Perfect conditions. Well rested. No stomach bug. Quick course. What could possibly go wrong? Your coach telling you to take the first 5km handy and then pull the trigger...that plan was great if nobody was taking up the running...
Well after my warm-up which included some quick strides and a 2 minute blast (to lift my HR above 153), I was lining up at the start. So the first 5km in my threshold zone (ideally at the bottom), then run hard for the second 5km. The race started and I hit the lead but another guy went with me so at least that kept the pace honest.
By 1km I was in my threshold zone but mid-zone rather than at the bottom with the guy tucked in behind me. That's pretty much the pattern of the first 5km. I wasn't recording splits, I was just checking my HR as I passed each km marker. Very sad.
Somewhere before 2km I swallowed the biggest flying insect you could imagine. That wasn't pleasant but despite my best effort I couldn't manage to regurgitate crazy legs crane. On with the race and although my HR was a little higher than planned, it felt like I was jogging as we went through kms 2, 3 and 4.
Still the guy behind and as we hit the 5th km (time 17:05). Then on one of the drags of the course and I took off. I felt pretty good and straight away I had opened up a decent gap. It was then all about keeping up the effort level for the run home.
Not much detail here - again I was looking at my HR splits each km (I really need to invest in a good watch). I know the course like the back of my hand so was on auto-pilot. By the time I reached the N17 I ran in the bus lane and started to push a little harder. Through 8km, then past the castle, and then it was nice to run back through the village with plenty of support from onlookers over the last mile.
Running hard but still not flat out I crossed the line for the win in 32:57 (second half 15:52). Happy with that and a good confidence booster. Clearly I wasn't right for the Streets and I felt very comfortable tonight at my target 10km pace of around 3:10's. A quicker time than last year where I was on the red-line for most of the race...
Hopefully back on track now for some quick races in the coming months. I think the sub 32 is there for the taking now so that will be my aim before an attempt on the half in November.
All up around 14.0kms. A few beers and then nighty night.
Thanks to Ian for this photo: