At the 8th week of my 12 week marathon training program, the whole week is composed of 5 days of easy runs of 15km each. This is normaly a good time for one to guage their fitness level. Having gauged my half marathon time some 3 weeks earlier and passed well, I was confident the 10K which is more anaerobic should go well to test how long I can hold on to a near max heart rate race. I was there early enough, and with short races, warm up consisiting of jogs at recovery pace and some 100m dashes are prerequsites of warming up the muscles. My target time was a sub-40. Anything above that would be a disaster for my targeted marathon time of 3:10hr.
At the start line, I met familiar faces, waved to some, wished others luck and also got some good luck responses. 10, 9, 8…off we went. The pace was high, by the first kilometer we were doing 3:20min/km, and by the third km, it was clear I would be in the top 3. Half way I checked my watch and it read 19:05min gone. Too fast! The inevitable +ve split was not for my liking. I should be crossing the 5km mark at 19:50s or so. By this time the gap between me and the 4th person, incidentally a lady was 1min, huge for short races! Mine and the guy in front was also 1min, and the 1st person was 3min ahead of me. Those gaps are almost impossible to close if you have ever tried running short distances. It is like being lapped 1 times in a track!
Not bad, I chose to slow down to avoid coasting to the finish line. By the 8th km, the watch read 31:40min. Now I had roughly 8:20min or 4:10min/km pace to get to sub 40. I knew that was doable and my confidence was high as I could feel I still had the energy to sprint home. As I was closing in on the 9th km, I made the decision to go all out as anyway for my marathon training I do 1 mile intervals, so this shouldn’t be a problem. I put up a final kick as the marshal was telling me I am third and by the time I crossed the line, the clock was reading 39:35min, a new PR for me in the 10K.
Luck plays a part in life, and I believe that luck is a function of hard work. The hard work gave me the sub-40 and luck would play a part in putting me on the podium. Who am I to complain when I get NB shoes once in a blue moon courtesy of a race! I digress.
My confidence is now getting higher and higher as I approach the final third of my training program for the MILO finals. The targets have not changed, but the inner me is getting more excited that a 3:10hr is doable. The only lesson I guess I could take from this race was that I used the heavier cushoining shoes instead of nimbler racing models. That I’ll correct with my gift voucher for the NB.