Yesterday I ran the Oxford Half-marathon and set a new all-time personal best (PB) for the half-marathon (more details coming in a later post) and I was just in the process of reviewing my watch data when I noticed the following:
That folks is an all time PB for 10km for me, by one second, and it has occurred in the middle of a half-marathon. Now I admit I started yesterday's run a little fast, but I don't think I did it that fast. I guess I did.
It certainly means a sub-37 min 10km race is definitely on the cards next year. Who knows, maybe I can dip below 36 mins. Now that would be amazing.
Given my recent good performances over 5km, which I can only attribute to getting my training and diet pretty much spot on, I decided I'd really go for it in yesterday's Yateley 10k and see if I could dip under 38 minutes for the first time in over 14 years. Given the route is mostly uphill for the first 3 km and has a "sting-in-the-tail" in the form of a slow incline and then a sharper short hill in the last 2km, I was a little apprehensive about achieving this goal, but I didn't let that put me off.
On Sunday 22 May 2011, I ran the Stoke Row 10k for the first time. It's a relatively close race to home, but the thing that sold it for me was free music festival in the pub gardens afterwards. I thought this would be a great opportunity for my wife to have something to do whilst I run around the 'burbs and it would also make the run a bit of a "grand day out", which it proved to be, but we'll get onto the day's entertainment in a moment. First the race.
First, the race description...
The 10k route will start and finish at The Cherry Tree Inn, Stoke Row, taking you through some beautiful undulating Oxfordshire Countryside. Starting at 10.30 am, you will be chip timed, have water stops, plenty of clear route signage and marshalls.
This is pertinent as "undulating" is probably a little tame, but "hilly" is a bit too severe. This is quite a tough run as the elevation graph from my Garmin shows...
As you can see, there's quite a bit of climbing involved. It is also mostly offroad which the race description doesn't mention. It would have been good to know this in advance as I would have liked to have tackled it in my Merrells.
On Sunday 15 May 2011 I ran what I think I should start to call my local 10k race - the Woodley 10k. As with the Shinfield 10k race, this is also a fast and relatively flat race and I thought I may just be able to get the sub-40min 10k I just missed at Shinfield.
Following a request from a colleague, this and hopefully my future "first time" race reports, will be a bit more in depth.
Given Woodley is so close to home, and the fact that parking is limited to pretty much whatever Woodley town centre has, my wife and I cycled to the race. Bike racks are very limited too, but nothing a long chain and a firm fence post or tree couldn't solve.
The Woodley 10k starts and finishes at the town end of Memorial Recreation Ground on Headley Road in Woodley. When we got there the kiddies' 3k race was still underway and in it's final stages and quite a large crowd of runners and supporters building up around the start/finish area. For those concerned about these sort of things, there were plenty loos on offer: about 8 port-a-loos as well as those in the buildings at the recreation ground, and a fitness instructor gave a little aerobics type warm up routine just before the race started.
Wednesday evening saw the running of the second of the three Yateley 10k races in the series, and like the first one, I ran it barefoot.
I'd had a bit of a sedentary two weeks building up to the race following the onset of the early signs of the dreaded top of foot pain (ToFP) that cropped up during my piggies hill training session on 22 June. With only a single tabata rowing session done between then and the race I went in the race very relaxed and rested with my foot feeling good too.
Wednesday evening saw me run my first road race in over 11 years, the first of 3 in the Yateley 10k series, and what a great run and evening it was.
The Yateley 10k series is a large, well organised series of races run on the first Wednesday in June, July and August every year and thanks to it's close proximity to work, has become a bit of a tradition with the runners at work. Each year, I hear the guys talking about the races so I thought this would be a great re-introduction to road running and my first official race in the UK (at the time I registered I hadn't planned on doing any of the Parkruns).