So the big day arrived and we managed to arrive at the finish line in one piece and happy with our days work. We arrived downtown early so were close to the start line when the race started, which meant everyone around me was running noticeably faster than my body was intending to go.
The occasion and my mind had other ideas though and I got carried along the early kilometres at under a 6min/km pace, which I haven’t run since before my right knee injury if I remember rightly.
When I saw I was running at 103% heart rate at about 4k, I tried to slow down a bit, but I was judging myself by the runners around me rather than my watch which seemed to be going haywire. Most times I looked at it it said I was doing 7 or nearly 8min/km, but when the km lap time came round I was under 6 again. I just tried to stay with the slowest person near me for a while before they trotted off into the distance and I chose a new hare.
Mer had gone off ahead of me after I’d sprinted to catch up with her after the first water station and then she got stopped by a diabetic on Corrientes who was about to faint. Cost her two or three minutes as she had to help her while someone went to buy her a coke. Apparently she waved at me but I never saw her, lucky for me because if I’d stopped my knees would have swollen up and not let me start again.
I can understand the poor diabetic’s problem though, Corrientes was a killer. The afternoon sun was beating down on the back of heads and there was nowhere to hide. There were three or four long stretches of sun which really went to my head, thankfully the legs never gave up. The last three kilometres were pure mind and mantra and I was dead on my feet crossing the line, but very pleased with 1:02:41 for the race and 1:00:58 for my own 10km it seems according to the trusty old Garmin. Looking at the map shows the problems I was having headwise since I was all over the shop – lots of squiggles. Actually it seems I kept up the sub one hour pace through Corrientes but once I got to the Gatorade drinking station and had a little walk while I took some on I couldn’t pick the pace up again since it was sunny all the way home.
An excellent result all the same and brings hope that on a cooler day and without this annoying chest cough I may get back under an hour for 10k, even with two dodgy knees rather than one. Raring to go for another race now, but not much left between now and the end of the year, so the aim must be to keep in shape over Christmas and get ready for a fuller running season next year, still taking it easy and stirring clear of injury.
Looking at the results now seems I came in 5730 out of 15 000 which is pretty flattering since it makes it sound like I’m almost in the top third of runners who go in for these street races. What it really shows is how close to the start line we were when we took off, cos I bet there were plenty of people that finished with a slower official time but better net time. Great to see I was right on pace at 5km, that could be another short term training challenge perhaps, to run 5km under 30mins. But take it easy Neil!
If you ever wanted to see me being tortured and under duress, you can watch me cross the finish line here. I appear top right at about 01:03:15 and make my way across the line and the screen to the bottom right hand corner by 01:03:28. Sun makes it look like I’ve got blonde hair, but I’m definitely in pain and wobbling all over the place…