Monday, September 13

Landsend 10k

When I began my four-week vacation the sun was always up before me, the daytime temperatures hovered around 27C and I enjoyed a voracious thirst for Speckled Hen. Last night after lighting the fire for the first time in months, I sipped on red wine while cooking coq au vin; this morning running to work amidst darkness and with naught for company but a light drizzle and my own wandering thoughts. Autumn has clearly arrived.

Yesterday morning Ally and I bundled up the kids and drove out to Sandown Park for the annual Landsend 10k. Although the rainfall didn’t stop until later that afternoon, there was no wind and it wasn’t that cold. Some consolation perhaps.

After the usual warm-up (10’ easy, 3’ tempo, 7’ easy) I ditched my rain gear and slowly made my way to the start. The announcer proceeded to inform us that a) the kilometre marks were not accurate, and b) the course had been amended. Stretched. I didn’t pay much attention to either of these details until after the race.

The gun cracked and I quickly fell into step behind the race leaders only to watch them rapidly fade away into the mist, my nearest competitor finishing nearly full two minutes before me. I checked with MC (McMillan Calculator) the night before and based on my recent 5k performance, settled on a 10k time of 35:54 (3:35 pace/k). I split the first marker faster than expected but quickly settled into a comfortable stride, perhaps a little too comfortable as I dropped some precious seconds over around 3km.

The course is relatively flat out-and-back along very rural roads with a sharp steep hill shortly after 4km. Previous routes were measured to be approximately 150m short and we were assured this year’s route was accurate. That said I was quite surprised to hit the turnaround in 18:22 after completing a 4:03 kilometre.

3:25, 3:35, 3:42, 3:35, 4:03 (18:22)
3:55, 3:39, 3:44, 3:46, 3:23 (18:29)

At about 7k I was struggling to maintain a relaxed rhythm and was surprised to find myself remembering my previous 10k PB, perhaps taking some console in the familiarity of discomfort. I snapped back to reality to hear quickly closing feet only to recognize it was the raindrops falling off the trees. I ran the last few miles like a frightened rabbit closing in a time over a minute slower than anticipated.

I’m not too concerned about this race or the result as I had planned to use it in preparation for the GoodLife Fitness Half Marathon next month. But it has left me pondering my fitness and questioning a goal time for the next race, 1:19:53 vs. 1:22:00.

Back to reality, ouch!

Training: 36:51, 3:41/km, 5/91 OA, 4/14 AG


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