Worthington 5

The Thursday before the race I have had a repeat of symptoms I've had a couple of years ago.  During a hard tempo session on a hot day I subsequently had urine that was very dark red.  It may not necessarily be blood as I often eat 'dyed' food such as beetroot juice and similar.  This time though I have had the constant sensation to urinate, literally every 5-10 minutes day and night which has been very disconcerting to say the least.  As a result it has been quite difficult to run and was touch and go whether I was going to do the race.

On paper it was a fast course, albeit slightly unimaginative as it is pretty much an out and back along the same pathway.  At the off I settled into the back of a leading group which suited me just fine considering my recent issues.  I could tell the pace was hottish - it was one of those paces that if I dictated the pace myself I would have gone a bit faster, but was fast enough to put me off from making any move.  We went through the first km in 3.21 so was more or less as it felt.

When running behind two other runners it was pretty easy to judge their effort.  I could tell one of the runners was more 'all in' than the other who was a lot more controlled.  Soon enough this became evident as we did a sharp hairpin turn to go up the A42 and down the other side before joining a similar tarmac path.  As we went up he more or less dropped away and I got caught up in this and so I consciously made an effort to catch up the sole leader.  It was also this time I think the leader made an effort to gap us both.

After catching him up I could just sense his pace was just a couple of seconds slower than the first km and towards the latter part of the second km I went from pulling aside to gradually taking the lead.  At this point I more or less decided the time was now to go for it and I went through 2km in 3.18 - a bit faster than the first km probably as a result of my pace injection towards the end of the km.

At this point it was more or less a case of just getting into a rhythm and see what happened.  I went through 3km in 3.09 which was a bit quicker than expected so tried to ease off just a touch, but clearly didn't have any effect as the 4th km was complete in 3.03!  That is about as fast as I've ever done a km, at least on a flat race.  The 5th km involved a 180 degree turn around a cone so was always going to slow me down a bit, but even then a 3.12km showed I was still on a good pace.

Hairpin turn - already a sizeable lead

As I was now running back on myself I could see the gaps and to be honest I knew the race was already won.  At this point my lead to 2nd was probably only 20 seconds or so, but since I had pulled out the gap in less than 2km it was pretty obvious that the race was already decided.  As I was passing people running towards me from the other direction, loads of runners were giving me encouragement including one more memorable comment which basically just said 'bloody hell'!

Although it felt flat on the way out, by contrast the return was clearly up a slight incline - perhaps just 1%.  Combined with being tired and probably going out a touch hard I completed the 6th km in 3.23.  The 7th km was even slower due to a couple of further hairpin bends but also I couldn't remember where the final turn was and due to there being virtually no marshals out on course I was convincing myself that I had got lost.  That with just running by myself resulted in a rather disappointing 3.27 7th km before realising all was ok and then there was the final turn for home and a 3.19 last km, crossing the line in 26.17.  The time was reasonable and technically a 2 second pb, but perhaps a little disappointing final few km.

About 100m from the finish.

To be honest I think I just switched off a bit towards the end, caused by running by myself and not sure whether I was still going in the right direction.  None the less no major complaints and a 3.19m/km average is half decent on what was partly off road, with 5 hairpin bends and running by myself for the most part.  The final few km were also gradually uphill even if it looked kind of flat.

Finish in the pub car park.

The slight downside was that although I finished at 7.56, the presentation was at about 9.10pm which was a £25 voucher for a running shop in Derby.  As Amy had come to watch me on her way back from work and it was now really late I rewarded her with a stop at KFC!

All being well the plan is to do the Wenlock Olympian 7 mile road race this coming Sunday.


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