I was looking forward to this one. I recently read Charle Spedding’s book. He was the English marathon record holder until Mo Farah recently took that title. I’d never heard of him until that occurred. Turns out he has a book and it was pretty interesting. He writes about having the ability to peak for major races and finding something extra when previous results suggest otherwise. More motivating was the way he describes racing,this is what has motivated me. I wanted to RACE!
Unfortunately i’m not a 2.08 marathoner and never will be so I dont have the luxury of turning up to events to race every time. The best I can do is race myself but now and again this changes.
My big goal was to beat the 1.21 time I set here when I last ran this race back in 2011. I felt like I was in pretty good nick then and given i’m still hovering around the 40km’s per week of training mark I felt this would be a tough target.
I set my garmin training partner to average 3.49’s and off we went. The course is cross country across Centennial Park. There are 3 loops of just slightly longer than 7 kilometers.
After just a kilometer which went past in 3.46 I found myself in 4th place with the top 3 about 100 meters ahead. It took about the next 5 kilometers before I moved into 3rd and it stayed that way for quite some time.
The first 7 km splits were: 3.46, 3.52, 3.51, 3.43, 3.56, 3.43, 3.46
Runners 1 and 2 were still about 100 meters ahead for the next loop but I was holding my ground and feeling good. I was happy to keep it this way and just consolidate my position. 4th place now was about a minute behind me.
The 2nd 7 km splits were: 3.48, 3.52, 3.50, 3.46, 4.00, 3.48, 348
On the final loop runner 1 was looking good and was breaking away from runner 2. Gradually over the next few kilometers the gap between 1 and 2 gradually increased. I still wasn’t making any ground on runner 2 though but importantly I wasn’t losing any ground.
At the 5 kilometer which means just 2 km’s to go I started making an effort to increase my pace to start closing the gap. I was making some progress but runner 2 was also surging as no doubt he could sense the finish. The voices in my head then started telling me to just hold my place and be content with 3rd place blah blah blah blah. I had to remind myself that I really wanted a race and now I had the perfect opportunity.
At the 6 km marker there is a drinks station and I thought to myself that if runner 2 gets a drink then he must be hurting as surely he could just wait until the finish. Well sure enough he grabs a drink and probably loses a second or 2 to get it down as I edge closer. By this stage i’m hurting but I know I have an ok kick on me. I’m now making some good ground. 500 meters to go and he hasn’t looked over his shoulder, he doesn’t know i’m there. Perfect. With the confidence to back myself I kick and I do it with purpose and before I know it i’ve put in a gap and i’m done!
The final loops splits were: 3.49, 3.53, 3.54, 3.49, 3.59, 3.39, 3.32 (15 seconds final bit)
I could’t wait to look at the time on my watch – boom 1.20.28. A full minute better than my 2011 result and just 2 minutes shy of my pb. Not a bad place to be at this stage.
Runner 1 turned out to be Marty Keys who ran a 1.19.20
Runner 2 was Tim Carlson who ran a 1.20.37
Now I have 5 months to get fit and ready for Melbourne