So it’s been a bit of an up and down start to 2015, after having only managed little more than 1 run per week due to work commitments, I started off the year with a bang. I managed to up my weekly miles to 20 from about 4-5 at the beginning of January, and of course, it didn’t end well! Because of this I have currently been off running for two weeks and had an unfortunate trip to the doctors with incessant aching in my legs. It was very hard to pin point the problem but the doctor told me it was simply just tight muscles and requested I got a sports massage. I begrudgingly obliged, but was obviously relieved that it wasn’t anything serious.
Very nervous, as I had heard they were extremely painful I booked an appointment with a lovely lady from our club, who spent an hour this week trying to loosen my leg muscles. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the most enjoyable massage I’ve ever had and at times it felt more painful then having a tattoo done (and I have a big one on my thigh which took two hours) but, after a couple of days the pain went away and my legs did feel pretty amazing! I felt able to take on my weekends race after all! Phew!
So yesterday saw me take on my first 10K since October 2014 (the dreaded Denmead 10k) and I was feeling very positive. This 10K was particularly special as it was my first race as an official Fareham Crusader and it felt good! Our club was in the paper recently as we were set to have over 100 runners entered, making us the largest group of club runners for the day!
It was a very chilly start and I stupidly avoided bringing a bag to the race so I had no coat or really anything warm on (besides the four layers of clothing which still wasn’t enough)
The race began very slowly with myself and another Nikki from the club aiming to set ourselves up comfortably behind the sub-50 members of our group. This was a group I had been training for, for a few weeks leading up to the race, but wasn’t convinced I had any hope of being a sub-50 if I’m completely honest, since my 10k PB was 58.47 (rather optimistic!) and I was currently only running once a week. I figured anything below this time would be a bonus anyway, especially since I had been injured for two weeks.
About 5 minutes into the race I lost them all! There’s a surprise haha! But managed to meet a few crusaders as I slipped back and slowed into a more comfortable pace to avoid completely burning out too early. The first mile went by and I had made it is an amazing (for me) 8.20! The best thing was it hadn’t even felt too bad. I slowed down to around the 9 minute miles mark and continued the run. I met and conquered a few hills in the first half, one which almost ruined me very early on. Nearing the 5k mark I was pleased to realise I was about to beat my 5k PB, then the water station appeared, in an attempt to avoid missing my PB I only got a tiny mouthful before I had to throw the bottle away. Now I was more thirsty than a camel in a desert!
So having beaten my PB and was now maintaining an uncomfortable pace of 9 minute miles, the last 5k was pretty awful for me. The injury I thought I had cured began to rear it’s ugly head just when I began to really struggle. Crusader after crusader passed me with very sweet words of encouragement and a good few “go Fareham” cheers from the sidelines. At this point I began getting very irritated, I had never noticed just how annoying other people’s heavy breathing could be, I pleaded with myself not to pay attention, but it became harder and harder to focus. Then a terrible thing happened, I noticed not only the heavy breathing but something else in front of me. Leggings! See-through leggings with big spotty pants underneath! Really, are you kidding me?? How could I possibly concentrate now?
The last two miles were literally the hardest two miles of my life, it was never ending. I tried to resist the urge to check the distance on my watch but couldn’t help it, and it wasn’t helping the situation. The race photographers popped up! We won’t even go there, but this is as good a photo as a got… *sneaks non-purchased race proof into the post*
then, finally, the end was in sight! I usually have a little left in me for a sprint at the finish but today I had nothing, not a drop left in me! I desperately tried to speed up to make 55 minutes but I couldn’t do it and the road just kept on going….arrrrghhh! It was the slowest finish I think I have ever done!
Things I have learnt during this race…
1 – I am a glass half empty kinda gal….. After beating myself up about not making 55 minutes I neglected to acknowledge that I had beat my 5k time and was 23 seconds from beating it twice! Not only that but I also beat my 10K time by 2.24!
2 – Running with music is much nicer on the ears – “Give me eye of the Tiger” over Darth Vader anyday!
3 – People with see-through leggings should not wear patterned pants!
and finally, 4 – I am part of the most supportive running club on earth, fact! No matter what your speed/race time we are all there giving each other complements and words of encouragement. We are #unstoppable!
So, next weekend I have signed myself up to do yet another run, the brutal 10k, 6 miles of mud, hills and water! Brill! Sometimes I wonder what the hell is wrong with me.
See you again next week for that edition!
Until next time,