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I fronted up early for the Trotters' Kerry Anderson 10km Handicap Time Trial on a miserably wet and dark Saturday morning.  After getting the post-run drinks ready, I ran over to The Haven and for four laps of the road, splashing through puddles and trying not to trip over in the misty darkness.  It was important that I run about 3km for a warm-up if I want to be able to start the event at a reasonable pace.  I also wanted to see how sore my arch was and found it to be detectable but not painful.

Runners get ready to start in Terrigal Trotters' Kerry Anderson
Handicap on the Terrigal promenade
A couple of years ago, I began to notice that I was going into oxygen debt very early in races and struggling to get enough oxygen into my lungs.  After persevering for a year or two, I sought medical advice, was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, and have been on medication since then.  For the first time in a while, I began to feel like I was able to fill my lungs with a deep breath, and have been, on average, running more comfortably since.  However, it still works better if I start out slowly.

Backmarkers watch from shelter as the frontmarkers head out
The Trotters' Handicap is a fun event, generating lots of pre-race banter on social media and in person.  The Handicaps are published a week beforehand on the web and runners keenly scan for their own handicaps and those of potential rivals.  The handicaps are calculated to have all runners finish exactly at 7am, but of course this is not the way it works out.  There are always a couple of runners who get generous handicaps and then run their best times by a large margin.  I was off the same mark (6:18am) as two friends, Mike and James, and found the early pace just a little faster than I liked.  I could feel some minor pain in my right arch, but it wasn't causing me to limp, which was a good sign.  After a couple of kilometres, I warmed up and was running more freely to about the 6 kilometre mark, where my lack of racing caught up with me and I lost some momentum.

I finished with a time of 41:37, which was a little slower than I had hoped, but acceptable.  On the downside, high in my right arch there is now a some quite specific pain, even when I walk around.  I am fearful that I need a more extended rest from running to get it right, which will significantly impact my Melbourne Marathon preparation.  I won't jump to conclusions at this point, but will see how it feels tomorrow.