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Just a quick one from me
Dachs & Jools I hope you both are better and running again soon. PeteM - Brilliant double, I know from the Aylesbury 5k about going the wrong way! Good WAVA too.
Scotty - great to see you on the comeback trail.
Me - Lovely weather in Bromley 20 mions before my 800m on Saturday, then black clouds came over. Suffice to say I had to run it in a hailstorm, actually managed to eat 2 of them during the race! A real 'I was there' moment everyone said. Utterly ridiculous.
The first 2 went out fast, and that's where I couldn't get going - it was so cold and I went through the bell in about 66, also like most of us running 200m with just one eye open due to the hail! Managed 3rd in 2.11 by the end. Interesting at least - we were all comparing the weather to the first xc, basically running in a windy sauna - perhaps the xc and track seasons start too early?
Right, if Ric, you've stopped abusing poor Jools, I have a turnout to report on.
Give a brother 30 to get a good piece on paper, and a few little pics too.
Entered this one a couple of weeks ago, but thought i'd have a more low key build up, to avoid a repeat of GSR and Wokey 2019!
I missed this one ill last year, so in the last 3 long distance races I'd entered, i'd only turned up to one, and that was the GSR underwhelming one. Therefore, I thought i'll keep this quiet, and just get there this time!
Having not done this race since 2011, and not got below 60.48, it gave me a perfect pressure free race to set a few targets, ranging from "dreamworld" of a 58:xx, through to beating GSR, to sub 60, to at least beating 60.48.
With talk of the weather ramping up, I knew the top end wouldn't be doable, so I replaced that with "get round" as a 5th option
A load of Dashers were there, but not a club champ race. Perfect scenario really, as was the mere 25mins or so drive. I do love a race hoon, but sometimes something local is just the ticket.
Earlier this week I was a little concerned at how humid even slow runs were, but realised, if it's that hard conditions, you can always choose to reign it in accordingly. If you don't, the conditions will do it to you!
I always enjoyed this race in Marlow days, doing it 5 years out of 6 between 2006-2011, so looked forward to experiencing it again.
The course is quite an unusual set up - starts in a business park (perfect for parking - pure perfection - a massive empty business park!!).
One lap of the BP - out down the entry road to a roundabout, round it, back to the business park, another lap, back out down that road, then around 4miles you slide off and the real quiz begins.
Nicely flat, bar a bit of an awkward 9th mile, that has a little bridge crossing, and some twisty slightly offroad stuff, and a sort of trailly field to get across.
Before a glorious half mile back down the original road, and then half mile in the (you've guessed it!!!) business park.
Perfect bit of outdoor shrubbery right next to the start line made for some last min relief, and to the start line then.
A nice early 9.30am start, meant I should be finishing by the time the GSR started. Would make a decent difference today I thought, with temps threatening to romp up by the minute.
Therefore, the 7min delay wasn't appreciated by anyone
I'm still unsure whether it was an actual hooter, or some old bloke shouting "blarrrpppp" into the mic, and we were off.
Lineup a few rows back to not go off foolishly today, and for once, I set off fairly cautiously. Probably for one of the few times in 220+ races.
Ric said the other day that unconfident people go off too fast, I'd say it's the opposite at times! However, it seemed the right approach.
I recognise a few I've lost to in local series between summer and winter 2018, so I feel placed correctly.
Then notice BIg Pete has machine gunned off, and is a good 10metres ahead. I look at my watch, and despite the sensible start, I'm suddenly at 5.38 pace and not catching him very quickly
Roll up alongside and share some chat - you can do this in long distance races when you're not thrashing yourselves I find sometimes!! And we probably share around half a mile before it settled a bit, and I ease on.
Local lad Mike Sankey is in and around as well. A chap I should normally be well ahead of, but I'm relaxed, I'm trying it the steady approach for a more enjoyable experience than the GSR attempt at flat out!
Out on the bit towards the roundabout, there's a bit of a banter from Mike and the lads around about the 4% aspect. I say last year I missed the race, so i'm more than 4% up, before realising this is just a bit casual in a race, so ease on and leave them.
First mile is a mere 5.57. That's a constrained start, but that needs to be the sort of base line. However, in this heat, who knows - keeping it ticking over well, but on the enjoyable side of misery is the aim today.
It's a bit of a surreal race at times, on the out and backs, as you see everyone ahead and behind. It's all lovely and that, but on the second part back, I'm gagging for the turnoff, as i'm getting sick of shouting out well done, and name checking 100s of people
Here's a pic that gives the very wrong impression that I'm winning!
The bit out and back to the roundabout is utterly glorious smooth fast flat material. It's not all like this at Maidy, so have to try and enjoy this bit.
I'm ticking over just under 6min miling, which is fine today I think.
