Race day = Race report!
Build up was just a normal day, slept well, ate omelette and porridge (not together) for breakfast, then went into town for a bagel and Kona coffee (cue jokes about that being the closest I will ever get to Kona) before meeting Jochen to go to Rodgau. Judith kindly came with us today as support. I knew that there are lots of fast runners who do Rodgau 10km, so my PB wouldn't get me near the top 20, but that meant there would always be people to run with, which is a good thing.
It was really cold, so I put off getting ready until 25 mins before the start, then 'prepared myself' for the race adequately, and warmed up. We were quite a few people back from the start line, the usual idiots were pushing to the front, even though they will quickly fall to the back. That made the first 400m a bit annoying as I tried to overtake the rolling roadblocks. After 600m or so I was pretty much free, with Jochen behind me I couldn't see how he had negotiated the traffic. The course seemed to have occasional slight downhills, but never any uphills, I know that is impossible but that is how it was!
The first 4km felt pretty easy, I didn't have HR and ave pace showing on my watch, as it was all in a forest, so I expected that to be wrong anyway. Looking at the time and the KM markers, I saw that I was at about 3:50/km pace, which is faster than PB pace, but slower than 38min pace. In Rüsselsheim, I felt like it would be hard to keep my pace up after 4km, in Rodgau it felt easy. After 5km my time was exactly 19 mins, and I mean exactly! I had noticed though that the slight breeze had been against us in the first half, and should, thus, be behind us in the second half, bonus!
I continued passing people, whilst not once being overtaken myself. The next km was in 3:46, wow, that means I am faster than 38 min pace by quite a bit, and still feeling good! the same happened in the next km and the next, all of a sudden 37:30 seemed on the cards, if a stretch. After 8km I saw 30:04 on my watch, I could run almost 4min/km for the last 2 and still break 38! At this point I was aware that there were some gastro-intestinal issues on the horizon, but I had seriously decided that with my black running tights on, I wasn't going to miss my PB for anything, and I mean anything! Luckily it didn't come to that, but it was a serious fear for a few minutes there!
Finally in the last km I caught a small group of guys and a girl ahead of them. It crossed my mind that I could just follow them for the last few hundred metres and be happy with my time, but memories of missing 3rd in my age group in Rüsselsheim spurred me on, so I sprinted on by. With 100m to go I passed the woman in front of them, maybe she was the first woman I thought, that would be good, not to be chicked in a good field. I sprinted in and stopped my watch at 37:22, unbelievable! A 3:30 last km and my first goal of the year not only reached, but destroyed! I gasped for air but got it together enough to watch Jochen run in a 38:45, a good run and a big PB for him (it's only his 2nd 10km and the first went far worse than it should have).
The one slight disappointment was when the results came out. I had seen that they had little silver running shoes as prizes in the age groups, after my race I had thought I had a chance of one of the 5 in my age group, but I soon saw that I was 9th and would have needed a 34:48 to get 5th!
I was 48th overall, but bugger it, I can't help others being dead fast! I saw that the woman I passed at the end was the 2nd woman, only 20 seconds behind the 1st woman, so close.
A 50cent honey waffle and coffee were perfect after-race nourishment before heading back to Mainz for a swim.
With no more 10km races on the horizon, this PB might stand for a while. The next planned race is Frankfurt half in 4 weeks, sub-1:25 looks very likely now along with ticking goal 2 off the list 🙂