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Not quite an Ironman yet
I've been dabbling with triathlon for a while, but now I want to be more structured about my approach, training, races, and objectives. I'd like to go further, and I'd like to get there quicker. Let's see how it goes...

Race report: British 10k, London

NormDby NormDJul 11th 2011
Route: Garmin Connect
Distance: 10km
Watch time: 53:07
Chip time: 53:08
Attitude: Felt strong and prepared, had consumed no alcohol for a few days before
Fuelling: 2.5h before race: Cup of tea, porridge with raisins and spoon of peanut butter; 0.5h before race: Maxifuel Viper Active bar (free bar we got after the Virgin open water swim training a few weeks ago!), 400ml sparkling water; Recovery: 500ml Gatorade orange, 250ml water, pub lunch fish & chips & beer (yeah, I know, naughty but nice)

I ran the British 10k two years ago as my first big 10k event, and return this year a lot more experienced but not much faster!

Baggage handling was a bit weird - really well organised in principle with small pens, each for a certain colour and number range. I had some fairly surly helpers in my bagging area - probably because the signs were on sticks with the race numbers placard displayed in the pen next to the one the stick is in. Everyone was going to the pen that the numbers were displayed in, and therefore being told "no, go left one" - no wonder they were getting annoyed.

So with bags dropped off, me and The Mrs went for a last pee (hint: the block of portaloos near the bagging area had phenomenal queues, if you walk for 3 minutes to one of the further blocks there are hardly any queues at all) and set off the long walk up to the start with the other 25,000 entrants. I haven't done many mass-participation events like this so am still slightly in awe of the sight of such a vast number of people all lining up to do the same thing - all shapes and sizes, very inspiring.

We were treated to an opening speech from the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Susie Burbridge, who strayed from her script by opening with "Wow, this is AWESOME!" and then went on to thank us for raising so much money for charity, before going off pista again at the end. Heartfelt, amusing (though not entirely on purpose) and a bit long as we were already over 15 minutes late starting. We then had the full three verses of the national anthem - clipping horrifically through the speakers lining the funnel of waiting runners. Susie's mic was on for the first verse, so we were treated to her singing - she knew the words, but I'm not sure she'd ever heard the tune before :) There was something oddly British about the awkwardness of the moment, kind of "all this effort and it still results in a cock-up" - but she got a round of applause at the end (and possibly was wondering why).

We set off and after aout 10 minutes of shuffling and in a cloud of bipping sports watches and pressing of iPod "play" buttons, we crossed the start line - I think we were in the front 25%, and starters would be streaming over the line for quite some time yet.

Me and the Mrs. had agreed not to wait for each other, but to meet at the end - the Mrs. is suffering from a problem with her knee, and so it's better to have no pressure on either of us to go quicker than is comfortable or wait.

Like most mass participation events you're not going to set a PB unless you start very near the front as there are a lot of runners for whom this is a real physical challenge, and their objective is to make it round at all rather than set a new world record. For the first 7km I needed to duck around people and dodge through gaps to keep my speed up - I enjoyed this a lot, and the bouncing from side to side and constant acceleration/deceleration turned it into quite a heavy training run!

After 7km the speed had normalised as I'd overtaken most of the slower people who were in front, so I could put a bit more effort in on speed, and wind it up a bit in the last 2km.

I felt strong during the run, and definitely had plenty in the tank afterwards - a good confidence build for the Olympic triathlon in 3 weeks. We did kind of ruin it with a pub lunch and some beers in the afternoon, but as long as that doesn't become a habit I don't think once hurts.
 
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