Haven't done anything beyond 4.8miles on the road since October, and in 2019 I've literally done 2x1mile, one XC in Jan, and the relays a few weeks back. I need a solid turnout to get things going - and a long distance one to make up for the Wokingham pull out.
Past some police, and then around 4miles you turn through a normally locked gate for a lovely sweeping view across fields.
I dare say half the field may have missed who the marshal was on the start of this stretch - only our Prime Minister - Theresea May!!
Fairly amazing, and I said something to the chap next to me about it being too early in the race to be hallucinating.
This did the trick, as he clearly thought if this chap is chatting ballz at this pace, then I'll let him go
Mile along this road, ticking overly nicely, and it's all feeling pretty good and comfortable. Vapors are making me feel smooth, and it's all going nicely without ruining myself.
Gradually taking a few places here and there.
At 5miles is switches to a lovely 3mile stretch on smooth roads, that feels slightly down, but i'm not even sure it is. Just keep ticking over the sub 6s, and I think back to GSR and how by 5-6miles I was really hanging on and pleading for the finish. Today is a completely different boat, and while I don't know how the temps/humidity measure up - today is certainly much more enjoyable.
My favourite moment was coming up to a group of 4 working off each other, and having the decision of joining, or just easing past. Just did the latter, and never saw them again - obviously today was a day for even pacing, versus the usual out hard, settle and hold on! Certainly feels better going past people than the opposite!
By 7miles I knew sub 60 was going to be comfortable by a good 30 or so second margin. Just needed to keep it going and see how it lay.
I've gone past a guy who comfortably beat me in the summer 5ks last year, and on we go.
Shared a laugh with one of Pete's teammates when a marshal said "well done Datchet, and WINDLE? with massive surprise in his voice!
Mile 9 was the only upset, as it starts with a bridge, has some fussy rough, some windy bits, where I lost sight of the few ahead, and it was a bit solo, and then a trail bit across a field. Everyone would have lost time here, for me, probably a 10-15secs drop off.
But then back on the glorious smooth road, pace naturally ramped up, overtook a couple of people, and without overdoing it, saw it home for a 59.28.
3 seconds better than GSR - a completely different experience. 32/1000+ job. Must have taken 25-30places from about mile 4 on.
Controlled - weather cautious effort without a full build up specially to it, versus a total focus, attempted flat out race that the wheels fell off and begging to end mid way.
While Phil's strava comment about me running "well" within myself I think is a little strong, I can now be confident there's a return at least into the 58s on a cooler day.
Interesting to try the even splitting approach. I don't think that necessarily will work on other days as there's a risk of not getting out hard enough (unless you're a top runner!), but it was effective today.
Good to get a long race in the vapors too - before they crumble! I think that relay course was especially bad, as no further damage today to be honest.
However, for mile to 5ks I do think I prefer the Hyperions, with their closer to the ground feel. In fairness they do bill the Vapors as a marathon shoe, and you can see why - they're for races you almost set a sort of cruise control on and just smoothly glide away.
Looking at our top Dasher boys there today, one of our fastest guys who is a mid 55 guy did 5801, and the lads in the gang just behind the fast lot (and me!) were all well down on what they're capable of. There was certainly a fair bit of carnage out there today.
So i'll be gutted if this doesn't give me a handicap boost on RB ;_)
All in all though, felt great to get out there, get a turnout in, see Pete, loads of clubmates both current and past, and a perfect start to a 12 day spell off work.
Loved doing this course again after so many years without. Set off a lot of memories.
I think the key for me these days is while it'd be great to put in some times nearer the pbs, putting in regular turn outs, enjoying and living these races out, without getting too pressured on them is the key.
Look forward to a stack of shorter stuff in the months ahead - bar Endure of course, but i'll treat that as a bit of a running love in with like minded nutters
Well done SG & Pete on the 10's. Reports up to standard and a relief not to be reading a tale of the wheels coming off.
SG, Ric said the other day that unconfident people go off too fast
My comment wasn't about starting too fast being a sign of a lack of confidence. It was about feeling the need to 'bank time', because of the 'inevitable slowing down later', and the promoters of the idea, extolling the virtues of 'confidence gained' by having done so.
Logic dictates that too fast a start will lead to a slowing down later. We all done that by mistake. But to do that by design is a questionable strategy.
Anyway SG, you definitely didn't do that yesterday. A bit of speed to start with, and then easing off into the 'over-drive' region.
After that, all you had to do is cruise along and 'reel-em-in'. Sure beats hanging on. That's what a good race should feel like.
Shame you didn't know who was here at this point. You could have asked her if this was the Br-exit?
Reg, if you've dropped that much in only ten days of avoiding the junk. You must have built up a mountain of buried flab. Carry on for another 12 weeks and I can't imagine what that will do for your power to weight ratio. If the books are correct, you've already liberated 4 miles of blood capillaries.
Fat is such a waste of effort.