I decided to enter an organised 10K as a beginning-of-year training incentive / halfway to half marathon assessment. The Votwo Eton 10K jumped out as a good choice mainly because the course is pretty close to completely flat and also I hadn’t been to Dorney Lake since rowing there when I was a teenager when the lake had only been dug out to 1500m.
Early January seemed a good idea at the time but Saturday wasn’t quite the cold, clear, frosty day I had envisaged and instead turned out to be a typically English, wet, grey one.
The run itself was actually quite enjoyable, even though I started off with numb feet and hands the rain was not too heavy and became quite refreshing. It’s a great course, starting at the far end of the Dorney Lake (the end where rowing races start), heading along a path through the fields and sheep next to the lake and then back along the “island” in the middle of the lake. Each lap is 5km so it was two laps for me, and surprisingly I found the second lap easier even though it was slightly slower.
With my distrust of Strava’s timing I wasn’t paying much attention to the timing updates, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the official timing chip recorded 59:27! While that didn’t rank very highly amongst the other runners, it’s over 4 minutes faster than the last 10K run I did, and I had wanted to do it in under an hour, so I was pretty pleased. Strava recorded a time of 58:20, proving that it thinks I’m quicker than I am (I think this must be to do with the auto-pause function that I assume stops the timer but not the distance if you walk for a short distance).
I have to say though there is no way I could have managed another 2 laps, which tells me I have quite a lot of work to do before the half marathon in March! But still, it’s a nice feeling to get home on a Saturday afternoon having braved the wet weather and set not only a new PB but a precedent for an active and challenging 2015. To top it off, this run earned £30 towards my fundraising target, thanks to my Mum who text me in the morning after seeing the weather to incentivise me £10 to start the run, and Jason who promised £5 for every minute I knocked off my previous time. That takes me to 3% of my target with nine months to go – time to ramp up the fundraising activities!