After my last 10k, and failing to hit my under 1 hour 20 target (I finished in 1:20:27), I really wanted the Birmingham 10k to be my best yet, and was secretly aiming for under 1:17:30 – I felt that 1:20:00 would be possible as I came so close last time out, despite being ill the week prior to the event and still suffering from a chest infection during the run.
Even with this goal in mind, I started out a little slower than my most recent 10k event, mainly because I didn’t want to get too caught up in the atmosphere of the event and end up struggling for my last few kilometres, but also because my fiancé was suffering with knee pain so I stayed with him until he felt OK. My first kilometre was 12 seconds slower than my first at the Chasewater 10k, but the other 9 kilometres were all faster. The 6th kilometre was tough, and I suffered a little with stitch after drinking water at the halfway point. I was focused on keeping my average pace below 7:30 per kilometre. For the 9th kilometre I took it a little easier as I wanted to ensure I had enough gas in the tank to run for the last half a kilometre towards the finish line.
One thing I noticed during this event was that my recovery time was much shorter than what it used to be; when I used to slow down for a walk break, I would need at least 90 seconds minimum before I would be able to run again, whereas now I feel a lot better in less time and don’t get so out of breath.
It’s also amazing how support from total strangers can really spur you on! For this event, each runner’s name is printed onto their bib numbers, and all you hear as you’re running is strangers yelling your name and trying to motivate you. There were children handing out jelly babies and other sweets, bands and music to keep you motivated and lots of support from spectators and banners.
There were sections where I wanted to walk to recover a little, but as soon as someone called my name, or a child was holding his hand out for a running “high five”, my legs just picked up tempo and off I went!
Due to my watch measuring longer than 10k (I started it a little before crossing the start line, and I was weaving to overtake people), my watch time was 1:15:05 and I was happy with this, albeit a bit disappointed to just have missed out on breaking 1:15:00, but then I checked my official race time… 1:14:58! To get under the 1:15:00 mark already was a huge boost for me, and means that I now have my eyes set on breaking the 1:10:00 mark.
Splits and Official Time: