Burton 10k

A bit of an up and down few weeks, but thankfully the bladder issues I had at the Worthington 5 have gone, but were replaced with the dreaded return of ankle discomfort.  Thankfully a couple of gym sessions instead of running have kept things at bay.

As the Burton 10k is not a key race I consciously decided not to wind back on training much, but perhaps it was a bit of a mistake as my legs (particularly my quads) felt very tired.  Sometimes it doesn't mean anything whilst other times it can compromise the race.  I last did the Burton 10k a couple of years ago in the run up to winning the Chester Marathon, so it was going to be a good benchmark of my relative fitness.

Slotting into my usual post off position and about to give a wave!

About to move into the lead.

At the off, as seems the norm these days I was 3rd or 4th and then moved into the lead and pulled a couple of others along the way on my shoulder.  The course is about as slow as a 10k can get and involves a 50m climb in the first 2km.  I was expecting to pull away at this point but somewhat surprisingly the two runners were still on my shoulder with a few others within 5 seconds.  As the hill started to level out and I could begin to stretch my legs I started to pull away - whilst this time I didn't pull away from the others on the hill it perhaps didn't do as much 'damage' to me as it did to the others.  From just after 2km I was therefore on my own.

Half way up the hill - gradient really deceptive.

For some reason my legs just felt tired and a bit heavy and I knew some of the recent training runs were still in my legs.  Not that I knew it at the time but I was more or less mirroring my times from two years ago up to the 7km mark, despite the up and down nature of the course until this point.  It was only the last 3km or so that involved a sharp descent back into Burton where I seemingly lost a fair bit of time compared to 2017.  I suspect this was actually because two years ago I was in a full on head to head battle towards the end and it pushed us both along whilst this year the race had already been won (plus a strong headwind towards the end not helping), so despite my best efforts that extra 1% of motivation wasn't there.

7km in.

Video extract at 7km.

Nonetheless I could see that I was on for around 33 minutes so I put in as much effort as I could muster to get round in 32.xx.  I managed to cross the line in 32.56 so mission accomplished!

About to enter the track complex - about 500 metres from the finish.

150m to go - push to go sub 33.

Home straight.

I'm not sure how I feel about the time; on one hand I'm pleased with a reasonable outing and only 19 seconds behind my 2017 time where I had a battle royale towards the end which accounted for almost all of the difference.  On the other hand which ever way you try to sugar coat it I finished slower than in 2017.  Overall, it was an ok run and shows that I'm there or thereabouts where I was in 2017 and bodes reasonably well for the Bournemouth Marathon in October.

Prize giving.

I'm a few long runs short of where I want to be in October and I'm also on holiday for the next couple of weeks where realistically I don't think that I will be able to do much due to the 35 degree heat and 70% humidity in the USA.  That said, I'm still fit, relatively injury free and considering the last 18 months I've had I'll take that any day!


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