There were no fewer than 3 course records broken on a sunny Summer’s morning at Battersea Park yesterday. Unfortunately I knew going into this race that the only record I’d be breaking, in fact creating, was a season’s best. Yes, yesterday was my first 10K race since all the way back in August 2010 when I equalled my PB of 34.59. Realistically going by my time in last weekend's 5K, anything around the 36 minute mark would be an achievement.
The race was the Self Transcendence 10K, which consisted of 3 loops of Battersea Park. I am no stranger to this course, as it’s where I did a lot of my training last year - some painful memories! I actually did this very race last year in a time of 35:25. It is as flat as a pancake and on tarmac and therefore prime PB territory.
Joining me in the starting line-up were a couple of familiar faces. The legendary Darren Tanner, who has been in fine form this year with three 10K wins so far. I certainly wasn't planning on trying to keep up with him yesterday. Also competing in his debut 10K race was my good friend Mark Cameron. A fit young fellow who has run half and full marathons before but has never raced the 10K distance.
|Mark, Darren and myself after a succesful morning (before 9am!)|
I went into the race aiming to start conservatively as I am sick of making the same old mistake of going out to quickly and flagging in the later stages of races. So I let DT fire ahead of me, I had to run my own race. It seemed to work well as I was able to settle into a pace of around 3:30 a km and I was going past other runners even at the 4K mark. Inevitably with my lack of mileage I wasn't even able to keep up this pace and it hovered around the 3:35 mark until the last K where I pushed the accelerator knowing I was close to home and posted my fastest K of the race in 3:22! When I came onto the final straight, I saw the big clock which was still under 36 mins. As soon as I realised I had a tight chance of getting sub 36 I pressed the extra boost button and absolutely hammered it towards the line. To my delight I crossed the in 35.58. At this point I made a lot of noise which DT had to explain to those in earshot was partly down to my return from injury.
Photo from uk.srichinmoyraces.org/races/london
The other boys added to the joy with Darren coming in 5th place with a great time of 34:50 and Mark exceeding his expectations with a terrific 42.35. Darren’s 5th place meant we had some interest in the prize giving as trophies were awarded up to 7th position for men under 50s category. Below DT collects another award for his straining trophy cabinet.
|Photo from uk.srichinmoyraces.org/races/london|
Afterwards, we had a deserved breakfast in Battersea with friends. And yes there were a couple of lagers consumed later on in the day (in my case, after my shift at work).
Now to reflect on the race and a look at where I am now. The good news was that I was only a minute away from last year’s PB, which is no mean feat considering the length of my layout. I did put in a hellova lot of hard training the last 3 weeks though so it just shows you what you can do if you stick religiously to a challenging training plan. The bad news is that I am still getting various pains in my shin. I am continuing to try and combat this with a variety of measures. I have been keeping up the yoga, and did my 2nd session in a week today, in a bid to improve my strength and flexibility. I am also investigating getting a proper biomechanical analysis done to try and identity what may be causing my issues and any weaknesses that I can work on. Hopefully it will all become clear one day, until then I’ll try and do as much running as I can without breaking myself.
Next up is the Regent’s Park 10K on 7th August. Then I will have a 3 weeks training cycle before another 10K in Regent’s Park that I came 2nd in last year and equalled my PB. Sub 35 again by the end of August would be nice, although I’ll still have the nagging feeling of not having made any progress for an entire year. As for the course record at Battersea Park, I’m determined to get it before I am no longer a Londoner!
Time: 35:59 (SB)