Before going out to the track on Thursday, I looked back at my best 4k time on the track. 16.05. Right, 96 sec laps or 48 sec per 1/2 lap (easier to stay on track if I watch 200 mtr increments).
Honestly, I was prepared to expect anything. I told myself it might be 1 - 2 min slower.
Beetroot juice was downed 20 min before the race.
Rolf, Silvio (our Italian trail runner visitor) and I lined up with the rest of them and off we charged, for 10 laps of self-inflicted pain. My first lap felt way too hard and I saw it was 93 sec - easy to know that wasn't sustainable. I dropped back to pretty consistent laps after that, hoping to stay close to 98 secs. We were asked to count our own laps and it's actually a bit of a challenge when you're working flat out! Silvio sat just behind me and I think Rolf sat just behind him. We all expected Rolf to take me for the first time on the track - his fitness is higher than ever before.
At lap 6, I heard a move from behind. Rolf came up for a chat. Running beside me for 100 mtrs down the back, he asked a few questions about lap number and time and seemed generally to be loping along, unpuffed. I wanted to hit him. But instead, had to keep playing the mental game of "bluff" as if I felt fine and was happy to have him running beside me (who runs beside a person during a track race?!?)
He finally dropped back.
At lap 8, I come around and guess who's laying on the grass in the infield? I yell out some smart remark about looking for another Transalps partner. Geez, how do you finish 330km if 4k is hard? ;)
In the end, I finish at 16.15, very pleased. 10 seconds slower than my PB. That was acceptable....
Then, preparing for this post, I pulled open my file again to check the date on that other run. I was wrong! I set a PB! By 5 seconds. My other 4k times were 16.20 and 16.32 (which was just after a 5k tempo and a 2k race).
I love Beetroot juice.