2 weeks to TNF100… definite taper time!
This week was reasonably quiet for me on the training front. The weather was less than great and following the storms associated with an East coast low the trails were at best muddy and in most cases blocked with large trees. I did manage a couple of short sharp road sessions working on speed with the weekend bringing my first 10k race in 2 years. In fact I have only done one other 10k race, which was my first race ever when my training started. I remember then just hoping I would go under 50mins – I did it in about 46mins.
Two years later and I am aiming for sub 40mins. Amazing how things change! Sub 40 mins is in fact a pretty ambitious goal for me given my 10k PB going into the race was about 44:30 (set in my only road half marathon!) and knowing how tough it was to get my 5k times back under 20mins post IMWA. I’m also not really trained for speed at the moment given the focus on TNF100 and the other trail racing I have been doing. But its good to have ambitious goals right!
The race was the Greater Sydney 10. It was held at Sydney Olympic Park on a 2 lap out and back course with the final 400m lapping the athletics track. Unlike most races I have been involved in the race is very “Athletics” focussed, not surprising since it was run by Athletics NSW and was the National 10k Road Championship. The field was fast!
Unexpectedly the race was held on a Saturday… lucky they sent a reminder email Friday evening or I would have shown up on Sunday. Storms through the night also didn’t help the mental preparations but come morning, out at Homebush, conditions were perfect if a little humid.
My cousin Josh was also running and shooting for sub 40. A quick prerace chat and look around for the 40min pacer and we were off. The race is one of the few that I have been in that is based on gun time. There are no timing mats at the start and your place is your place. This also meant it was one of the worst races I have been in in terms of people self seeding themselves appropriately. A whole block of elderly runners had seeded themselves a few rows from the front and formed a massive wall. I feel bad but it did mean I had no option but to push though.
Once in clear space I was moving along comfortably ahead of the 40min pacer and put in a solid first 5k. In fact I PB’d my 5k time with a 19:26. Maybe I went out a little hard but that was my plan and I felt really good.
Then just as quickly, the wheels fell off. At 5.5k I got an almighty stitch in my chest. In an instant I was walking. The 40min bus flew by with Josh in it and a few seconds later I recomposed myself. I thought for a moment I would try and run it down but decided to hold off until after the drink station. A bit of water worked wonders and I got back into running. By now however my momentum was lost and it was just a case of tapping it out to the finish.
My result was 42:06. Still a bit of work to do to get under 40mins but with focussed training I am pretty confident I can do it. My time was also 2:30 faster than my previous PB so its hard not to be very happy.
The event also hosted a 5k and a 2.5k race for kids. Isla was lining up in the 2.5k. With Little Athletics the naming sponsor for the race you can imagine the field was pretty fast. She was easily the youngest and smallest in the field but she got out there, did her best and finished. It was great to watch!
By Saturday afternoon I was coming down with the flu 🙁 It probably didn’t help me in the race. Sunday I was a real mess but dragged myself out for a slow 5k at lunchtime in some weak attempt to shake it out. Hopefully it clears up quickly (edit:: it did… all gone by Tuesday morning).
Bring on the North Face!