This is the third time I have run this race and the slowest I have run it, its almost the slowest 10K I've ever done - only the very hilly one in Blackburn I did earlier this year was slower though only about 7 seconds slower. I'm quite happy about my time for today, I shouldn't be but I am.
I was tired when I woke up this morning, partly due to late night and partly just being (not sure how to describe it really) hormonally? tired. Today would normally be a day I did not much of anything except eat chocolate and fub about the house but I was racing and it was always going to be difficult. One of the reasons I didn't rest before the race as I normally would is I knew no matter how fresh my legs were I'd always find it diffcult today so no point wasting a day not doing something.
I set off a bit later than I normally would have and I had to pick up a parcel from our local sorting office (Paclite trousers). It was freezing outside, my car said -1 when I set off. There was a bit of a queue to get parcels and it took a while to get mine so I was running a little late. Its not far to the race start in Salwick really and I got there ok though the temperature refused to climb above -1. The fog was also quite thick on the Fylde.
It was about 10:30 by now (I normally try to get to races at least 50 minutes before the start for faffing) and the marshals were directing people to the overflow parking. However they managed to sort out another couple of spaces so I got on the car park right next to the start. I went to get my numbr straight away then came back and pinned it to my vest. I got ready to run a bit of a warmup, put gloves, jacket and buff on and set off.
My hands froze instantly, it was so cold. I didn't have much time to do a proper warmup but I did just under 10 minutes and didn't feel particularly warmer. As I went back to the car to take my jacket off I did think briefly about jumping in it and going home but I didn't, I got my Ipod out instead as I realised I was going to need all the help I could get to get round today - I don't normally race with one.
My plan was always to take it easy for the first few miles then speed up but I now just wanted to get round. Lots of people had ipods with them but it still felt weird to have it with me (I hadn't switched it on yet). We set off and I took it very steady, I didn't let my heart rate get above 170 for the first 5k which is low for me racing. The first two miles felt very hard so I looked at the frost on the hedges (there was no view due to fog), it was quite pretty really. I decided to put the ipod on after about 2.5 miles as I was now in a bit of space and it made me feel a bit better but I took pity on the people around me and didn't start singing along.
I had a watch on but I didn't look at it once, I did think about hitting the lap button at the 5k mark to get a split but I didn't but I so wish I had. At about the 5K mark I suddenly started to really get into it. There is a bit of a long gradual downhill, very gradual but enough to make it a bit easier for a while and I started speeding up. Then speeded up some more and was suddenly enjoying myself.
I spent the last half of the race constantly overtaking people and constantly being amazed at how strongly I was running. About 1K from the end I put in a bit of spurt just to see it I could which would have been better left to the end but normally at this stage of a 10K I'm just about hanging on so it was fun.
I crossed the line and looked at my watch: 52:47 when I stopped it but I was kicking myself for not taking a split at the 5K mark as I would have really liked to see it. My overall pace was 8:30 mm but I think the first half of the race was closer to 9mm and the second half closer to 8mm. It was good to be running strong at the end, which is why I'm so happy about it because I really did enjoy the second 5K.
It didn't take long to start really chilling down once I stopped. I was going to do a cool down run but when I got to the car I just shoved my hat and down jacket on and got in - too cold! It had warmed up to a whole 0 degrees. I spent the afternoon feeling a bit dopey so will be having a rest day tomorrow.
There are a couple of 10Ks over the next two months that I may have a go at as I start building up the long runs.