Monday 18 February 2013

Threshold Winter Series 10K

At last, a race report for 2013!  Usually, by now I would have raced 3 or 4 times in the year.  But, with two weekends of our own races, the usual post-Christmas chest cold, and my 40th birthday party, the first race of the year has only just happened.

On Sunday, I headed out of sunny Evesham to the delights of foggy Ilmington for a delightfully hilly road 10K put on by some friends at Threshold Events.  The race starts from the local sports club and heads gently down hill before a sharp left opens up a 2km+ ascent to the local TV transmitters.  It's a nice little climb to around 260m that left a few of the faster starters cracking back into a walk.  Luckily, it's followed quickly by a descent down the other side, including a 14% gradient for a bit.  Great, if you're on soft ground.  On the road, it's not quite so much fun.  All the knots that Sara had knocked out of me earlier in the week are now back with a vengeance as a result of that little 2km speed session.  Once down the hill, the route gently undulates around the village and surrounding roads before finishing in the playing fields.  It was the 5th of a series, and the route is challenging enough to make me consider doing the series in future.

So, how did it go?  Well, I felt tight in my warm up, so decided to take it steady from the start and try to run on effort.  I checked my watch once early on to make sure I wasn't going too quickly, and then when the hill came time ceased to have meaning.  Since I've never run the route, I have no reference point anyway, so the watch was just for recording the run.  The uphill wasn't too hard - I made use of the Autumn training and stuck to an effort level that was hard but sustainable, slowly picking up ground on those in front as the hill wore on.  About mid-way through the downhill, I eased off the brakes and opened a big gap behind and closed a couple up ahead, picking up in the region of 10 places.  Then, for the last 3K it was just a matter of not slowing down too much as my left leg found new types of discomfort.  In the end, I finished in 20th less than a minute off my 10K PB.  I guess I need to find a slightly flatter 10K sometime in the next 6 months to get that PB down a bit!

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