I know I haven’t had the most consistent month of running in my life. In fact I reckon that I’ve had one of the worst Januarys on record (moving house didn’t help). Still, I lined up at the start of today’s Mallow 10 miler thinking that the combination low mileage, no speed work, plenty of red wine and a hectic non-running life would all gel to give me 10 consistent sub-7 minute miles.
The weather was perfect for a spring 10 mile race. Cold and windy, but dry. I guessed somewhere between 400 – 600 lined up at the start but to be honest, I wasn’t counting.
As the gun went, all the fun runners who had lined up at the start got nudged out of the way. That gets me every time. I know I’m not the fastest but I always line up where I think I should be.
Anyway, I don’t intend to give you the mile by mile , blow by blow account of the race. This is mainly because I can’t remember most of it. The first 4 miles were all sub-7.00 minute miles which made me think my lazy approach to training was going well. Then I realised that I had 6 more of these to go and the rot set it. The miles started to creep up over the 7:00 minute mark (I did manage to keep the all under 7:25). It was one of those races where you try and concentrate on the ass of the girl who has just run past you and as she disappears you start concentrating on the ass of the guy in front of you. You end up just concentrating on the yellow line at the edge of the road.
The last half mile was one of those ones where you have to run down the shoulder of a dual carriageway and the finishing line seems to stay permanently fixed on the horizon. I made a bit of a lunge for the end in the last 200m and caught one or two who had been taunting me with their disappearing asses for the previous 3 miles.
I finished it in 1:11:00 dead (avg 7:05/m) which is a fair reflection of my training and general fitness at the moment. I have gone faster and will in the future but as someone famous once said (I’m guessing) the winning is not done at the finishing line but rather on the training ground – a place I have been avoiding.