Why am I making a 80minute journey to Mile End to run a 10k between two half marathon weekends when I’d just really like to stay in bed? – the bling of course! (no really, it’s the only reason I wanted to do this race).
One tweet and Darren (@RunnersKnees) was roped in to pace me again. I was looking forward to it after the fun we have doing Brixton together with Jen (@Jen_mo).
We chatted on our group chat around what was possible – with a PB of 1:27.28 from London 10,000 from last May and coming off the back of a good run at Brighton taking 13mins off my PB. Three PB’s in three weeks was the goal.
I managed to get there just in time to see the Half-marathoners heading off as I really wanted to see Ciara (@blueeyedsoul13) set off and spotted Caroline (@caznthat) heading off too.
The number was on my top (always a struggle doing it on race day) and was hopefully a premonition of what was about to come #flying. Spotted Darren coming over, really quick bag drop, nip to the portaloo and we were ready to go just after the 5k-ers got going – all an incredibly smooth process for quite a fair number of entrants.
Pre race, on the walk over to the event village I could really feel my hamstring pulling but hoped that I could just ‘run through’ (ehm) it. I’d run a PB by a good distance at the Winter Run, the course was long however so no official PB, but I was only a minute off on my official result. Kicking off I was very aware of my hamstring, it had started hurting me at about 6 miles in at Brighton but I could still run without changing my stride too much and made it to the finish without any major concern.
The plan was, run the first km, then do 4:1 intervals from there on as far as I could – at Winter run I did 3:1 and 2:2 intervals until near the end when I ran the last 2km almost non stop. We got to the first kilo, and it’s pretty much a blur after that.
First mile came up in good time 13.43 and I was feeling good running intervals – my 5k time was 42.21 – a minute quicker than my 5k PB from Parkrun and if we could replicate for the second half a 10k of 1:24.42 – in hindsight, this was probably a bit quick as my PB from London 10,000 was done with negative splits.
By the time we got through 4 mile it was still on, but I was getting tired. Darren was really pushing me which I was really happy about, if I was going to PB I needed to be pushed and sometimes I don’t have it in me to push myself.
Darren will say that I walked too much, but if it was me on my own out there I’d have probably have walked twice as much at least, particularly with my hamstring really making it difficult to keep going. No matter how much I ran it seemed as though it wasn’t quick enough, the more I ran, the slower I got! I tried to open my stride a bit more, but my hamstring wasn’t letting me go freely.
One tactic Darren did share when we got to about 5.5miles and I really wanted to stop and walk was to count to one hundred in my head -albeit I couldn’t do it in my head so i went to counting out loud, which made chatting difficult but it really helped & i’ll be using it in the future when things get tough.
We finally got to the turn and the inflatable finish was in sight, “run to the finish” it was really annoying having the finish in sight as the my PB tick over, but I was so happy to cross that finish line – I felt like i’d been properly worked at it and that’s all i could ask for – I spent all the race in HR Zones 3&4.
Medal round the neck, 10second interview with RunThrough and chat and photo’s with Caroline and Matt Bodkin who’d come over from his race at the Olympic Park.
I was disappointed not to PB, as that was part of the reason for making the journey to Mile End and choosing Victoria Park. I think on a better day when I wasn’t coming off a half marathon with a very achy Hamstring I do think a big PB was on the cards – and by at least a minute or two.
Maybe Brighton 10k (same day as Marathon) will be a really good opportunity, it looks like a really quick course, although I do have Wimbledon Half the week before.
Then it was off for a long walk to the pub and the burger Darren kept telling me to think about all the way around.
As always, huge thanks to the RunThrough guys – they are superbly organised and supported races, I’ll be doing Wimbledon Half in April and I’m sure there’s room in the calendar for a couple more along the way. Also thanks to Darren for pacing me and just making it enjoyable, and for being my running-Yoda (small, green and smells) and giving me all the advice in the world & I’ll be giving the Thames Bridges trek a go in a few weeks to build some Time on Feet for Berlin.
Have you done any RunThrough Races, if not why the heck not?
Who will I see at Silverstone next Sunday?
What’s your next race?