I haven’t done a lot of running since the GNR, in fact I haven’t done any, beyond the occassional jog in the direction of a bus stop. Illness, DOMS, work and idleness have kept me away from running this autumn but yesterday was the Cabbage Patch 10 so I had to get out and see if I could remember the action.
The Cabbage Patch 10 is an event that I have been looking forward to for almost a year after hearing the race t-shirt was a sight to behold, it’s held fairly locally (Twickenham – Kingston – Richmond) and organised by the Stragglers running club.
After examining my splits for the GNR I decided to approach this 10-miler with a strict pacing strategy. I was aiming for a 2 hour finishing time, which was realistic yet stretching and therefore needed to keep at a 7:27 min/km pace. Again perfectly reasonable but I have to admit to doing my most of my long slow training runs at a slightly slower pace.
The start of the race was a little cramped, 1500 runners assembled into a small pedestrianised zone prior to being released onto the high street. I ended up caught somewhere in the middle as I assembled with OGB. Clearly the wrong spot for me, I need to be at the back, tucked nicely out of the way.
I ended up setting off well above my desired pace as I was trying not to make too much of an obstacle of myself. I dropped back down to 7:27 after the first km but maybe that early start affected my longevity. I don’t know what happened at the 6 km mark either, I think I had a few people underfoot and it seemed easier to just pass them. After that move I faded fast and although I kept pushing to increase my speed there just didn’t seem to be anything left in my legs.
I finished in 2:03 something (watch time) and 2:04:39 (officially), somewhat under target but not too surprising.
The marshalls were excellent – loads of them and all very cheery and vocal – much appreciated!
I will eventually issue a snap of the coveted race t-shirt but at the moment I’m sulking too much, and anyway its on its second trip around my washing machine, where I hope it will stretch. By the time I finished they had run out of large (and medium) sized t-shirts, which meant I had to make do with small. Now I understand that I if I’m going to make a habit of being almost the last over the line then I can’t complain if I don’t have much choice but at the same time, if I speed up a great deal it seems likely that I will have shed enough lard in the process to negate the need for choice anyway. Hey ho.
Now I’ve got a little repertoire of race distances under my belt, I’ve drawn up a chart comparing my actual race times with race predictions based on my 5 km pb, utilising the Purdy formula. The calculator for this is found on the brilliant runningfofitness website under predict race from race.
Not surprisingly it shows that I am underperforming as I increase my distance, an indication that I’m not fit enough for the higher distances. I’m interested in this as I read about it in a booklet on Hadd training, who advocates running at low heart rates as a means to increase aerobic efficiency. I’m going to give this a go in December, by then I will have switched work and will be able to run on an almost daily basis again – I can’t wait. Next year is going to be a good one for running.