A PB................ by 1 second!
Well, this has been quite a week - everything from a new PB to an age category win (in 2 different races), via a broken tooth and finally doing my tax returns! But before I get onto these, still a bit of catching up to do from last week.
Felt quite okay after the long, very soggy Sunday run, but took Monday as a rest day (more or less - just a short walk in the woods.) Tuesday, on tour to Winterthur again; ditto Thursday, but fitted in a short run before I left. Down to the lake, 5 times round the Wagner museum, then over to Wartegg, bit of woodland, gardens path, Sternegg, up to the woods, and home along Waldrand and Hirtenhof. 7.09 km in 50:23. (Did I really not run Wednesday? - Garmin says no. Can't remember why not, though.) With a race on Saturday, Friday was another rest day.
Saturday 21st April: Rotseelauf - 10 km round Ebikon and the Rotsee. My first race of the year. My aim for this one was simply to improve on last year's slightly disappointing 55:57 - anything else would be a bonus. (I did think my chances were pretty good, though, as I've worked quite hard over the last few weeks.) Bus to Ebikon; getting off, I heard a whistle from the footbridge over the street - A., just on her way to the start of the walking event. I went and registered, dumped my things in the dressing room, and went to see her off. I had an hour and a half now, so went for a walk to the volière and said hello to the parrots, then went back and got changed. The usual queue for the 'facilities', then out to warm up: a trot over to the parrots again; back to the start/finish; negotiated the crowds there, and headed back along the course to meet A. as she came in. There she was, looking rather pink and weary; she said it was hard work, she felt sick, her foot hurt, and she was disappointed with her time.............. I walked/trotted with her to the finish, dispensing encouragement. Back to the dressing room to leave my jacket, then it was time to go and line up. There were 2 start blocks, so I positioned myself about a third of the way back in the second one. (Learnt my lesson after last year, when I was too far back, and seriously dammed-up for the first km.) Got away very promptly when the gun fired - rather too fast, in fact. Saw 4:23 on the Garmin, and put the brakes on a bit, but km 1 still came in at 4:58 (and in fact there was a 4:16 in there somewhere!) Km 2, taking in the round of Ebikon, was only marginally more sensible (5:04), but km 3, taking us back through the start and past the riding school for the second time, culminated with the first of the two hills, and was 5:26. On along the sunny side of the lake - and it WAS sunny now, after not being able to make up its mind (cloudy........... sunny........... cloudy............windy........... few spits of rain.............sunny............. a few more spits of rain..........) I had debated long and hard about what to wear, but felt now that I had got it right: short-sleeved tee shirt, but not the thinnest. Quite comfortable the whole time, anyway. Km 4 - the steepest part of the uphill, the corresponding downhill, then flat - was 5:47, eating away at the time reserves I'd gained at the beginning. I got down to some sensible, consistent running at last with kms 5 (5:10) and 6 (5:21), on a nice flat path beside the lake. Overtook one or two people, and can't remember anyone overtaking me. So far, so good. At the turning point at the end of the lake, just past Restaurant Regatta, water was on offer, and I sacrificed a few seconds to drink a couple of mouthfuls. Then came the stretch with the dreaded loose gravel. It was not as bad this year as it has sometimes been (depends on how recently it has been re-done - I remember one year it was like running through shingle), but bad enough. I tried not to let the pace drop too much, but it definitely cost more effort! There was a headwind here too. Km 7 was 5:33. Then came St Klemens, and the second hill. It's not all that long, but it's steep, and it's a real effort to run it all. I'd already decided that if it got to the point where running was no quicker than walking, I would pocket my pride and walk, saving my energy for the flat part that followed. I reckoned this would be a net saving, overall. Two other ladies seemed to be following the same strategy; we all ran/walked up, and immediately picked up the pace again at the top, leaving one or two others who had chosen to run it all wheezing in our wake. So km 8 was the slowest, at 6:12. A few more undulations, but nothing too serious. Km 9 was 5:24. Up till now, I'd barely given a thought to the total time, just checked the current pace now and then. It was the sight of the church tower, with its clock, that reminded me. I realized I must be well within my target time............ and maybe even in PB territory. Once I'd negotiated the final bit of uphill (up past the riding school again), I went for it. A shout of encouragement from A. Km 10 was 5:14, but it was 4.24 pace as I crossed the line, feeling a little pukey from the effort, finally remembering to stop the Garmin a few seconds later as a smiling marshall removed my chip. (Oh dear, don't throw up on the nice lady............!) Made my way to the drinks table and took possession of a bottle of Shorle. When A. arrived, I got her to check the time on the Garmin (I can't decipher it without reading glasses.) She reckoned it was 54:28......... but I remembered it had lost a couple of seconds in the underpass under the railway............ so probably I hadn't quite managed it. (54:24 in Littau 3 years ago was the time to beat.) Sat on the steps in front of the church and ate an apple, then back to the dressing room to get changed. The lists were already up, so A. went to look while I was queuing for my customary beer and piece of cake. She came back grinning. "54............23!" (54:23.2, if we need to be really exact.) So yes! - a new PB by ONE SECOND! Good grief, there are some fast runners even among the Mouldy Oldies! - position-wise, I was way down the list: 18th of 27. (The W50 winner ran 43:12.) Among the women overall, I did make it into the first half though: 106th of 218.
Looks as though this training business actually works!
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