12. 10 km torment in Stubbington Green

stubbington-green-10km.jpgFirst race of the year was the Stubbington Green 10 km, on the south coast near Portsmouth. About 1 200 runners on a flat route on the seafront and around the local naval bases.

The recent snow was nearly all gone, and the race was run in brilliant sunshine and -6C (21F).

My aim was to try a shorter distance and find some extra speed to get me down from 4:05 to 3:59 this year. Pre-Chicago PRs at half marathon of 1:51, and 10 miles of 1:24, so I know I can run faster. Friends with similar marathon times seem to have 10 km PRs around 47 to 48 minutes. I’m no sprinter, so 50 minutes was a reasonable and easily calculable target for my first ever 10 km.

This Sunday somehow I just never got going.

First I left my drink and my running watch by the door at home an hour from the start line. Then the race itself was like running through treacle. Happily let a load of hares ease past me at the start, thinking I would catch them later. They just kept on easing past. I latched on to several of the most infirm-looking runners as motivation targets to chase, but gradually lost them all.

26:20 to 5 km. I pushed on, and nearly made myself throw up near the end. A short final sprint got me in at 52:59. That’s 8:32 miles, just about on my half marathon pace and slower than I’ve done for 10 miles. And it felt so much tougher the whole way round.

Lots of potential excuses out there such as: an extra 10 pounds round the middle over Christmas, the cold weather, an inherited lack of fast-twitch muscles, or my easy 9 miler on Friday. I’ve coped with similar stuff before, though, and still come through fine.

At least it should be a makeable PR target next time…. if there is a next time. Maybe the 10 km is just too short for me? Does anyone else find the short distances harder than the longer ones?

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131. Brighton Rock
82. The strife of Bath
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