First race of the year completed! Didn't feel enthusiastic going into it - prob cos it was a dull, grey and drizzly day. But glad I got out there and got it over with! Dad was with me this morning, taking lots of photos and video footage as always - its a good thing I usually smile when I run!
They changed the route this year - it was just two laps instead of last years three, which was much better. The organisation was a little better as well; the pen was marked out with finish times for placing. Unfortunately there weren't a large number of runners there to make if worth it; people did go towards the right starting places, but it made the pen seem very sparce! I got part way there and realised I may as well hang back in the 40-45 mins part and just tag onto the back, it would sort itself out once we started running!
Going round I felt very comfortable with the route, being that I had had to run around it three times last year! I'm not sure where it changed exactly, but I think they just elongated a section to make each lap 5k and save us running around three times! The change was much appreciated! I didn't have a time in mind going in; this was my first race of the year and my training so far has been pretty non-existent! I just really wanted to get below 60mins, so that I had a good starting point to get my training off the ground. I knew the best way for me to stay focused was to pick someone out from the crowd who was running just above my pace and try to keep up with them; most of the time its not that I can't run faster if I tried, but just that I have nothing to compete against! Anyway I found a lady who was just ahead of me, that I would need to step up a gear to match so I ran against her, using the, few and far between, down hills to get past her and trying hard to keep my pace up on the many inclines. It was very much a battle during the first lap, but bewteen 4-5km she rushed past me and that just tickled my competitive streak! I got ahead and kept on ahead of her until I lost her then I stopped looking back and just imagined she was right on my heels to push me even further. As the last 2km hit I stepped it up a little bot more just to keep a good pace really; this is the bit where I normally start to flag and I didn't want to do that today. There where two men ahead of me and I decided to overtake them as well and started another little battle with a guy hot on my heels! As we round ed the last corner though I sprinted off to the finish and didn't see him until he came up behind me after the race to say well done! Oh, and let me know he had a little niggle in his calf, which is why I was able to overtake him! Men!
All in all it was a good race and a good day out at TCR; I do love that event! Its good to be back in the saddle for 2011, I really do need to get my race schedule and training sorted. I am very mindful of London Marathon coming up, but nervous of the training too. Not because I'm a stranger to hard work, but because I was injured the last time I trained for London. I want to be smart about it this year, but I'm worried I'll either push myself too hard or not enough - its such a delicate balance. I've got a couple of halves planned, so I'll see how I get on and work it out from there...