Hot on the heels of last weeks Colshaw Hall 10k (Race recap here – COLSHAW HALL 10k 2017 RACE RECAP) I was back out racing at 10k again. Being honest, I wasn’t feeling a quick run this time, my training had gone really well during the week, I had foam rolled the past two evenings and soaked the legs with Epsom Salts but I thought running quicker than last week just wasn’t going to happen.
I had my usual breakfast of Frosties and two hard boiled eggs, this seems to work for me, there are most likely far better things to eat which give you more energy and protein but what works for one, doesn’t always work for others. The key, I found, was to try these things out in training, see what works best for you and then stick to it, get your body used to the pre-race fuelling. Same goes for energy gels, try these out during training too. So back to Sunday, we set off on time, I decided against the traditional pre-race danish this week (not expecting to run quick so no need to ruin the tradition). Arrived into Alderley Edge with 40 mins to spare but spent 25 mins queuing, we were very lucky to get the last space in the car park, next year I will make sure I get here a lot earlier. The queue for the toilets was massive took, this took another 10 mins, leaving me 5 minutes to run back to the wife and daughter to say bye and get into the start area without having time to warmup properly, I did a little stretching out in the start area but I was a little worried I may injure myself in this run with not warming up properly.
The start area was the one part of this race that needs improvement. They had pacers going from 35 mins up in 5 min increments (i think), however, these guys were stood pretty close together, meaning everyone was well bunched up towards the front, I just couldn’t be bothered to push my through to where I thought I should be, I always tend to be honest with where I start, I am not one of these runners who will go line up in the 40 minute area knowing full well that my PB is say 55 mins for example, last week I ran a 41 min 10k so, I would tend to line up around the 43 – 45 minute area. This time around there were just too many people in the way so I stood back at 50 minutes, knowing that I will be waisting a lot of time early on passing people and waving in and out. My other issue with the start was that the starter did not have a mic or there was no PA system at the start, the runners near to the front could hear him shouting but anyone further back had no chance. So much so, I did not know the race had started until I saw people just in front of me starting to run.
Mile 1 – 6: 6:40, 6:42, 6:40, 6:24, 6:31, 6:13
I set off on the first mile slowly and feeling overcrowded, it wasn’t until we turned onto the bypass at about a quarter of a mile that I felt like I had some space to run and get around other runners, I knew with starting so far back that this was going to be the pattern for the majority of the race and I wasn’t expecting to run fast due to that reason. With not expecting a quick run I set notifications off on my watch so I could just enjoy running. It turned out that once I was on the bypass I was able to run freely and at a good pace. Last week I had averaged 6:43 for the 10k, this week I completed mile 1, 2 and 3 all under this time.
Running along a bypass for 3.2-miles then turning back and running on the opposite side of the road to the finish, isn’t the most scenic of runs, the weather felt quite warm too, the first half I felt really hot and really sweaty. As soon as I turned the cone to come back down the other side I was hit by a head wind, I hadn’t noticed the wind at all on the way out but coming home it was going to be into a head wind all the way. It wasn’t too strong and, actually, I quite liked the wind, it cooled me down a lot. One thing I have learnt over the past 3 months is that I struggle to run fast when it is warm. I started to overtake a lot more people on the way back so I checked my watch and saw mile 4 was a 6:24, I was thinking that maybe I could run sub 42 again at this rate so pushed on for mile 5, this was a little up and down as we dipped under the bridges and came back up the other sides, but this is why I have put so much effort into hill training, to make this bumps feel easy. Mile 5 was slightly slower at 6:31 due to the bumps but still quicker than last week, could I actually run quicker than last week and set a new PB when I haven’t been trying for half of the race and had no warmup time? I really pushed on for the last mile, I picked someone way down the road and used him as a target to chase down, this worked really well and I covered mile 6 in 6:13 and the last 0.2 miles at a 5:49 pace. You can see the effort in this finish line photo of me hovering down the road, some serious air time there, more by the Adidas Ultraboosts pushing me on.
So another 10k completed, this time in…. another new PB of 40:29!!! so amazed to run that time and to be so close to a sub 40 10k despite taking it steady to start with. I guess the steady start meant I could push hard in the second half. 138th overall out of 1,958 runners is pretty good going for me.