The Leeds Abbey Dash is a fast 10K road race. It’s not 100% flat but I guess a combination of the time of year and the fact that it’s a pretty straight out-and-back route means that it would be what is described as a “PB Course”.
This year since I am not what I would describe as “fully fit”, I didn’t have high hopes of beating any personal records this year. However, I take 50 minutes as a kind of 10K benchmark and if I can get under that, I think I am not doing too badly. Therefore this was my goal for today.
In the starting pen I noticed the 50 minute pacer nearby. He was wearing one of those big flags on his back so you can easily see the big number 50; how anyone can run at that sort of pace with that thing on their back escapes me but I have respect for all of the pacers in these big events. I made sure I started at the same time as the pacer and my watch had also been programmed with the 8 minute-per-mile pace so I should know at all times how I was doing.
Before I wrote the blog today, I looked back at what I posted this time last year. I commented that I found it difficult to get the pace on the way out but stormed through on the way back to get a good time. It’s interesting because that pattern repeated itself today. I managed to just keep up with the pacer for about 2 1/2 miles but then he started to pull away. I noticed on my watch also that I wasn’t going fast enough.
When we turned the corner I noticed that that pacer was ahead but not completely out of reach. I started to think that since I am quite good at the sprint finish I might be able to take him at the end and this kept me motivated. Over time I found that I was gaining on him and it started to go through my mind that I actually might be able to catch him. This motivated me more and with about 1/2 a mile to go I was able to overtake the 50 minute man! It was then just a matter of trying to keep going for those last few hundred metres and since I had been working quite hard in the last half of the race, it wasn’t easy. I managed to cross the line with just 20 seconds to spare.
So, now I am back to some kind of fitness I hope that I can get a chance to build on it. After doing so well this time last year I set some ambitious goals for this year but for many reasons things didn’t go to plan. I have therefore decided to carry on setting goals but try and be philosophical if things don’t go to plan and thankful for what I am able to do.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.