Monday, 25 July 2016

RACE 9 - Mossley 10k

This race was as local as I could get, running around my village and running past the end of my street. It was a good weather day, slightly sunny and a little too warm in the first 10 minutes of racing, but then clouds gave cover until the finish line. There were over 300 runners and a good atmosphere. New to the field were Mossley Running Club, only started this year - quite a few bright bold orange shirts being easy to spot.

This race is roughly the route I use for my Zombies, Run! course, although I start/finish in a different place. This 10k starts at Mossley AFC at the top of the hill and begins with 1.5km of descent. You might think that's a good thing and I used it to secure a bit of time in the bag to draw on later. However, I wonder if I should have held back and saved energy instead...

I managed to fall into a good pace just behind a fellow Greyhound, but after the fast start comes a long, slow climb. By comparison to other races, it's not that big an elevation (around 100m), but at this pace it still takes it out of you. I've come to the realisation that every race is tough, because you are always pushing yourself - even if that means different paces for different distances, you still get to the end tired (or you should if putting a good effort into it!)

So after 4km or so of climbing I was very tired and had a long, winding flat section to try to recover in. That didn't happen - I just about managed to hold on to a reasonable pace, but was gradually slowing down over that 3.5km stretch. Part way up the climb a spectator was handing out jelly babies - runner fuel. I don't usually eat during my races as I don't feel they're long enough to warrant it. However, I tried one jelly baby to see if it would help. I'm not sure that it did (or didn't enough for me to notice). What I was surprised by was how long it took me to eat it. I just couldn't chomp it down quickly and had to nibble at it over a few minutes. Bizarre what your body can and can't do under pressure.

After the very picturesque, but monotonous flat section the race ends with a climb up through Top Mossley. I wasn't looking forward to this, but it was short enough not to really bother me after all that. A descent into the football ground saw me turn on the gas for a sprint finish. I managed to overtake one runner, but another saw my attempt and also sped up... quite a lot! I couldn't quite catch him - we both found it really funny and were laughing as we crossed the line. A nice end to another tough race.

My aim was to complete in under 55 minutes and I ended up with 54m 32s and in the top half of the field, so pleased with that time (although I secretly wanted to be a few minutes faster). Work is extremely challenging right now and I had only managed one run since Alderman's Ascent. Not ideal. I'm in the same boat again, having only run once since Mossley and facing another tough, hilly trail race later this week. That's the way it goes sometimes.

1 comment:

  1. Here's to believing for a satisfying race on Wednesday for you, Matt. Well done for even fitting them in around this busy work life at the moment ..some things you cannot plan around. We know you will give it your all and your best. HORIZONS TEAM