After a tricky few months Mr Smith was taking the plunge and all set to do a 10k race, the first since the Copenhagen Half, where the previous ankle problems flared up.  How did it go and what did he think of the event?  Read on to find out…

Mr Smith was staying at his regular haunt to make the travel to the event a lot easier.  After getting ready and fuelling up on Porridge, Banana and Blueberries, it was time to leave.  The joy, it was drizzling and a bit chilly, but not too cold.  The good news was that there was very little breeze.  The expected 4k walk/run to the start was a bit longer than expected.  Mr Smith was in a world of his own and continued walking down Regents Canal further than he should.  Not a problem though as an extra 1.5km got him warmed up.

Arriving at the event you could see people huddling under shelter to keep dry and warm.  There would have been pictures of the Orbit and Stadium, but the mizzle meant you could hardly see them.

After meeting up with some fellow ‘Genius Joggers’, good to meet them, it was time to prepare for the run.

Mr Smith and David headed off to the start line, both being in the ‘Elite’ wave, but both not expecting a great time.  Mr Smith has been on a long slow road to recovery from the ankle injury and David has had a virus.  Good to start the race with low expectations as that meant no real pressure.

The field was not massive, in fact about perfect.  The quicker runners moved to the front and then the start was underway.  There was a bit of a squeeze point going through the start, but that was good as it actually spaced people out.

David went off ahead, but Mr Smith settled in to his target cadence.  This run was not about pace or heart rate.  It was all about trying to maintain a cadence and stride length.

Mr Smith has been working on a new technique to try and avoid further problems.  This has been tough going as it is essentially starting running again, which has meant the muscles have been very tight.

The target cadence was between 175 to 180 per minute.  This is very different for Mr Smith, previously about 160, but the aim was to maintain this for as long as possible.

The frist KM was completed in just over 5 minutes, a good pace, but not to fast.  People were passing Mr Smith, but that was OK as the target was still in sight.

Going through the next few KM’s Mr Smith was getting quicker, with a fastest KM of 4:24.  It was all feeing quite comfy, but still a push, so Mr Smith kept saying in his head, ‘ease off’, which he did a bit.  But it was good to start passing people at this point, start steady and get quicker.

At the half way mark Mr Smith was delighted to be under 24 minutes and feeling pretty good.  The other good thing was that the GPS matched the distance exactly, which is very rare.  A good sign.

The next couple of KM’s were OK, but it was starting to get more tricky and more focus was required on maintaining the form.

This has helped Mr Smith work out the current level of performance to comfortably maintain the form and stride, which is about 7km.  After that it started getting hard and a lot more of a mental battle.  Lots of reminders to lift the cadence.  It was just a question of keeping going and easing off a bit.

Getting through the last couple of KM was tough, but getting round towards the finish there was a slight increase in pace, but not much.

Mr Smith could see the clock and was amazed at the time.  Each KM passed had shown a split on the watch, but there was total surprise at stopping it at 47:30.  The original expectation was about 55 minutes, maybe 50 if everything went really well, but not that quick.  Also, passing the line the 10km came up on the watch, so spot on with the distance.

The medal and t-shirt were collected and mince pie consumed.  Now time to get warm.  The bag drop was fine when dropping off, but a bit chaotic when picking up.  Only a few minutes delay and the kit was retrieved.  Just in time to cheer David through to the end.

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable run, mainly helped by being so surprised with the time.  The t-shirt is good and the medal nice and chunky, after all, it is all about the bling.

The course itself was good, although not as nice to run as the Newham 10k.  There were a few different surfaces under foot and obstacles to avoid, but none of this caused any problems.

Mr Smith really is not sure how such a good time came about, certainly not helped by the drizzle, maybe the flat’ish course helped or was it the new Genius Joggers running vest?  Who knows, but it was very pleasing.

David did a great time as well, considering that he has not run for 3 weeks with a virus and should be very pleased with it.

After the trip back to the hotel, the 2 hour post race massage was very much needed!

Post race analysis actually shows a negative split for the two 5km’s.  That is what Mr Smith wants when running.  Also, not a bad average cadence of 175.  This gives hope that when the fitness returns and the coaching is up and running, the goals can be achieved.

Although this is not technically the fastes 10k for Mr Smith, it is in fact the fastest GPS recorded 10k.  The Richmind running festival was just under a minute quicker, but, according to the GPS, about 400m short.  Therefore, this is in fact a recorded PB, which is a great feeling.

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