Missed on sub-35 in winter league 10 days ago and suffered the consequences last Saturday when even missed on sub-36. Reckoned on this race as a much better bet for a PB, flatter and faster.
Things looked even better this morning when arrived, clear blue skies, no wind, sun shining and chill gone from the air. Met up with a girl I used to work with, first time for some years, looking fit, well and...younger
than me - reality doesn't lie. No idea what pace she was able for but suspected I would be in trouble as she lined up nearer the front than me.
First mile was downhill so couldn't resist my weakness - off too fast - 6:15, still time in the bank I thought optimistically. Next mile generally uphill and paid for the start, 7:16, so lost most of the advantage. Had kept my friend in sight from the start and passed her after 3/4 mile but as we started the third mile she returned the compliment and I then used her as a target for the next 2 miles. Both were slightly net downhill and I was really hanging on, paying for the start I thought, legs on the verge of bending. Concentrated on form to keep it together and was only 20 yards back at the start of the last mile, 6:53 and 6:51 so needed a 7:45 for the last mile.
After a further third of a mile there was a sharp (to me) rise for just 200m but it was enough to drain whatever I had left and I was done for. It took all of my willpower to avoid walking, the legs were gone, I struggled the next 1/4 mile while my friend took off for the line. The last quarter was downhill so made some kind of effort but it wasn't pretty. 7:21 plus a few to give a net 34:47 for a PB - the only good thing about my race today
My friend beat me by 30 seconds and I think if I had paced things better I could have got close but today was as close to perfect conditions as one could wish for so it might be sometime before I get the chance again. I was close to the edge most of the race, so there was little in the tank, HR 91/92%, so the only improvement left is pacing the race.