Netley 10k (2015)

I hate 10ks. I’m sure I’ve said it many times, but I truly do. 5ks are somewhat bearable because they’re short. The pain can only go on for so long, whereas for a 10k it just seems never ending.

Going into a 10k race as part of a training run therefore makes things a whole lot more enjoyable. Well, at least psychologically anyway. My plan was to get 18ish miles done on Sunday as part of my marathon training. A lot of my club were doing the local Netley 10k race and I thought it would be so much nicer to combine the two so I wouldn’t have to run the entire 18 miles on my own. It also meant I could ‘enjoy’ the 10k rather than race it.

The sun that had been beating down on the first solo part of run (12.5 miles) but as we waited for the 10k to begin it suddenly disappeared and it became more overcast: perfect running conditions. I ran this race last year (as a proper race) and I remember how hot it was then, so I think everyone was quite grateful it wouldn’t be so bad this year.

Different to last year, the race this year was chip timed which was far better as last year there was so much crowding and pushing at the start with people desperate to start quickly with the gun. Though it was still crowded at the start there was far less panic and desperation to move forward when the gun (whistle I think) went.

I started with a bunch of my Hedgie team mates and felt very relaxed. My legs however felt like lead and suddenly it felt really hard to keep up with them, despite the pace being in my “easier” range. I honestly contemplated letting them go ahead without me as I plodded along but I stuck at it thinking my legs would wake up again soon.

IMG_0627 Starting to get into it with Lauren

I got more into the race and started to enjoy it as the legs warmed up (again). There were two running club members taking photos so we had a bit of a giggle (thank you Richard Townsend and Gary Trendell!).

IMG_0642 Clearly the miles are going to my head here 😉

The course, like last year, consisted of three large laps around Queen Victoria Country Park, where the Netley Abbey parkrun is held. Therefore in my head it was just a supersized parkrun. This meant that we had to do the dreaded parkrun hill (I say hill, it’s not a hill hill but a sharpish incline) three times and another long incline three times. It’s not an easy course but there’s lots of support most of the way round which helped.

IMG_0631 Matt and I

Eventually the most of the Hedgies disappeared either in front or ahead and I stuck with Matt who was aiming for a PB and running at a pace that I was finding comfortable but tough with the miles already in my legs.

Matt might have regretted me running with him somewhat though as we passed a drinks station and grabbed a drink. They were in cups and I struggled to drink from it without soaking myself and in the process managed to knock Matt’s elbow as he was drinking his. Consequently he was covered with water. I’m pretty sure he was more annoyed than he made out but he’s a gentleman and only remarked “looks like I’ve wet myself now…least it’s cooled me down”. I couldn’t apologise enough (though I was also laughing…).

IMG_0644 As we headed for our final lap I really started to feel tired. Matt was finding it tough too so we started encouraging each other. We figured out some milestones to head towards on our last lap: a Hedgie supporter doing some amazing encouraging shouting from a quieter section of the course, the drinks station, a pack of kids, the homestretch…Then Matt said he was close to his PB – now there’s a motivation!


The final straight

The last half mile of the race you can see the finish which is a bit soul destroying but there were loads of people shouting and cheering which helped.


I think my face says it all. This is pretty much my legs personified (does that even make sense??). Matt zoomed off on the last 100 or so metres and I let him go: my legs weren’t up for that kind of sprinting without significantly breaking! I did attempt to speed up though (as my face displays).


My official time was 47:41 which I’m happy with considering I wasn’t racing full-out and weirdly I managed an average speed of 7.47min/miles which is exactly the same as the previous 12.5 miles I ran. How funny! So overall I ran 18.6 miles at 7.47 min/miles. Not too shabby! And the best part is that Matt got his PB (47:36 – he wanted sub 48!) He was over the moon and so was I. He helped me as much as I helped him. There’s no medal for Netley 10k but we got another towel. Last year it was red, this year it was blue. Just need a white one now for our running club colours!

Happily I felt all in one piece afterwards (and the days after). I did feel exceptionally tired though. When I stopped I was just shattered and my legs felt exhausted. I was so happy to stop running! Then I found a queue forming for free massages. Now seriously that is a fantastic way to finish a long run!IMG_0626 

So good but so bad. My calves, oh my calves! I also noticed that my right foot had bled a bit to the outside of my trainers.


Top right of side of my trainer

Nothing says a tough long run than a bit of blood, eh? Turns out one of my toes’ nail pushed against its neighbour so nothing serious thankfully.

After the race I headed home and wolfed down porridge as quickly as possible. It was now midday and I hadn’t eaten a thing, though I had a good amount of water during and afterwards. I also made sure to have a coffee as well. I’m happy to run all my long runs in a fasted state as I honestly think this will help me when I race non-fasted. But who knows?

Then off I dashed to my friend’s house for the birthday party of their one year old son, Jacob. A whole year has passed, this is crazy! My friend, Louise, is an exceptionally good baker so I was fully expecting some good cake. And cake there was!


I stress that the every (edible) thing you see on that table is home-made. EVERYTHING. Coffee and walnut cake, lemon drizzle, flapjacks, banana muffins, chocolate cupcakes, a chocolate cake on the far left I didn’t manage to get in the photo and the birthday cake itself. There were mini meringues and cream made by her mum as well (by popular demand because, seriously, they’re amazing). And it was dinosaur themed. I was in heaven.

