On March 1st 2020 I ran the Trafford 10k in Trafford, Manchester, England.
I finished in 37:41.
I have been (kind of) training for the 2020 Manchester Marathon, and Comrades.
I have not really been following any kind of training plan but rather trying to build up miles whilst basically running whatever I have felt like on a given day. This has ended up being quite a lot of faster miles, and not enough (by traditional standards) easy miles.
Take a look at my training plan.
In the week preceding the race I had intended on doing some sort of mini taper but this never really came to fruition and race week ended up being a 50 mile week.
This allows for either:
- "I ran so well and I did it on tired legs"
- "I did badly because I was running on tired legs"
In this case it ended up being the latter.
I was aiming for 36:36
I pulled this number out of my arse based on the incorrect thought process that it equated to 6 minute miles.
This was based on some back of the hand calculations whilst chilling in the starting area based on the incorrect belief that 10k was 6.1 miles (its 6.2.. actually 6.21371). Extra stupid given that I have built a race pace calculator on about 1 million different platforms.
I was told that the first km was really tight so I tried to start near the front. Then the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly (or whatever the hell you call them) gang turned up. Near enough everyone at the front of the race was wearing them. They look ridiculous.
I can sort of see the merit of trying to level the playing field if you are a very very good runner and all of your peers are wearing them but I'm at the level where I prefer to not look like an idiot.
I didn't really warm up (almost certainly a mistake) and I was perhaps too nonchalant about the whole thing. I was certainly nervous (having not raced in ages, and absolutely hating 10k's), but I was kind of in a "I'll just run and see what happens zone".
But.. this is basically why I do training races - to get the idiocy and complacency out of my system and to get into the right headspace mentally.
It was sunny which was surprising given the recent weather here in Manchester. Unfortunately however it was still very windy.
I did the first km at 5:50min/mile and had a glance at my watch. After this it was the standard "I hate 10ks, this hurts, lets get to the finish". I didn't look at my watch again.
I went for the "Run a 5k, then remember its a 10k" pacing approach.
During the race I came up with my new 10k methodology - count up to 5km, count down to 10km.
At km 3/4 a few people had dropped out and were beginning to walk back. I hate this because it makes your (already very negative) mind think that quitting is OK. Fortunately even though (as standard) I wanted to quit, I occupied my mind considering in what situation quitting a 10k is worth actually doing (the answer is 'if you are actually injured' (and nothing else)).
At km 5/6 I noticed that my throat was really dry. Breathing was a little more arduous than usual. Probably due to my heavy training load, and the various bugs that have been going around. No excuses - things are what they are on race day, I only write this to allow me to compare race conditions down the line. Also.. if you notice things when in the middle of a 10k, they are usually significant.
I saw a few Chorlton runners on the way (thanks all) and would get a little boost momentarily before reverting back to "what the hell are you doing Tom".
The second half of the race definitely seemed easier (counting down). Although after the 9km sign the wind suddenly decided to be a proper dick.
I got to the end, stopped my watch, momentarily wanted to die and then continued with my life.
By chip time I was 7 seconds or something off a PB. That said, Strava says that my average pace (6:01min/mile) was quicker. Regardless I was aiming for something significantly faster so I was a little disappointed. That said when I leave everything on the course in a race I find it difficult to feel bad - I could have probably found 7 seconds if I had been looking at my watch but at the end of the day I didn't have anything else to give.
Alex was waiting at the finish line. This was a nice little boost to get me across the line. I find that she is nicer to me when I run faster (this is a joke).
She had bought a post race cookie - white chocolate and raspberry. Sadly it was mediocre. I allowed her to eat it given that she had done a 16 mile long run to come and support me (impressive commitment).
The race team offered an OTE snack bar. A choice of fruit or salted caramel. I chose salted caramel because no-one likes fruit. It was actually amazing. The only 'protein bar' I think I have ever liked. Alex agreed. I might actually buy them.
Then we went home, showered, went to Kin Bakehouse and ate cake. It was epic as usual. Then we relaxed and later we went to the cinema and watched Parasite. The end.