I Did My Best (I Think)
So Saturday was my first attempt at my goal of 10K in 40 minutes. For this, I’d selected the Wallsend Harriers 10K road race circuit. This is a local race that I’ve run before, and it’s a good fast course. I also had my friend The Irishman come along on his bike. I knew that I needed to average 9.35 mph to hit my goal, so I was using him as a pace setter.
Of course, none of this would count for any kind of official world record - it was in training, rather than in competition, and using a pace setter. Heck, it sounds dangerously close to cheating!
Not that it helped much. The race route is kinda flat, climbing a total of around 250ft in the first three miles. I set off faster than intended (11mph ~ 5:24 / mile), but this only lasted for 800m or so. I then settled down to a somewhat more sensible pace, clocking the first mile (which is pretty much flat) at 6:00. Then we were into the ‘climb’ section of the course, and into a pretty strong headwind. I knew that I needed to reach the three mile mark by 20:00. By two miles, I was behind on this, with a 7:43 split.
To get back on track, I needed to put in a 6:17. Which didn’t happen - my third mile was 8 minutes, meaning that I had to do the last three miles in 18:17. Which is pretty damned fast (6:06 / mile), but now I was into the fast section of the course - downhill and with some wind assistance. It sounded crazy, but I might just do it.
No. By the time I was at the 4.25 mile marker, I hadn’t managed to lift my pace above 6:36/mile. To hit the magic 40 minutes, I now needed to hit 6:00/mile for the last two miles. And that just wasn’t going to happen - I was completely done in, with the tank showing empty. So we stopped, and walked back to the start line.
OK, so I could be pretty dejected about this. But strangely enough, I’m not. The pace I’d run was still the fastest I’ve done over that kind of distance, and sustaining the 6:36/mile I was at when I’d stopped would still have given me a personal best for 10k that’s over two minutes faster than my current record.
I have four months left of the year in which to focus on this. And with some serious interval training, I’m sure it can be done. Just not yesterday!
- Type: Run
- Date: 09/01/2007
- Time: 15:00:00
- Total Time: 00:28:00.00
- Distance: 4.25 miles
- Average Pace: 6:35.17/mile
- Ascent: 250 ft
- Descent: 100 ft