Well two recent experiences made me remember that in every race every second counts.
A few weeks back I ventured over to Hackney Marshes Parkrun to meet up my Asics bootcamp buddy Chris Brammer.
We were keen to have a decent run on what is an excellent flat course of PB potential. I was not in the best of shape for any speedy sprinting and Chris was understandably wanting to run well within himself as he had the Paris marathon in a weeks time and subsequently he was therefore in much better shape than I. (He went on to smash his PB and run his first sub 4 marathon by the way!)
I ventured that I could probably crack a sub24 run and this was well within Chris's limits so using his Garmin he paced me round with a view of completing in under the 24 minute mark.
It was a tough race to keep pushing for the whole race but I was glad I did as I would have been disappointed to miss out on 24 minutes by just a few seconds.
My second every second counts experience came at the Hampton Court Half Marathon. The first things to say about this race is that their medal is amazing:
Henry VIII doing a mobot as part of a reassuringly weighty and thick high quality medal, what more do you want?!
I also got a photo with the king himself and you can read my write up of my race here.
I ran the race with my brother in law Tom who fresh from beating me at the recent Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon was eager to trump me again, full write up available here.
I didn't end up seeing Tom at the start so wasn't aware of where he had started in relation to me and then at the end had no idea not only of his finishing time but of how his finish time equated to mine.
I found him soon after the finish and we tried to work out if him finishing around a minute before me meant his time was actually quicker than mine in relation to when we both started off. Neither of us are that up to date with our running equipment so no snazzy Garmin or GPS data to inform us who had triumphed.
It wasn't until later that evening when the official times were posted that the evidence showed how close the margin of victory was to be.
The thinnest of thin margins!
So close but I was still glad to record a victory after Tunbridge Wells although in reality I know there is no victory in a one second difference.
So what is the moral of my tale? Give 100% in every second of every race as you never know when you might need that valuable second to help you beat a rival or break a PB!