Notts AAA Summer League #5 - Teversal - Race Report

Final race in the Summer League series took place last night at 7pm in Teversal (near Sutton in Ashfield). Again there was a decent turnout although a late mix up with the start time (originally advertised as 7:15 pm) saw a big group of runners sprinting for the start line just as the gun went off. I'd never run this course before but had heard from the organisers that it was a new route for this year.

The good news was that it was about 3/4 mile shorter than in previous years (4.75 miles rather than 5.5 miles) the bad news was that a cursory glance at the route map clearly showed that a lot of the route ran perpendicular to the contour lines rather than parallel to them (the latter is my favourite arrangement!). Regardless, I thought what the hell, threw caution to the wind and ran the first mile uphill in 5:28. This turned out to be about the most misguided pacing strategy that I'd ever used. Gasping for breath I passed the first mile marker and hoped desperately that by some miracle the next 3.75 miles would be a gradual downhill. Not on your life, this course had obviously been devised to prove once and for all that a loop course can be all uphill!

Second mile marker was passed in 6:47, but the slower pace did me no good as I'd already blown a gasket and was already contemplating calling it quits and walking until I realised that I was about as far from the finish as I could be on this course. So I figured I 'd just try and make it back without puking and get through mile 3 in 6:31. At this point I'm feeling broken and the final conclusive evidence that the wheels have come off (and the gear box has fallen out and in fact I'm just a flaming wreck on the side of the road) is that mile 4 takes 7:49!!!!!!!!! A brilliant stroke of course design genius is then manifested in the form of an extreme descent over the last half mile to bring us into the finish and I crawl across the line in 31:08. WOW!

So without question a personal worst time for me over 4 miles (26:35 ~6:39 pace) but a very useful (if humbling) learning experience. The most obvious
error was clearly the pace of the first mile. The second problem which I should've taken into account after the Notts 5 a couple of weeks back is that I don't run well in warm weather and should've adjusted my pace accordingly.

I just hope that it's a bit cooler at the Robin Hood half in September!



  • MM

    Sounds like you've cornered the market in lactic acid for this year! Are you sure the mile markers were accurate? 7:49 seems a bit slow (compared to your other miles) even recognising your detriorating pace.

    Nevertheless a great report (I can feel the pain in my legs) - and if its any comfort, we've all done it!
  • MartinH

    thanks for the reassurance, it is indeed comforting to know that I'm not the only seasoned runner to undertake astonishingly stupid race tactics on occasion.

    And yes I think the 4 mile marker was accurate!!

    The only consolation was that this race marked the end of the series and by some miracle (owing to the quality of the other runners from our club) we came 3rd in the mens seniors category and because I'd turned out for 4 out of the 5 races I managed to sneak into the team award. Needless to say I caught some serious flak for last nights performance!

    How's your knee holding up?

  • I just remebered a race I did a few years ago (the tiptree 10) I think, that was on a blazing summers morning. At that time I was running 62-63 minutes for 10 miles so I set off at my usual pace going through 5 miles in a creditable 31 minutes. What followed was something akin to putting a candle in the oven - i.e. complete meltdown. I staggered over the finish line in just under 69 minutes - a horrible expeience but one that taught me more about the benefits of pacing and hydration than any book ever could.

    Oh, and the knee is holding up but only just - its stupid but I just want to make the marathon - I know there are hundreds of others but I've built my "season" on this event. It doesn't seem to be getting worse but I know that not resting isn't helping.

    Post marathon I feel a month off coming up!
  • MM

    Ouch! Yes, we've all done it. I remember doing the 5 miles of Birkenhead Park several years ago in (accurate) splits of something like 5:40, 5:54, 6:10, 6:40, 6:30.

    I would query the accuracy of the 1 mile marker. Even if you did go off like sh*t off a shovel, 5:28 uphill is unbelievably quick. Short by 50-100m methinks.

    Anyway, you got round & didn't let anyone down - well done.
  • Thanks for the report MM and well done for not sparing us the agonising details. Congrats on getting the award and some more racing experience into the bargain! It's interesting that it's possible to blow it by going off too fast even for just a mile. Of course your 4th mile pace is close to my normal 10K pace so it's all relative isn't it... (smiley face here - what's happened to the emoticons?)
  • drewdrew ✭✭✭
    MM, did you think you were riding your bike for the 1st mile?

    Strange coincidence - I did a 4.25 mile tempo run last night. 1st ml in 5:40, 4th ml in 7:40. The heat is a killer, especially when it's on your back with a tailwind.

    We live and learn.
  • Drew, Laura Mike and Martin

    thanks for all the feedback. We do indeed live and learn, although having had 2 consecutive bad race experiences in the last couple of weeks I think my ratio of live:learn might not be as favourable as most other people!!

    Thanks again Chaps & Chapesses

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