7 Days to 10K

7 Days to 10K

Here we are with Part 5 – the final part – of 7 days to 10K. A hastily drawn up plan for successfully completing the local 10K race, my first. Not, as one of the people that reads my blog mistakenly thought, a 7-day plan to 10-grand. Sorry. That would be great though, wouldn’t it?

The weather was glorious, sunny and 7 degrees, that’s the mid-40’s for you Fahrenheit folk. The high winds of the previous day had blown themselves out, to leave a gentle breeze. At the start I found myself with a couple of neighbours who were hoping to dip under the hour-mark. We positioned ourselves in front of the 60 minute pacer, and within sight of the 55-minute pacer.

Within the first kilometre or 2, it was clear to me that I was running noticeably faster than I had 2 days previously. I was relatively comfortable, but it was also clear to me that the 55-minute pacer was a bridge – or runner – too far. We were all very boxed in for the first few k’s too, since there were a lot of people in the race and the roads were country roads.

As we turned at about 4 K we went onto a real country track for 2K, before the turn back into town at 6K. It was a gradual incline, and I prefer to take those a bit quicker to get them over with, if I have sufficient gas in the tank. I felt good, and conscious too that I was pushing myself quite hard. I stuck in there, up through another gradual incline from 7 to 8K, until we passed the local soccer club and then I knew I was going to make it, since I’ve jogged back from there many times.

The 9K mark passed the estate where we live, and with the kids to give me a yell of support it was downhill for the last K, a very welcome run home. 50 metres from the end Her Ladyship, who had finished a good way ahead of me, was there to yell to me to sprint for the finish. The legs felt great, the best they’ve felt in years, and I passed over the finish line, at speed, in a time of 57:09.

We then headed up to the hall for teas and buns, to join the huge throng of post-race euphoria. Job done.

As I was enjoying my first beer of the evening with friends, I had an automated text from the race organisers to say that my actual time, since I passed the start mark a little while after the starting gun as the crowds passed through, was 56:17.

The event was superbly organised, as it always is for this event which draws in runners from all over, and very social afterwards. It made the food and drink consumed in celebration that evening all the sweeter. It was also interesting to be a participant rather than a vocal supporter for the last 9 years. I’m sure I cheered louder last year than anyone did for me this year…

2 parting thoughts: first, a little planning gets you a long way towards successfully executing your goals. Second, I may be a better supporter than a runner, though I might also have taken the first few thousands paces towards an annual tradition…

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