Today I ran the British 10K, an interesting route from Piccadilly, past some major landmarks, finishing in Whitehall. It was not a bad run, all things considered. The major problem was that over-running engineering works meant my train, the first out of Colchester to London, was nearly 30min late arriving. I had been somewhat anxious on the train. Oh, all right, I was in tears and a complete state over the possibilities lateness would entail. I hate being late, whatever the circumstances. Many kind people on Twitter helped calm me down, but in the end it was the conversation I imagined having with my brother that convinced me to just take a taxi from Liverpool Street. (He would be cross if I got in ‘a state’ for lack of a relatively small amount of money). So a kind and unfazed cab driver dropped me speedily in Trafalgar Square in time to drop my bag off (it was the 8.55am closure of the bag drop that had caused me stress); queue for the loo (of course); and get to the start for 9.35. Except the start was delayed, so I didn’t cross the start line till gone 10am.
The race does not have segregated start pens for different finish times, which meant that from the off I was dodging slower people. There were a lot of chatting women walking or jogging slowly, two or three abreast – effectively blocking anyone behind them. Don’t get me wrong, I am really really pleased that folk are taking part in races and would never discourage anyone from setting themselves a challenge, as anyone who’s ever said to me, “I don’t think I can run,” has found out. It’s just hard to run when there are a lot of people to dodge. Also, the course had some quite tight turns; literally a u-turn in the road. I found these completely messed up my rhythm.
Still, running London streets is always lovely; Parliament Square, Embankment, Westminster Bridge & Whitehall made a great backdrop to the run. I finished in 58:58 (the charity did not supply a chip timer, so I don’t know how accurate that is) and my splits were as follows (I missed a couple of the KM markers)
11:58 so 28:27 at 5k
28:27 for 5k is quite slow, I ran 26:16 and 27:25 last year on a 5k race, but I am not experienced enough to know if that is something I should be aiming at as a halfway point for a 10k. I note I was faster in the Dedham 10k last September, 57:22. So this is the first race in a long time that my time has increased. But I’m not surprised – in the last two months I’ve run comparatively little, taken a lot more beer on board and generally not acted like someone training for a race. It doesn’t take a genius to compare the photo of me from today with the faster Sara from last autumn. Time to give myself a stern look, I think.