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New Record… Maybe… Not Quite… And Walking the Route

Since I couldn’t do it last week, I was left needing to do two runs this week and managed it, with the first one, which was Tuesday, being particularly notable. Not quite notable enough though, since the time matched the 48:42 current record. 48:42.53 instead of 48:42.60, which I know since I took a picture then as well and kept it, expecting that to remain the record, so you can say it is a new record, but such a tiny difference, of seven hundredths of a second, is of course entirely a matter of when I pressed the button on my stopwatch to start and stop it and where I was on the lines I take as start and finish. Sector times were 4:37, 5:13, 5:46, 4:31, 5:07, 5:53, 4:35, 5:07, 6:08 and 1:45, making for lap times of 15:36, 15:31 and 15:50. Note the great time on sector three of lap one, which actually made me decide to try for a record, since I wasn’t completely certain I had fully recovered from last week’s problems and had much easier targets in mind at first. And that was followed by another second fastest ever second lap. But also note the time lost on sector three of lap three, despite then still having enough left for a great time on the final sector.
There was some weaving due to the other people, I may have started the stopwatch just a bit before the start line, not sure if this actually made me lose any time but I briefly turned my head and clapped a couple of times when I passed an old couple wearing equipment from another race organized here and jogging at a decent pace for their age, there was some wind too, and most importantly there were two fire trucks right at the start of the lap, with the whole crew and a pump, probably loading up on water from the lake. Not a problem on the first lap, but start the second and I see a fire truck right across the path, had to go around it, using the base of that slope going up, and at the start of lap three the truck wasn’t across the path anymore but that little train pulled by a tractor was just passing through that spot and the second fire truck was still parked a bit ahead, and I realized late that it’d be too hard to push and clear the train before slamming into the back of the truck, so switched to go around on the outside after I was already just about committed to the inside, and even then had to be careful since someone else was squeezing down that side too. In spite of that, still was 1.50 seconds ahead after three laps, but lost 1.43 on that final little sector. So I know that, considering the conditions and all I had to go around, I was definitely faster, but the final time doesn’t show it.

Today I ran again, mainly trying to see how race morning may go, albeit one hour later, setting the alarm for 8 AM. And one thing I definitely confirmed again, not that I needed to, was that I’ll need to get rid of the bathroom part before going to bed then, because that definitely doesn’t work when the alarm wakes me and I can’t afford the, shall we say, added weight and complications then. Struggled for some 40 minutes this morning and nothing happened, and that also meant I left at 9:30 AM while then I’ll want to leave by 8:15 AM. Also confirmed that, though my right knee, which was hurting a fair bit after Tuesday’s run, got much better after Wednesday’s walk and my right hip and that spot above my right ankle, which had started bothering me more when the knee got better, didn’t seem much of an issue anymore, that leg definitely is not all right, as after the first lap the muscle above the knee felt like it was compensating for something and actually my knee felt like it was going to slide out of place if I wasn’t careful when turning. There was even a moment, close to the end of lap two, when I realized it’ll be hard to keep going like that and I suddenly found myself drenched in sweat, but in the end it wasn’t that bad, and the times say I was learning to manage it ever so slightly better as I went along.
Either way, the time was 50:15, so failed to even stay under 50 minutes, which is disappointing after Tuesday’s run. And this time I really was trying to do all I could, and the conditions were much better, running into a bit of wind at some point but otherwise having no complaints from this point of view, but all I could do today was definitely far from what was needed for another attempt at the record. Sector times were 4:36, 5:22, 6:12, 4:41, 5:17, 6:10, 4:40, 5:17, 6:09 and 1:51, making for lap times of 16:10, 16:08 and 16:06.

Problem is that now I may just be left with this record like this, basically set twice, with this second one I guess the fastest but questionable if you just look at the time itself. I mean, I don’t plan to run again before next Sunday, and the conditions I see wouldn’t normally allow another solid attempt before then anyway, and after next Sunday I may take it a bit easier for a while, and summer will come anyway. And by autumn, well, I’m not getting any younger, and while endurance can keep being improved for a long time, speed over the same distance will drop. Though I guess it’s frustrating enough to make me at least try a few times at some point, to have a clear record set, even if I may just set myself up for a lot of disappointment.

Otherwise, mentioned Wednesday’s walk, and by that I mean walking most of the race’s route. Actually meant to go somewhere else when I went out that day, but then just decided that’d be a better use of my time despite how my right knee felt, just so I’ll have more time to rest later. However, since I didn’t plan to do that, I didn’t write down the route and as a result got confused in one of the areas where it’s different from last year, eventually ending up following last year’s route and leaving me with an area I definitely need to explore, being new. But it’s around the starting area and I’ll need to get there, most preferably next Friday so I won’t go anywhere Saturday, to pick up my race kit anyway, so I’ll have a look then. That part has about one kilometer and I walked a bit over 16, maybe up to 16.5 considering the moments when I got confused, including the bit to and from the nearest part of the route, but that’s because a part of it will be covered twice and I obviously didn’t also walk it twice, just going through a small part three times, to have a good look at the road on both sides.

And… I’m scared. I mean, last year I just threw myself at it, not even telling people before it happened, except of course my parents since they had to pay for it, so there was less pressure and the targets were more like hopes, yet I was still very disappointed and down for quite some time due to failing to stay under two hours. And this year I’m serious about it, saying there are no excuses if I’ll fail to get under two hours as real time and keep dreaming of under two hours as official time as well, despite being aware that the chances of that are tiny. And I’m even worried that I’ll be unable to stay awake there or that something will happen, like the recent health problems, and I won’t manage to finish at all, or even show up at the start for that matter.
Also fear I’ll just panic, with nothing to hold on to while there, seeing as there was nobody I knew in any way that I could support from that part of the entry fee that’s donated to an NGO, unlike last year. It actually made a difference then to find something I knew should be there. Late and after searching for a long time, but at least it was there both before the start and after the finish, and there was someone to take a picture, and while I hadn’t met her before that I knew of, I at least knew of her and we had interacted a little bit on a group, and actually the fact that there was that group may have counted just a little as well, even if just a few messages were posted on it. This year there’s nothing like that, and in fact don’t even want to say what I picked to support, because it was just because I really wanted to select something and the other options available at the end of the “early bird” period bothered me a fair bit, so I’ll be staying clear even if I will see something like that. So nothing I’ll know to look for, reasons to specifically avoid what might be something I could know if I’d care to, and won’t even have a picture taken at the end.


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