Survived

Oh man. I am tired. Yesterday Ben and me ran the New Forest 10 mile race. At 11.15am. In stupidly hot weather. It was tough.

Let’s roll it back a bit to Saturday. I did the 5km Parkrun in the morning as a shakeout run. I took it steady and used it just as a nice easy run the day before hell a tough long race. Annoyingly, it was hot and hard work – it did not feel like an easy run. I managed it in 22.49 which I was chuffed with, and amazingly I was third girl.

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Ben decided to marshal at the Parkrun instead

For the rest of the day we got the chores done and I persuaded Ben to spend a small fortune go to Halfords so we could sort our bikes out as they’ve both got punctures. I really want to balance things up a bit with the running and do some cycling the odd day in the week. It’s a half-formed plan at the moment so I’ll let you know how it goes later on.

Then my loving husband got to work.

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He complained a bit to start with but then he got into it. It was all manly and DIY-ish so he loved it.

Then we chilled for the rest of the day had started getting nervous about the race the next day. We prepared ourselves by having a nice ice bath…

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…and carbing it up with a good dinner.

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Good old pizza. Chicken, stupid amounts of veg, BBQ sauce. A tried-and-tested meal that never fails me pre-race day.

Early to bed and early to rise. Ben and me both felt so nervous. It was hot. We drank lots of water (and coffee, sshhh!) and ate a good breakfast of oatmeal. Then my dad showed up and we convoyed over to the New Forest.

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Over 800 people took part

It would have been a beautiful day for a BBQ, relaxing down the beach or in your garden with a glass of something chilled. Not running 10 miles.

I spent the best £5 I’ve ever spent on a 10 minute sports massage. It was so necessary. My IT band was tight. So tight it was almost agony when the lady dug deep on it. I now have bruises.

Then we lined up and three, two, one we were go, go go.

Mile one I took way too fast. I was optimistic and just enjoying the atmosphere and flow. But it was right in the sun. Mile two I was slowing down (the story of this race) but we were hitting some shade which was nice. Mile three was my first milestone to celebrate. I felt like I was properly into the race then. And we hit our first drinks stop. I threw two waters over myself and enjoyed the coolness. I had a water with me with an electrolyte table in it (Zero High Five if you’re interested) that I kept sipping slowly.

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Mile four I was feeling the heat. The water that had been cooling minutes earlier had evaporated so it was back to being hot. My time was consistently slowing. Mile five I hit a low point. The course was pretty flat but there were the occasional gradual inclines and they felt like mountains in the heat. I felt extremely hot, a bit sick and I was tempted to stop and walk. Luckily another drinks point appeared and I was squirted with a hose (I almost stopped and said “can I just stay here now in the foetal position?”). Mile six and I was pushing through, still slowing, but I had come back from my darkest hour and celebrated another milestone (firmly over half way). Just before mile seven there was a stone path for a good .2 of a mile. So hard to run over.

Mile eight and I celebrated another milestone in my eyes – you’re almost at mile nine and then you’re almost finished (make sense?). I saw a man walking and I helped push him back to a run with some encouragement and that felt great. He thanked me and pushed on.

Mile nine just couldn’t have come sooner. I stared a little mantra in my head, something like “less than a mile to go, la la la”. Yep madness was slowly creeping in. Then we were on the home-stretch. I saw the finish. I pushed the speed and finished!

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I pretty much dropped around 10 seconds per mile until the last mile – almost a perfect positive split. Whoops.

My official time was 1:18:24, fourteenth girl overall, fifth girl in my age category, 120th overall. I suppose it’s a PB as I’ve never run a 10 miles faster than 1:19 but I’ve never actually raced it. Considering the heat I’m over the moon with this time!

I then drank a gallon of water and queued up to be showered with a cold hose pipe. BLISS.

Ben and Anna

Ben came in a bit later (this was his first ever 10 mile and he was still recovering from an ankle injury).

NF10 medal

We got a lovely horse brass as our medal as well, which was a lovely touch.

On getting home I showered, ice bathed, devoured piles of food (and my body weight in watermelon) and then just relaxed. I couldn’t even be bothered to get dressed.

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Alfie’s like “Girl, that is not a good look!”

I was pooped. Still am.

What did you get yup to this weekend?

Did anyone run any races in the crazy heat?

What’s your best/favourite medal you’ve ever got from a race?

Sun and Socks

Ahh British summer, thank you for making another appearance. I expect it won’t last but this weekend has been fabulous. So, thank you. We appreciate it.

I was so grateful for the lovely weather as it meant when my university friends came down for a quick visit we could enjoy the sunshine to its full extent along our local beach.

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This might not be a beach of white soft sands and flawless turquoise waves, but it’s pretty good for a 15 minute drive away.

Let’s roll back a bit to the stress of trying to get all the housework done before they arrived Saturday morning. Yes I’m a perfectionist. Getting in late Friday night didn’t help much either! And having taps which really show up the marks kills me every week.

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Seriously people, I have to polish the damn things otherwise it looks rubbish.

But anyway, I managed to get everything done and dusted (ha, pun intended) by the time they arrived and then we got to catch-up, which is always lovely. And they got me some lovely birthday pressies as well. I feel very spoilt! They know me so well… special G&T glasses, a chopping board, a running book, beautiful scarf and a lemon chopper/bottle opener…

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Seriously, how cool?

And then we headed to to Osborne View, a local pub right on the seafront.

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I had a very tasty meal of butternut squash ‘crumble’ with feta cheese and chips.

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Amazing. It all went down very nicely!

Then we had a lovely walk along the beach and checked out the very cool houses (which probably cost a small entire fortune).

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Nice, right? But not very private considering all those windows!

Sunday morning was time for a long run. I was planning on doing at least six miles but really wanted to do nine. I have a route where it gets to four miles and then forks to go back home for six miles or goes on for nine or ten. I was going to decide at four how I was feeling (due to my niggle in my leg).

It still feels uncomfortable and not 100% and I don’t feel like I’ve got my speed back up to scratch BUT it didn’t hurt and as I got into the run it became easier. Hurrah!

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I’m not going to start celebrating just yet though…I’m planning on running again Tuesday and I think that’ll be the big test to see if it’s still OK.

After running, Ben and me headed off to a local running shop so Ben could replace his NINE YEAR OLD trainers and get his gait analysed. Seriously.

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I also got some compression socks. I’ve been wondering about compression socks for ages. I think the jury’s out whether they make you run faster but apparently they’re great for recovery. My calves tend to ache a bit after long runs so I’m hoping they’ll improve that and I might even try them during long runs. I got CEP run compression socks. I’ll let you know what I think.

The rest of Sunday was walking Alfie and this:

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Perfect Sunday afternoon in my eyes!

Have you ever tried compression socks? Do you wear them when you run? Do you find they help you’re running or just recovery?

What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon?

Do you go to the beach when it’s sunny? To be honest, I’m not a huge beach fan but I do like the occasional day to walk along the beach and eat an ice lolly. I couldn’t lay in the sun all day long though. I like going for walks in the sunshine.