I've been "encouraged" to record my experience of today here to share with people.
I graduated at the end of March, and in June (on Fathers' day) I ran in my first race, a 10K, which was really fun. I'm doing a half marathon in October, but since signing up for that and starting training, I slipped in another couple of races - a 10K at the end of September, and one today - the "Headington 5", a five mile road race in Oxford.
I was looking forward to this, because it's quite a popular event locally, and proceeds go to support a community sports centre. It was also going to be my first chip timed race. Five miles - 8K - what should I expect of myself? Well, recently I've got my 5K time (at Parkrun) down to a best of 29:13, and my 10K to 62:45ish. I decided I'd try to keep a pace of 6 mins/km, and see how it went after the 5k mark, and aim to complete the 8km in 50 minutes. I figured that would be a good time.
I met up with a couple I know from Parkrun - he's pretty quick, and she's faster than me (so far), but is getting her speed back after recovering from a calf tear. I've been beating her at PR lately because of that. As we stood in the start area, she asked if I'd mind if she ran with me to help with pacing. It's the first time I've run with someone, but it was quite a nice thing to do.
As usual, at the start there's a lot of congestion, and it was difficult to get into a decent pace for the first several hundred metres. Our average pace after that time was about 6:30, but then things cleared out a bit, and the first K took 6:11. We got into a nice stride, and were actually starting to pass people; it felt a nice run. The second K took 5:59, so things were going pretty much to plan. The third K surprised me - 5:44 - I actually said I thought I was going too fast, because I worried about maintaining it. K4 was 6 minutes dead. When we got to 5K, I saw we'd done it in 29:50, which I thought was pretty good, and she remarked that it was her fastest 5K for a couple of months. The miles went by; we passed a runner flaked out by the roadside with paramedics attending. In the last section of the race we had to negotiate two subways, which was a bit of a shock; two "hills"!
As we got into the last mile I managed to maintain my pace, but she had a little extra in the tank, and pressed on, finishing 20 or 30 seconds ahead of me.
I'm waiting for my chip time, and I forgot to stop my Garmin as I crossed the line, but I think I did it in about 48 minutes, perhaps even a shade inside. I'm pretty chuffed with that. I got a technical running shirt and a goody bag (no bling here). And I glowed in the satisfaction of a good run.
The photos are at 1.4 and 4.7 miles. They were taken by Barry Cornelius (www.oxonraces.com) who takes photos of loads of races in the area. Top man.
Isn't running fun?
The run - connect.garmin.com/modern/a...