For my first race of 2012 I went to the Zoo for a rather early (for me) run around Regents Park. I joined fellow ‘Athoners* Alma and Carla (who have run one of this series of 10Ks before) and Louise. It was also lovely to meet two ‘Athoners in person for the first time, Katie and Maggie who had travelled in from Oxford and Manchester.
[* 'Athoner - one who participates in mad running/exercise challenges such as running every day in January.]
The race was three laps of a mostly flat course, although Carla warned me about one slope which definitely got more like a hill each rep and there were certanly some slight changes in gradient along the route! I started out towards the back and gradually overtook people bit by bit which I prefer to only being overtaken and is a good way of keeping up my motivation and maintaining pace.
My first mile was my slowest. Not necessarlily due to my good planning or pacing but more due to waiting for the pack to thin out but it also gave me chance to judge how I was going. I decided last Friday that 8.30 or 8.45 pace was achievable at my current weight** and fitness. By the end of the first mile or so I fixed on trying to keep up the faster pace especially as the first half of each lap felt easier with slightly more down slopes compared to the second half. This was later revised to pushing 8 min miles on the good bits to make up for the effort to stay under 9 min miles on the bad bits! Well something worked because I’m very pleased with my splits showing an even paced race.
[** I was discussing this with Carla before the race who'd read an article about how weight loss can improve run times in Runners world. See her blog - we both agreed the stats are spot on!]
A well organised good-sized race in a lovely park. Why haven’t I explored it before? There was a nice stretch of the race along the back fence of London Zoo where I tried to do a bit of animal spotting. I only saw a couple of camels!
Fortunately Alma and Carla had run this before and had found and tested a café near Camden tube where we could all go for breakfast. Delicious! After a large latte, two poached eggs and bacon on toast I was fully restored and awake!