Surrey Spitfire 20
After running to a great plan at the Bramley 20 I was looking forward to this event. This one had a similar feel - 2 laps of 10M, a 10M event being held at the same time, I had the same plan - a progressive run of 5 Miles @ 9.08m/m, 5 Miles @ 8.53m/m (10M @ 1hr 30mins), 4 Miles @ 8.38m/m, 4 Miles @ 8.23m/m, 2 Miles @ funtime, the weather would hopefully be warmer, more miles in the legs as this being my 3rd long run (20 + 32 + 20) of the London plan etc etc.
I had read somewhere that this was the weekend to test things out for the big day - so I was even sure of my racing gear, gels & shoes.
I slept well, woke up in time for a leisure start, breakfast was perfect (i.e. not burnt), I even remembered the sunnies (ok I did have to turn back home - note to others - Pack your race bag the night before) and so except for having slight difficulty finding the place but still arrived in plenty of time it was going well to `The Plan`.
Saw Jock & Dave B beforehand - Can I just say NEVER, NEVER play poker with these fellas as they came up with all the excuses under the sun about `not running hard today`, Jock even had visual aids to back up his claim - his upper leg taped up like an Egyptian mummy - All I will add is that they both ran PB`s....!!!! Nicely run guys.
After a slight delay before the start, I didn`t mind too much as there was plenty of space for warming up (& I do mean warm up as it was very open on the runway), and we were off....
And off too fast I was. The 1st 5 miles were meant to be at 9.08 m/m, ok round a bit of a loop and out the Aerodrome. Even running faster than my plan the 1st mile marker came round very quickly. Mind you so did mile 2....and if honest so did mile 3 - all at 8.39m/m - OPPS. Around about here I was joined by Dave B, who was meant to be running 9.xx`s.
It was nice to run with a familiar face, as we chatted & looked at the nice scenery the miles ticked away - each time the Garmin indicated another mile down we took it in turns to say "Opps". First gel taken at Mile 5. Soon enough the two hills came along. To be honest I wasn`t really expecting them especially the second one about mile 6. Have to say I am pleased with my running up slopes but going downwards is still quite slow & awkward. Even thou the pace was faster than planned it felt very relaxed - a run running place both physically & mentally.
We turned back into the Aerodrome, past the water station at about 7.5M, then straight into the headwind - my goodness talk about in your face. So much effort needed to move forward at the same pace. Around the switch back & through the start / finish line and unto lap 2.
First 10 verdict - 7 minutes UP against the plan - OPPS & very much guilty.
Second gel taken at the turn and just managed to finish this gel and into the first hill which was not good timing. Did have ideas of going back to the plan (8.38 m/m`s) but soon disappeared. About mile 12 I switched off and managed to box myself in behind two others running - nearly running up the back of them - opps, sorry about that. Dave & I sped up a little just after that. Passed the water station & through the 13.1M barrier - in the region of 1.48.xx I think. I do enjoy this stage now, somehow mile 14+ is so different to the miles before - quite odd to explain. What wasn`t odd were the hills again - at least we could watch the cyclist free wheel coming down !!!! Final gel at Mile 15.
The last mile outside the Aerodrome was enjoyable - still having thoughts of `going for it` during the final couple of miles. Into the Aerodrome,past the water station and I saw Alan, a team mate in front. I seemed to gain on him quickly - I did have thoughts of drafting on the back of him for a while but thought I push on and into the wind - still as fierce of the first time around. I wasn`t even looking at the pace (thou afterwards I was very pleased at the final few mile splits), passed the final marshal and a final push till the line.
Through the finish in 2 hrs 47 mins 18 seconds.
My mile splits were;
8:38, 8:37, 8:39, 8:16, 8:21, 8:13, 8:04, 8:20, 8:16, 8:11
8:27, 8:28, 8:21, 8:06, 8:22, 8:29, 8:13, 8:00, 8:09, 7:58, 1:09 (0.15m)
Even though I totally failed to run to `The Plan` in one way I`m glad I did run that way as I do now know, without any doubt what so ever that I can run at 20M+ at MP - The Fetch prediction was 3:40:59. (If you offered me that now before London I would say thank you very much....but still run it anyway :-) )
In reflection a good but bad running day.
I will be very disappointed if my final few long runs including the Cranleigh 21 at the end of the month are as fast as this one - I will be more disciplined....I will be more disciplined....I will be more disciplined - said while clicking my heels together in a Wizard of Oz type of way.
To round the day off - In the evening I went to Rachael`s birthday party...and I didn`t managed to bore everyone there about my day`s racing, nor did I eat all the cake :-)
Next race - Reading Half this weekend...and even thou on pacing duties I`m planning on having fun, even maybe, maybe in full fancy dress......