What works for me is a low key 21.1km tacked onto a fairly heavy week. Thus, I planned a hit-out at the SMC pitted against local hero Tim Molesworth and regulars Rob C and Yum Cha Wong. Turned into a nice little expedition helped by the two girls being on cheer squad duties. Breakfast bribery always helps.
Lead bike is the rabbit to chase because I know Tim will run a hard 2km, then battle for another 19km. Predictably, 3:40s for 2km then I drop him on the first hill quite easily. Next 5km is all about finding rhythm on the flats. I drop the pace to 3:35s hoping to consolidate the lead.
Cruise mode continues to the 5km turnaround (17:50) and I scope out the few other runs heading back to the start. 35 min at 10km which is a good 30s faster than my 75-flat in September. Per the shot below, well in control ahead of lap 2.
Back 300m is Tim (he’s held on OK) and a few paces behind Rob looks strong and finally, Yum Cha in his usual upright, stiff running style. The hi-fives offered by me are not met with much enthusiasm. Must be the heat.
Lap 2 pacing on par with lap 1. Breathing more intense and I have to work to maintain cadence. Up the hill again and I convince myself the rest is easy. By 15km, I’ve proved this wrong and sitting at 3:30s starts to hurt. Bad maths skills under stress but sub-75 still feels accessible.
I stretch the legs on the descent, hammy feels tight but I hang on. 20km mark, 70:14 which means I’ve slowed. Frustratingly, another 1.1km out and back. No real change in effort nor incentive to sprint sees me coast home happily. Trinity fast asleep. I blame the lack of competition out here…
74:14 at 3:31 min/km.
Not content with 21km for my LR, lap 3 kicks off at 4:45s which is my cool-down. On the way back I pick up Yum Cha as he heads home. All up, 27km for the day.
As mentioned, a pre-planned even pace situation:
0-10km: 35:00 at 3:30s
10-20km: 35:14 at 3:31s
20-21.1km: 4:00 at 3:30s
Better than my 75:12 in June and 74:59 in October. Perceived effort similar but off fresher legs. Main takeaway is I’m well off GC-15 type fitness.
Solid effort from Rob at 85 min and Yum Cha who boasted via text a negative split 100 min half. What I didn’t ask is if his lap 1 involved walking alongside the retirees in the race.
Naturally, I had to come good on my promise to Lorie and Trinity. Great Middle-Eastern feed with Rob and Anita at du Liban in Marrickville. Go here for the $12 baked eggs.