Sri Chinmoy Yarra Boulevard 10km

Originally I had this race marked for the following week in my calendar. So in the last few days I did a little reshuffle of my training and managed to fit it at almost the last minute. I really wanted to run a proper 10km to help guide my marathon preparation. After last weeks, somewhat even pacing at the 12km, I wanted to test myself a bit more. So the plan was to go out fast and see if I could hang on. Not usually my strong point, but every now and then I find I can actually run faster than I thought.

The course is a 5km loop on the Yarra Boulevard. A reasonably smooth bitumen road that is gently undulating the whole way. Nothing in that you could call a hill, but basically a series of false flats that takes 10-20 seconds off your kilometre splits if you're not careful. I chose the 10km option breaking with my usual style of choosing the longer event on offer. That meant two laps for me, mixing it with the 5 and 15km runners as we all started together.

A moment's silence and then we're off and racing. I had lined up one step back from the front. That combined with a deliberate fast start allowed me plenty of space to run freely as the field spread out across the wide and traffic free road. The first kilometre was mainly on a slight downhill so this added to the speed. Covered in 3:36 and then the first turn at 1.25km and we head back up, taking 3:49. I was working hard and I knew my body still wasn't used to sustaining the higher speeds, but my form was pretty good. The field strung out and the race leaders had no trouble opening the gap to me. The field was clearly a higher standard than last week.

Over the undulations and I have to say the rest of the first lap was fairly unremarkable. I made a point of pushing harder than I thought I could sustain and this seemed to translate into a fair bit of variation in my pace which wasn't purely dependent on which way the road was angled. Into the second lap and I tried to push that first kilometre (now the 6th) as fast as I could. Second time around was 13 seconds slower and the struggled progressed from there. The legs tried stiffen, they tried to stop and just lost power as time went on. This was a hard way to race, and it was clear the hang on part of my plan wasn't going as well I wished. A the 5km splits gave me 18:57, 19:28 with a final time of 38:25 and 7th place overall. First place took it out in 31:09.

I was slightly disappointed seeing the clock as I crossed the line. I had been hoping to go sub-38, but it is what it is. Plugging my time into the McMillan Calculator suggests I can run a marathon in 3 hours flat, but I know if I was to run one within the week it would be down closer to 3:30. However, I am progressing reasonably well. I am getting used to running at the faster paces required for my marathon goal and feel like I've nearly shaken off the ultra marathon running style. This week I covered a little over 100km, which is by far my biggest week since the Surfcoast Century last year. Of course the best bit of the day are post race pancakes.


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