Here we go, another Town & Gown 10k. Jules had entered too, managing to fit some training runs in around her crazy shift pattern. Sunday dawned sunny and bright, and I was hopeful of a better run than I’d had 10 days earlier at round 1 of the Mota-vation race series at Charlton-on-Otmoor where I’d struggled round at 6:45 minute miling, and been outsprinted at the finish by a resurgent Laurie Hearn of Headington Road Runners (Garmin file here).
A fairly gentle warm up to get my creaky old right achilles moving and then we were off, a minute early thanks to Christine Hamilton‘s eagerness! I set off at a “manageable” pace and was pleased to see a couple of sub-4 minute kilometre splits straight off the bat. The long drag up the High Street slowed me a little and then it was time to settle in and find some people to pace out the rest of the race with. After the loop north of the Parks, I passed the 5km mark in 20:06. Knowing that I’d slow a little in the second half, sub-41 minutes still looked on the cards. I was jockeying for position with a couple of women here, but they started to slow up as we hit the Parks for the last couple of km. Some runners seem to thrive on this fine gravel surface, others go backwards. I was just trying to stay with anyone who came past. Had a bit of a slump with a kilometre to go and then managed to lift myself for the last bit to the finish, happy to cross the line in a half-decent time of 40:42 (results). [My Garmin file’s here. I decided to wear an HRM for this event, curious to see how much fitness I’d lost. Funnily enough, my average – 167 – and max – 174 – were exactly the same as last year, when I’d run 39:40, but I’d been a little, ahem, slimmer.]
I found a few friendly faces to chat with while I caught my breath and then jogged over to the last loop of the course to cheer Jules on; she was looking pretty comfortable and finished just outside the hour. We stopped off at Maison Blanc for almond croissants as treat and then pedalled home to slump about in the sunshine. Decided I’d have at least 10 days off running to let my right achilles and left knee aches settle down – I’m not happy that I’m not comfortable running at the moment. Plenty of heel drop stretching to do on the right calf.