Woke up to a beautiful morning. Blue skies, warm (for a change) and hardly a breath of wind..... ideal weather for popping down to the borders and a wee shot at the Gala 10k. To be honest the weather was just an added bonus, as we would have been going even if it was freezing cold, piddling down and howling a gale!
Now. Early on this morning I'd decided that I was going to give this race my best shot (no point in going otherwise), but I just didn't feel 10k ready or "fit". Sometimes you get up and get ready for a race and you just think - "no it just isn't going to happen today"...
Anyway. Got down and registered. Met up with some of the other Dunbar crew who were doing the race. Got changed, went for a last minute toilet break and then went a [probably far too short] warm up.
Lined up with the other runners, listened to the race directors instructions and we were off.....
Found myself right up "in the mix" at the front of the field as we came out of the playing field at the start and onto the road. Even after the first half km I knew I'd gone off too fast. I'd managed to get past Portobello's Mr Jarvie and found myself passing the first km sign at about 3:20 !! Far too quick for me.
For the first three km I felt crap. Breathing was laboured (to say the least) and at one point I even considered having a wee skoosh of my Ventolin inhaler "on the go" - but didn't. However, by the time we had crossed the river and started to double back for the first time (it's a two loop route), I started to feel that I was settling into the race. So from about 3km to 7km I actually started to feel quite comfortable.
However, I was to pay for my fast start. On the second lap, by the time we reached the slight climb I was aware I was slowing. I just had to hang in and try to salvage what I could.
I got passed by a couple of guys - including the aforementioned Mr Jarvie, who had ran a more evenly paced and sensible race, and a bloke from Moorfoot.
The last 500m or so, on the soft grass, was slow and soul destroying and by the time I crossed the line I was completely empty.
And now the strange bit...
Last year at this race I ran what was, for me, the best 10k I've ever done. Well paced, relatively comfortable and a PB at 35:38 (which made me 17th).
Today. Felt I had a terrible race. My time? 35:38 (which made me 10th). I actually thought I'd missed my PB by a few seconds - but on checking I've discovered that I've matched it - on the same course!