It seems like ages since I last ran a 5k in anger, actually it’s only been a couple of months when it was literally freezing. There was a bit of rain to contend with this time and a bit of a breeze, but it was actually pretty mild (the car said 10ºC). The warm up felt pretty good (though I appeared to be going round in the opposite direction to everyone else, something I would repeat on my cool down lap).
The race starts and I feel OK, there’s a bit of being boxed in and a couple of elbows but nothing too bad. I’ve set my watch to give me a predicted finish time for 5k and after about 400m it starts doing its calculations and giving me numbers. 20:36, well I’d be happy with that. 20:50, 21:14, 21:30. Oh dear, it’s all going the wrong way. Not sure what happened, whether it has been so long since I’ve run hard for so long and/or whether I wasn’t mentally prepared for it. It felt hard but it also felt slow and it was slow (for me). I managed to drag it just under 21 minutes, but it’s the slowest 5k I’ve done on this course for a while and I was only 5th in my age category (not helped by Chrissie Wellington turning up and being super fast). I’ll need to look at the results when they come out to see what it’s done in terms of the series.
I did get a consolation picture with Chrissie after the race, having obviously not seen her during it, but I did spot her when I was warming down (one of the benefits of going in the opposite direction to everyone else).