Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard 10km
I plan to train through the majority of races this year. Having a reduced volume of training each week, means there is more to lose in the long term, if cut down too much leading into races. Instead I rearrange the order of a few sessions, and avoid any extra hard training in the couple of days pre-race. That way I shouldn't have any undue fatigue for the race, but won't be completely fresh either. The benefit in this approach will hopefully be some decent races, but more importantly, better fitness gains over time.
With this approach, plus the fact I am focusing on developing my triathlon abilities, I felt a little nervous going into the 10km run. I have plenty of indicators in training to say I am getting better, but if I am not run fit then I don't tend to feel fit in general. The lack of recent racing, plus reduced focus on running leaves a big question mark in my mind. I should race well, but there is still a strong possibility I have got it wrong.
Sleep was less than ideal, but this is never a problem for race day. Just means it takes a few extra minutes to wake up while I prepare breakfast. The morning was dark. A reminder that daylight savings should be due to finish soon, along with summer. The weather didn't resemble summer. It was definitely going to be wet.
The rain was steady throughout my warm up. The wet was pleasant. It was warm enough, and there is often something refreshing about running in the rain. The rain didn't stop, but it eased a bit for race start. A short delay in the starting lineup, gave me the unfortunate siting of some guy pull a lolly out of the front of his running shorts, take a bite, then put the remainder back in his shorts. Now I am happy that we fore go some niceness and put up with some gross things during some races, but in my view that was unnecessary.
A moments silence... ... ... go!
Keeping the start very controlled, I wondered if I was going too slow. I put the urge to speed up aside, remembering that I traditionally go out a bit quick in the first 2km on this course. The crowd dissipated fairly quickly and I had all the room I wanted to run my own race. I checked my splits for the 1st and 2nd kilometres. I was kind of happy, but not overjoyed. 3:55 and 3:57 respectively, combined with how hard I felt I was working, it meant today wouldn't be one of my fastest. On the better side, it wasn't going to be my slowest either.
The course is mainly undulating. No steep hills, but also no genuine flat stint either. My goal was to keep the pace close to even throughout. This meant go a bit harder, when the course is slow (uphill), and not go full tilt on the descents. I wanted to see where this would leave me late in the race.
Lap one over, 5km behind me, I was feeling okay. The legs were hurting a bit, but nothing too major. There was the steadily growing burning sensation that threatened to totally envelope my legs if I picked the intensity up just a little bit. All in all it felt like I was right where my fitness would allow. Unfortunately it also felt more like I was running at half marathon effort level, instead of a 10km.
A couple more kilometres passed under my feet. Now my legs were requesting a reprieve. My right calf was threatening to just stop on the descents. Lucky, the next section was mainly uphill. Here I dug deeper, just to prevent myself from slowing... I still slowed a bit.
This brought me to the final turn around, leaving just under 1.5km. This is the final stretch. a slight rise, before a downhill finish. I gave it what I could. Which was a substantial effort, but not much lift in real speed. I passed a couple of competitors, since I didn't know where I was placed it didn't matter that much. The day had resulted in more of time trial, rather than a race.
I stopped the clock at 39:42. My goal of running an even pace was spot on. I averaged 3:58/km for each lap, coming in on an exact even split.
Am I happy with the result?
Mainly yes, with a small amount of no thrown in. On the negative side I wanted to be faster. Down around 38:00 territory. The pace of this 10km is what I want to be running at for the Emergency Services Games half marathon next month. On the positive, I executed the race well. I got nearly the best out of myself. The time trial style of running worked, I paced well and put in the right amount of effort. The race gave me a very accurate guide to my fitness and training status. A bit slower than I like, but on the right track