What a weekend of running for both me & the club.
Friday afternoon after yoga I decided I had better check out Caesars Camp. Despite there being no easy place to start I found the first bit OK (I started just after the mile 9 point on the official course), the course was looking good but very wet - in some places even being on the `top part of the course` paths were submerged in water. Coming down the `Look Out` was very interesting that with the wet conditions & small stones !! I guess I was 2 miles in before the rain came down again, lucky I brought my smock with me & need to practise wearing it. I went around and saw an old friend - the cows, well one large one in particular really - looking for the rest of the herd - not a happy cow.
Anyway I ran most of the course - only took a couple of wrong turns. The rain hadn`t stopped which caused a classic comedy moment on the second trip up to the `Look Out` - all I will say that it involved a hood down, hood up & me getting even wetter esp the back of my head !! Anyway it was a nice run - 8M in just over 1 hour 40 mins. Quite pleased as the next morning I thought I would take it easy at the parkrun but still ended up with quite a nice time & a cheeky progressive run.
On Sunday morning there was a couple of local races - Basingstoke Half Marathon & the more local `Julian Farrell 10Km`. A couple of the club members went to Basingstoke to see if they could flatten out the hills - they couldn`t !!, ten of us went over to the `Julian Farrell`. I popped into the club beforehand and saw another 15 or 16 runners going out on their runs - so taking it up to 28 Cove Joggers pounding the local streets which I think it`s great.
Anyway back to the Julian Farrell, my 10 Km results (inc TR24) over the year had been disappointing (Frimley Park = 52:26, BUPA 10,000 = 1:.01:52 (pacing duties), Yateley 1 & 2 = 51:22 & 52:30, Tadley = 50:54) so, and I keep saying this, I just wanted a good performance esp as it was a prefect day for running - misty & cool plus I was wearing my Brooks T6`s racers. One funny moment arose beforehand was when Steve Connor (AFD) came over to chat - he asked what time I was looking at. I replied along the lines of, well last year I ran 50:53 but I had ran a 9 mile warm up.............but before I could get any excuses in for this year - being heavy legged, not running that well, no real speed work, no endurance work, lack of tempo miles, next door neighbour budgie keeping me awake etc, etc, etc, Steve said I should aim for a low 48:xx then - well I`m not sure about then I thought to myself.
I was practising new fuelling strategy - breakfast was 2 x black coffee, a couple of slices of cold pizza & in my warm up (0.5 mile @ 9.05/m pace) a gel. Soon enough we were told 6 minutes to go & made our way to the nearby start area. As we assembled I looked round - a small field of runners (117 runners) some of which shall we say very, very coy with their starting positions in the line up - both good & bad positioning.
`Bang` went the gun - note to self pay more attention as I was looking the wrong way. I was running with Alison from the club, she asked what time I was looking at - I thought I better now say 48 - 50 mins, she replied "I`ll run with you for a bit" - now my understanding on a bit was not till we hit the first turn - some 75 metres of so :-) To be fair I did get blocked in & could not get those few seconds back. The course was one small loop, then back past the start / finish then out on the local streets & footpath (using the Frimley Park 10Km course).. The loop was fine is came & went pretty quickly - got some good shouts out, I didn`t mind the A325 - Portsmouth Road part - went through 5 Km point in 23:54 (I made an exemption by looking at the garmin there) - my fastest 5 Km this year. A little further up I got myself (foolishly) in with a group of runners but instead of pushing each other we just ran together resulting in a slow mile. When I realised this I changed pace and pushed on, hoping one would come with me as I knew we were heading towards `the hill` just around the corner at around 7 Km !!
I turned the corner on Crawley Hill (even the name does inspire you to run fast! ) I saw Alison in front - clocked her about 90 seconds in front or so using the accurate `lamp post timing` method. My garmin beeped - I looked at the pace just cleared that last mile at 8.00/m exactly - I wondered what the next mile would be !!
That hill is a toughie, a runner caught me at the top & shot past - good I thought someone to chase when I got my breath back. Threw some water over me which helped & gave chase. Now I thought I was doing well - till another runner came up along side. It was Tony from the club - cool can use each other here & that`s how it was for the last 1.5 mile or so. I think we must of looked good - side by side, stride by stride, I think we gained a couple of places. Where I could I used the centre of the roads due to the camber of the road & not a huge fan of running on the uneven pavements. Soon enough we could see the last big turn - a couple more runners we caught. We swung through the gate & into the school - I thought by judging from the sounds Tony was with me so I sprinted off towards the finish & through the finishing gantry. I made my way down the finishing tunnel and turned round - it wasn`t Tony.
My time, and I was quite shocked was 48:16 (a seasons best & Steve was right). I was pleased with that & had managed to sneak the average under 8.00/m (7.54/m to be precise). After catching a quick drink I joined up with the Cove Joggers who had already finished & the CJ `groupies` -Jean & Maurice, oh and Buster the dog to watch the remaining runners come through & hear all the race stories - some successes, some not - one didn`t know where the finish was despite the BIG sign & got pipped to the post......by his son ;-)
All in all a good day for me & the club.
Splits - 7:33, 7:29, 8:18, 8:00, 8:18, 7:52, 0:42 (0.11@ 6:39) - (5Km splits = 23:54 / 10Km = 48:16)
Results - Power Of Ten Results
Next up - Tadley 10M - my 10 mile PB course - and no not going for it there. Just a tempo kind of run..................but I would like a seasonal best ;-)