Witham BD5

It’s ages since I blogged about a race – probably because I’ve done very few this year. Today was my second Boxing Day 5, organised by Witham Running Club – now in its 29th year. I’ve not run far or fast for a long time, so I wasn’t expecting to storm round the course (all things are relative) and I was hoping to run 10min miles – my recent runs have been nearer 10.30 pace which is getting slow… blaming old age…

The smell of deep heat and the adrenaline kicks in… a brilliant bit of marshalling in the clubhouse meant no loo queue to speak of – that is a seriously brilliant achievement, as one of the downsides to many races is an interminable queue. It was chilly but not unbearable as we assembled at the start, waiting for the sunshine we’d left behind in Colchester. The route was slightly different this year so I wasn’t entirely sure where I was going, but then there would be plenty of people in front of me to follow!

The measure of a good race for me is one where the mile markers appear quickly – and the first one was there after 9.08 – I was completely surprised! I’ve not done a sub 9.30 mile for months. And I hadn’t noticed – hadn’t felt like I was working particularly hard, or anything – so I carried on. Mile 3 I was extremely glad my Inner Sergeant Major was on board today as some slight twinges suggested a return of the stomach cramps that I’ve started getting – however, we talked ourselves out of paying attention to that, and focused on the task in hand. And then as we came round the last corner at 3.5 miles, Witham and the downhill appeared in front of us – and I could see that I’d easily be able to finish under 50minutes. So the last mile was easy (except for the last 100m! I completely ran out of steam about 50m from the finish – it felt like I was walking).

In fact looking at the Runkeeper splits  it seems the last mile was actually just under 9 minutes – which I am hugely encouraged by. There was me thinking 9.08 for a first go-off-a-bit-quick mile was good, then I finish even faster…

That was one of the nicest runs I have done in a long time. I really enjoyed it (thank you Viv for the lift) – this is definitely poised to become a Boxing Day thing for future years.

According to Runkeeper:
1 9:08
2 9:43
3 10:10
4 9:46
5 8:59
overall 48:32 – let’s see what my official chip time is.

Next stop: Janathon.

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