Thursday, July 17

The Standard Chartered Great City Race 2008, London Click for more info

5k is an interesting distance. The elitist runner in me pours scorn on such an amount; everyone I know should be able to run this distance and it definitely should NOT be a once in a lifetime thing for them to do. As such, those who ask me to sponsor them for a 5k race usually find nothing but disappointment.

On the other hand since it's not long or even mid distance it does have its own challenges regarding pace and speed; and since I had missed this year's Roding half marathon and wasn't about to enter this year's JP Corporate Challenge I jumped at the chance to run under some kind of race conditions.

Training was okay, if only because it underlined exactly how unfit I've become. Although I still regularly run my pace has dropped considerably as I find myself with nothing to run for; the 3.1 miles were taking me around 25 minutes to complete, a far cry from the 7.5 minute miles I was running during my marathon training prime. Back then such a distance would have been done without breaking a sweat, although 3 miles when aiming for 26 isn't really that much.

My aim for the race was to pace 8 minute miles and so any time under 24 minutes would have left me happy enough. And although I had to run my arse off to do it, my chest giving way long before my legs, surprised at exactly how much of a struggle it was. Still I managed to get a time of 23:51, a personal best (at least in recent times) and the fastest in the company team (I managed to hijack the one my dad works for).

Although it's not a patch on how I used to run five years ago (particularly because I was half dead by the end of it), it was good enough for me, especially now, during a time I'm increasingly feeling like I'm getting on a bit.

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