An early start. Up at 6am and out of the door by 6:20. Struggled to find a park and after a quick registration and 2km warm-up the race was underway.
Conditions were just about perfect. A cool 17 degrees and very little wind. I was in the leading group of 4 as we went through the first km in 3:15 and to be honest I was not feeling great. So the other 3 runners gradually worked away from me so I focused on my own race trying to work as hard as possible. At about 3km I was overtaken by the same young lad who beat me at North Head. So now I'm in 5th place...
My focus turned to getting to the top of the course in good shape, then lifting my game to run a strong last 4.6km. The uphill section is a real tough grind but I was pleased that the gap to 4th wasn't growing (say 10m). The km split between 4 and 5 was a surprise (3:40), that was quick for me. At the turnaround it was time to drop the hammer but it's not the same as doing the time trial. Picking up the pace is a real effort after climbing the long hill.
Anyway, I started to feel stronger and at about 6km I was back into 4th place. At the 7km marker I knew I had to run a strong sub 10 minutes for the last 3km to get under 34. Again lots of focus and I was starting to feel good and with splits of 3:17, 3:21 and 3:11 for the last 3km I snuck under 34 in 33:57 finishing in 4th. No sign of 3rd place in front of me - the gap was too much. So just missed the podium again.
So after a sluggish period between 1km and 6km, a good strong finish was pleasing. That's my quickest time on the Lane Cove course by over 20 seconds so I must be doing something right. It gives me some confidence for the May half which is only 6 weeks or so away.
The split for the last 4.6km was 15:18 compared to my best time trial of 14:49 so goes to show how the first 5.4km really knocks the stuffing out of you.
A 3km warm-down with Conor and Paul. All up 15km for the day.