Date: Friday 16th May 19:30pm
Description: Round 2. And what a lovely evening. Running club group photo beforehand. I’ve left the office and come straight here, and I’ll need to go back after. But I boss this! Even without much carbing up, hydration and no gels. I was arguably faster last weekend if you trust the GPS (9.85km for this course). It’s over a minute closer to my Towpath target.
So the race? Pretty bloody good. I love the Towpath series, and this is why. I seem to be able to take it steady at the start, you don’t have much choice as things are pretty congested. It’s a nice route along the river bank under the trees and the Clifton Suspension Bridge. But you get to the halfway point and you’ve been just a touch slower than target pace, which should be good for a negative split. You’ve been inching up the pace from about 3.5/4k, but you turn and now it’s time to go up another gear.
You now have people running in both directions, so if you’re gonna overtake, it’s got to be opportunistic and quick to avoid a pile up. Right…space, sprint, in front, ease off, close gap to next person, pace, pace, sprint, overtake, in front…and so on…and so on. NO ONE is overtaking me, and I’m knocking these people down one by one. Maybe that’s because I started behind my target pace, but this feels bloody great. I won’t lie, I still have to ignore the voice that is shouting “give up, ease off” in my head. All I want to do is stop, curl up in to a little ball on the side of the road and hug a cup of tea. But if I can just catch up the the next person in front…
I’m so tired, GPS is showing slower pace than last weekend, but if I keep up with this person in front. And after a short while I’ve had enough and ease out in front. The worst bits are the long gaps, psychologically it’s so much easier to be pacing just behind someone and then power past. But I’m on the bridge now and if I can negotiate this up and down bit without falling flat on my face I’ll be there soon. Bystanders and runners are encouraging me on. I get to the edge of the park, and all I want to do is run the shortest route to the finish, but around the edge of the park we weave. It’s this point I dread the most. I’m exhausted, but the fear of being overtaken by a sprint finisher and a fellow running club runner keeps me pushing until I’m over the line. I can hear the shouts of “come on Southville” from here. How far behind me is he? Come on, push. PUSH mother**ker PUSH!!!
I’m through! I’m logged. My GPS says…says 43! Holy mother! 43!…43:26! Ha HAA!! I’m up against a tree trying not to throw up. GASPING for air. I feel like an asthmatic about to have a heart attack. But 43:26! Oh YEAH! 43:26! Two weeks ago I hadn’t broken sub47. Now I’m nearly 4 minutes faster! 4 minutes CLOSER!
But I think the best bit about the whole evening, after getting a couple of cups of water and my breath back, is walking back to the large mob of green garbbed Southville runners screaming “come on Southville”. The adrenaline is still pumping, and you’re screaming ” go on, get him, GET HIM” at the girl sprint finishing past another runner.
“COME ON SOUTHVILLE!!!”
I bloody love this!
After a brief gathering in the pub afterwards, it’s back to the office to finish the job. Like a boss!
Looking forward to a less pressured Cheddar Gorge 10k on Sunday…