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A Fine Summer's Evening

Last Wednesday I did a nice little 10k on the seafront. Given that it was July 18th, I had sort of expected some reasonable running conditions.

18 Jul 2012 19:33

Not so much. That photo was taken by Clarkie at the start. At 7:30pm. She says the camera lightened the shot quite a lot, and you can see the lights on the pier and on the lead-out bike. If you look at the blue flag in the background you can see it was a little bit breezy too. Nice little 20+ mph headwind for the first 5k.

I was hoping (given my recent training form) to squeak under an hour. My previous PB was set in October 2010, and was 1:03:31. I've recently had my training runs drop by around 1min/mile, which has been a nice surprise, so I was pretty hopeful of the PB but really wanted the sub-hour. When I saw the conditions though I wasn't sure I wanted to run at all!

I had serious thoughts about giving up before I got to 5k! It was hard. Toughest 5k I've done for a while. I didn't check my watch, just tried to grind it out, but I can't say it was the most fun I've had with my trainers on! I just kept focussing on the Shoreham power station chimney getting clearer through the mist. I've not run out that way before, so I found it difficult to judge where I was. Once I turned round all became much better. A 20+ mph tailwind is much more fun! I even managed a big cheesy smile for the official photographers (seeing as my photographer decided that the car was a nicer place to be - and I don't blame her at all!).

I was slightly startled when I checked my watch to see 5.5 miles at 50 minutes. So startled it took a little while for my brain to process and I had to check it twice. I crossed the line at 57:40 gun time, 57:10 chip time. So 6:21 better than my previous best, or precisely 1 min/mile! I was ever so pleased.

The increase in speed seems to have coincided with starting to use a steroid inhaler for my asthma. Clarkie wants me drugs tested! It seems as though my asthma was affecting me more than I thought. I think I'm now used to running at a certain level of out-of-breathness, and now I can breathe a little better I can go faster before hitting that level. I don't think I've quite got the asthma fully under control yet, and I have no clue what my 'triggers' are other than not exercise. I start my exercise not being quite sure of my lungs, and I finish it at the same level. I do think the extended period of damp has not helped at all, but why that might be and what I could do about it I have no idea!

Bodes well for the Grunty Fen in September though. I have a bit of a calf niggle, but other than that I'm feeling good. Let's hope.

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