Running on empty – Perth 10k race report

Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas summed it up nicely after stage 19 of this year’s Tour, “sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail. Today I was a shitty little IKEA nail.” Today was one of those days for me.

On the warm up I felt empty, nothing there. But you push on & tell yourself it’ll be fine once the race gets underway. I popped a gel at the start line and got ready to smash it. 

The first mile can be difficult to get into a rhythm unless you start near the front. I was about half way back, so slowly made my way through the field and wasn’t disappointed when I went through the first mile in 7:34. I hadn’t wanted to start out too fast, having learned my lesson from the Brig Bash in July. I got into a group with a couple of club runners (Dundee & Wee County Harriers) and we got into a steady tempo. After 4km I started pushing it on a bit to test the legs. Nothing there. Shit!

The second half of this race was going to be damage limitation, and just when I should have been pushing the pace closer to 7:00/mi, I found myself going backwards. Not good. In your head, your mind is telling you to give up, slow down, walk like those others. That’s when you dig deep and push on. It wasn’t pretty, but I managed to hold a 7:30 pace for the next couple of miles and soon we were into the last 1.5. 

Mentally I wanted to go faster, but my legs were having none of it. FFS! So we plodded through mile 6 in a pedestrian 7:33, then finally my legs agreed to play, running the last 0.2 miles in 6:50 pace. Too little too late!

So I crossed the line in 46:28, not what I’d be hoping for (sub 45), but that was the best I could do on the day. 

Back to training this week, 3 weeks until Linlithgow 10k, see them all as stepping stones. Ultimately I do this for fun and in a weird way I enjoyed today. As G says, sometimes you’re the nail. You learn to suck it up and take it, grind it out, do the best you can, live to fight another day. 

Onwards! 

   
   

Running on empty – Perth 10k race report

It’s race week!

My target race for the second half of the season is the Aviemore half marathon, but along the way i’ve entered a couple of 10k’s, the first of which is my ‘home’ race, the Perth 10k, this weekend. Training is great, I love the process and feeling the improvement as my body adapts to the workload, but racing is the reason we train, so I cannot wait to pin a number on and toe the start line on Sunday.

The other great thing about a race week is that the training load is a little easier. Basically I have one ‘hard’ session this week – tomorrow morning, then it’s recovery runs until the big day. So tomorrow is the only 5.30am start for me this week. Lie ins FTW!!

Forecast just now looks good for racing. Not too warm, maybe a little light rain, and little wind. It can all change before Sunday, but if it stays like that I’ll be chuffed.

Be sure to look out for the race report on Sunday night!

It’s race week!

Pleased with that!

I joined the Deeside Thistle Cycling Club back at the end of 2006 and started racing in 2007. It was nothing special that first season. It was more about finding my feet and learning the ropes in the new world of bike racing.

I remember going to the Christmas lunch & prizegiving at the end of 2007 and watching everyone collecting their awards, wondering if I would ever be good enough to be up on that stage.

Last year, it turned out that I had actually ridden a couple of times that qualified me for medals, but due to an administrative error they weren’t awarded at the prizegiving. I was given them in an envelope at a committee meeting in February. Not quite the same.

My 2010 haul

Having had a great time-trialing season, hammering my 2009 PB’s, I was hopeful that I’d have some loot to collect at our prizegiving today. And so it turned out! My times had earned me gold medals at Vet Standards for 10, 25 & 50, Silver at 25 for Seniors (23-39) and Bronze at 10 for Seniors (the certificate).

What’s more, our Chairman Alan Campbell presented me first rather than in alphabetical order, and told everyone (there were about 70 people there) about my broken collarbone. Cue lots of concerned questions and discussions of others’ broken bones. Almost everyone, it seems, has broken their collarbone at some stage!

What had seemed an impossible dream back in 2007 as I started out in this sport had now become a reality. I’m pleased with that!

Pleased with that!