Sudbury 10k - May 2008

I've hated every 10k I've run until now. I just don't know how to do them. They are my second least favourite race just above 5k.

I guess the reason for this is that they are effectively a different kind of sport to anything half marathon or above. At least with the latter you have a chance to speed up if you start too slow and vice versa. However there is no such luxury in these races.

Having said that I've really enjoyed doing my "short" 9k runs recently. Now that I'm not running marathons all the time or running to work I have time to go for my jog around Gunnersbury Park. Recently I've been suprising myself with how quickly I can run that distance, faster than ever before. In theory I am in the shape of my life.

This was a really friendly race that seemed to be drowning in Serpies. Over 30 did the race in the end, I thought my chances of coming top of the serpies was quite good until I saw Eric Vamben. damn it. I kept up with him for the first 100m, had my photo taken with him which I hope will be published as it will make me look pretty cool.

All recent races I've been obsessing about my Garmins "average pace" setting. I just pick the pace I need to stay under and try and keep under it. For a pb today I needed to be below 6.20. The first few k I was about 6.05 and in 6th place. I figured that I'd blow up at some point cos there was no way I'd finish that high up.

However, and this may be a symptom of hanging around Ian Sharman too much, I was feeling quite competitve. I was really keen not to get overtaken and on a u-turn I got to see those who were behind me. I'd just overtaken 5th place and he was just behind and there were a few within 30 seconds of me including another serpie. Wasn't going to let that one overtake me.

The route was half on streets half on grass, had lots of tight turns and involved running through chavs at some point. It's a really well organized run with lots of marshall but certainly no pb course. Well, I was still going for one. Just before half way I was doing 6.13. Also just before half way I spotted Gowan, who will be supporting me in the GUCR next week. I thought it would be good practice to shout "I want pizza" at him. I hope I don't feel the same 5k into the 223k race I need to do next week.

I held my place for the second lap too, the average time crept up to 6.19 and was hoping I'd have enough for the last 2k. The guy in front started to slow and I overtook him at about 8k. Feeling bouyed I ran faster but he ran faster still and overtook me again. He pulled away a bit and headed towards the loop in the park where the finish was. There was no one else for quite some distance and I felt oblidged to have another go and try to take him on the finishing stretch. Part sprinting part tip-toeing so he wouldn't notice I almost drew level but he had more speed left than I did and broke for the line. I finished 5th and was really pleased with the competitive finish. I could get used to this. My time was 39.39 - just over a pb despite going faster, the Garmin measured the distance at 6.33 - just over.

I feel like that was the best I have ever performed in a race. Setting out hard and keeping it going. I watched a few dozen other serpies finish and headed back to the club room. Later Gowan walked in with the pizza I asked for at the 5k point. I thought it was hillarious, though I didn't feel hungry. It was good practice for me eating pizza on the move and good practise for Gowan getting the pizza and having to endure my ranting about food. Though I hope I don't need one very 5k next week. Thats 45 pizzas. Should get some sort of loyalty card in advanced.