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I think you're mad Reg, but very well seen out!
In between yours and Bus' days would have been my fear today. Perhaps sound, perhaps too cautious, but this way we live to race another day.
As do you chaps... in a few days
There was that year Wokey was called off, and rescheduled to a scorcher in May (was it?), but sunshine in Feb is just ridiculous.
Almost as silly as snow in mid March last year.
Heck of an effort Joe, even with the laces messing about! Potentially happening so early didn't cost as much as it would have done later! Imagine trying to get going again midway or at 10-11!
I knew no one doing 20mile training runs at low 7s was going to be doing a mid 78!
No reason in time you can't get that sub 77 a good chunk lower. Even this bastad got a 75.41 back in the day
Will get back to some easy runs this week. Half wondering if I was ever that bad, but we move on. Feels vaguely embarrassing to have almost set a party up, then not shown up myself
Are Clapham putting a 12 stage southerns team in for 4 weeks time? We'll be there (all going well!)
Final XC of the season next Saturday then a weekend off racing before Fission 20M.
Good racing all - I'll post my indoor movements later. SG - Had a very long chat with your friend..my friend..everyone's friend (I'll let you guess )..he turned up in my 1500.
One thing - this HR monitor stuff. What happens if you're having a stormer and the HR is too high...do you back off?
Looking forward to 'King Sandbags' report especially
Some excellent results at Wokingham, enjoyed the reports. Joe I'd say a big PB is on the cards at Reading, especially with another 3 weeks training.
SG - Ill be doing the 12 stages but the Midlands ones, looking forward to making my club debut.
Well done all at Wokingham.
Reg I spoke to after the race anyway, but you seemed pretty relaxed about it, so onward and upward.
Bus, very tough race. Nice vets positioning though. Maybe the fact that you struggled and were still 3rd V50 reflects that this is just that cruel bastard ageing at work.
Good race there Jooligan, and glad to see you're fitting in with the thread nicely by being halfway through your report before you've parked and been to the toilet.
Joe, terrible shoelace error there! Had it happen to me in one of my first races, and have always made damn sure since. Fortunately that was only a 10K. But you'll see those PBs tumble very soon.
Since I have re-appeared, I’d better provide a report from
As I’ve said, my form has been well off this winter. Typically finishing in the 20s in the XC
league as compared to the teens in the winter leading up to me breaking 70 at
Wokingham two years ago. In terms of
training, the short reps have been there or thereabouts, but tempos and long
run paces have also been down.
Therefore, whilst I was very much looking forward to getting back on my
favoured surface and seeing where my fitness stands, my expectations were not
high. My suspicion was that I ought to
be able to do 72:xx, 71:xx would have been a good day, and sub 71 would be
Managed to break my Garmin, so it was crappy stopwatch
time. Wasn’t too concerned about this,
as it would prevent me getting hung up on pace.
Usual mad dash at the start, albeit this time the high-vis
wanker who used to start right at the front then run 1:55 was absent, so no
moving bollard to negotiate. Positions
change through the first mile, but eventually the race settles into a decent
sized fast group moving into the distance, a distinct chase group up ahead, and
then dribs and drabs. I am one of the
About a mile and a bit in I find myself running with frequent
competitor James of Woodstock, about 40 metres behind the chase group, without
anyone else in close proximity. James
and I broke 70 together 2 years ago, but it occurs to me that he had been quite
down on his prospects this year, and was targeting 73. The risk is that he’s gone off fast and will
drop, and I’ll find myself in no man’s land for the entire race. With that in mind, I rudely put in a big
effort to make up ground and tag myself onto the back of the chase group. It takes me about half a mile, and a reasonable
effort, to do this, but I am satisfied that it is worth it.
Now part of a group of 7, and the first watch check is at 3
miles. 15:48. OK, that’s … er… quicker than I expected. Oh well, let’s just commit to it!
Stay with the group through 5 miles, which is reached in
26:20, which is well ahead of 70 pace.
Hmm, maybe today will be better than I imagined? I remember hitting 10K in 32:45ish in 2017,
so it looks like it will be similar this time.
However, the group is pressing hard, and, in all honesty, it’s too fast
for me. I drop off the back, and the
distance grows to about 30-40m, but I rally in time to keep that gap from
growing further, and them being reasonably close ahead is still psychologically
easier than being totally isolated. Sure
enough, 10K is chalked up in around 32:45.
The 7 mile point is around Hurst, which is only a few miles
from home, and is packed with my clubmates marshalling, so I get a bit of a
boost going through here, but back on the lonely roads and the group are
pulling ahead and it becomes harder again.
Another runner drops off the group, and I catch up and press past.
No, as it turns out. The last 5K is where I lose all the time. I have someone to chase ahead, as another runner has dropped from the group, but the pace has slowed, and it’s just about bringing it home any which way I can. A final sprint is needed to avoid the ignominy of losing to a Bracknell Forest runner who has closed quickly, but it’s across the line in 1:10:21.
Well, have to say I didn’t expect that. So I was well chuffed, as you can imagine. Even more pleasing was going through 10 miles in the same time as in 2017. I am not surprised the last 5k was slower, as back then I’d been virtually doing marathon training, whereas my long runs this time round have been a bit haphazard. Back then, I knew it was a peak, whereas now I suspect there’s more to come.
The elephant in the room is the Vaporflys. Yes, I have joined the bouncy orange bastard revolution, as had a large proportion of the front end at Wokingham. SG will no doubt be keen to hear how much difference they made (there was definitely some), but it’s very difficult to tell. As I said, I thought I was in 72 shape, so it’s tempting to say 2 minutes, but I may well have underestimated my own ability, and it’s not like it was a breakthrough to a level I’d never achieved before, so who knows?