As you may have read before, for our last race of the year, we decided we would return to Bexhill-on-Sea – the venue of what was until earlier this year my best ever half marathon. But having not had a solo run under UKA rules at the 10k distance this year, I thought I’d step down a distance and take it on today.
I came into the run wanting a sub-50 minute run, hoping for a PB and imaging what a sub-49 might be like.
Preparation has been mixed over the past month or two in truth. A back injury a few weeks ago had affected training and then holidays came up too which made running harder to arrange. All that said though I had had some excellent training runs since getting back from Grenada a couple of weeks ago.
The trip to first Eastbourne then on to Bexhill went well enough. However we discovered pretty early on that the weather was not brilliant. Rain was definitely in the air and there was a fair bit of wind before the start too, although in fairness that did fade before the race start.
With the way training runs have gone I decided I’d run the race in much the same way I attacked the Jayson Lee 10k a few months ago – aiming for 5-minute-kilos and try and hang on enough so that a final kilometre surge would bring me in under 50 minutes.
It being the 11th of November we had a two minutes silence before the start. Well it was actually longer because most people misheard the PA announcer when they said they’d start the two minutes silence shortly. Everyone fell silent anyway, leaving the PA guy to sheepishly say “right now we’ll have the two minutes silence”.
The course was two laps of an out and back route along the seafront and the first run out to the far end of the course was fine and steady. The first four kilometres were all timed within a second of each other around 4:54 each.
Around the 5k mark I was overtaken, possibly for the only time in the race by a lady who eventually was the second fastest woman in the race. Shortly afterwards I noticed some soreness in my hip and I was increasingly finding breathing to be hard work. I wasn’t feeling optimistic at the time but my watch still indicated I was heading for a low 49s time, but I did resolve to allow myself to ease the speed a fraction.
At around the 3km and 8km mark there was a steep hill, followed by a right turn and then a demoralising longer steadier climb. On the second lap I found this particularly tough and my predicted time dropped to over 50 minutes.
When I reached the top of the hill I felt like I accelerated very nicely, without really even noticing it because at one stage in the last kilometre I glanced down at my watch and saw I was running an excellent 13km/h and my predicted time was down in the 49s again.
I just put my head down ignored the time and speed after that, ignored the pain in my legs and ignored my wheezy breathing and just got on with running. The finish seemed to take ages but it probably didn’t. A bit of a fast finish coming in towards the De La Warren Pavilion brought me over the line in a gun timed 49:14 and chip timed 49:06, setting a new PB for the distance plus beating those also for 5 and 6 miles.
I was delighted. The time so was much better than I’d expected, especially given the bad the patch I had experienced around 7k. I picked up my unofficial time print and was amazed to discover that I was 26th overall out of 218. Just a brilliant effort and something I’ve never really done before. We’ll certainly be back.
After the race I felt quite tired and sore. I’d definitely taken a lot out of my legs, and I had a sore right foot too. So the two hours on trains to come up here to Reading weren’t really wanted, but the trip was worth it.
Tonight we met up with our daughter and enjoyed celebrating the weekend via cocktails and steak and very nice they were too. We go home tomorrow and at the moment I’m expecting to have a lighter training schedule for a few weeks before Reading Half Marathon training builds again.
It’s 12 minutes into Friday morning, and tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll be getting ready to run the Poppy 10k in Bexhill-on-Sea.
And I can’t wait!!
I’ve probably been in better form in my life – around the time of this year’s Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Half for one – but on this occasion I just think I’m on the verge of a great run. I really didn’t expect I had a sub 50 minute run in me earlier this year for the Jayson Lee Memorial 10k but then I had a mid-49 time. This time my build up has been different – think running every day for a week in the heat and humidity of Grenada – but it’s been good.
Last Thursday’s run showed that. My fastest ever 5k outside of races and Parkruns. With no pressure nor encouragement with me. Nice
Then a just about sub-25 at parkrun last weekend (24:59.9 – couldn’t be much closer than that) and a good 10k / 1 hour run last weekend and a nice interval session a few days ago.
The build up has been good. Now I just have to complete the preparation, get out there and do it! Wish me luck
A drop of about 800 places in the past week or so. Fair enough considering I haven’t raced in that time. I think I need a sub 50 minute 10k next week in the Poppy 10k in Bexhill-on-Sea to improve. After that there’ll be a few weeks before training for the Reading Half Marathon starts so I might give my Parkrun PB a proper go.
The 31st day of October was very cool. A day which I may never repeat again. I probably won’t actually.
I ran every day in a month at least a mile. Because I joined a Facebook group’s challenge. I did it.
I have to say I can’t say I enjoyed it though. But one thing I did enjoy was the variety in my runs. I ran in Jersey of course but also around Gatwick airport, several times around Reading and around our holiday resort in Grenada.
When I’ve run a lot of days in sequence before it’s felt very tiring but for some reason this time it’s all been very manageable – when I was on holiday it felt tough but at the time I thought that was just because of the heat. The runs I’ve had since then seemed to have confirmed that. On Thursday for example I did my fastest 6k run ever and my fastest 5k when running on my own. That was a good run.
Then today I did a fraction under 25 minutes for Parkrun. That was a very good run indeed and I enjoyed it.
Tomorrow I’m planning to run for an hour in order to help prepare for next week’s Poppy 10k. I’m really looking forward to that.
Further below is a copy of a response I gave in a closed Facebook group to the post: “Have you achieved your ultimate running goal? If so, what is it? If you haven’t achieved it yet, what is your goal?
What have you achieved that you are the most proudest of to date?”. My response seemed substantial (i.e. rambling) enough to justify putting it here. People shouldn’t allow me to talk freely about running, or at least they should accept the consequences if they do start to read my stuff. You, dear reader, evidently get it because you’ve had to click on a link to come here, but poor unsuspecting Facebook users probably aren’t used to lines and lines to wade through. At least, when put back in context, all of the readers there are runners. Anyway here’s my reply.
I’m not sure I have an “ultimate” running goal. Not “ultimate” as in when I’ve done it I’ll I know I’ll have achieved everything I want to I’m running. There’ll always be something else, another race or challenge. I think anyway.
My greatest achievement to date though was my sub 2 hour Half (actually 1:56:35) at Liverpool R’n’R this year. I then moved on to the sub 50 10km which I did in a local event a few weeks ago. I suppose my current goal is running under 50 minutes at the Poppy 10k in Bexhill-on-Sea next month – as that’s an event that should count on Run Britain it will mean a little more than the local event where I’ve set my PB now. I know that’s a little bit wrong as 10k is still 10k whether you’re chip timed or not but my name didn’t appear in the local event’s results due to a time recording mix up so in my head there is a little asterisk next to that performance.
It’s that last point that got me thinking. The 10k in question was, of course, the Jayson Lee Memorial 10k, and yes it was, and still is, my PB and yes I was left out of the official results although I think I know what my official time should have been.
The organisers really couldn’t have been sweeter and nicer about the whole thing. I would certainly do that run again if I am available to do so in future years. So I’m really keen to not sound ungrateful for the organisation of the event.
But the reality is due to the mix up, the run does have a little asterisk next to it in my head. Even in these very pages I list my time for that run as “49:33 (est.)”. (Oh did you not know there’s a list of my competitive runs and parkruns around here? There’s a couple of links at the top with those. Go and have a look after as I’m proud of lots of them).
So Bexhill-on-Sea is now my target. I really want to run sub 50 there. In fact I really want to run sub 49:33. I’m not sure I’ve got the form for it yet but there’s plenty of time to build that up in the next few weeks.