It’s race day! I was supposed to be doing the London 10,000 on the bank holiday Monday before but after talking to my coach (Allison Benton), we decided as I wasn’t near PB shape that it wasn’t really worth the trip to London, so I entered a more local race: the Worthing 10k.
It’s hard to mentally prepare for a race that you know you’re not going to perform your best at, I always find that tough but I knew what I had to do. I estimated my target to be between 37:30 & 38:00 for 10k at current fitness, aiming for a realistic 6:05 minute mile pace. This would actually match the pace I ran for 5k @ Worthing parkrun the week before, so it would be a big enough challenge but would be a good improvement on fitness.
I like to get a good warm up in and I didn’t want to rush my drills so I arrived in plenty of time and did 3 miles easy with strides and 10 minutes of drills. It wasn’t long until we were off, it was quite windy but the wind would be behind us on the way back which was good, I knew I had to hold back at the beginning and stick to the plan.
I went through the first mile in 6:03, I felt like I was holding back so this was good, the first 2 miles were against the wind though I needed to be careful, 2nd mile in 6:11, there was lots of support on the course, even in the quiet roads which was great. We did a U-turn at 2.5 miles, I knew I was currently 1st female, but I wasn't sure by how much, Rachel Gifford from Worthing Harriers is a strong runner and she was very close behind, then Ali from Vegan Runners wasn’t far behind Rachel – this wasn’t going to be easy. We turned along Amberley Drive and mile 3 bleeped on my Garmin: 6:09. We were against the wind again for another half a mile but I knew at the end of this road we turn down and then go straight back along Worthing seafront with the wind behind us all the way to the finish.
As we turned on the seafront at 3.5 miles I checked back and Rachel was still there, I knew I would have to pick up the pace, not only to keep in first place but to run my target time / pace. Mile 4 was 6:11, then I picked it up and kept thinking about how good it would feel to win, I haven’t won a road race since July 2016 and this would be a huge confidence boost for training.
Mile 5 was 5:57 – much better! I was still worried that I would get caught, Rachel is a strong runner and I knew she would finish well. I kept focused and tried to keep up the pace, mile 6 was 6:01, lots of crowds in the last 0.25m which helped pull me along and I broke the tape for the first time in a race! My finish time was 38:01 and average pace on my Garmin was 6:05! It would have been nice to break 38 minutes but the job was done and now I’m ready to work hard in training to get that time back down and break some PB’s.
1st Emily Proto 38:01
2nd Rachel Gifford – Worthing Harriers 38:22
3rd Ali Guihen – Vegan Runners 40:10
1st Jack Leitch – Worthing Harriers 32:46
2nd Andrew Mccaskill – 33:04
3rd Kevin Rojas – Brighton & Hove 33:12