On Monday 27th May 2019 I took part in the Vitality London 10000 for the 5th time. I have always enjoyed taking part in this event, and some of my earliest memories of running come from the #London10000. Last year I ran in 42:44, you can see how I got on HERE. The only reason I haven’t ran it every year is because I branched out to other distances, and there was always a clash. In fact it clashed this year with RNR Liverpool, but I decided to run both. You can check out my blog from the RNR Liverpool Marathon weekend HERE.
As always I did a #flatlay to make sure I had everything I needed. I woke up in the morning stiff and sore, a great start for race day. I didn’t have any grand intentions for the day. Of course a sub 40 would be nice, but I’m not in that shape yet (still), having ran a 19:50 5k 2 days ago. I had hoped for something with a 40, but after running Liverpool Marathon yesterday I had no idea how my legs would respond. I had a sub 42 in the back of my mind for a more realistic stretch target.
When I arrived in Green Park for the start it was good to catch up with the Fordy Runners, and then to see Phil, Janet and Gregg. There was a little New Balance speed challenge that I couldn’t resist.
It was then time to drop my bag. This wasn’t that impressive and its clear that the situation was made worse from good intentions. Runners were being stopped from going to the bag drop unless they were in the first wave. This meant the entrance was completely block by runners not being allowed in, so I had to struggle through the crowd to get into the baggage area that was large and empty. About 10 minutes later everyone was allowed in and they flooded in. It would have been busy initially, but the volunteers could handle it. I think if runners weren’t stopped there would not have been any queues and it would have flowed much better. Ironically the marshals in this section managed to create what they were trying to prevent by stopping runners, and everyone got held up.
I caught up with lots of people on the way to the start, and Jonathan caught up to me as I was in the toilet queue. We lined up at the start together and discussed our race plan. Jonathan wanted sub 42, and I thought he would be more in sub 40 pace. At least I thought he might be able to pace me. When we started I realised immediately this wasn’t going to happen. I had no pace in my legs and I watched Jonathan disappear into the distance.
My sub 40 went out the window, along with my sub 42. I was struggling to hold a sub 7 min mile pace, but I could just about get down to this pace. My legs didn’t feel massively tired, I just couldn’t get them to move any quicker. The start felt congested for me, but mainly as my fragile legs wouldnt let me battle as I usually would. Runners came darting in front of me from both directions and I eased off rather than try to hold my position. I wanted a little space in front of me as I didn’t want to risk injury from twists and turns. This eased up after about 3 km.
The km markers are always accurate, so I was working out my times here. I knew I wanted each KM in 4:30 mins. I held on for the first 5km, then found I was easing into the pace. I think the start feels more inclined, and the congestion holds you back. The whole course is full of twists and turns. But I had a bit more energy, at half way I was about 40 seconds ahead of schedule for sub 45, so I decided to #pickupthepace for sub 44. Each km I evaluated how I was doing, I’m not going to lie, it was bloody hard, but I started to get quicker and quicker.
For the last mile I decided to pick it up, and I thought I could get closer to 43 minutes. In the last 800 metres sub 43 was on the cards. I felt ok, I think because I couldn’t go at max effort I had more energy, I was beginning to warm up. A last little push and I finished bang on 43:00.
I do love running in London, and the organisation for #vitality10000 is fantastic. Water in small bottles with sports caps, a great finish area with good medal and quality tee.
I am no where near my best, or where I want to be. However, I’m really pleased looking back at last year. To think I am only 16 seconds slower this year, and that’s a day after a marathon, and 2 days before a 10k. This feels me with a little bit of confidence moving forward that I am getting there, and must be in better shape than last year. I started off a lot slower but I finished strong, and maybe I had a little more to give.
That’s the end of an epic weekend, with a staggering 5 medals for the weekend, I think I’ve earned a break. Next up a little family fun at #runfestrun.