Posted: Yesterday at 11:53
GEAR 10k road race Sunday 1st May
Report - Part I
The timing of the race didn't seem ideal. 21 days before White Peak would normally make it the first day of the taper! So my plan was to do a bit of a lighter week with a sprinkling of 10k pace work and then do my final long run early in the following week (this got rather scuppered but in a very enjoyable way!) I wasn't expecting great things, but was definitely going for it without holding anything back.
Two weeks ago, I stopped drinking any caffeine (except one cup acccidentally!) and then drunk plenty on Saturday and Sunday morning. No idea if this helped or not but the only adverse reaction was 24 hours worth of muslce pain a few days after withdrawal. Going back onto the caffeine and racing was fine, so might repeat this for the marathon. It was to be my first race with a GPS watch, which I was hopeful would also be a bonus when it came to pacing.
On the negative side, it was a bit stressful driving into town and finding somewhere to park. The roads and car-parks were heaving. Normally, I have a leisurely morning at home and jog down to the start (1 mile from my house) ready to complete my warm-up. Then my GPS watch wouldn't pick up a signal. Fortunately by the time I got to the starting area, it had finally sorted itself out.
Met up with a couple of friends, one at the back of the sub 40 pen with me and one near the front. Unlike last year, the weather was almost perfect. I was feeling good and still on a bit of a high from all the excitement of the birthday surprises - adrenaline levels sky-high no doubt! We started a few minutes late, but didn't really matter as we weren't soaking wet and freezing this time!
I ran the first km with the friend who was gunning for sub 42 which would be a PB. The great thing was that I didn't have to wait to finish it before I knew what kind of pace we were doing. 3:55 would do nicely. My friend said it was too fast for him and dropped off the pace a bit. He told me to try and hold on to our other friend who has done around 38:xx in the last couple of years, but was still recovering from a virus which made him collapse and hospitalised him a few weeks ago!
I have run this 10k about 5 times before (the only 10k I have raced actually!) and being just up the road from my house, run lots of it regularly, so there would be no surprises this morning on that count! It's well supported and every now and again someone shouts out to me. Another advantage of a local race in a moderately sized town.
I glance at my watch every now and again and adjust my pace accordingly as I occasionally, but not too frequently, let the pace slip a fraction. I switched auto-lap off and decide to take splits where I think the km markers should be rather than the official markers which tend to be on a convenient tree or lamp-post in the rough vicinity. My GPS watch didn't agree with either me or the course markers!
We head out of town along the river up the huge 2 metre ascent onto the cyclepath on the bank. The wind is a bit of a hindrance but nothing to worry about. By the time we head back into town through the old south gates archway, we have just passed halfway. I seem to remember the official LED display at the 5km point was reading 20:01, which obviously would be gun time.
First 5 splits I took (and the GPS measured distances were):
Steady as she goes!