Yesterday was the Leyland boxing day 10k, my first race since the Dublin Marathon and I woke up to find frost everywhere. It was possibly the coldest morning of the year so far, I did wonder if the event was going to be cancelled. However, checking my emails and the race website at 9 am , I found no sign of any cancellation. So I headed off to the race, arriving with a good 40 mins to spare before the planned 10 am start and I found that the majority of the ice had by now melted away.
I used this time to collect my race number, visit the rest room, find out where the race was to start from and return to my car to get some extra warmth. I also took time to finish the High5 energy drink I had started with my breakfast.
Then with 15 mins to go till the start, I changed out of my coat and tracksuit bottoms and headed for the rest room once more, before making my way to the start line. With 10 minutes still to go, I took an energy gel, as per the guardian article I link to further down in this post, it seem it takes up to 45 minutes for a gel to take full effect. So I figured, if I took one 10 mins before the race, it would hit home as I approach the final mile…..
Unfortunately for me, the race start was delayed for 10 minutes, meaning, if the article is right, the gel will kick in around the half way mark now. Not too bad I thought, but it would of been better off hitting home later on. Rather than freeze I took the opportunity to do a little jog and some more warm ups.
Then we were off, I flew through the first mile, which wasn’t marked and I only knew I had come to by a chorus’s of beeps coming from the runners around me, my watch read 6:05. My target was 06:30 as I was aiming for my first sub40 10k and I had heard via the runners world forums, that this was an ideal race to achieve that in.
Ive no idea, what time I reached the 2 mile point as there was no marker for it and no runners around me, so beeps to listen out for. I hit the 3 miler marker on 19 minutes, which in a 5k race would be a PB for me and meant I was 30 seconds a head of schedule.
I got talking to the runner next to me, who turned out to be in training for a iron man and he was aiming for sub45, so he was well ahead of that and we agreed to keep each other company but after a while he edged ahead, as I decided I wasn’t too sure I could keep the pace going.
I hit the four mile marker on 25:38 and by the time my watch read 32 mins I figured I must be around or passed the 5 mile mark by now. So I pushed on, passing several runners including the ironman runner.
The course came to a sudden drop, followed by an instant incline before truing back into the park, where the race had begin. so I knew we were now on the final stretch of the race and I increased my speed once more passing two runners, although not long after that the ironman runner and another runner went by me but I wasn’t going to start pursuing them now, as it looked like there was perhaps 400 metres to go.
Entering the final straight I could see the clock hitting 39 minutes, I was on for sub40 and also I could see that I was gaining ground on another runner, so once more I increased my pace and although I wasn’t too sure were the finish line was exactly I drew level with the clock, on 39:54 and then hit the finish mats……I had done it and my chip time result came back as 39:55. My dream of a sub40 10k had finally been realised. And boy was I pleased with that, it was a great Christmas present from me, to me and a good race result to end the year on.
The finish zone of this event turned out to be a little chaotic, as rather than there being one section to get your good bag from, race volunteers were running all over with handfuls of bags to hand out. With about four people passing me without giving me one……which I thought was a bit odd and eventually, I had to approach one and ask for it. In future races, they should get that organised properly.
In other news :
The Running backwards fad seems to be gaining attention, appearing in the guardian’s running blog. I am pretty sure you can work the muscles they mention in the gym or on hills and also its pretty dangerous id say…
Discounted early entry into the Paris marathon is available here :
The Northern Running guide have a poll and a page about winter running, for me I don’t change my pattern at all. Perhaps if it is raining heavily I will wait for it to stop or not go out. And maybe if there is black ice about I might wait for it to melt a little rather than going out early but other than that, for me its business as usual during the winder months.
And this is a great article about gels…….45 mins to digest…well there is me not using them for 5 or 10k races again maybe….and maybe using them earlier during HM and marathons than I have been to date.