Sunday, August 26, 2007

For the king, for the king

I ran like King James II today - rather than Duke of Monmouth. For the non-historians among us that's the two opposing sides of the Battle of Sedgemoor, 6th July 1685. King James II won but it wasn't a 10k race in those days - and the loser had his head chopped off. Now that's not to say I won because I most certainly did not - I'm just glad they've changed the rules on the head chopping off front - still have mine - I think!

I had a surprisingly bloody fine run considering yesterday's 15 mile tempo-ish run, followed by golf in the afternoon and then a meal at the local Chinese restaurant in the evening (and the dreaded booze) to celebrate my dad's 65th. I was feeling slightly 'delicate' this morning but fortunately Graham C was driving so I was OK on that count. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and managed to fit in all of a five minute warm up before the start. Graham, it has to be said, didn't have the greatest of runs this morning and as his school report would have said - there's room for improvement.

I set off steady, aiming for - well, I didn't really have a target. After a slowish start over the first 2k uphill I settled into a easy rhythm and basically worked my way through the field. I really wasn't racing today but it was a damn fine tempo run. For the last 8k I was banging out very consistent kilometres at around 3:57 give or take a few seconds. I was a bit cheeky to the other runners - for which I apologise - because I was passing the time of day with all the spectators and marshals. While they were all racing their socks off I was just pootling along. Anyway, the only exception to the even k's was the last one, where I took the handbrake off, and knocked out a 3:40 to creep just inside 40 minutes in 36th place. I have to say that I didn't think I would be that quick so I am fair delighted.

It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't get under 40. Now I can practically jog it. Today was a real confidence boost. I feel I'm back at the top of my game. I've a twinge of regret that I didn't take the race more seriously and miss the long run yesterday because I strongly believe a PB could have been on. In reality though, I know that the long run was more important. There will be loads more chances for the 10k but far fewer marathons.

It was nice to see Brett S running again - after injury sustained during the castles relay. I overtook him in the last couple of kilometres (had to say that - sorry). Hopefully he can continue steadily improving back to form.

Thought for the day: Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.