Although I have done plenty of parkruns this year I haven't actually done a race since last July. Last year my best 10k time was 59 minutes so I was hoping to beat that today. And I was confident that I would beat the 1 hour 4 minutes at the Mens 10k 2 years ago. This was also the first time my brother and I would run in the same race, although we have done parkruns together.
So on to the race. We arrived in plenty of time and did a warm up before making our way to our pen. We both put down an hour finish time so we were both in the same pen. We were actually in the last wave of people to go off. As it started I was determined not to dodge in and out of people and wasting my energy. But that was never a problem and I was able to get into the pace I wanted immediately which was 9 minute mile pace. I never checked my watch during the race but going by feel and what I had practiced in training I knew I was going at that pace or there abouts.
In the first couple of km my brother got further and further away from me till he was out of site. I was confident he would stay ahead of me today judging by some of his training where he did a 55 min 10k training run. About 3k I caught up with Stuart who I know from parkun. He was being a VI guide and doing a great job. Its amazing the detail he was going into, telling the runner about the surface and giving information of the degree of turns coming up and when exactly he'll be hitting them.
I was in a good zone at this point. I was putting in an effort but I felt I could sustain it. When I got to Buchanan Street I was expecting the 4k marker but it never came. I got to the water station which was half way but I never saw the 5k marker. It wasn't until going down the street back towards the Clyde where I saw the 6k marker which was a relief. When I turned left onto the road going up to the top end of Glasgow green, all of a sudden my brother came into view and I was reeling him in and passed him in between 7k and 8k. I gave him some encouragement and pushed on. 8k I was feeling it but I kept it going. I found that the km markers did seem to come quickly (at the times I saw them). Which was a good thing mentally.
Passing the 9km mark I knew there was lots of twists and turns as it weaves its way to George Square. I found this quite difficult. I'm not sure if it was the heat or my head or just physically I was done. But halfway through that last km I had to take a walk break. I don't know about anyone else but when I take a walk break it feels like you are walking for an eternity. I did pick up again and start running. And somehow I still did the last mile in 8.40 so I cant have been walking for long. And the last .2 of a mile at 9.10 pace (I'm not sure exactly what point I started walking).
There were great crowds at the finish. I think I finished at rush hour as literally as soon as I crossed the line the queue for the medals and goody bags started. It took a while to get through but everyone was patient and it didn't take away from this excellent event. I crossed the line in 55.39 so its the fastest 10k I have done in years and I think well and truly reflects where I'm at, at the moment. I really gave it everything and pretty much paced it the way I planned. Well done to my brother who finished in 57 minutes in his first race in many years.
Now onwards to Aberdeen at the end of August.