The Bridge Run was the first time I have raced since the track Nationals in April and I was very excited at the prospect of racing again! I had had a little down time with some niggling injuries, which seems to always coincide with Alex being away in Europe. As soon as he came back, I was back on track and had put in a few weeks of consistent training.
Being awarded a preferred start, it was great to be able to warm up in front of the line. It also gave me a chance to suss out the competition. I was able to recognize a few quick girls that I knew would be important to keep an eye on throughout the race.
Alex had told me my main aim for the first part of the race was to go out strong, but not too quick that I “blew up” early on in the race. Coming across the bridge I found myself sitting at the back of the first drawn-out pack, unsure if there were any girls in front me. The first girl I saw came past in the 1st kilometre and I tried to keep her in sight for as long as possible.
I wore my Garmin for the first time in a race situation and found it an excellent way to stay on track of my pacing and race plan. Often in the past, especially over longer distances, I find that I lose focus and fall off the pace without realizing, resulting in a few sub par performances. I made it through the first half of the race feeling strong and comfortable whilst maintaining a surprisingly quick pace, which was very encouraging. I was overtaken by Anna (2nd place) around the 5 kilometre mark and thought I could have been sitting in 3rd but wasn’t sure.
I started to fatigue and struggle a bit at the start of the 7th kilometre. This happened to coincide with a sharp turn, at which the race double backed on itself, therefore allowing me to get a good idea of my position in the race- I was indeed sitting in 3rd and had quite a break from the girl currently in 4th. The last 2 kilometres were really tough but I was determined to finish strong. I was so pleased and excited by the first half of my race that I didn’t want to let it go too waste and really wanted that bronze medal! The end was pretty challenging, as it was a bit longer than 9 kilometres due to the course change, ending up at 9.4km.
I put in a solid finish and crossed the line in a good time and in 3rd place, which is more than I had hoped for in my first race back!
Over the last 3 years I have been working very hard with Alex on my run technique and core strength and stability (along with him coaching me). We worked very hard at these things over the offseason and it has made a huge difference to my consistency and also my speed. A big thank you to him and after some conversations over the last few days, we have made some changes to my races for this season, which I am EXTREMELY excited about!