5 May 2013

349.80 - 359.80KM: The Heat of the Hometown Sun (Grand East Anglian Run 10K)

My first race in May saw me return home to Norfolk for my 'hometown' race, the Grand East Anglian Run (10k). Despite being on the doorstep, I had only ever run the race twice before in its seven year history, for a number of reasons, but this year I was keen to make it part of my 1000km challenge. With a fast, flat course it had the potential to be another PB and being my local race it was one I was keen to put in a good performance in. Things aren't always that easy though...

Before the race I had arranged an interview with KLFM presenter Simon Rowe, who was broadcasting live from the 'Race Village' as it were. Simon had tried to arrange to interview me on the phone at the London Marathon, but was unable to due to the fact that my phone was struggling for signal at the Red Start (cheers Vodafone). It wasn't my most coherent of interviews as I struggled to hear Simon despite only being stood two foot away from me, but hopefully I managed to get across the key points. Unfortunately I am unable to clarify this as the station doesn't have a listen again feature, so I'll just pretend I nailed it. 

My nose isn't a microphone and I'm not wearing guyliner, honest.

After the interview I made a quick visit to the toilets before joining the crowd of runners at the start line, somewhat optimistically in the sub 40 pen. I took a look around at the fellow runners and with each race I'm beginning to recognise more and more faces, in particular a handful of runners from the Sleaford Stiders. As the race started I set off at my planned 6 minute/mile pace, as had been the plan for a couple of weeks. 

Within the first few hundred meters or so a week of running the 10km to and from work each day combined with the excessive heat began to show some warning signs. Stubbornness got me through the first mile in just over 6 minutes, but as much as I tried it wasn't a pace I was able to maintain for the rest of the race. The next two miles became a matter of counting down the meters until I reached the first of two drinks stations, where I promptly grabbed a bottle of water and poured three quarters of it over my head in a desperate attempt to cool myself down. 

I've never been one to cope well in warm temperatures, exercising in them even less so and today I felt the heat draining the energy from me. With a sub 40 time and new PB long gone I decided to settle with simply setting a new PB for the course and beating last year's time of 44:53. That was easier said than done however and after disposing of my water bottle almost straight away at the first water station, whilst only being a couple of kilometers  it felt like a long wait until the next one. 

Before long the finish line was in sight and I didn't even feel like I had the energy in reserve for my typical sprint finish, or so I thought until my competitiveness got the better of me and I defiantly refused to let the runners in my periphery come past. I crossed the line in just under 43 minutes, about two minutes comfortably inside the time I set the previous year. Whilst it wasn't perhaps the most enjoyable of races, it's another 10km closer to 1000km and a reasonably good time, even if I am slightly disappointed to have not set a new PB on a good course.

Yesterday I decided to treat myself to a new foam roller, as although it hasn't been used as rigerously as it perhaps should have been, my current one has taken a bit of a beating this year. With three races in three days this week getting a good recovery in is vital, so I'll be taking all necessary steps to make each run as easy as possible. I have also volunteered myself to be a guide runner for a blind runner at the Skelly 6. I felt that it was too good an opportunity to pass up to meet someone inspirational , plus it will force me to be disciplined and allow my body some extra rest.

Please visit http://www.justgiving.com/shanes1000km and donate what you can.


Distance: 10.00 km | 6.2 miles
Time: 00:43:06
Official Time: 00:42:57
Average Pace: 04:19 min/km | 06:56 min/mi
Playlist: [No Mp3 players allowed]
Goody Bag: Water Bottle, Dolmio Pasta pot, Can of Bavaria (Alcohol Free Beer), Tango Orange Bar, Coffee sweets and Green Tea Tea Pig .


View my run:

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