So I did the Town & Gown 10k this morning in 54:44 -- it felt like I was pushing myself a lot harder than usual so it was disappointing to end up with a slower time than last year (though admittedly only 24 seconds slower). I think I probably ran faster than usual for the first half, and peaked too soon -- I certainly didn't feel like I had much sprint left for the final stretch, it was more like I was just trying to fall forwards a bit faster. I also kept pace with S (who is normally much faster than me but was running with a hangover, ha ha) for seven kilometres, including actually slowing a bit around the 6k mark to encourage him when he said that he wasn't sure he was going to be able to keep going... then around 7k he got some kind of second wind & began to pull ahead of me, & at first I thought "I'll let him get a little bit ahead, I'll be able to catch up again" & then at 8k I started feeling like my legs were made of lead & I knew I couldn't catch him. (His time was 53:42, so there wasn't that much in it.) So if I hadn't been so sociable, then I might have beaten my time, but I'd've felt like an utter cad.
On the plus side, I did raise more sponsorship money this time than last time, which is a far more useful record to beat - so thank you to everybody who sponsored me despite the sponsorship angst! Or even because of the angst!
There are now three people who want me to run in a badger costume next year. I am ... not dismissing the idea completely.