Posted: 25/04/2016 at 13:07
Rightio, full race report coming up.
Didn’t really know what to expect today. Since October, I’ve been majoring on cross country, and it’s difficult to tell what shape you’re in from that, particularly if like me you’re relatively poor at XC even when you’re in form. My two road races since October have involved one where everyone’s times were affected by wind, and one which I did more as a training run, so those didn’t help much. Thoughts had ranged across most of the full 2:3x range, but by the time the weekend came round I had settled on 2:35 as the main target, but knowing I would be happy with under 2:37 to make sure the average was sub 6s. Anything over 2:40 (PB = 2:40:22) would have been greeted by a considerable amount of sulking. Sub 2:35 is 5:54 pace, so decided to hit halfway in 1:17:00 – 1:17:20 to allow for a slight fade.
Slightly regretted having organised my youngest’s birthday party for the day before, meant I was on my feet a whole lot more than I would’ve wanted, particularly as I was running all the games, but you live and learn.
Come the day, the phantom ankle soreness from the day before had disappeared, as had the phantom glute soreness and, more importantly, the definitely not phantom hip issue.
Cold weather meant everyone cramming into the Champs tent rather than reclining on the grass outside, and I was struck by how the combinations of hoods/hats, gaunt, haunted faces and facial hair reminded me of a group of rescued hostages waiting to be airlifted to safety.
0-5K: 18:12 - At the start, the plan was to run with my clubmate to about halfway, and then see where we were. However, it soon became apparent that we were starting too far back, particularly when Johnas pointed out that we were standing too far back. This heavily constrained the first two miles, and resulted in a pretty conservative opening among the congestion of 6:08 and 6:00. I knew there would be time to get back on track so didn’t panic. Mile three was where gaps started opening up, and we started to shoot through them. My clubmate was shooting through them so quickly that I decided to let him go, but even so, I dropped a thoroughly unreasonable 5:26. Yikes!
5-10K: 18:20 – Coming through Greenwich now I’m moving forward through the fast starters group by group, and making sure the two or three fancy dressers off the other starts get put behind me quickly, including a 6 foot 3 Princess Elsa from Frozen. Don’t remember any fancy dress costumes being anywhere near this far up two years ago, this must be some new phenomenon. Feel comfortable and smooth and controlled, but the mile pace is still a bit up and down. 10K in 36:32.
10-15K: 18:26 – It was at this point that I really started settling into the pace properly and just churning out the miles. I was heartened by the fact that, by this point 2 years ago I already knew it wasn’t my day, whereas today I still felt very in control of my own destiny. Through the group of my climates marshalling at Rotherhithe, and into a bit of a headwind, hence the slight drop in pace, but plenty of groups to find shelter in. Still moving up the field.