There will be 3 threads to this double blog: 1. Race report review and analysis. 2. Goal review and 3. 100 day plan (covered in next blog) .
Stubbington 10k for many in the Hampshire area is the opening race of their calendar. For me it comes after 2 seminal XC races and a Park run win on New Year’s Day building on my Christmas training camp in Spain. I’m not boasting just trying to show I’ve been racing myself fit. Losing weight when others will have been traditionally gaining whilst trying to stay restrained as last year it was the week after Stubbington 10k that my early season ended in Tonsillitis and Shin Splints.
The build up was a lighter week of only 47 miles compared to the previous two of over 55 miles. Friday was an easy day, Saturday I did quite a bit of walking but no running. I also conducted my standard taper nutrition plan including Beet-it in the morning. Why? No it isn’t an ‘A’ race but it is important. In 2 weeks, the P&D Advanced Marathoning plan begins. A flat, fast 10K is an ideal place to reset training paces and effort levels before the challenge of getting that marathon PB down!
I woke at 7 although DS had woken me up since at least 6. A strong French press coffee kick started to wake up my body, my whole body (too much info – Ed). I also had a glass of OJ, 2 Beet-it shots and a bagel with jam. I still felt empty so topped up with a banana at 0745. I got to the car park early and walked to the Community Centre. It was cold, around 4 degrees but the air was still and rain had stopped. I got my number and pinned it on. I was running for my first claim club, Victory AC today and we had a strong team. I chatted to some of the people I expected to be running Sub 35 to gauge my effort. I also met 3 friends from the Runner’s World Sub 3 Forum. My warm up was an easy run followed by some strides. After taking my top off it wasn’t that cold which surprised me. I know that above 3 degrees is my limit as I ran Stafford Half in a vest and it was very cold that day.
I started looking at my watch a lot to get “on pace”. It is a fairly new pace for me so although it feels the same in some ways in others it is scary. My watch was in KM but seeing 3:2x is like seeing 5:xx to me, even my marathon pace is sub 4 min/km. Looking at Power of 10 (already updated) it was only 3 years ago that I wasn’t able to run a sub 6 min/mile 10K.
I had a joke with Al_P from the forum to check my breathing/speech level of effort compared to my watch. Looking good I thought after the initial mad couple of hundred meters. The first K went by in a perfect 3:30. The second K is a little undulating but is probably favourable so 3:25 was nothing to be worried about especially as a couple of seconds either way can be attributed to the positioning of markers. Number 3 has a significant rise that will slow you but I managed 3:23 but I think I could have pushed harder here given my relative position to those who finished around me. From there, mentally, it is downhill to Km 7 and splits of 3:37, 3:25, 3:27, 3:29. I think from 3 to 4 I was running with an Aldershot runner who I wasn’t sure if I needed push to pass or if we were working well. Apart from signage dependencies that is what I would put that poor split down to.
Seven to eight. There’s a rise to Hill Head then on to nine and the finish. Splits were 3:28, 3:33, and 3:19. I have no idea how I ran 3:19 for the last K! I swapped places with another Aldershot runner who came back at me in the last K whilst all the time closing on Sean Holmes who I’d tussled with last week at the Reading XC. I introduced my self after collapsing through the line! My run.
My goal for 2015 and this period was a Sub 35 10k. 34:37 officially and I am very pleased with this. it was hard, not easy, I was ready, in shape and it has given me a massive confidence boost.
I have to thank Mark Beresford for these fantastic photos taken just after 7Km. To quote Greg Lemond; It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster. I think these photos show this.
I would also like to highlight that this progress has been made since joining Victory AC. I have had a few failures and performances that have not been as i’d have hoped but I stuck at it and have brought my weight down and my XC position down from 83rd to 43rd and now knocked over a minute off my Leeds Abbey Dash 10k time from Nov 14. As a team and club Victory have a solid group of runners challenging for silverware, this is great for the future, backed up by a depth across age groups and abilities united by the same ethos. Well done all. There were lots of personal victories today including some quality PBs to reward their hard work in training.
Also Andy Vernon was there cycling round the course! He looks slimmer in real life!
P.S. I forgot to mention the goody bag. For £15 I don’t expect much. But the gym bag with a reflective snap band thing in it was tosh. At least the buff last year was useful and en vogue. Plus a banana and a small 330ml bottle of water. I guess the water on course was good being bottled (I didn’t take it). Why not involve local companies to get some decent tat in there! Anyway the route is great and all very easy but not impressed by the goody ‘bad’ as i’d rather have had a medal!