image courtesy of google
We rolled on over to Ayrshire to Theresa’s parents on Christmas night after a fair bit of liquid and solid overindulgence at my parents. Part of the set proceedings now involve driving down to Ayr on Boxing Day for the annual Turkey Trot 10K organised by Ayrodynamic Triathlon Club. Basically an out and back 2 mile blast down the prom, into the town for a loop through some houses then back the same route. A good PB course in theory – very flat – but at this time of year there is usually a high chance of an icy blast off the Firth of Clyde, headwind one way or the other, ice or rain or a combination of them all. Unusually, yesterday was very calm, cool but not freezing, and dry – perfect conditions really.
I’d initially resolved just to take this as a fun run – i’ve been dogged by injury pretty much all year, and my achilles is still acting up – even more so in last few weeks. Regular readers will by now be heartily sick of reading of this ailment. Anyway, I decided to have a reasonable warm up for about 2 miles to get the achilles tendon warmed up. It was still a bit sensitive at the race start, but a touch better.Theresa, through various bit of on-line research, has convinced me that rest will do it no good, so I decided I would just give the race ‘a go’.
This would be interesting, as there was a litany of ‘bad things’ I’ve been partaking in…….
Racing on Boxing Day with lack of sleep previously
Lots of rich food and drinking whisky, beer and wine the day before
Racing with brand new shoes (Brooks Ghost 4)
Racing with a buggered achilles
Not having trained properly for a 10K for months
A weekly mileage ‘low point’ for last couple of months (a miserable 15-20 miles P/W)
I could go on. Anyway, the race seemed to split into 3 parts – I got caught behind some runners at the start due to lazy and late positioning, so did not get into a good groove for at least a mile. First couple of miles were ok, kept a reasonable pace going and passed a few folk in a steady but unspectacular way. miles 3-4 were pretty tough, a very moderate incline on the loop through the houses felt like my pace slacked a bit, but I managed to reclaim a few runners before the long straight back along the prom.
2 miles along a very straight path with no obstacles to hide the distant finish way along the beach makes for a long drag, but conditions were great. Despite my questionable middle part of the race, things seemed to be clicking into place remarkably well, and my achilles felt ‘ok’. I’d been aiming to complete the race in about 41-42 minutes based on current form, but, astonishingly, by the 8K mark and 32 minutes in it looked like I could easily achieve sub 40………I made a quick recalculation and sure enough it was on the cards. Feeling more focussed now than I have in months, I completely locked into a tight pace and steadily caught and took quite a few runners in the last 2K. I hung onto a Greenock Harriers Lady for maybe a mile then just nipped in front of her at the finish to gain a second on her.
I finished with a PB of 39:12. My previous 10K best of 39:48 from Stirling in 2011 was smashed, and I never once went below 40 minutes during any 2012 10Ks. I was completely gob-smacked, and there was no logical explanation for it. Just my day, I guess.
Theresa had a great race too, after a week of not-so-good training runs. She was 8 seconds off her 10K PB set in 2006, so she is clearly doing something right.