Another 10k, Another Near Miss

April 18, 2012

On Sunday I drove down to the Olympic rowing venue at Dorney Lake, scene of a couple of my previous running PBs for the April edition of the Maxifuel 10k series.  Accompanied by the two Dans from work we arrived typically early for the unusual 12:30pm start time.

My previous attempt at a 10k PB fell just eight seconds short of my 40:27 best and I had mixed feelings about my chances going into this one.  On the one hand, I had two more months training under my belt, I’d smashed my half marathon PB two weeks earlier at Reading and I’d made significant improvements to my running technique through a course at The Running School.  On the flipside, I was shattered after Reading, I’d had a slack couple of weeks in terms of diet and training, and I was full of a nasty cold.  The tipping point for my confidence came when we arrived at the venue to find a serious wind blowing. The course consisted of two laps with the second half of each lap into the wind.

With the wind behind me I decided to try to bank some time early on. I think I over-egged this slightly, hitting the mile mark in 5:58 – my fastest ever mile in a race! Then, a few minutes later, I turned into the wind as it was as if someone had their hands on my chest.  The rest of the race was a struggle but I was still within 5 seconds of 40 minute pace at the 8km mark. The only problem was I had the long 2km straight into the wind to finish.  This was probably the most painful running experience I’ve had since the London Marathon. Pushing into the wind with my lead over PB pace slipping all the way, legs killing, chest burning, even my arms were aching. Even with 500m to go I thought I had a chance of the PB but it just slipped away and I missed out by 7 seconds on my watch. Gutted. I’m fairly sure the overly quick first mile cost me. My last mile was slower than any of miles at the Reading Half!  I allowed the conditions to throw me off my game plan.

My official time was a further 8 seconds slower than my watch time which was one of several examples of slightly shoddy organisation at this event. Not every race can be perfect but there were a few problems at this one that need attention for future events. Leaving runners freezing in their vests after they have finished while someone is found to open up the baggage tent is pretty poor, as is a late start with such a small field.

The two Dans did really well. It was little Dan’s first race in a long time and his longest run since a knee injury so 48 minutes was a great effort. Big Dan’s performance was sensational. A time of 37 minutes in difficult conditions was spectacular and he won the race by over a minute. Unbelievable.

Here’s the Danimal collecting his trophy:


Next up, I might have another go at a 10k at the start of May. The 40 minute mark may just prove a bit much for me, but I really want to get a PB before I turn my attention to serious marathon training.

Lastly, I’d like to wish everyone I know taking part in the London Marathon the very best of luck.  I genuinely wish I could join you but I’ll be confined to cheering from the sidelines this year.


One Response to “Another 10k, Another Near Miss”

  1. […] of highs and lows. The start of the month brought a half marathon PB, the middle of the month a disappointing 10k and the last couple of weeks, time out injured. I picked up a weird ankle niggle which is on the […]

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