Headed out to Smithfield for the monthly SMC race over the weekend. I put myself down for the 10km and was a little concerned how I would go as my running has struggled to happen of late.
Since my last blog update a fortnight ago I have had just three runs. I ran on the Wednesday of last week which was an absolute struggle. I found out why soon after as by Wednesday afternoon I had come down with a very bad fever which left me wiped out for basically the next week.
The first time I felt good enough to get out of bed and go for a run was Saturday. I did a 5km session locally and hurt throughout but managed to keep the pace just under 6 minutes per kilometre.
This bring me to Sunday and the SMC 10km race. These are supposed to complement my long runs by giving me some nice speed sessions in between. However, considering I haven’t done a long run in a week that isn’t really going to plan. I was interested to see how my body would handle the run. Sure I had been sick but on the other hand with no running surely I was fresh?
I went out trying to keep an easy pace and noticed that I was sitting around 5 min 30 pace which is a lot faster than I wanted. However, I felt good so I figured I would just go with it and focus on being comfortable. I held this pace with little trouble for the first 2km however then the hill in the middle of the track came. The hill is about 500 metres long and it is a legitimate hill, you certainly feel it. My pace slowed down over this hill and I did the third kilometre in about 6 min 13 pace. No matter, I thought, I will just keep working and the pace should drop down as the course flattens out. This seemed to more or less go to plan as kilometres four and five were done in about 5 min 58 pace and kilometre six was done in 5 min 54 pace.
I figured that now was the time to start getting a move on and putting a good time together however this stage of the race did not go to plan at all.
I started hurting all over and got a massive stitch down my right side. I honestly don’t remember the last time I got a stitch whilst running, It was horrible! I tried to keep my time going and run through it but it slowed me down. I did that kilometre in 6 min 05.
At this stage of the run my focus was no longer on getting a good time, it was on surviving. I got a reprieve when the hill that I had run up on the way out came back for the down hill leg. I didn’t get as much benefit out of it as I should have though and I ended up running kilometre eight in 5 min 55.
A strange thing happened when I got down the bottom of the hill. The stitch went away and I started to feel good. By this stage there was less than two kilometres to go so I focused on just holding my pace and seeing how long I could maintain my downhill speed for.
I was surprised with how well this went, not only did I hold my speed I actually started getting faster. I ran kilometre nine in 5 min 30 and kilometre ten in a super fast 5 min 15! I was amazed how fast I finished and I ended up finishing the run in 57 min 49!
Me and Sarah after the race
This was definitely a SMC PB and in turn the fastest time I have run in a 10km race and the fastest time I have run in NSW. However, the first 10km split in the Melbourne Half Marathon was 57 min 29 so that is still my record. I am happy to call Sunday’s effort a state record!
Well done to my cousin Sarah who had a great run. She managed to finish in a time of 59 min 05 which is her first time breaking 60 minutes. A fantastic effort!
Hoping that the sickness and other excuses are now behind me and I can focus on putting a few good runs together.