RACE REPORT: Cupar 5 mile

1 months, 21 days, 12 hours, 23 mins, 21 seconds until the London Marathon.

So last Saturday was the Cupar 5 mile with St Andrews Cross Country. I’m a big fan of the 5 mile distance (running a 6:30 mile 32:26 back at Glasgow in December), and it was a road race again – an out and back on a country road just outside Cupar. (Also on Friday it was my Birthday and I got a new Garmin – so be warned, this post includes stats). The route was fairly unremarkable, though undulating, a series of shallow climbs and falls. The turn annoyingly dropped down sharply with a bit of a climb back up.

Before I get into some self absorption, here are the full results with all of our StAXC runners on. Everybody ran excellently (and I’m sure some paced their own races slightly better than mine), but notably we had seven men running within 32:00, which shows the club is really well stocked up at that end, even without some of our top runners at Cupar- that’s fantastic for the club.

Before Glasgow I stayed up late the night before and had some cheesy chips, and this seemed to work. This time out (due to a lack of breakfast materials in the cupboard) I had a Rule fry-up, then ran my nine miles for my Saturday medium run, as dictated by the marathon training plan, then had a big pasta lunch. It turns out this experimental preparation was also… okay.

When we got to Cupar (after a quick car reshuffle due to ‘ingenious’ planning by our captain) we were able to see sheets with all the race records at the race ‘base’, and saw several from ex-StAXC-er Megan Crawford, which I could only dream of touching. (I really hope Megan reads my blog…)

At the start of the race, after warming up, I managed to weave my way into the second row of runners. This was good as it meant I wasted no time getting over the line, but also encouraged me to go off a little too fast. The weather was lovely for my morning run, but by the race it was a bit grey, drizzled a bit in spots during the race, and then chucked it down on the way home – luckily we avoided that for the race! For most of the first two miles I thought I would keep up with Sam Peach of StAXC, but eventually gave that one up. I have to say, I was distinctly guilty of trying to run his, and one other person’s race around 2-3 miles, rather than my own. However throughout I managed to keep running hard and keep to my target of 6:20 miles fairly well. Overall I went at 6:15, 6:23, 6:23, 6:11, 6:15, finishing with a new PB of 31:31, almost a full minute better than my previous PB.

That said, could it have been better? I managed to pick up quite a bad stitch at the turn and at four miles. This could be put down to eating a little too late, but more probably even though my mile times look consistent, the Garmin tells another story.

Wiggle wiggle wiggle, yeah.
2 miles, finish- pain.

The stats clearly shows the effect of going off too fast- I bounced at a slower pace to even out at that seemingly consistent first mile. Particularly around mile two I wasn’t running consistently. I’m going to be honest, and say I was probably focussing too much on my new toy, looking at the current average pace and running too much to please the Garmin gods. So in essence – a PB, but it could have been bigger. I generally always look forward to looking for race photos, but the photos from this race were distinctly bleargh, just showing me in different levels of pain. Although I was running hard, I think this is indicative of the uneven style. I should not make it look that hard.  More pace, less haste.

The only other thing they really show is the really strong headwind there was on the way out!

Moving on to more fun things- the cakes afterwards were great. I got some really thick chocolatey thingy, a peanut something bar, a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of tea. Yum.

In other news fundraising for the London Marathon has been going really well, with Birthday donations and more names on sponsor forms at home taking the total up to £932.32, 46% of the £2012 target for Anthony Nolan. Training for the marathon has also been going fantastically. I’m now into week five of the twelve week training plan, and Sunday long runs have been managed at a cruising pace of 7:50 per mile. The slightly quicker than a 3h30m marathon is on.

So – as always, don’t forget to sponsor me here.

Cheers for reading,
Philip Goose.

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