Elvaston Castle hosted my first 10k of the year today and it proved to be a good reminder about form, fitness and attitude.
At the end of last year, I ran a PB for 10k and followed it up with a PB for a half marathon the next week. And that made me a bit arrogant going in to today’s Sinfin Classic 10k thinking another PB was on the cards…. it wasn’t.
Today’s race was warm, but not hot enough to use as a full on excuse for running poorly. The reasons for my poor run were:
- Not running enough! I’ve had good results from mixed bike/run training in the last 18 months but this spring I’ve been to arrogant about the fitness cycling can bring. And I’ve not done enough of either to bring any particular form
- Poor preparation – “Aah, it’s only 10k”. You still need to hydrate, rest and eat properly. A 40 mile bike ride, BBQ and a few beers do not constitute proper preparation.
- No concentration: I don’t know what happened in my head but, I ran the first 2k in 8 minutes which is at least 40 seconds faster than I am capable of. I even recall that I felt like I was sprinting! After 2k, I got slower and slower and paid for the reckless start all along
So I learnt/remembered to:
- Train more with a combination of higher intensity training either on the bike or running
- Eat and drink properly and rest the day before (which is obvious)
- Start steady and speed up – once I’d blown myself out there was no getting back, but I could have sped up in the last few kilometers if I’d got gas left in the tank.
The event itself was pretty good for a small local race. Organised by the Derby based Sinfin Running Club, the setting is spectacular and a great place to hang around and enjoy a picnic with family and friends. The terrain is very flat with a mix of cinder path, pavement and well trodden lanes through woodland. Oh, and a rather unwelcome short section of cobbles and pebbles through the centre of the grounds that gave the old legs a good wobble!
The start was a little walk from the car park and registration desk, so that probably accounted for the 5-10 minute delay in getting underway. Once we did get going, there were plenty off twists and turns before we left the grounds of Elvaston Castle and after a short paved stretch ran along the side of a river for 2-3k. This was where I started to come undone and the sun warmed everyone up because there was no shade. After a little straight/hairpin/straight back on the road we headed back to the grounds of the country park and the final few kilometers of mixed terrain.
There were no big banners or chip timing for the start or the finish and I heard the officials say 44:56 as I crossed the line (my watch said 45:01 so I might take the official time instead!). It’s a minute and a half over last years PB and I’m annoyed that I am so far adrift so will be taking the training seriously for the rest of the month to make sure that the half marathon I’ve got on 30 June is not as disappointing.