Well, I’ve just looked at my official results from today’s run. Not quite what I had hoped for but not all bad.
I should have known really. At about the 8k mark, the pacer for 60 minutes loped past me, easy as you like, while I puffed and panted, trying my best to squeeze out the last bits of energy out of my legs and my lungs.
I’m just wondering now, if I should have had more than an orange for breakfast in the morning before I set off. A bit of toast maybe, or some Weetabix. I normally save my porridge routine for the longer runs, and as this 10K was kicking off at 9 in the morning, I thought I could knock it out and then be home for brunch. Perhaps on a regular six miler that would have been fine. But when I started looking at my stats for the February 10k, while waiting for the warmup to begin, I got antsy and felt like I wanted to beat it, just to feel like I had made a little progress.
You’d think I’d have a better thought out strategy for my races, but this one was a last minute affair. A club colleague couldn’t run it anymore and so I took her place only last week. I liked the idea of running past all the animals in the Zoo. Turns out, at that time, they were either still lounging in bed or having their breakfast, as all I caught was the sounds of a few non-native birds and a bunch of empty pens.
So, my last minute decision to give it some welly, on the back of a shrivelled orange that had been sitting at the bottom of the fruit bowl for an excessively long time, was perhaps not the best idea of the day, but I’d pumped myself up and there was no going back. After the collective warmup, the exuberant MC got us to line up in order of expected finish time. I sidled in at the back of the 1 hour lot, just so I could hedge my bets if things turned sour.
I’m not sure how the pacer had got behind me in the first place. Especially as I’d stopped to walk at the water station at 5K, to catch my breath back. But, as he cantered off ahead of me into the distance, my brain decided to have a little conversation with itself.
Me: Wow, I didn’t know we were still near the 60 minutes.
Also me: Yes, but he’s gone now, we should ease down a gear.
Me: But we’re so close to the end.
Also me: I’m so tired.
Me: C’mon, only a mile left, don’t let him disappear.
Also me: Oh jeez, are we really going to do this?
Me: We’re doing this baby, pump those arms!
My inner voice often sounds like an American teenager, but ‘me’ got the upper hand over ‘also me’ and so off we, no sorry, ‘I’, raced to try and pull something back on 60 minute man.
I never quite caught up with him, but I gave it my all and managed to just keep him in sight. In the end I crossed the line in 1 hour and 19 seconds. A three minute improvement on February, so after the utterly disappointing Half recently, we’ll take that as a win. Both of me.