Chichester 10 yay!   Leave a comment

As winter continued being wintry I felt that track would be iced off again so I had planned on doing some mile reps instead. After consulting with Bob I settled on 4 x 1 mile at Hove Park. He suggested I aim for 7 minutes, 6.45, 6.45, 7. As I no longer have a GPS watch I would have to rely on my inbuilt sense of pacing. Oh dear… 6.20 for the first one. I really tried to slow down on the second and managed 6.33, I then gave up and just tried to keep up at least the semblance of consistency and finished the last two in 6.25 and 6.24. My recovery was supposed to be 2 minutes but due to a miscalculation on my part as to how long it would take to get back to the start these ended up being 2.5 minutes. However when I reported back to Bob he said this was fine. I was quite pleased as I didn’t think my reps would be that fast and it is a reasonably undulating mile and the park was full of dogs and people getting in the way. Why must people stare at you and see you are running towards them yet make no effort to move themselves, their dogs or children out of the way. Huff. Anyway, all the more reason to be pleased. Including the two miles to and from Hove Park this was a good solid 8 miles in the bag to start the week.

On Wednesday I sought the advice of Emily as I wasn’t sure which fartlek session I should go for pre Chichester 10k on Sunday. I was most grateful that she chose the one I secretly wanted to do: 25 minutes steady, 6 x 1 minute fast with a minute jog in between, finished off with 20 minutes steady (just because that’s how long it took to get back, couldn’t be bothered to do an extra 5 minutes just for the sake of it). It was nice day for it, sunny but cold. There was quite a strong and freezing headwind for all the fast bits but it wasn’t anywhere near as horrible as recently so it was just a slight additional training benefit. I wasn’t really sure what “steady” pace should be so decided to time one of the steady miles home as I just happened to be passing a stretch that I know to be a mile. I was massively surprised to discover it was 7.20. Especially after having done the fast bits. Having ascertained that steady pace should be 7.20 – 7.40 pace for me (thanks again Emily) I was even more pleased with this session. Around 9 miles covered too.

Although I am getting back on the faster stuff I am not neglecting the LSR so on Thursday I set off with Rob on a very sedately paced run which was exactly what I needed. After a sleety start the weather was quite sunny and very pleasant. The run was about 14 miles at 9 minute mile pace so very gentle and in splendid company.

I had already decided to give Hove Park another go on Saturday as I felt I ran better there last week than I have at Preston Park which now seems to crowded. I miss my PP posse but it means I get to see my original HP posse instead. This week there was a brutal, freezing, northerly wind slicing down the long hill and the ground was very frosty. I had a plan to follow Rick and Andy insofar as I could and this actually came to pass. I even managed to overtake them both around 3k though Andy took me back around 500m later. I had my eyes shut quite a lot which is a sure sign I’m putting in the effort. The ground wasn’t actually at all slippery but there was a diversion onto the grass to avoid some works on the path which ruined the flow of the run somewhat especially on the second pass when there were people to lap as well and a person kept cutting me up and generally being a git which meant I lost some time in the last half mile so I was rather pleased all things considered to cross the line in 20.25.

This morning it was the turn of the Chichester 10k. Trevor was running too so we decided to wear our green stuff in solidarity with the folk out on the usual Sunday long run.

Having arrived ridiculously early and snagged the best ever parking space

The benefits of being early

The benefits of being early

Greensleeves

Greensleeves

Traditional pre-race huff stance

Traditional pre-race huff stance

we had plenty of time to listen to the ridiculously posh announcer who is my favourite part of this run (with the post race mug a close second) and see who was about and have a chat with Bob and Jenny. As Trevor hadn’t done this race before I gave him a quick tour of the start and finish so he could decide when to get the Gemili hands out. Soon enough it was time to be corralled to the start. We arrived in the lane and as we were walking the hooter went off! Arg! No-one was ready and a marshall had to swiftly yank the rope divising the time pens out of the way. This unexpected start meant we were stuck behind loads of people but I tried not to get annoyed or do too much weaving. Trevor and I had a vague plan to stick together but go if we felt like it. I passed him early on when I felt strong knowing full well he’d come past me later which he did at around 4k. I passed 5k in 20.50 and had a brief worry that it was too slow so I was going to be crap but I dismissed this and kept onwards. I could still see Caroline at 7k so naturally I assumed she must be having a bad run. As I was watchless I had no idea how I was doing but I was with people I haven’t been anywhere near for ages but again I just assumed they were ALL having bad runs. Anyway I kept plugging away. The nice long downhill 2k at the end had been rather narrowly coned off so I took my life into my hands and just ran on the road side of them as there were too many people in the way in the coned lane. As I rounded the final corner into the short finishing straight I was amazed to see the clock said 41.12 … 13 … 14 … 15… and I was over the line! I was totally shocked as I truly believed I wouldn’t do any better than 42 something. I was so shocked I forget to collect my mug which is really the only reason I do this race but went back and collected it.

Post race tea poured straight in...

Post race tea poured straight in…

After a celebratory tea in the Festival Theatre café it was time to drive home which meant 45 minutes of jabbering about our unexpected brilliance and our plans for green glories to come.

Official chip time 41.03. (Still miles off my PB but the best I’ve run for well over a year – this might be my third fastest 10k ever actually.)

Somehow I also managed 45 miles for the week.

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