Villemur-sur-Tarn is a small village by the river Tarn, about 40km North from Toulouse. Last Sunday I went there early in the morning to take part in the Course des Rois, a 10km race that was organized there.
Last time I ran a race in January it was in 2002, in Torrelodones, another “King’s Race”. I remember that a week before I had missed the 2001 San Silvestre due to a sprain in the ankle. By the time the race in Torrelodones came I could not rest anymore and I ran it with the bandage still on.
Villemur-sur-Tarn is close to the wine-region of Fronton, another village about 10km South from it. The first runners that were subscribed to the race received a bottle of red win. Yeah, I won something at a race! Even before starting!
After several pains in the Autumn, I went to the doctor and got an x-ray of the waist. It showed a difference in the length of the legs of ~7mm. Then I went to a podologue who made a couple of orthopedic soles for me. They partly correct that difference in length plus improve my stepping (I tend to supinate or under-pronate).
I started using the soles about two weeks ago. The podologue told me “start using them little by little, don’t go and run on them 15km at the first trial”. Well, I ran 7km. Then other 7km, etc… These days I am having pain in the left knee. I guess that it was not used to the level of effort it is required now. While it gets used to it, it hurts as hell every time I start running.
On Sunday, when I arrived to Villemur, I started warming up about 20 minutes before the start of the race. I almost couldn’t bend the knee. Then I was jogging very softly, and the pain was that that my body wanted me not to take part in the race. I felt like crying. Luckily I was alone in the race and didn’t have to talk to anyone in those moments. Only in my head I was thinking “it’s ok, some minutes of pain while warming up and then it’ll get better”.
It got better. During the 1st kilometre I could stand it so I continued with the same rhythm until km 2.5, when my body broke into sweating and I stopped feeling cold. From then on, feeling warm and more comfortable, I looked at the rest of the race with a more positive look.
I went along with some groups of runners until feeling comfortable with them and going ahead to catch another group. I repeated this process about 3-4 times, with a final increase in the pace at about km 7.5, when I tried to make it below 47′. In the end, I did 47’09”.
I’m very happy with the time. Had I launched the pace increase before I might have made it. This is nearly 1 minute faster than in Brax 6 months ago and some 20 seconds faster than the end of the half marathon of Toulouse last September. I’m training with more difficulty these days, but it seems that I haven’t lost punch for the races. This race also helps me to measure the level of fitness with the McMillan calculator I use, in order to estimate training paces.
You may want to see performance of the race measured by Garmin and the following pics: