Sunday, 8 March 2015

Finchley20 - A 20-Mile Race....

The plan for this race was simple. This was my first 20-mile run in this training cycle so I had no intention of "racing". I planned to just get out there and run it easy at 10 minutes/mile. So that was the plan: 20 miles in 3hrs 20 minutes.
I only entered the race because it coincided with the 20-mile run on my training plan. And secondly I did not feel like doing my usual 4am run alone in the dark.
This turned out to be one of those races you know you'll keep relieving in your head for a long time to come.
I woke up early, had a big breakfast - a big bowl of oats, two slices of toast and cup of coffee - and set out early. I had to, every Londoner knows how notoriously unreliable trains can be to the Ruislip and Uxbridge on a Sunday morning. So I took the bus and Thankfully I got there on time, registered and waited, shivering in the cold. The forecast had predicted a little bit of warmth so I settled on shorts and long sleeve top. Mistake: the cold still got to me. But not to worry I did not have to wait for long.
The race started on time at 9:02 and we were off. It was an undulating route. The uphill parts didn't feel so bad at first but three laps later it was a whole different story! Phew!
Mile 1 flew past in 9:47. At that point it felt too slow - like I was crawling so I picked up the pace thinking let's see how this goes. Miles 2 - 5 I kept the pace between 9:15 and 9:18. Mile 6 - 11 the pace crept up to 9:01 - 9:10. Legs felt good and strong at this point. I broke out the first gel at 9 miles and one every 5 miles thereafter. I drank water to thirst.
I was enjoying myself. The last 9 miles I allowed the pace to creep up to 8:50 - 9:00 and held it there till the end.
I guess it does say a lot for the effectiveness of the marathon training plan I am following (The ASICS Plan for those targeting a sub 4-hr marathon) and also the state of fitness it has brought me to.
Finally I want to say a big thanks to Hillingdon AC for a brilliant race - great organisation. The marshals were absolutely brilliant. On my last lap I made sure I said thank you to as much of them as I could.
It was a great race and I had a great run.

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