Weather forecast wasn’t great. Event organisers even cancelled some attractions in the Greenwich area due to strong wind. It was a cold day and when I arrived for the lorry bag drop I was soaked due to rain. Conditions were not perfect and it and it felt like a very long wait before we were allowed to run (so many people!). Organisation was better than on last month’s 10KM Winter Run. People were in their running zones but I still had to wiggle and take over a lot of them. Maybe for the future races I should go more ahead? But then it works very well for my mental condition when I can take over people, makes me feel more capable and storm through the race with good energy. Not sure what is better? I would surely save some time and got better PB if I wouldn’t have to circulate between other runners so much to get ahead.
There were few inclines in the first part of the race but nothing major, it’s rather a flat course but there was a head wind through the whole race which was a bit difficult to cope with. There were maybe 200 metres where I had tail wind, except of that short moment it was a constant fight to push forward. There were even moments where I thought wind will push me on the side.
I felt strong throughout the race. Even managed small negative splits on last few kilometres which made me very happy. I was running faster than I anticipated for this race. Got a bit carried away when I saw how easy it is going for me and got that 5 min PB! Wasn’t aiming for that!
With this race I have changed my approach to nutrition completely! Usually I would have porridge in the morning (and I did on the day as well!) and then a dried fruit just before the race (usually apricot), then a gel around 12-13km and something caffeinated(caffeine bullet or blockhead) or 1-2 jelly babies around 19km. Not that day. I changed it and worked so much better for me! I had one Maurten gel seconds before I started running, another gel around 10-11km and caffeinebullet about 15-16km. I didn’t get to the point when I would be running out of the energy, that was addressed before I got even near. I was full of energy through the whole race (my legs felt tired after hitting 5km mark though). It was a huge difference. I heard many ties that you should eat before you feel like you need it but I didn’t believe the difference would be that big!
My goals are a little bit different now than I was expecting them to be at this stage. I think the idea of running my first ultra grew on me so much, I am not that much focused on speed anymore. Of course I still want to finish races with a little PB, but this is not an ultimate goal. The goal slowly shapes to be surviving or even finishing strong my 87km ultra in June and 100km ultra in August.
No name headband (amazon)
ZeroPoint Compression socks
Shoes 361 Strata3
Sweaty Betty Ultra Run bra (the best running bra ever)
Salomon Women’s Lightning HZ Mid Top
Garmin Forerunner 235
Haven’t really trained for speed. I don’t do any interval training, speed or tempo work. Most of my runs are easy pace. Very few are my race goal pace. This is partially because I often get pain in my ankles (tendons – ongoing injury). It is better than last year but still not where I would want to be. I do cross-train and do strength work which helps. Given above, crowded run, strong wind and in general not perfect weather I am very happy and surprised with my time. And that makes me think, again, how much faster I could be if I would really push during this race?