A week ago I ran my 4th Great Scottish Run. Given that I entered the race back in March, I feel that this one has had the longest build up in terms of thinking about it and planning. I guess one of the things about the GPS watch and closer tracking of training runs is that it is fairly easy to get a good idea of likely time and speed on race day. An element of the unknown is taken out and I knew I was on track to be aiming for roughly 7 and a half minute miles. This would give me a finish time of around 1 hr 38 mins and on race day I more or less delivered this! My ave speed was 7.19 minute miles and my average pace for each mile was as follows:
0-1 miles = 7.24
1-2 miles= 7.31
2-3 miles= 7.15
3-4 miles= 7.23
4-5 miles= 7.16
5-6 miles= 7.27
6-7 miles= 7.23
7-8 miles= 7.23
8-9 miles= 7.21
9-10 miles= 7.11
10-11 miles = 7.19
11-12 miles= 7.08
12-13 miles= 7.20
13 miles – finish= 6.54
I was quite consistent in my race speed, in terms of split times. (Between 9-12 miles seems to have been my fastest phase and I slowed up for the last full mile.) Thus, the conundrum that I now face is how to insert that extra something into my training to push myself to a tighter margin. Being honest, I feel I was fairly comfortable for most of the race and only really experienced the hurt from around 11 miles. I do perhaps have a slight wonder if I could have pushed myself a little harder? What would have happened if I had pushed for 7.10 miles and seen how long I could hold on? Would I just have blown up and finished slower? My training would suggest otherwise, but I think because I did not finish utterly broken, I am perhaps wondering if I could have shaved a minute or more off my time. Or maybe, that is just my mind’s way of forgetting the fact that I was on the edge of discomfort most of the race.
The race photos at the end certainly look as thought the tank was well and truly emptied:
I wasn’t too bashful to get my pic taken on the Bank of Scotland time board.
I was also pleased with my overall stats:
14th in my age group and 80th female overall ( 941st of 11,157 total competitors)
In any case this is a race I love. The weather was disappointing, but it certainly could have been a lot worse and you cannot beat being a part of something like this. The atmosphere is always special and I do feel a kind of existential sensation as I approach Glasgow Green and the streets are lined with cheering crowds.
I am thinking seriously now about my next challenges in the new year. I will no doubt hunker down for maintenance running over winter, but I want to consider something big for 2018. I still have an itch to defeat my marathon demon and smash the illusive 4 hour barrier. I also have a rather morbid curiosity about ultra running and I have been considering whether I could take on something like the Hadrian’s Wall 69 mile race. The human body is a wonderful thing and I love seeing how far I can push both my mind and body. Now if only I could get myself a coach. ..Any volunteers?