Wheaton Aston 10k

To shake off the Christmas excess I entered the Wheaton Aston 10k a few weeks ago.  It is an event I did in 2012 and it didn't exactly bring happy memories at the time.  After four years of doing nothing I joined a gym and assumed any fitness I had gained on an indoor treadmill could be transferred to the road - wrong!  I entered the event in 2012 just to see where I was and the answer was pretty clear - I died after 2 miles and ended up running almost 41 minutes.  It ended any thoughts of doing further road races and subsequently I did no further running up to March of 2015.

Over the last few weeks my training had been going reasonably well and my training times suggested I was in better form than the 36.32 I ran at Tamworth in October.  I've also lost a bit more weight and I'm now 10 stone 8 lbs so I'm now quite a bit lighter for some reason than I was in 2008 when I was 11st 4lb  I started off a couple of rows back from the front although I pushed a bit harder this time and after 200 metres I was about 30th.  I picked off quite a few runners and went through the first mile in 5.25 which is some 33.40 pace although in fairness it is hard not to get swept along with everybody else.  The second mile came and went and I was probably about 13th by this stage having done 5.30.  I could tell it had taken quite a bit out of me so I knew I was going to slow down over the second half of the course but was hopeful at this point that I might be able to run sub 36 minutes.

Just after the start

Below is a video I found of the start - I am about 30 back just behind two runners wearing a blue vest.  I'm wearing a black vest with long navy and red shorts.

The third mile was slightly uphill, probably a climb of about 20 metres or so and my pace continued to slow to 5.40, but still under 36 min pace.  I also picked off 2-3 runners and I was 9th at this point.  The fourth mile continued the climb and this was the point where I started to struggle and could feel that my legs had pretty much had enough.  I did 5.46 but still running about 36 min pace, with some time in the bank from my earlier faster miles.  I didn't lose any places but could sense the two runners that I had overtaken earlier were catching me and the couple of runners I had almost caught were starting to pull away.

About 1km to go

The fifth mile was mostly downhill although to be honest I cant say it helped much although I surprised myself going through the mile marker in a 5.39 split.  Its always difficult to work out even at this stage what time I was heading for but I certainly knew 36 mins was achievable, although I had dropped a couple of places back to 9th.  I tagged onto the slower of the two runners who had overtaken me and I had a bit of a tussle over the 6th and final mile.  I'm not sure the mile marker was all that accurate but I seemed to average around 6.06 over the last mile and a bit to the finish.  I just didn't have the legs to hold onto 8th position and I finished in a time of 35.24 and 9th overall.  If anything I felt I had increased my pace a little in the final mile but I clearly didn't so there is certainly room for improvement in the future.

The video below was a few minutes from the finish.  Looking at how far back I was at the time I clearly lost quite a lot over the last km compared to the other runners.

To be honest I'm quite happy with the time as I have improved by 1.08 in the space of 2 1/2 months and looking at my previous 10k's it is the third fastest I've ever run and I'm only 49 seconds away from my pb back in 2008 when I was running about double the distance 6 times a week!  If I can improve my stamina and not fade as much as I did in the last mile I'm sure I can make another leap forward.  Either way its a lot better than the circa 41 minutes I did back in 2012!

I have a possible event planned for New Years day when I'm away in North Yorkshire although is largely dependent on how my legs recover over the next few days.  Its actually a fell race which I've never done before.  I know its a 'softer' fell race but we all have to start somewhere!  It is a type of event I've always wanted to do so will be interesting to see how I get on!


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