So after a short warm-up, I found myself stood on Formby bypass at 1400 in the afternoon, ready to start a race all on my own. I'll be honest, I felt like a bit of a div. I'd picked a route that was flat, entirely tarmac, and only had three road crossings, partly because I was my own race director, but also because with Beachy Head in two days and a double marathon a week after that, the last thing I needed to do was have any kind of accident - trail or traffic related.
When I started, I didn't really have a plan other than to ease off if things started to hurt or tighten up, and to keep an eye on my Garmin so I could stop it dead on 10k. As it was, things went ok. I knocked out the first two kms in 3:58 a piece, didn't get held up too much on the three road crossings on the way out, and hit 5km in 20:20. That in itself was quite a milestone for me. I've never run a 5k, largely out of fear of not being able to get anywhere near sub-20 and having the rest of the running club laugh at me. I reckon I might have a go at the next one after today.
I slowed a bit at 8km, clocking a 4:16, and again at 9km with a 4:18, although I got held up a few seconds crossing roads for both. I was really starting to feel the pace at 9km, and was glad to look down at my watch and see I was nearly done with only a couple hundred metres to go. I glanced down again just as my Garmin clocked over to 10km, hit "stop", and clocked my final km - 4:05.
Now, as a virtual race it's not a proper PB, but it was 1:06 faster than the PB I set at Aintree a few weeks ago. Better than that, it felt easier, more controlled, and despite the fact that in my head I was racing who knew who all over the world, I reckon if there'd been any real people about I could have kicked and shaved a bit more off.
I've had a look on the race website, and although there are some results on there already, there are still a couple of days for people to post results, so no idea where I'll come, but to be honest I've already gotten plenty out of what would otherwise have been a regular pre-marathon training run.
I reckon I might do the virtual race thing again, it certainly helped to focus what would otherwise have been a pretty mundane training run. I'll find out on Saturday how smart thrashing a 10k two days before a really hilly marathon was!
5km split: 20:20