IMG_0629I had a slice of chocolate cake, a meringue and a cupcake. Then followed that by a banana muffin. And later birthday cake. Top notch baking. I was sat in the sun, a plate full of cake, kids running all over the place and was so chilled. I also made sure I’d brought my 750ml bottle of water with my nuun tablet in. What a dork I looked like with my massive bottle but seriously I wanted to avoid the post-long run headache at all costs. Oh and looking cool in a party hat – yep.

IMG_0636 Awkward birthday party hat selfie

The birthday cake itself was incredible. Louise had made it all, even the dinosaur on top. How cool!

IMG_0634 There was a little debate though as to why there were four candles on it…apparently Lou decided that one looked a bit lonely. It’s a good job Jacob can’t count 😉

IMG_0638 Blurry birthday cake

Simply divine!

At one point I was chatting to a two-time Irornman (Louise’s brother) and I mentioned I was training for marathon in June. His response: “Oh just a marathon?” That stumped me! Yes just a marathon – none of that swimming and cycling malarkey but still tough in its own right! He did backtrack a little when he realised what he’d said but the damage was already done 😉

Now as you might know I’m not a particularly child-friendly person (I’m clueless and blind with terror around them) but I knew what I was in for. Louise’s family is quite big so there just seemed to be babies, toddlers and teenagers everywhere! But it was a lovely afternoon despite the small children 😉 Cake helped dull the pain somewhat 😉 😉

I headed home to finish the chores that needed doing, walk Alfie and then relax. I was really hungry again (apparently cake isn’t the most filling of foods…) so decided to have dinner. Sadly a headache decided to make an appearance – damn I thought I’d escaped! I’m pretty sure this is down to nutrition as I hydrated really well the day before, during and afterwards. Clearly a lunch of sugary cakes it’s not conducive to a good recovery….hmm who’d have thought? I regret nothing though. In the end I went to bed at 8.30pm as I was so tired and the headache just wouldn’t go. Hey hum! But another 18 miler in the bag!

Children’s birthday parties – hell on earth or a delightful way to spend some time? I enjoyed the party, even with the sheer number of small people! 😉

Do you have any top tips for post-run nutrition?

What would you have had from the Cake Table?

6 Replies to “Netley 10k (2015)”

  1. That’s one Hell of a 10K time on the back of a long run, particularly with the break in between. My legs would seize up for sure. I love how happy and at ease you look as well, and your speedy face at the end is hardcore.

    Children in general are my idea of torture, so a party full of them…I don’t even want to imagine that. I like your tiny party hat though – it suits you 😉

    I do wonder whether your headaches are down to blood sugar fluctuations. I appreciate you want to run in a fasted state, but I don’t think going until midday without eating anything and just drinking water is a good idea at all. It’s a bit excessive and your electrolytes will be all over the place by that point. It’s fine to get up, do your 2.5 hour run and then eat afterwards, but going all the way through a race and then waiting until lunch is only going to hurt you in the long run, particularly if what you do have ends up being predominantly sugar…it’s a recipe for hypoglycemia. I am useless when it comes to eating properly in general, so I’m not lecturing from some kind of moral pedestal here, but I don’t want to see you suffering because you’re reluctant to fuel properly. I hope that’s not an issue in your mind because trying not to eat for as long as possible is a bit of a slippery slope. I could be projecting here because I used to do that – I really hope that’s not the case because you deserve to run the best marathon possible.
    Jess @ One Step Closer recently posted…Blackpool Marathon and Sunderland Half Race PhotosMy Profile

    1. Yes it was highly stupid to eat nothing until midday. I don’t know why I didn’t if I’m honest. I suppose it was because to me it was just another long run and I don’t normally eat before them. But let’s be honest, I’ve never really consistently run this far before so past procedure for my ‘long’ runs of 10-13 miles has been fine. This is clearly not working for the far longer runs. Thanks for the tips!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…150 parkruns and a glamping experienceMy Profile

  2. That’s a brilliant 10k time, and impressive pacing too- so speedy. Your training is going so well 🙂
    I am not a fan of kids parties at all- people think it is because I have kids at work all day, but at work they are organised and well behaved, and at parties they just seem to bring out their worst side. Plus, no offence to parents, but a lot of people once they have kids seem to lose the ability to talk about anything but their kids, so some of the parties have turned into me sitting on the side trying to look interested while all the parents talk about potty training and whatnot. Makes me sound like a grump! Friends children are fine but at parties there are too many!!
    Hmm, all that cake looks amazing- I think lemon drizzle would have got my vote.
    With the headaches I wonder if it is food- I find if I don’t eat as soon as I stop, I will get a headache later, and I am sure it is some sort of response to a blood sugar crash, as that is when I tend to get headaches at other times (eg not after runs). Even if it is a few nuts or something, I try to eat right away. But I also read (did I mention this before?) that it can be to do with how you hold your neck as you run, so sometimes it is just inevitable.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Chocolate and cherriesMy Profile

    1. I know, “kid talk” is so dull. I tend to counteract it by “dog talk” haha. Oh you have a photo of your baby? Here’s a photo of my dog.
      Yeah I do think it’s some sort of sugar crash. I should have eaten either before or between the two runs – even if it was just a banana or gel.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…150 parkruns and a glamping experienceMy Profile

  3. Fab pacing on the 10k. Great picture of you guys with your arms out as well. 🙂
    What an awesome birthday cake! We had our Nephew’s third birthday party to go to last weekend. Watching ten three year olds running around the playzone on a Sunday afternoon wasn’t how I normally like to spend my Sundays but there was also a fab cake to make up for it! After the kids had had food though, they got tired, had fights and were sick. Very glad to leave them all behind and return to our child-free home that evening!
    Mary recently posted…Heart rate training bl***y works!My Profile

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