What a difference a day makes!
After huffing and puffing my way around the Minnowburn 10k yesterday I was back in Belfast for my second race of the weekend – the Decathlon 10k.
To be honest, I wasn’t feeling it this morning. Waking up to the sound of torrential rain, and looking out my window to see a sky so dark it looked evil didn’t bode well for the day ahead.
Throw in the fact that my legs were still heavy from yesterday’s efforts, and I really began to question just what was I doing? The race didn’t even cost anything to enter so it would have been easy, really easy, just to go back to bed (after feeding the cat, of course, can’t forget the cat!).
But that would be giving up, wouldn’t it? And when it comes to running I don’t give up.
The rain was still quite heavy when I was waiting on Judith to collect me, and the sky just as dark. Still not too late to pull out, I thought.
However, as we travelled towards Belfast I spotted blue skies away in the distance. Hmmm, this might not be as bad as I feared … and it wasn’t. The city itself was relatively pleasant, or as pleasant as a November morning can be.
After meeting up with Parveen and chatting with a few others from the club, we lined up to start … to be greeted by a light shower. I don’t mind running in the rain, not at all, I just detest starting in it.
Thankfully that’s all it was, a light shower. I set off at a reasonable pace – which surprised me given how my legs still felt – and managed to clock up a fairly decent time for the first mile. The second mile wasn’t too bad either and I knew that I was going to do alright at this.
The course itself is fairly uninspiring, basically we were running around the roads of a large retail park in the shadow of Belfast City Airport. I’m not a huge fan of running around here having had bad experiences in the past but today was different.
I felt stronger – surprisingly – and I felt I had settled into a rhythm fairly early on. I felt comfortable within myself, and quite relaxed.
Just after halfway, when the course doubled back a little, I made a point of seeing who was behind me (I counted 35) and resolved not to let any of them pass me. I also spotted a strung out group of around half-a-dozen about 200-300 yards in front of me so I decided to hunt them down, and catch them before the finish.
Happily, no-one passed me and, even better, I caught up with – and beat – the group ahead of me. From coming in the bottom three yesterday to having approx. 40 behind me today was fantastic – plus I was ten minutes faster. Different circumstances and different conditions, admittedly, but I’ll take it.
I had a little eye on my PB but I knew realistically I wouldn’t beat it, so I set myself little targets ie: get to five miles under a certain time etc., which I did, so that was good too.
My PB passed at 9.67km, I was a little disappointed at that … so near, but yet so far but I knew I was still on for a decent time so kept plugging away eventually recording my third fastest 10k ever, which I thought was bloody good less than 24 hours after a tough trail race!
It seems all these interval sessions, and trail runs, are really starting to pay dividends. But, now, rest …