Thanks for the advice, guys. I have Amazon vouchers unfortunately, so will be a bit dearer than sportsshoes.com. Quite interested in buying with HRM, so it's tempting to go for something like the 610, which works out a bit cheaper, or 220 without HRM. PMJ - that is odd. When did you become a quadruped?
Lorenzo - not long to Comrades now! Bike It - good to hear your son is aiming high! Progressing nicely, if still painful. Badbark - amazing performance just one week on from London. RFJ - some great racing this weekend. KR - congrats to you and your team - oh so close to 17:xx. VTr - take care now. Sounds like you have similar plans to me. I totally agree with people's comments about lack of race practice. I haven't even done a parkrun since Feb last year. Really nice day yesterday in contrast to Sunday. After tidying up the garden shed in the morning, all the family went to the beach in the afternoon and I tried out my new wetsuit (don't worry, no chance of going over to the dark side!). Legs felt worse for wear this morning, so just another few slow miles. Mrs GD told me she had thought about buying me a Garmin as a birthday surprise, but didn't want to choose the model without asking advice - she had even contemplated posting a message on the forums here! What would people recommend (from the lower end of the price range!)?
After finishing the Spring Shakespeare there were 7 weeks and a day to my local 10k, which start 1 mile from my doorstep. I decided on a high risk strategy of 3 fast sessions a week. After 1 week recovering and 1 moderate week, that left me with 4 weeks each including 1 tempo run, 1 sprint session and 1 interval session to get into shape and 1 final mini-taper week. Amazingly I made it to the start line!
For once the weather forecast was spot on and by 7 o'clock in the morning it was pouring down. It wasn't too windy though. Just before 10am, my wife was biking down to the market place where the races start and finish, so I jogged along with her. We found a spot near the start and cheered on some of the fun runners whom we know and then I went off to warm-up. About 10-15 mins before the 10k was due to start, I fought my way back through the crowds to find Mrs GD again and left my very wet jacket with her and made my way to the sub 40 area.
There were a few wheelchair racers setting off before us, but it appears that they still hadn't made their way to start at their alloted time. Soon everyone was getting very agitated and calling out to the organisers to get started. So the deputy mayor made a speech which was very helpful. They called us forward finally and then started the wheelchair race. Not sure how long we had been standing around waiting for the gun but it finally came and we were off.
We had only gone a few hundred metres when I noticed that I had a lace undone. Why didn't I spot that a few minutes earlier! Decided I'd risk leaving it rather than waste a few seconds - by now we weren't too bunched up and I don't think it was long enough for anyone else to stand on! The first 2k went to plan - 3:56, 3:57. The splits were by my own measurement of the course as the official markers just go on the nearest available lamppost or whatever.
We then headed out of the town centre up to the river and I lost a few seconds somewhere - 4:04. The 4th kilometre is up on the river bank and into the wind, so pleased to hold the pace for another 4:04. Then we turned back towards the town and got to halfway with a nice 3:59 - I think I just a handful of seconds over 20mins; so far so good.
By now one or two runners start overtaking me. Not sure if I am slowing down, but it's starting to get tough. We head into the park and it's the slowest km so far, 4:05. Try and dig in as more people pass me but get even slower, 4:07. The crowds were not great this year - can't think why they didn't want to stand out in the rain and cold.
Out of the park now and back into the town where we finish with the first 2 and a half km in reverse. I started shouting around this point and some of the crowd did try and cheer me on, but to no avail - next split was 4:10.
As this point we go along the opposite side of the market place to the start/finish area and can hear the lead runners finishing. Still slowing down for 4:13 before hitting the final stretch. Finally did manage to stop the fade and finished with a 4:12. The gun time was 40:59 and my watch said 40:51.
A bit gutted, as I had always managed a PB in the 10k, but obviously that couldn't go on for ever. The official time was 40:52 and 133rd place out of 1882 finishers.
Thanks for the encouragement guys. I heard one of the top 10 finishers say it was tough out there yesterday, so I don't feel so bad. OO - that's pretty good going 1 week after a sub 3 on a tough course.
Badbark - I think I can guess the answer to your question! Quick visit to say I finished in 40:51 by my watch today (20 secs slower than PB from 2013). Pouring rain, wind and 10 minute delay in the pens waiting for the wheelchair race to start didn't help, but think I was found wanting. Never mind. Onwards and upwards. I'll try and do a proper report later or tomorrow.