The 10k PB

I am behind on blog posts again; it’s the fault of triathlon training.  I need to write a long post about how that is going but I don’t have time at the moment so here is a little one detailing a rather inauspicious PB.

I’ve beaten my 5k PB three times already this year so decided it was time to turn to my old favourite distance, the 10k.  I’m not even really sure what my 10k PB is because my fastest 10k race (1:12:51) was actually a few seconds slower than the first 10k of the buggering 2016 bloody Brighton Half (1:12:36) but obviously that doesn’t officially count.  Really, the only way to be sure would be beat both these times.

My first crack was at Chase The Sun Hyde Park three weeks ago.  Unfortunately, this was not quite to be, with a finish time of 1:13:11.  There was a momentary glimmer of hope where my time appeared wrongly in the results and Zoe tried to convince me that it was more likely that my Garmin had lied about my finish time than there being a mistake with the results, but I just knew I hadn’t done it and sure enough, the next day the results were fixed.

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Crack number two seemed more promising: Chase the Sun last Wednesday at the Olympic Park.  As you know, I always get PBs at the Olympic Park.  Unfortunately, I woke up that morning feeling a bit dodgo, possibly as a consequence of swallowing some water and achieving a state of mild hypothermia in Victoria Dock the previous night.  Still, I soldiered on valiantly and plodded off around the stadium.  It was time for yet another new course as they are now building some more bloody tower blocks on the south lawns.  I am very sad about this.  Soon we will have no park left.  On the plus side, the new course was a bit better than the last one.  As football season is over, the trip hazard gates have been removed from round the stadium, and the section around the lawn has been replaced with a loop around some bridges which contains my favourite downhill and a steeper uphill.

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Unfortunately as the first lap went on, I started to turn increasingly green and the contents of my stomach sloshed around uncomfortably.  By the end of the lap I had pretty much decided I would finish at 5k.  By halfway through the second lap, I wished I had finished at 2.5k.  As I passed by the cafe, I saw Sam shout something encouraging at me.  I tried to smile back but it turned into a grimace and then a vomit gesture.  I realised that I was in grave danger of not surviving the remaining kilometre without embarrassing incident, and also that I was right by a toilet.  I will try to spare you from TMI as best I can and say that I ducked into said toilet and emerged 90 seconds later no longer feeling green or uncomfortable and decided to carry on with my final kilometre and avoid the shame of a DNF.  However, as I rounded the corner with 37:10 on the clock, I realised I was now feeling absolutely fine and that perhaps I should just carry on with the 10k, and at least get a bit of enjoyment out of the last two laps.

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You can probably guess the rest.  Feeling so much better, I sailed around and finished the last two laps in just over 35 minutes, bringing my finish time 1:12:27 and beating not only the “official” PB but the unofficial one from 2016 as well.

Therefore my strategy for my next important race is to swallow a pint of stagnant water just before the start and take a 90 second break at 4k.  Maybe this way I will actually beat my half marathon PB at some point before I die.

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