The Cardiff 10k this Sunday just gone was a tough one, it was very hot and humid (thunderstorms were in the air), I was tired (after a busy week), and I had a plan that I hadn't worked out thoroughly.
Around 3000 runners at a well organised event, marshaling was a bit iffy in spots (but there were plenty of them and enough that knew what was going on), the water situation was much improved on last year, I arrived relaxed [bib number 1518] and all set to go.
My plan was to set off at marathon pace and see if I could hold to it whilst a bunch of runner were pouring past me... this I managed very well and was happy. Until I realised what this meant for my overall time at 3k... if I carried on I would finish somewhere between 1hr 5min and 1hr 10min. I was unhappy at the thought of running one that slow, so opted to speed up and break the hour (as I have in every other 10k I've run). In speeding up, I think I had left myself too much to do, I'd have to run a quick 6-7k and the heat of the day wasn't helping. In the end I think I out thought myself and ended up with a time of 1hr 1min 35sec.
The setting off slow was a success, but I hadn't thought it through... it seems at the moment (until I do more training) that I am a one pace runner. Trying to change once I'd set up at one speed proved hard to judge!!
Lessons have been learnt and I am now 95% sure that I will not be doing the full marathon in Cardiff this October... I will opt to get fit more slowly and constructively. Doing another couple of 10k races and the Cardiff Half Marathon before Christmas instead. I have to many commitments to train for the marathon before Christmas and also fear I will injure myself by pushing too hard... and an injury is the last thing I want as it would ruin too many activities.
The blog continues... a pic of me at the 10k to follow and then the pursuit of marathon fitness for the spring through the Winter... a training time that has proved a problem in the past that I hope to tackle head on ;o)