Happily Ever After
Life in The Rural Retreat with a beautiful wife, three cats, garden wildlife, a camera, a computer – and increasing amounts about running
York 10k 2023
by Russell Turner - 14:33 on 06 August 2023
Another year, another York 10k – my third. This was a little different in that the previous two came midway in a marathon training schedule. This year’s came four weeks after the Race to the Stones, in which time I’d done no more than a few random sessions, so preparation wasn’t the best.
Despite that, I gave myself a sub-hour target; vague thoughts of chasing the 55min pacer were abandoned yesterday after another bad night’s sleep and with fears (still in the balance) of a cold brewing. There was no way I’d get near my 52:20 PB so why push it?
Saturday was cool, windy and wet; today, as forecast, was much better: warm in the sun and out of a cool breeze. I jogged/walked the short distance from B&B to the start at York Racecourse, queued for the toilets, did a few warm-up stretches, then joined the 60min pen for the off, which took place without the usual over-excited warm-up guy. Or maybe I was too far back to hear him.
The pacers had warned that they’d put a little zip in the first kilometre or two then run a steady pace to the end, but they were so zippy I almost lost them within the first 50 metres. However, I was able to keep them in sight, dodge the over-optimists who’d started ahead of us and had already slowed, and within a kilometre was back in their orbit, where I stayed to the finish, notwithstanding the undulations and bottlenecks in the course.
Without them and their relentless cheeriness – whipping up the crowds, counting down the seconds to kilometre markers, shouting to runners on the out-and-backs – I’m certain I’d have run 10mins slower. In previous Yorks I’d been able to indulge in a little chat on the way round; this time I had to concentrate on staying with the pacers and ignore the whisper that maybe a brief walk wouldn’t be a bad idea – which it would have been. One would have become two, the cool breeze had gone, and I’d have ended up walking so I was pleased with my mental fortitude. For a change.
I crossed the line in a chip time of 59:18. I’d achieved my sub-60 goal, which was good. Less good was the two minutes of London-like light-headedness that followed. Fortunately I stayed upright and kept walking after collecting the goody bag which contained crisps, water, a Zero tab, a very tasty bar of orange chocolate, and a nifty medal to add to my collection. There was no shirt, as I’d opted not to have one – a double shame because the cool breeze had been there all the time and the shirt design was much better than in previous years. Such is life. A brisk walk back to the B&B kept me warm.
I was certain that I was slower than last year. I was – by a whole 21 seconds. Considering the lack of training I’ll take that as an improvement.
Nine weeks to the Royal Parks Half Marathon; ten until my return to York for the last-minute Yorkshire Marathon. I’ll try to do some proper training before then.
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