Autumn Spitfire 20
I was actually thinking should I really be doing a 20 miler run a week after the JW Ultra .....????? I justified it as if I could do this then I could do Abingdon marathon on the 17th & then two weekends later the Athens marathon plus I wouldn`t be going flat out. I did think I could use the `5 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 2` running plan but then I settled for straight 9.30/m so aiming for 3 hrs 10 mins or thereabouts - nearly planning a PW time !
I had run this route before in March (Surrey Spitfire 20) so I knew the set up & the course - it is my PB course @ 2:47:18. I`ve not done too many 20 milers but I do think it`s a fast course. Two laps of 10M, starting within the Aerodrome then out unto the local roads, fairly flat with a few lumps here and there - one near the front gate (2.5M & 12.5M), then one at 6M (16.5M) & one at 8M (18M)*.
* This time the start / finish line had moved to the far side of the airfield meaning the loop of the baron airfield was the first few miles and the rises moved out by approx 2 miles - I like it. Great improvement & made for faster course as not blown around when you are tired.
One thing I didn`t like this time around was the weather report - heavy rain !!!! But if it rains for your A race then it`s all good practice I suppose. Collected number & warmed up....not in the normal sense but by turning heater up in car - only venturing out of the car at the last possible moment :-) To be fair the promised rain wasn`t failing at that stage and clipped away by cap (handy having a race belt as you can hang all-sorts of stuff on it). Anyway after a bit of a surprised start (or was me not paying attention) we were off - it was a steady but a little fast first few miles - I wanted to be slower.... I knew where the 1st rise was so knew I could ease the pace there. Hit my target pace with 3 miles - nice but still up by 90 seconds. Ran with runnaholic for a few miles, chatting about parkruns, local races, mad races etc. Past the water stop at 5M - near enough on target now.
Great support from the marshals - but I did feel like a bit of a fraud really when they shouted `Looking Strong`, "You can do this", Enjoyed the steep rises at 6.5M & 8M - kept the workload the same rather than dropping pace. Unto the far side of the course. A bike race was also being staged and to be honest I would rather be running then cycling as it looked liked a couple of them had taken a tumble in the wet conditions. Told a couple of the 10 milers to chase down runners in front & finish strongly, which they did. Past the pub & through the back gates and one lap done. (10M split - 1:33:41)
As soon as I passed the half way stage & out onto the open track the rain became to fall a lot heavier - typical !! I was running a touch too fast esp the open part of the course. Got the pace right around 14 M & 15 M. At 16 miles I was about 90 seconds up against the predicted 3:10. At 16.5 M it was the first rise - a bit of a sharp incline really - I thought it would good to whack the speed up, so I pushed up this rise, along out onto the main road, just about managing to grab some water at the water station and
push on. Down a sharp ish drop, then around the corner and pushed up the longer rise at 18 M. Kept the pace constant which was pleasing. I looked at the garmin - I was around the 8 mins mile pace - COME ON !! I was loving this part. Heard shouts from this car that I had seen at several places around the course..."Come on Mr.K - you are going faster and faster" - I wasn`t really but a great shout out. Into the final mile and kept pushing the same effort and passed the old & crashed `Top Gear` cars and through the finish line.
A pleased run esp happy with the last 2.5 miles.
I would like to give the 10 miler event a crack as I`m sure it`s a PB course but when there is a 20 miler race there........a great, well organised & well marshalled event (thanks for standing out in the rain), water & gels offered at the water stations, chip timed. Well worth getting soaked for and a huge gong for a finishing medal.
1) - 1m - 8:41(8:41/m) - 137cal
2) - 1m - 9:09(9:09/m) - 139cal
3) - 1m - 9:30(9:30/m) - 140cal
4) - 1m - 9:48(9:48/m) - 141cal
5) - 1m - 10:00(10:00/m) - 142cal
6) - 1m - 9:48(9:48/m) - 143cal
7) - 1m - 9:35(9:35/m) - 141cal
8) - 1m - 9:25(9:25/m) - 140cal
9) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 142cal
10) - 1m - 9:14(9:14/m) - 140cal
11) - 1m - 9:10(9:10/m) - 139cal
12) - 1m - 9:02(9:02/m) - 138cal
13) - 1m - 9:16(9:16/m) - 140cal
14) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 142cal
15) - 1m - 9:32(9:32/m) - 141cal
16) - 1m - 9:24(9:24/m) - 141cal
17) - 1m - 9:01(9:01/m) - 139cal
18) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 143cal
19) - 1m - 8:09(8:09/m) - 143cal
20) - 0.81m - 6:27(7:58/m) - 114cal
Garmin Time - 3:02:08 - Chip time - 3:02:03 (10M split 1:33:41)
A good boost for Abingdon.....but still not fully decided on pace as I need to be mindful of Athens on the 31st.
Next up - `Taper` time...a bit like `Hammer Time` but without the colourful trousers. Abingdon on the 17th.