No pathetic excuses this week, I hopped out of bed at the first hint of a fake sunrise and cycled out to Richmond Park.
Another beautiful morning (captured by David Rowe) that could have been missed with a lazy lie in.
Funny start to todays time trial, even before we set off there was a brief battle for back of the pack placement. In the end I let a trio take up the rear knowing full well I’d secure my rightful place by the first bend.
It didn’t quite work out like that.
The organisers of RPTT have started putting a volunteer to bring up the rear (either on bike or foot), and this week the role fell to a very nice and chatty woman who was needing an easy day. I was really glad that the two women behind me were able to keep up the conversational duties, within 1 metre of starting running, conversation is knocked out of me as all higher functions shutdown in favour of the essentials, like breathing. Not wanting to seem too antisocial, I felt my best bet was to stay a step ahead.
This led me to pace myself against the next available runner (Penny), who after the first k got fed up of me heavy breathing down her neck and told me to pull alongside for a bit of company. I managed to maintain this position for another kilometer when the cord between us starting to stretch and then rather rapidly, it snapped. As I watched her drifting off towards the horizon I was left wondering what had happened – did she put her foot down or did I slowly start dying? I think the splits speak for themselves.
As we all know, pacing prevents piss poor performance, but I haven’t quite grasped it yet!
Now I know I never walk, but blimey, I was tempted to stop and puke at km 3. I was winding down big time until I noticed in the distance that Penny appeared to be gaining on a couple of runners. This gave me a little evil spark, maybe I could gain on them too, after all 2 km is quite a long way to go if you’re already suffering. Clearly I had forgotten my own suffering.
I did actually catch them – when they stopped for shoelace tying duties, but they stormed ahead again after their breather and it turned out they weren’t even part of the time trial anyway. Deflated, I realised that the trio behind me were now nipping at my heels, I could hear the conversation again and I didn’t want to lose it all in the final straight. Not that there is a straight in this route, its decidedly bendy and hilly. But hills are fine, provided you tackle them from the right direction and I took advantage of the last downward slope to put a bit more distance between us.
Finally crossed the line in 35:11 a mere 13 second improvement on my first run.