So this was the “B” race in the Spring plan. The logic this year being I have been focusing on my speed work in January and February with the Bath Half being the target and the turning point for when I switch to my more marathon specific training for the rest of the build up to VLM.
The “speed work” has gone well, as shown by me almost hitting 15 dead for 5k in today’s half marathon……….whoops
After not managing to get an elite place for this years race (standard was sub 66) I was a little worried that I might get delayed at the start but there was no issue here as I was pretty much able to line up on the front row.
So off we went and as I have already alluded to …….. I WENT!
Was feeling really comfortable and tucked in to the 2nd group with John Gilbert and started knocking off the miles. I had set my Garmin to manual lap as Bath always comes out a little long (probably due to having to take the outside lane on lap 2 while overtaking) and so the plan was to hit the manual lap at the mile markers. Trouble was I didn’t see a marker until mile 3. I was quite surprised to see it come up as 14:59 as I knew we were going at a pace under 5m/m, turns out it was more like 3.1 miles and we were closer to 4:50 pace rather than 5m/m pace.
The next mile marker I noticed was mile 6 and even though I knew I had slowed a little after we turned back into the wind at 4 miles it still came in at 14:44 showing that mile 3 must have been out. This led to me going over the official 10k mat in around 30:53 ( an unofficial PB due to me having never nailed a 10k). This was a little faster than in 2010 when I clocked my PB here but unfortunately there were two big differences this time.
- I now found myself on my tod, Mr Gilbert had pulled away for another stonkingly good performance and left me in his dust.
- Even though my specific speed work these last few months had allowed me to knock out a 30:53 10k, my legs were already starting to hurt…..really HURT. I think my lack of any longer tempo efforts past 10k so far this year really made the difference.
So the rest of the race (all 11k of it!) was a bit of a battle with me just focusing on not letting things go completely pear-shaped. Considering how the legs felt I was really happy that I managed to hold things together reasonably well just about keeping the pace under 5:10m/m until the last mile when I got passed by a strong finishing Tom Doe. My wheels had come off by then and I was digging deep to just make it up the final hill at all, never mind the pace!!
So I crossed the line in 66:39 for 9th place overall and 4th Brit. Position wise my best finish in a “Big City” Half and also due to being that little bit older, my first time over 91% in the WAVA age scoring.
No PB (apart from an unofficial 10k one 😉 ) but it looks like I was probably in really good 10k shape today rather than peaking for a half marathon. As far as the bigger picture is concerned, I’m happy that this block of training has achieved what it set out to do and I now move into a 5 week block of marathon specific work which should take care of that endurance side of things!!
Full results here