So after 4 weeks of my Jack Daniels plan I was in decent form going into the penultimate leg of the Wingertscup in Zornheim. I had been in Ukraine the week before, so had jammed in 2 workouts on Wednesday and Thursday, before the race on Saturday, but though my legs weren't 100%, they were fine. My Dad was in Germany visiting, so we went to Zornheim well in advance to get ready for the race.
I looked around at the start line and didn't see the guy that always win. Max, my main competitor for 3rd/4th pace was there, but claimed not to be on form. I fancied that I could be on for a good result if that was true, but just before the start, the fast guy rocked up. The race started and there were 5 at the front, I knew 1 was running the 5km, I hoped the 2nd place was too, but he wasn't. The guy who always wins was 3rd, but just ahead of me, Max and another guy from Mainz were just behind me. The course had 1 steep uphill in the first few km, before going downhill for a long time. I was losing time on the uphills, but at least holding my own on the downhills.
After I reached the lowest point on the course after 5km, I was in 3rd, but someone was quite close behind me, Mario from Mainz. Max was way back and the guy that always wins was still only a few metres behind me. The climb started and I started falling back. Mario closed in and closed in, before finally overtaking me. I thought we had reached the top as I was just behind him, and I fancied that as the last 3km or so are all flat or downhill, that I could re-overtake him, but the path turned right, revealing another few hundred metres of uphill ahead. When we finally got to the true peak, he had a good 30m on me. I tried to catch my breath and get rolling downhill, but I couldn't make any real inroads into his lead, then came another little uphill and I was done for, his lead grew to 50m or more, game over, no podium today.
I had a good look behind me, and Max was nowhere to be seen. I reached the last 700m or so and didn't pay attention to which way people ahead of me had run. I looked at the arrows on the ground and saw they pointed in both directions, I thought we had come from the left, so I ran right. I ran along taking the next signed right turn, which soon opened out into a long downhill. I saw that no one was ahead of me, so I had gone the wrong way! I ran back uphill to where I had gone wrong, and Max was just ahead of me. He saw that I had gone wrong and very kindly let me pass him for 4th place. I am sure that I would have done the same for him, but he could have take 4th had he chosen to, I was done after sprinting to get back on course.
My time was 39:15, but the course was a good bit short. A later look at my GPS showed that I had lost just over 90 seconds be running off course, so 37:45 would have been a fair kind of finishing time for me. Mario in 3rd finished in 37:15, so I can believe that 37:45 would be right for me.
I felt like I ran a decent race, but I was definitely weak on the uphills. I need to lose weight if I am going to have a real chance in Ebersheim, though I am starting to think that sub37 could well be doable on a true 10km race, even with some hills on route. The winner in Zornheim ran 35:15 or so, 2:30 is a lot to pull in in 8 weeks, but next time I will be much further through my training plan, tapered and hopefully lighter, so I will give it what I can to go for a win. My plan B is to beat the winning time from last year of 37:21, I can't control other people running dead fast, so maybe just setting a time goal would be better..
Anyway, I expect my next race will be a 15km Lindenseelauf. That will be flat and hopefully the right distance, so I will be able to gauge my fitness properly. Sub 57 will be good (PB fitness), sub 56 great, sub 55 amazing!