YAY! I got a PB, I got a PB!
To be honest it was a bit of a surprise when I got close to the end and realised from the clock that I was in PB territory. Hang on I’m getting ahead of myself here, I’ll rewind to the start of my day and tell it chronologically.
7.30am I was stood at the train station, huddled into my bright yellow fleece (an authentic one from Manly Beach, Sydney I’ll have you know) with the hood up, shivering and yawning and wondering what the bleedin hell I was doing there again. I am really NOT a morning person which makes these races even more of a challenge as most of them require me to be up, dressed and out of the house ealier than my 1st alarm normally goes off on a work day. The train journey was uneventful except for the fact that my iphone headphones stopped working, mysterioulsy a year to the day that I bought them so I couldn’t get my usual fix of Don Draper to set me up for race day (an episode of Mad Men has become a pre race ritual for me). I got to Camden Town 15 minutes too early so hung around looking so suspicious the underground security man started talking to me – clearly my yellow fleece, black running tights and trainers did not make it clear I was a runner as he asked me what I was doing, who I was waiting for etc etc albeit very nicely and he did wish me luck. I was glad that Alma was early and Sue turned up pretty soon after that, so with our trio complete we headed down to Regents Park.
When we got to the start it was very busy in a hustle-bustle-club-race kind of way. It reminded me of the atmosphere at the Stevenage relay thing I did a couple of weeks ago. We were 20 minutes or so early which gave us plenty of time for a natter and to suss everything out. It was blowy and very overcast and we pondered and pontificated about whether it would rain and if it did whether we would run at all or just nip off for a coffee and some cake… Thankfully it didn’t and after picking a point as far back in the start line as we could get without being at the finish line, we set off.
I found the 1st 1k very hard. I ran yesterday and Friday – both short distances but even so my legs were heavy, a bit achey and slow to get started. Sue felt the same I think – we were both waiting for our airways to open and the rhythm to set in. I must admit I got a bit narrow visioned, it seemed all I could do was put one foot in front of the other and breathe, and I pulled ahead of Sue and Alma without realising it. When I looked back and realised I slowed down til they caught up, and could see Sue was struggling. Now, let me paint a picture – Sue has a black eye, hers shins are covered in bruises and her knee is a lovely shade of purple, so the fact that she even thought about running is great! She said to go on ahead and I confess I did go off again as I could feel myself getting into a rhythm and wanted to go with it – thank god Alma is a much better person than I am as she stayed with Sue. The 1st lap was OK, I tried to maintain an even pace, one foot in front of the other and not get overtaken by anyone. The course is nice and windy so you don’t have any long boring stretches, but it does go up and down alot – not massive inclines but enough that you can feel it and it’s a struggle.
By halfway through the 2nd lap (the course is 3 x 3.4k laps) Alma caught up with me and she was looking goooooood. Not as red as usual, breathing and pace even she hadn’t even broken a sweat. We ran together for a bit but I was starting to flag so I waved her on and wished her luck. I kept up a lumbering pace for the rest of the 2nd lap. At the start of the 3rd lap I made the rookie mistake of stopping to drink my water and I never really got started again after that. I ended up resorting to the tactic that got me round BUPA – running at a pretty quick pace for a count of 60 in my head, then walking for a count of 15, repeat until
torture race is over. I was to-ing and fro-ing with a woman who was a similar speed to me if i’d just done the normal thing and run at a consistent pace, and when we got onto the home stretch I pulled in front of her. I thought I was sprinting all out, then she said ‘I’m going to catch you!’ and I caught sight of her creeping up on my left. I thought to myself; no you’re bloody not!, sped up and managed to finish a second ahead of her! We shook hands and I thanked her for pushing me for the final bit.
My official finishing time was 1hr 9 mins 16 seconds, which is exactly 1 minute faster than I did the BUPA 10k. It’s wierd you know, out of the 3 10ks I’ve done, I was most pleased with how I ran the Asics 10k, whereas with BUPA and this one I felt like I had to fight to finish, yet I ended up with a better time. With both todays and BUPA, my last long run was more then 2 weeks previous and I hadn’t done much running in the 2 weeks before hand. I was best prepared for Asics but performed the worst – although I think that was mostly down to the heat. Ah, I think I’m overanalysing, I’m just going to make sure I keep my training up as I DO NOT want to finish either of my half marathons that way.
I had planned to run to the Swineshead 10 miles on the 11th of September, however I am now going to Barcelona for the weekend with a friend who won the flights (woohoo!) so that’s out of the window, so I am seriously considering entering the next one of these races on 4th September…see if I can get a PB of a PB!!