With the clocks moving it was an early morning - but all good practice for London I suppose..
Picked up Alan at 6.00am - in olde money anyway and managed to get to Cranleigh without any sat nav problems. Had a bit of a nosey around & saw the early runners off (you could set off 30 mins before everyone else if you didn`t think you would hit the 15 M cut -off).
Met up with the rest of the club runners. It was a good club turnout (for us `Covies` anyway - 12 of us) and heard the normal pre race excuses....niggies here, not much training, couldn`t find my luckily socks etc etc. The outcome was that there was a lot of keeping cards close to their chest - my plan was that I was aiming for 9m/m (easy to work out) - 3 hrs 9mins for the 21M & to ensure I kind of followed this plan I told everyone.
Hooter went off, a bit bunched at the start and managed to dodge a couple of cars that sneaked past the road closure. I saw my fellow club runners race off into the distance - so tempted to chase them down & race them - we did have a couple of our fastest runners there.....but that wasn`t the plan so I didn`t.
First mile down - still a bit cramped but steady and on time but I decided to find some space to run in so the 2nd mile was a bit fast. To be fair I don`t think I was in the best of moods - found it hard to switch off from the other runners - talking, i-pods leads, odd sounding feet slapping, birds singing in the trees etc., generally finding it hard to find my `running head space`. Third mile settled down a bit but still in front.
To distract my head I though I would keep count of where I was against the plan. My speed wasn`t helping me as the forth, firth & sixth mile I was still up...so ok that`s +3 sec then - 32 sec = 29 sec ahead, then - 10 sec = 39 sec ahead. -18 sec = 57 sec ahead -25 = 1m 22 sec ahead, -23 sec = 1 min 45 sec ahead....etc etc....lost count after a while.
Whilst not hitting the 9`s I was happy with the pace. The course itself was good, a few lumps in the roads, mainly country roads. - one lap of 9 mile & a lap of 6 mile (which you do twice for the 21M).
Water stations were well placed except I had nightmare with them. I was told once that coming up to water stations you stick you arm out & make eye contacts & keep moving - 1st WS - ran in the back of another runner - water everywhere! Another WS - someone `took` my cup by swooping in at the last minute so ended up with orange !!. The best one I nearly ended (by accident) throwing the cup over the water marshal - a mixture of me running & him turning around.. If I was one of the dwarfs then call me `grumpy`!
Through the village of Cranleigh was interesting and made a nice chance to the countryside, and unto to 6M loop & past the jelly baby station (how many jelly babies in the buckets???). After about 1hr 40 mins the first of the leaders went past. I am in ore of how they make it look of easily & effortless - even thou are working hard it does amaze me (winner for the 21M was just under the 2 hr mark). Oh well never a prize for me for running fast...maybe distance but never speed !!
Passed through the half marathon mark (yeah - opps too fast) and passed the start / finish point and unto the second lap of 6M. This lap I felt happier with, as it`s good practice for forthcoming lapped races - Thunder Run - maybe a few laps in the Kent 50 etc.
Kept the mile splits steady and found myself passing runners in the last few miles. The last hill going downhill I found a struggle - more hill work required I think. `Sprinted` through the finish to finish my forth long run.
Garmin Spilts -
9:03, 8:28, 8:50, 8:42, 8:35, 8:37, 8:50, 8:51, 8:33,
8:38, 8:47, 8:36, 8:37, 8:13, 8:40,
8:27, 8:44, 8:35, 8:41, 8:26, 8:41, 1:03(0.15)
Garmin Finish Time - 3 hrs 2 mins 36 sec
Good event, found it hard thou - much harder than the Bramley 20 & the Surrey Spitfire 20 - tough on the legs. Maybe my race preparation (food & drink) wasn`t as good as it should have been but generally pleased with time (even thou it was 6 and half minutes too quick) - still a bit grumpy and decided that a soak in the jacuzzi & steam room afterwards would be the best plan forward.
Unsure of my last long run (20 + 32 + 20 + 21) - so maybe a 15 to 18 miler on Bank Holiday Monday.
Also need to firm up on my taper plans for London, maybe 80%, 60% , 40% of current mileage - hoping to keep the number of sessions the same.....!!
Next event - Maidenhead 10 on Friday (not racing - maybe pacing - 8.00 m/m)