Sunday, 24 January 2010

Fred Hughes 10

I've changed my mind - I actually ran OK.

A couple of miles into the race I decided to target completing the ten miles at 6:50 pace. In my oxygen depleted race stupor I calculated that meant finishing in 68:10.

So when I actually crossed the line in 68:29 I was slightly disappointed to miss the goal by the best part of twenty seconds. However, a few hours later, having rehydrated, refuelled and brought my heart rate down from zone five I realised I should have been aiming for 68:20. So given the rolling nature of the course missing out by nine seconds doesn't seem so bad.

Crunching the number further shows a pleasing negative split (34:26 out, 34:03 back) and that's with slightly more uphill in the second half. Actual lap times (for those having trouble sleeping) are 6:54, 6:51, 6:36, 6:52, 7:03, 7:07, 6:39, 6:44, 6:35 and 6:22.

And that's all based on the course mile markers. According to Garmin I ran an inefficient 195 feet further than 10 miles. Plugging that into the magic numbers machine gives 6:49 pace. Bingo. See - manipulate the inputs enough and you can get to any desired result.

With neither Niall nor Kenny on form it's difficult to objectively judge my performance. According to the McMillan Running Calculator to hit a 1:30 half-marathon (6:52 pace) I should be knocking out 10 mile races at 6:46 pace. So no good news there. What was clear is this is a course that rewards those that can run down hill quickly. With high cadence and the feet barely touching the ground I was zooming past people left right and centre.

And what of the others?

Niall missed out on his post-match massage but at least has a new T-shirt to wear when changing the oil on his car.

Given Kenny's need to avoid a random drugs test he did well to keep a low profile and finish in the pack with the "fun runners".

David disappeared up front at the start never to be seen again. According to the results he finished in 66:16, which is mighty impressive given his long training run yesterday.

And Simon had a stormer, finishing an incredible sixth and only nine seconds behind the third place man. Without last night's dinner party he would have been on the podium.

Out of the 617 finishers I came in 72nd. Not even in the top 10%! Hold on - I've changed my mind again...

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