Monday, December 17, 2012

Boscombe 5k

Lin and I had really been looking forward to this race for a while because it was to be Lin's first for three months, and a step on the road to recovery from her injury, and we would be going to our favourite restaurant after the race. And its a cracking little race! Dead flat along the seafront from Boscombe pier for 2.5k, then a tight turn around a man holding a lamp in the air calling out times, then back to the pier. I like the fact that you can see who is ahead of and behind you at the turn, and the sand on the course, plus the sound of the surf crashing on the beach in the dark is somehow exciting, and exotic.

But first we couldn't get a reservation, then the weather forecast started looking decidedly dodgy, then I found out how unfit I was at the Street 5k on Wednesday with a time over a minute slower than last year. So I wasn't really that keen on it any more and would readily have wimped out, given half a chance. 

But Lin is made of sterner stuff, so we turned up half an hour before the start, just as the heavy rain stopped (but not the wind). We registered,  and prepared ourselves for the ordeal. My goal was to beat my Street time, and hopefully finish ahead of the other V55 males, Lin's was to finish without too much discomfort from her Achilles.

After a jog downwind past the start and along the seafront we turned, back into the 20mph wind and got a taste of what the second half of the out and back course would feel like. Then back to the start, lined up, and we were off. Less of the usual stampede, because numbers were well down on the usual couple of hundred. I pushed hard the whole race, turning in just under 9 minutes, then battling back into the headwind, gratefully tucking in behind an overtaking runner from Poole who turned out to be my V55 competition. I shamelessly drafted for 2k before making a desperate bolt for the finish with 200 metres to go. Lungs bursting, I managed to open up and hold on to a slim lead and also finish under my Street time. So I was fairly pleased, despite taking over a minute more on the return half. 

I jogged back down the course, anxiously scanning for Lin, but she was unfortunately well back, more than I would have expected, even given her loss of fitness. As feared, her Achilles had started to play up almost immediately, and she had had to back off and limp home over 3 minutes down on her usual time which would have won this race normally. She was still first in age-group, but that was no consolation as this was clearly a setback for the injury. Hopefully a bit of rest and continued rehab, and she'll be back in training early in the new year.
After buying a bag of Tesco's cheapest frozen generic mixed veg (even cheaper than the value peas) to use as an emergency cold compress, we consoled ourselves with a fish dinner at our second favourite pub on the way home. There are much worse ways to spend a wet, windy evening in December.