10km, Grootebroek, Netherlands
Getting up at 8:00 was tough, especially that lately I've been leading a night-life; going to bed ~2am and often not getting up before 11am. The journey went only with minor complications and I was there with enough time to do a proper warm-up and not run from the station to the race already ;).
The weather was pretty good, sunny, but not too hot and if I was to complain about something it would be about the wind -- not too bad, but enough to be annoying.
The main event was 10miles run, which started at 11:00. For 10K there was only a bunch of people -- as I learned after the race there were only 62 people who completed this distance. This gave me a unique opportunity to start in the first row -- my first :)
I started not to far behind the leaders. After around 500m I even made an attempt to catch up with them, but the pace was too fast for me and I had to let them go. In the end I spend most of the race chasing one guy and being chased by another one. This second guy was slowly getting closer and closer. Finally he overtook me by cutting a corner by a large margin -- what a lousy way to win! In the end I think he overtook the guy that I was after and I also managed to gain some distance to him.
But my main problem during the whole race was that... I had no idea how fast I was going! I quickly discovered that my Polar's readings where way off (possibly because of new shoes). And the kilometer marks were there only for the 10mile run, which was going through a slightly different route. At some point I started using their markers to get an idea of the pace... but they seemed to indicate that I was going around 4:30 or even slower! Now, I could hardly believe it, as it felt much faster than that, but who knows. I managed to have a long >1km finish and...
I finished with 41:50 meaning that I was only 28sec short of my personal best! Would I be that much faster if I knew about that? Who knows... probably not. Maybe if I tried really hard I could catch "my guy", who finished in 41:31.
In any case, I was pretty happy with my performance! The really funny thing is that my result was exactly as predicted by McMillan's calculator! :). Does that mean that I'm doomed to have 3:16:19 in the marathon, as it predicts? I hope not because I'm really determined to improve my personal best of 3:15:17 this year. We will see pretty soon...