Race: 12 th Altstadtlauf, Friedberg, North of Frankfurt, Germany
Date: Saturday 21 September 2002
Weather: Overcast, relatively cool (15 degrees), no wind (i.e. perfect conditions).
Course description: Four flat laps of old town.
With two weeks to go to the marathon I have been broadly following Bob Glovers intermediate competitors marathon programme, which suggests a 10k race prior to a two-week taper. I identified this race about two weeks ago as judging by the portion of the field less than 40 minutes in last years race I felt it worth a pop. The potential to get some early benefit from all the mileage I’ve been doing outweighing the possible downside of either injury or the negative psychological effect of not running a PB.
I’ve been reading the heart rate threads during the last week and taking into account my own views as well I’ve decided to bin the HRM for races (in order to focus more on running!)
I realise when registering that this race is part of a series so am more than a little concerned about the number of exceeding fit looking club runners around me at the start, including the obvious winners (African descent and thin as rakes!). So I settle for a start position three to four rows back.
We’re off and without my HRM I have nothing to gauge my start pace so I try and hold back a little as 50-60 runners speed off into the distance. I resist the urge to chase. I’m determined not to look at my watch until 5k but as we run through 1k I hear someone shout “3:45”, a bit quick but in some way I’m relieved as I would have hated to be outside 4:00 minutes but it shows that my holding back is more in the mind than in the legs (it also shows I’m right not to chase the pack). I try and settle down thinking that if I can lose 5-10 seconds per km it will keep me in good shape for the second half but I’m not yet thinking about a time.
Into the second lap (of four) and I see the 5k marker (that we will pass immediately into the third lap!) and I use that as my beacon to pull me round the second lap. I seem to be holding my position but I’m worried that were all slowing together – I take a breather tucking in behind two sturdy looking chaps moving along at a good clip, they’re not too keen on this, one speeds up, the other moves to one side. I go really wide to give myself a clear run.
(continued to part two)