And now for something completely different

Tonight I am doing something I have never done before.  I am representing my company at the Chichester Corporate Challenge.  Tonight is the final race of 3 and despite my failure to turn up at the first two due to family commitments, my place is still secure for race 3.

The route is 4.5km round Chichester, consisting of a 4 lap loop.  There are two waves of runners.  Race A is for those amongst us who are capable of running 4.5km in 18 minutes or less.  Race B is for everybody else.  I am in Race B.

Competing when I am representing somebody other than just myself is an interesting experience.  I am very used to playing team sports (well football at least) and so you would think that this would translate into a team running event, but it appears not to.  As such, I am way more nervous about running 4.5km than I should be.  For a man who ran 30km on Sunday, it would seem logical that 4.5km would be a walk in the park.  The problem with this is as distances get shorter race expectations seem to get bigger.

For the longer race events, simply finishing is usually my aim.  I didn’t give two hoots how long it took me to run 30km, I was just pleased to manage the distance.  For the shorter races I now have pre-conceived ideas of how long they should take me.  For 4.5km, I should be able to maintain a fairly quick pace.  I don’t have to worry at all about endurance and really I should be able to attack the race at full pelt.

Bearing in mind that I ran a 25 minute 5km at the Portsmouth Duathlon (where I had to follow this with a 15km bike ride and then another 5km run and was subsequently pacing myself), there should be no reason I cannot run a solo 4.5km faster than 5min/km pace.  I have never really attempted to run this fast before.  This presents me with two options.

1) I run at 5min/km pace which I know I am more than capable of and finish in around 22-23 minutes.  A perfectly respectable time.

2) I go for it.  Head out at 4:30/km pace and see if I can hold it.  This would give me a finishing time of around 20 minutes if I can hold on.  A much better result that 22-23 minutes, giving me a better showing for my team and company.

It seems a no-brainer that I would go for option 2.  The problem with this is the risk of getting injured.  As you run quicker, the chance of picking up a injury increases.  It is obvious that I need to do everything that I can to avoid injury; therefore option 1 becomes the clear favourite.

In truth, I don’t know which I am going to go for.  My competitive streak is very strong and the desire to do well for my company will push me even further.  Can I ignore this and run sensibly to make sure I don’t get injured?  

We will have to wait and see.

Update:  I managed the 4.5km in 21 minutes according to my watch.  Not bad at all.  Very pleased.



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