Ok, so next up was a 10k race over in Flitwick. I did not feel well-prepared for it- it wasn't that long since the crazy duathlon of half marathon & karate and I'd been unsure of how to keep training without doing too much. Certainly I felt like I hadn't done enough tempo work. The night before and the morning of were pretty much the usual- feeling sick, struggling to keep food in, unable to sleep and being generally a bit bitey. The only thing that was a bit different was that this time I was taking my girlies along with me as they wanted to do the fun run after the main race.
As usual I got to race HQ far too early but it gave me plenty of time to warm up and the girls found themselves a playground and some new friends. Not so many runners from my club this time which was a bit strange- I've got so used to running amongst an army of green- but it was a friendly enough atmosphere. Also as usual I had no idea of the route, all I knew was that it was apparently 'fast and undulating'. I used to live near Flitwick so figured I'd probably be fairly familiar with the roads and didn't recall any big hills. Anyway the race started and off I went. Pretty fast for the first mile, but not stupidly so. Mile 2-3 I don't know what happened. I felt like I was focussed and running a good pace but turns out I really let my pace drop so mile 4 it was time to get my legs moving again. Fortunately the legs co operated and the second half of that race was my fastest ever 5k! Can't say I romped over the finish- that last 1k felt like it went on for ever- but I crossed the finish in 43:47, first in my age category, and a nice new PB!
So missing out the Mighty Running Daff episode for a bit (and little 5k jaunt around Marston Forest Centre) it's now Sunday 5th July and we're at Willen Lake for the Women's Running 10k. It is also my first running birthday- exactly a year ago I ran my first race, which just happened to be this one!
By now you know the drill- nerves, sick, blah blah...
Except this time I'd taken on too intense a training plan and had to rein it in as I was just getting exhausted trying to juggle that with work, children, karate, and life in general. Plus I'd not been sleeping properly (into week 3 of insomnia) and had lost my appetite as well as the 2.5 kg I worked hard to put on. So far from ideal race prep. And this time I definitely hadn't done enough running at race pace.
Hey ho, got to Willen, had a little pootle about to warm up- glad I did because I quickly realised how humid and sticky it was even though it wasn't nearly as hot as it had been during the week. A few of us Redway Runner ladies about so time for a team photo:
For the first time I started a race at the front. And it didn't bother me. I'm at the front, with the fast ladies. So? I'm quite fast too. I can do this.There's progress!
Set off waaaaayyyyyyy too fast though- mile 1 in about 6:52. Eased off for the next couple miles but I knew mile 1 would bite back later. On the second lap I felt good so picked up the pace a bit- lovely to have encouragement almost all the way round from Redway Runners who were helping out.
But once into mile 5 it stopped being fun and was just a battle. My breathing was laboured, my legs were tired, lactic acid was making me feel really sick. Nothing for it but to push on and overtake someone, so I did. That last few hundred metres I was almost in tears it hurt so much and I was so frustrated at having run in such an undisciplined way. But I finished. And finished in 4th place!!! Not with a PB but not too far off one.
The best bit was once I'd finished and lay completely splatted on the ground, a friendly smile appeared above me. That smile and a hug was better than any medal or goody bag.