Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance
I had it all worked out; no work, so I could do the Body Balance class at the gym, followed by a nice relaxing spa. Home for lunch, something like porridge with raisins, and then get myself ready for the race in the evening.
However, a call from the agency on Tuesday afternoon meant getting up at the crack of dawn, to drive miles outside of my area, to attend a hearing at which the judge would say he wasn’t going to listen to me, and then drive back. So not only would I be suffering from sitting for hours uncomfortably, my sciatica might be triggered, and I’d have all the stress of dealing with incompetent drivers. On top of being tired.
This was not going to be a good race.
It was still warm when we arrived at Huncote Leisure Centre. We collected our numbers, and went for a warm up, even though it was too early. I wasn’t feeling great.
Meeting up with friends settled things a bit. Nobody was feeling up for this one; there must’ve been something in the air! One final jog around a field, and it was off to the start line.
As it was a chipped race, I decided to time my chip time with my Garmin. As always, it was congested at the start, but once going, I was off to a flyer! My first km was 4:18, and I passed the 1st mile marker in under 7 minutes! That was the easy bit though. There was long, horrible hill, Hardwicke Road, which I didn’t enjoy in our reccy run just under a week before. After that, the course undulates in a mostly downhill fashion, especially towards the end.
It was great to have the support of my West End Runners teammates, both on and off the road. I even managed a “sprint” finish! My last 100m took 21.7 seconds, according to my Garmin, which is 6min/mile pace, so bloody quick for me! I finished in 37:28. It was 23 seconds slower than the far flatter Watermead Challenge, but given the day I’d had, I was more than pleased. It was quicker than Lutterworth on the previous Sunday, where I’d had the rest and preparation that I’d wanted. It wasn’t just me who had a good run; most of my friends either smashed PBs, or posted great times. Well run, everybody!
So it would seem that I can laugh in the face of the 5 Ps! Well, this time!
There were a lot of very good club runners taking part, as this was a LRRL race; out of 541 runners, I finished 269th. I think I was 5th for my age group, which has left me gutted. There are prizes for the first three female finishers in each group, and for the first five men. Grr. I think I was 31st female finisher, overall, if I’ve counted correctly. Given the calibre of the women who finished in the top ten, I’m proud to have been that close! There are some seriously good women runners out there, I am in awe.
Overall, I enjoyed this race the most out of the three 5 milers I’ve run. Watermead was good for a quick time, but was a bit loopy. Watermead has some great scenery in other parts, and it’s a shame it couldn’t have been extended further into the park. Lutterworth was a challenge, but had two nasty hills, one far too close to the end for my liking! Joy Cann had variety, and was a challenge. I feel pleased with my time, even if it wasn’t a PB.
There is now about a month until the next LRRL race, but there is a club race next week, and the parkrun. I need to look on those as preparation for Robin Hood Half. Eek! I will not be taking this lesson seriously at all!