I can hardly believe this was my fifth year in a row running the Middlesex 10k in Victoria Park. Always a big draw for competitive club runners, this year’s event was no different, and loads of Heathsiders turned up for it. This race always feels like a harbinger of autumn, and it’s a great way to test the road legs before diving into cross country season. For variety’s sake, I’m changing up my usual race recap narrative format in favor of a snappy bullet-point version:
- Background: I did a month or two of track workouts back in the early summer, but unfortunately got a bit too eager in early July and developed some plantar fasciitis. I had to stop doing speed work and start doing lots of calf stretching, foot rolling, and toe raising. Not being allowed to do track workouts meant I decided to refocus my efforts on building up my endurance base, and I’m pleased to have put in a few 13-15km long runs (“long” is relative, marathoners!) over the past month and a half. All of that is a long-winded way of saying I felt like I could run a pretty good Middlesex 10k but not a PR/PB. Which brings us to the next bullet point…
- Goal: I decided on a goal time of 48:00. In the past year I’ve run a couple of 10k races in just over that time, and recent parkrun times have indicated that I could probably manage that in this race. I aimed to try and average 4:45/km to give myself a bit of wiggle room if I slowed down in the second half.
- Weather: coolish (~60F/15C) and overcast (good) but very humid (not so good). A nice breeze while running (good).
- The race: It went by in a bit of a blur and was relatively uneventful. I ran alongside Caroline for the first couple of kilometers, trailing Nilesh and Tom. I caught up with the latter two around 5km, which I went through in a pleasingly quick 23:38. Tom and I then stuck together for the entire second half of the race, alternating between running side-by-side and swapping small leads (he claims I pulled him along, but I think it was mutual). With a couple of kilometers to go, I knew we could make it under 48:00. At 9km and onto the final straight, we picked up the pace. I dug deep to push past another runner and even managed a bit of a kick to finish in 46:46 (7:32/mile, 4:40/km) – my fastest 10k since 2015!
- Fun facts:
- I hadn’t run a 10k under 48:00 since 2015 (at this very race). I think the long runs have helped my endurance a lot, as I didn’t feel like I was struggling to complete the distance.
- This was probably one of the most evenly-paced 10k races I’ve ever run. It helped massively to run with Tom for the second half. Thanks for the pacing, Tom!
- As per tradition, I baked in exchange for a lift to the race. I made this Scandinavian almond cake, which got rave reviews and which has become part of my regular baking rotation (if my erratic baking can be called a “regular rotation” at all).
And that concludes my recap of this year’s Middlesex 10k. A quick and efficient race, as usual, in one of my favourite London parks. Next up, hitting the trails and XC courses!
- One Year Ago: Race Recap: Regent’s Park 10k (winter series #1)
- Two Years Ago: Race Recap: Return to Cross Country! Met League #1 (Claybury)
- Three Years Ago: Eggplant Parmesan
- Four Years Ago: Issues in Modern Culture (I can’t believe it’s been 3-4 years since I did my MA…)
- Five Years Ago: Teachers’ Day, 2012 edition (…and 5 years since I lived in Ukraine.)
- Six Years Ago: Recent Highlights, in Pictures
- Seven (!) Years Ago: Ukrainian Food (we’re making borshch tonight. Yum.)