Meadowglen & YMCA Fun Run: 10km
What better way to finish a training phase than with a race. To signal the end of Base 1 I headed over to the so-called Meadowglen International Athletics Stadium. Really it is just the running track in Epping, albeit a good quality track. There were a few races on offer this weekend, but this one provided a good course, was low-key, not-too-far from home and was fund raiser for the Northern Hospital. All good points in my book.
I felt good in the morning, but then again I've been feeling good for most training sessions since I've started my current training program. However with almost all running slower than 6:00/km except for a MAF test every couple of cycles I wasn't too sure how I would go. I decided I would be comfortable with a time of 42min, would be happy closer to 40min, but thought something out towards 44min was possible. The plan was simple: ignore heart rate, ignore split times and run at an even pace that feels like a just doable 10km.
A good warm up, a good atmosphere, good warm weather, a perfect start at the gun. The first 300m were on the track. I started wide and held back on the pace, running an even tangent towards the bend. This kept me clear of the usual mayhem and once on the back straight the top placings were already looking clear. Three guys were heading out in front and looked like they would gradually extend that lead. Another couple were hammering it out, but there were a few cues they wouldn't stay ahead. This proved true within 2km.
At the 1km mark I counted myself in 9th place overall. With a consistent pace over the course, this once improved one at a time until I sitting comfortably in 5th by halfway. The race went over so many roads that I was very thankful for the volunteers and their stop signs keeping traffic well under control. The event just wouldn't work without them.
My pace was comfortably hard. Definitely near optimal. Over the last 2km I needed to really dig in just to maintain form and speed. I achieved this, but with a good dose of pain to let me know I was running a solid 10km.
In the end I crossed the line in 5th overall with a time 39:27. Naturally I was very happy with the result. The interesting thing is I am racing just as fast on very easy, slow running as when I running as hard I could, with plenty of pain earlier in the year. The reasons behind this I will delve into soon enough.