Lauren and I headed off for our 4th race of the year and I was hopeful for a 4th PB of 2011. I had run Great Bentley a month earlier in a few seconds over 1:35 and so I had set myself the target of 1:34 for Norwich. This seemed an achiveable time to aim for and also made the maths in my head easy at 7:10 min mile pace.
Lauren and I got to the start just after 10 leaving us an hour before the gun. Ross turning up shortly afterwards. It was nice catching up and shooting the breeze before the race, because once the gun went I wasn't going to see Ross again! He headed off to warm up about half 10, whilst I busied myself and headed for my start pen.
The race got underway on time dead on 11. Well as on time as a race can be that was meant to be run in November 2010 but actually began in March 2011. It was a whinding, narrow start on the paths of the show ground and I managed to get boxed in by a big group of runners who had started off too near the front for my liking. I stayed behind them for a while, but soon got frustrated and made some space and went past them running hard. The narrow paths continued and I couldn't settle and find my rythm till we were out on the wider roads after a mile or so.
I continued running hard, I knew it was faster than goal pace, but I felt fresh and strong. The course is undulating, but being early I didn't notice the small inclines, but definately felt the benefit of the descents. The first four miles were all run in sub 7 minute miles and I was a minute and a half up on my 1:34 target. The possibility of sub 1:30 then came into view, but it was less than 2 miles later that I realised it wasn't on and it was just a case of hanging on for the original 1:34 goal.
The course is a two lap job, which is a little dull, but should aid with pacing. I went through half way in something like 46:15 which would have been 1:32:30 but it was at this point that I knew my mile splits were going backwards and I didn't see that trend changing. My aim for the second half was to aim for 7:20 -7:30 miles and that would be a PB and something approaching 1:34. In the end aside from one very hilly mile near the end I managed to achieve that. I saw Lauren & Ross with half a mile to go, and with Ross running round the course and cheering me home I finished strong.
The offical time is now in and it's 1:34:13 a PB of 52 seconds and 219 out of 1971 a little outside the top 10%. Really pleased with my efforts and ready to really attack sub 1:30 at Bristol in September. Ross did the business and finished 24th in 1:19:18 to grab himself a PB too!
For all you numbers geeks here are the Garmin splits to my very poorly paced HM. What they don't show is that I also ran an unoffical 10K PB of 43:13 and an unoffical 10M PB of 1:10:51.
4) 6:52 - 4 Mile Total - 27:14
8) 7:22 - 4 Mile Total - 28:44
12) 7:44 - 4 Mile Total - 30:00
13.1) 0:58 - 1.1 Mile Total - 8:16