enough days in the week at the moment. The plan for the day was to try and keep up with the 50min pacer as long as possible and assess the performance for the rest of the 10k races booked.
A bonus of having a running race in your home town is not having to pack the swim gear, bike, helmet and all the triathlon stuff. We got the tram down to the market square in our running gear. It was also nice seeing running and triathlon buddies in the spring sun before the start.
I got straight on it, bang on with the cadence of 90 and a pace of 5:00/km with the pacer right in front of me, down Friar Lane, past the castle and into The Park. I was expecting some hilly stuff, but it wasn’t that bad, some inclines….then we turned left after the first 1k and “shit got real….huge hill”. The pace went through the floor and my heart rate soared to my finish sprint heart rate as I tried to keep up with the blue flag of the 50min pacer. The climb (crampons and ice pick) carried on up for 500m before we came straight back down past the 2k marker, allowing me to use my mass and physics to bring me back down the hill at a rapid pace, still in touch with the pacer, but it had taken its toll.
Back on the flat stuff the heart rate was still high and my legs were feeling it already, with the next kilometre spent seeing the 50minute man disappear. It was time to reassess. Time to make the best of it….the new plan was “cadence 90 or higher, heart rate no higher than 159 and balls to the pace”.
The hill had thrown my rhythm completely and it took another 5k for me to get it back. (I am not going to bitch about the course……..just a little bit maybe, did it really need to be that tough?..could they have not found something a bit…you know…..flatter?) I have no idea about what I may have run past, the only thing I remember is someone in an absolute tri suit running towards me and giving each other a big cheer…..this really helped lift the spirits (who was it? anyone know?) With my rhythm back, I started to pick people off, just in time for a long convoluted climb to Hockley, having a chat with twins who run for MND and seeing Chris from Forest Rec parkrun
I started getting my bearings and worked out where we were heading with a mile left…..and it was uphill until the last 400m, the crowds started thickening and there was quite a crowd as I came over the line in 52:49. Gutted not to be closer to a PB but the course was super tough, a course of extremes. I will take the time and I have a month before the solstice 10k.