The ambiguity is owing to having missed the second race in the series. So it’s my second outing but the third race.
And what a fine race series it is. NiceWork who organise a a good few races around the area run a nicely friendly, relaxed but efficient race and make taking part all the more pleasurable. The fact that this one is on our doorstep is the icing on the cake. And the entire reason I managed to make Cathy come along and run. She’s had a cold all week (my fault for donating it to her last week, I guess) and was going to come along and watch but, somehow, this changed to her coming along and running, too. But the rush to leave saw her forget her Garmin which reinforced the nature of the race. She was chatting to Martin as we signed in and mentioned it and within seconds he offered his own device for her to borrow as she ran. I wouldn’t expect that in many events and massively appreciated it was, too.
So to my race.
An early start this morning (I had a bad night’s sleep as well as still having some cold in my lungs) made me feel out of sorts all day and I’ve been having shin aches and muscle winces all day; I’m sure all due to nerves since I set myself up for trying to go sub 20 minute for the run after last time running 20.44 as a new pb.
I got home, got changed, signed on and still felt odd as we lined up, having set my Garmin virtual partner to 6.20 per mile to allow some in hand for a slow finish. My bad day clearly didn’t stop as I left work, though. In what undoubtedly turned out to be a good result, right from the off I was mis-reading the Garmin and convinced myself I was behind target so kept bursting my lungs to try and stop the shortfall in time getting too large. A young lad was running identical pace to me and twice we almost tripped each other up in the first half mile almost certainly owing to my being right on the limit of my running pace.
At one point I was 28 seconds behind target…or so I thought. In fact, it was 28 seconds ahead. My computer’s broken so I have no data splits yet but one of the miles must be sub 6 minute, as it turns out. Flippin’ heck!
Three of us were overtaking one another throughout the race; the young lad, a Folkestone club runner and me. Having a cluster of us all together made a great race – another man finished 4 seconds behind me, so he clearly had a good finish as he wasn’t in the place swapping club through the race, but it made a great change to the usual lonely runs I do at these events. Guess it’s what comes of trying harder than usual.
The race went brilliantly for me, though. My breathing was hopeless (so noisy, trying to exhale through a chest still full of cold, the blokes around me must have thought I was going to wheeze to a stop – I normally like to run silently!) but my legs behaved really well. No tiredness showed and the areas that kept me in touch with the other two were up the little slope/hill thing and the exit of the hairpin – I was very good on these and made big gains on them in these areas. The leaders were again on another planet (winning time 14.42! Crikey!) but the outing I enjoyed was crowned when I finished, pressed stop on the Garmin and realised that the 15 seconds I was off target was actually under time. How I mistook the black screen for the white can only be that I wasn’t expecting to keep pace with it. Not in any way. At all. But somehow I did. The result?
19.11 finishing time. 6.14 average pace per mile.
Blinking flip. I never, not in a month of weeks, thought I’d get that quick. What next? 6 minute mile average pace target? I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ll be even more nervous before the next outing because I really don’t think my little legs and lungs have much more in them.
But I thought that at 7 minute mile thresholds, so who knows.
Certainly a well earned sleep and satisfied few days lie ahead of me, though. All in preparation for being disappointed after the Folkestone half!
202.18 miles to go.