Run 111 – Towpath Series #3

Date: Friday 4th July 7:30pm

Distance: 9.85km

Time: 42:49

Pace: 4:21min/km

Description: Two down, two to go! I’ve been pretty apprehensive all week about this. Probably haven’t carbed up as much as I could have done. But Thursday evening I was reading an article that said that I need 500g of carbs for one or two days before. And that I don’t need to eat MORE, just make sure that I’m eating 90% carbs, and less of the other stuff. Seems doable, as energy seems to be my limiting factor. And I decide to revert from wholegrain back to plain pasta again. Yes wholemeal may be better, but I just don’t end up eating anywhere nearly as much of it as plain. So I figure that plain is what works best for me, and I should carry on. Also interesting to note that three handfuls of pasta gives me much more carbs than a bag of rice. Noted.

I eat well the day before, and manage pasta and sweet potato that afternoon with plenty of time to digest. A little lacking in sleep maybe, but a coffee beforehand perks me up and I’m actually feeling pretty relaxed on the bus. I make it in plenty of time, so I can relax on the warm up run to Greville Smyth and limber up. Feeling good about this. Weather is cool. May see a bit of drizzle later. Good breeze. Perfect.

Nice chat with people as we wait to start. My competition isn’t here yet again thank God. I can concentrate on running this race how I want. I try to get nearer the front, and I’m keen to get off ahead quicker than I did last time, but already people seem miles in front. I’m pleased to keep sub 4:20 pace for the first few km. The race thins out, but I pace behind one SRC runner for a while who has similar pace, and then decide I can push harder. Once past it seems an age to catch up to the next person. The other people are coming back the other way. I reach halfway and the guy says 22:29. That would put me on 45mins. What?! I look at my pace and it’s 4:25. What?! Come on! I’m really pushing here. I get past the guy in front, carried by the downhill momentum. But it seems to take FOREVER to cut the gap to the next group in front. I’m too tired to talk to people much. I feel that I’m stuck in one gear, which isn’t fast enough. Even when I’m only a few meters behind the group, I find it so hard to speed up. In hindsight, perhaps easing off and then catching up may have varied it more. But gaining pace up and down and small incline, I cruise past another SRC runner who says I have better pace. We’ll see at the end I say.

I just can’t seem to gain much, even going up the bridge. Running across the bridge, I know I’m running out of time, and that I should be overtaking people. I will myself closer to the person in front and the increased speed in doing that allows me to overtake several people on the rollercoaster before the field. I catch up to another woman, who kindly encourages me on faster. Amazing.

The SRC crowd is a lot quieter today, and it makes it even harder. There’s a Westbury guy in front. Part of me thinks that it’s pointless trying to catch him. But I keep pushing and edge past him, convinced he’s gonna get me back just like the old Westbury chap from last time. But I see the time, 42:40 and that gives me the impetus at the end I need to push, I wanna be sub43!

I make it! And I don’t feel I need to puke next to a tree. I obviously held back. I’m not gasping as much, and my legs don’t feel as broken as they did in the first race. Maybe I could have pulled 30 more out of that and be where I really want to be. A mixture, happy to have a PB and have momentum again. That 43:20 wasn’t just a fluke! But it’s only 30secs faster, and I need another 30sec before I’m in free air. Sub40 seems more than one race away that’s for sure. Can I do 42:20 in a months time? And If I’d known how close I was, maybe I’d have found that 30seconds in this race. It was perfect conditions! Maybe it will be scorching next time. But I did find it harder with less people to pace and overtake. I was stuck in too slow a gear. But a good pace early on. Need to be faster, stronger physically and mentally.

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