After 18 months of injury and broken training I had given up on entering road races but for 2015 have entered a few just to see what happens. Luckily the Fradley 10k turned out to be quite fun.
Over the past 8 weeks of “training” I have racked up the following miles…15, 8, 30, etc so hardly the form of champions. By Sunday morning I’d trained a further 6 out of the past 7 days with a Park Run on the Saturday morning, a track session mid-week which was also the day after a tempo 4miles. So with the race I was looking at hitting 40 miles in a week for the first time in 4 months. No wonder my forever injured heel was feeling sore.
I’d bumped into Linda and Jude in the car park and then on the start line Linda and I exchanged stories of injury, illness and past glories. Together we decided a sub 40 today and we would both be happy. Especially given my senior moment of panicking that I couldn’t work out what pace sub 40 was over 10k with 1k markers ;). How would I get round??
The gun went and it was the usual sprint up and over the bridge and quickly into your running. I was expecting Linda to be with me and noted that there wasn’t really more than ~20-30 people ahead. The first Km flashed by at 3min 20 sec so Linda was obviously being more sensible than me. Then the race unfolded and in hindsight I realise just how much confidence you get from training well because all I was doing was expecting the worst with each footstep I took.
The 2nd and 3rd Km was all about consolidation. Settle into a pace and see what was happening. I’d drifted past a couple of lads and was pacing myself off of a pack of 10 a good 70m in-front. They seemed just too far for me to try and catch especially as in the back of my mind was the fear that at some point I’d just blow up. Someone had gotten to my shoulder and by the 4km mark one lad had also gone past us determined to hunt the pack down.
So what to do. A moment of sensibility went through the brain and I thought about settling into a pace with the couple of blokes around me but then the racer in me took over. Using the lad in front I pulled away and kept in touch with him by 25m. 5km came and a glance at the watch. Quicker than my Parkrun the day before…”really??”. Surely by 6km I’d blow up.
There is though a trick in the course at Fradley that makes it quick. Between 2k and 3k and 6k and 7k it is slightly downhill. It is perfect either for kicking on from the start or on the second lap preparing for the final push. My breathing quickened to that point just where it was all about rhythm and being relaxed and in harmony with the effort I was putting in. I could feel myself start to glide.
That pack I’d mentioned had fragmented and the lad I was chasing had got amongst the back markers. I also cruised through them at 8k and was pulled to within 10 m of the lad I was chasing. Race on! Do I wait for the last 1km and get into a sprint where you just don’t know what people have left or do I try and break him early with over a mile to go?
He hadn’t pulled away and I was running well so I could smell blood went for it. I got to his shoulder and maintained the momentum. The last of the broken pack were about 25m ahead and I was catching so used them to pull me further away and work hard down the last 1km.
I couldn’t close the gap to them but no one then got close to me either and I finished 24th in 37min 37sec and really pleased I d been able to race it. I quickly went to see where Linda was but had missed her…..she’d aleady finished!…..and with a nice trophy for 2nd lady!! Brilliant. Then even more brilliant we met Jude who had run a PB.
Not a bad day at the office for the teal runners :). I hope anyone else who ran also had a good race.