Recovering from Sunday’s marathon this week has consisted of having just the single day off running, with Budapest firmly in my sights already.
It was business as usual this saturday morning with a trip to Brockwell with Katie (her last before swanning back off to university for her final year of ‘study’). My legs seemed to have recovered fairly well during the week, and so I was happy to run this one at a relatively fast pace and see where I found myself at the half way point.
As usual, any thoughts of being conservative went straight out the window in the first ten metres of the race, as I charged down the opening straight at a ridiculous pace which was obviously going to be completely unsustainable. That was nothing compared to the chap who set off as if he was in a 400m race, and me immediate thought was that if he can keep that up the whole way round he’s on for an absolutely lightning time, but I had my reservations. My suspicions around his pacing strategy were confirmed when about 3 minutes down the road he’d pulled off the course and was sitting down on a bench! I think you might have slightly misjudged the distances mate..
There was one seriously quick guy who actually knew how far he was meant to be running, and he promptly cruised off into the distance and won the race by a fair margin. Behind him there was a pack of around 7 guys, and then me, all on my own about 10 metres off the back. Try as I might I just couldn’t get up to them, and therefore had to run solo pretty much the whole way. I kept them within touching distance until just over half-way, when the group started to break up and most of them began to edge away from me.
Up the hill at the end of the second lap and it was really hurting now, but I knew I definitely had something left in the tank and was going to go close to a PB. Annoying, a couple of guys drifted past me on the downhill part on the way to the finish, and again I just didn’t have enough to latch on to the back of them. With a kilometre to go I had a glance at the watch and my quick mental math (I knew I’d be putting the degree to use someday) told me that if I pushed hard I might just grab myself a new PB.
Push hard I did, and I ran close to the two guys who went past me all the way to the line but just couldn’t get round them. Over the line and stop the watch – a 2 second PB! Well you know what they say, every second counts, so I’ll take that any day of the week! 18.43 was the official time, good enough for 9th place on the day out of a field of just over 200. I think on another positive note, I actually felt really good for the first 2.5km and didn’t feel like I was working ridiculously hard, so there’s potentially more gains to be had.
Katie wasn’t feeling too special, but unfortunately has inherited a bit of my stubbornness so decided to run round regardless, which was a decent effort all things considering. She’s off to tear it up in the Cardiff Parkrun where she’s guaranteed me she’s going to go under 23 minutes for the first time. Watch this space..
Budapest is only 3 weeks away now so I’m going to lay down two weeks hard training before giving myself a week to taper (runners speak for take it easy) before the race.