Singelloop Utrecht – 10 klm – so what was the end time?
Blog followers will know that I 7 weeks ago I set a goal to run 10 km in 45 mins. This time would be a personal best for me as I have run c. 46 once and more frequently been around the 48 – 50 min mark.
This was to also be some kind of a landmark race as 3 years ago to the RACE (2009) I ran my FIRST 10 km race (time 54,08).
The day dawned very sunny, with a fresh wind.
Quite a long walk from the station ensured some good warming up. Joost (my husband) accompanied me this time – as it was to be “an historic” day 🙂
I started just behind the elite. They “uncaged” us and we proceeded to the start line where we had to wait a further 4 mins. I guess that we had to give the elite a “head start”??
It was a ragged mess at the start as we scrambled across the start line hitting various “start” buttons on timers and Runkeepers and other apparatus. A friend of mine, who had said that he would also run 45 mins disappeared into the distance.
I tried to find a good pace. It felt OK and I knew that it was fast. Too fast?? I DID need to push the accelerator and had even worked out where I needed to be when. My Runkeeper is set every 5 mins and I needed to be well over the 1 km stage at the first 5 mins…. I was.
I realised that I was not relaxed and my breathing was shallow. I focused on my running position. Chest out. Head straight and body not bending over. NOW trying to find a pace that I could enjoy. I could at 4 km that I was slowing a little. FINE – I needed to actually enjoy this race too!
I started to think about the training the previous Wednesday at the Bergse Runners. It was quite a heavy training with long “fast bits” and with “rests” of slower running. The point that he was making was that during a run its possible to take “rests” to recuperate and then speed up again.
I also thought about my goal reaching strategy of having fun on the way to my goals.
Combining these two – I started to “gamify” my journey through Utrecht. Firstly – where was I? I needed to enjoy this beautiful city. Then I decided to try the Mark training approach and combine this with gamification. So I dropped down a pace. Just for about a hundred metres. Then I set my eyes on a tree further ahead and speeded up. I dropped back as I passed my target tree.
Runkeeper, indeed, was indicating that I had slowed down on average. I was now running at average 4 mins 40 secs. I knew this was not fast enough for 45 mins but still “in touch”.
The gamification seemed to be working. I also realised that I was so focused on the time that I had hardly spoken to anyone. Sounds a bit mad but just “high fiving” some of the children cheering for us and acknowledging spectators and the traffic controllers actually gave me more energy.
The flags were counting DOWN more or less every 2 km. I also focused short term. The next 1 km – how would I approach it.
It was also hot. I had my energy drink with me so drank about every 3 km.For the 1 km focus I posed some questions – how is my breathing? How warm am I (this is an indication of how much water I am using to determine drinking strategy)? Where can I speed up/ slow down?
2 km to go – it seemed suddenly coming to an end fast… I needed to speed up. How fast? Going too soon would be a disaster – on the other hand – not fast enough and target is shot. I accelerated. I dropped back and so on. My plan was at 750 m to go faster. It bit further. Good – otherwise I had not done enough right?! I could SEE the finish line – I FOCUSED – 500 m “a tikkie aan” and at 250 m a sprint? I attempted one at least!!
WOW It felt good to be over the line. Runkeeper said my time was 48, 46 ; The “official” time sent to Joost’s phone and engraved on my medal is 47, 13 and the time netto time through the “uitslag” site is 48,34. WHATEVER!!! Faster than I would have run had I NOT set the goal of 45 mins 😉
I DO know that my trainer from the Breakfast Training, Aart Stigter, set a new record for the Men’s 55 National Championship of 33 mins dead – fantastic!!