So four weeks after my PB destroying Dorney Dash 10K I find myself lining up for another "PB Perfect" 10K. Three laps of Whipsnade Zoo were on the cards with the promise the animals would be well fed beforehand and kept in their pens.
The weather forecast had been all over the place with thundery showers, heavy rain, light rain or a combination of all three being predicted. As it happens it was dry and not too warm with a light breeze for good effect.
Once in the Zoo I caught up with the Aro Sports fantastic three before warming-up and rolling up to the start five minutes before the off and bumping into Dave from work. Great - I knew four people and all were faster than me.
The start was uneventful. The hooter hooted and we started running. The majority of slower runners had kept back and the perimeter road was wide enough for all (perhaps too wide!).
First mile went OK. A touch fast maybe but given it was net downhill nothing to worry about. I had a pace that I could just about hold. Just one problem: it was too slow. I felt reasonably good. But the legs felt, well I don't know, just not as fresh as at Dorney. I just didn't have the spark to push just that little bit harder. Was it physical? Was it psychological? I don't know. But the end result was I was unable to pump out the kilometres quick enough.
My finish time? Well lets just say if I decide to join Zoological Society of London (ZSL) before 21st June I'll have to pay £40-48!
So not a good day? Well according to the Garmin my sub-optimal route round that ever so wide road meant I actually ran 6.32 miles. Which, if true, would give an average pace of 6:27 - just one second a mile outside 40 minute pace. So maybe not a complete disaster.
However, I think this will be my last serious race for a while. I've been training hard since last November during which time I've covered over a thousand miles (sound familiar?). For the last 12 weeks I've been consistently covering 45 miles over six sessions, three of which were speed work. It's time to give my body a rest and go back to running for pleasure, Saturday morning bile rides and, dare I say it, the occasional foray over to Southdown to meet up with the Aro Runners.
And hey it didn't go all that bad to day - I lapped Scooby Doo and Simon will have change from thirty-six quid if he decides to join ZSL (Lee and Darren will probably only need a few coppers more).