This race was on September 4 and since then I've come down with a touch of the dreaded 'man flu' — totally annoying, as illness and injury are the two things to be avoided when building a base of fitness. I planned to 'run through' this race (no taper and minimal recovery) and it completed my biggest week of training this year, at a fairly modest 61 kilometres.
I took a rest day on the Saturday and lined up on Sunday with the goal of starting at around 5-minute kilometre pace. The plan commenced well although the 50-minute pacers gradually disappeared ahead (moving too fast it seems as my first splits were 4:56, 4:52 and 5:04 on the fastest section of the course). As I ran up the gentle hill at 4k I sensed I was catching my lifelong rival Jimmy and chipped away his 50 metre lead until we were level at 5k. The split there was 25:32 at the high point of the course. The Canberra Times is definitely a race for negative splitting experts like Mark Watson. Unfortunately on this day I pulled out a big fat positive split!
Jimmy flew past down the hill at 6k but I limited the damage by holding the gap to 30 metres or so as we turned onto Kings Avenue. My race was totally focussed on my rival, not on time. I placed a few runners between us so I'd be out of view if he took a look back. It worked! He seemed surprised when I ran up beside him on the bridge. Less than 2k to go, so I forged ahead, running as quickly as possible to the finish. 52:01 for myself and 52:33 for Jimmy so I'll count that as my first 'win' since March. Looking forward to more of the same once I'm over this annoying cold, ah, I mean flu!
I've been breaking in a pair of new Saucony Kinvaras from The Runner's Shop - nice light shoes!