I've recently reset my target marathon pace and although today called for just an average long run, normally slower at target pace, I wanted to try a segment at pace when already fatigued. I've had a hard week of training, so that combined with a long warmup run should get me tired enough to see if I can still maintain pace when tired. Conveniently, its the first of these events of this year's season, so I decided to incorporate it into my long run.
I took a slow jog up to the common, getting 12km done before race start. Pace was slow, a minute per kilometre under marathon pace, but that's fine. I registered, picked up my number, and took shelter from the cold wind in the café to pin on my race number.
It seemed like the number of competitors was down on previous events, but on a chilly March morning I guess that's no surprise.
The route is no less pointy than last year
The little kids have a short event at around 9:30, then the 5km participants go off at 10:00, the 10km at 10:02, and then me and the rest of the 15km entrants at 10:04.
My aim was to hit on or around 5:30/km for the full distance. I went off very slightly fast at 5:22 for the first kilometre, and then settled in well. I was tired from a hard week with a couple of hard gym sessions at The Athletic Edge and the 12km run, but I didn't find it too hard to maintain pace. I let faster people go off, I reeled in slower ones from the earlier races (and from mine who had gone off too hard), but my priority was holding pace.
I'm pleased with this, it's a very twisty course, and was quite windy, as well as congested at times so that's worth a few seconds per kilometre. There was one kilometre section on each of the three laps which I ran slower as that had a drinks stop (I wasn't carrying any drinks so needed to take advantage of the aid station) followed by a very twisty slippery section through a forested area.
- 1 - 5:22
- 2 - 5:31
- 3 - 5:49 (drink stop)
- 4 - 5:36
- 5 - 5:34
- 6 - 5:39
- 7 - 5:36
- 8 - 5:55 (drink stop)
- 9 - 5:27
- 10 - 5:29
- 11 - 5:33
- 12 - 5:32
- 13 - 5:49 (drink stop)
- 14 - 5:32
- 15 - 5:13
I finished in 1:22.44, a couple of minutes slower than last time I ran the event, but I had a different objective this time, and a lot more running to do! I had another 5km to reach my 32km target, so switched back into nice slow pace for a trot back towards home.
First bling of the year
I'm starting to believe that my marathon target is achievable now, As long as I keep the next few weeks under control, stay uninjured, and taper well then I should be on track for somewhere around 3 hours and 50 minutes in Rotterdam in just 21 days' time.
And now, I shall snooze whilst pretending to watch James Bond on the TV.