Friday, 25 May 2012
Sorry I have took over 2 weeks to post this, the joys of night shift. Wednesday 9th brought the Troon Tortoise 10K, my favourite race of 2011! I arrived at the registration area at around 6.45pm, evening runs are always interesting! I had not long finished a roast chicken dinner so running fast was not in the plan. My wife Rachael came along to give me some support, as did the rest of my family although, they travelled separate and I didn't actually get to see them as they left early at the end but I am told they were there, cheering. I met a few fellow parkrunners Ally, Jon and Jim. We headed down to the promenade to line up for the start of the race just before 7.30pm. The organisers had zones for people to gather in in relation to their predicted time. My last 10K race was in January and I ran in around 46 - 47 mimuntes so I was aiming for around that time. This was my first race since the marathon last month so it felt good to be in an event, this 10K actually attracting 1100 runners. That's almost double the Lochaber marathon numbers! The predicted time zones appeared to be very tight, I was sandwiched between the 50 minutes and the 45 minute posts but as we were directed to walk forward I found myself in the 40 minute zone, no chance! The horn was sounded and we were on our way, the weather was perfect again with the sun shining and a light sea breeze. I ran the first KM in about 4 minutes 10 seconds, way faster than I had planned...but I felt good. I maintained the pace, with the idea that I could slow down as I felt tired as I wasn't too bothered about time. I made my way around the relatively flat course hovering between 4.10 and 4.30 for each KM. I had reached the half way point in exactly 22 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised with this, my 5KM PB is 21.31 so I was running quick. I kept going, I knew that if I could maintain this then I was on target for a big PB. At around the 6KM point I found myself running behind a female Bellahouston Harrier, I noticed that she was keeping a good pace for the first half of the race so I thought that if I tagged along I would overcome any mental fatigue. It wasn't until about the 8KM mark that she noticed although by this time I think it had turned to me pacing for her. She told me that I was 'pulling her through', I laughed and told her that I wasn't pulling anyone and she was pushing me. The friendly banter was enough to get me through the next couple of KM maintaining my pace. I asked her if she had a target time and she told me she was aiming for anything under 44 minutes. This was a good sign that I was in line for a massive PB! I had got to the final KM and I told myself not to look at my garmin and just go for it. The last 800m felt so long, it was a long stretch along the promenade with runners darting passed me. I could see the finish line and just gave it everything and went for it. I heard Rachael shouting and looked over to see her on the side lines. I felt as though I was running as fast as I could, my legs felt heavy and my breathing just as heavy. I pushed to the line and crossed in a new PB of 44.01. I couldn't believe it, I hadn't ran in 2 weeks and this was my longest run since the marathon over a month ago! I smashed my last PB by well over 2 minutes. I have learned a lot from this race, it has gave me the determination to really stick in at my training as who knows what results I could be getting with the right effort! I have the Loch Ness Marathon in September, I am going to be running mainly middle miles through the summer (between 12 - 16 miles) with lots of 5K recovery runs. I expect my 10K time to come down even further through the summer, so watch this space!