I think we can agree that the weekend was a hot one. Sunny, beautiful, but fairly warm. Ideal BBQ and chilling weather but not ideal running conditions. I’d rather run in rain or freezing temperatures than heat (and wind; wind sucks your soul away). Sunday morning, Netley 10k race day, began very warm.
Netley 10k was set in the beautiful location of Royal Victoria Country Park. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you might realise this is our usual location for parkrun (and a recent RR10 race). It’s about 10 minutes from us so the morning was very leisurely, getting up at 8am.
This 10k was our club championships. Basically prizes were going to be awarded for the below categories:
- Ladies Champion
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ladies Senior (under 35) <—my category
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ladies V35 (35 to 44)
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Ladies V45 (45 and over)
- Men’s Champion
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Men’s Senior (under 40) <—Ben’s category
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Men’s V40 (40 to 49)
- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Men’s V50 (50 and over)
As I said in my previous post, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run or not because of my [insert expletive here] hip. I woke up and it was the best it felt all week. In an ideal world I reckon 2-3 more days of rest would have 100% sorted it. But obviously I didn’t have that time. I decided to run it anyway. I popped some Ibuprofen and thought “to hell with it”. Kyle, the sports massage therapist, gave me some good advice and told me it wasn’t a tear or anything crazy bad like that and running on it would aggravate it, of course, but wouldn’t knock me out of running for weeks or months. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have run on it but this was important race only happening once a year and I had a shot at getting a prize. And nothing planned afterwards (apart from RR10s which I could miss if necessary).
Going into a race knowing that you’ve got a niggle that’s been nasty all week is not how I like to start a race, believe me. I did a warm up with Ben and some of the other running club guys and it actually didn’t feel too bad. Not as bad as before and not as bad as Alton last week. But the warm-up wasn’t at speed so I was still in a bit of turmoil.
The course was three laps of the park. We said goodbye to my parents who had found a good place to stand to see us and we headed to the start line.
The race started at 10.30am in a big pack of us. It wasn’t chip timed so I found a spot near people I knew who were roughly my speed – don’t want to be that annoying ‘plodder’ who gets trampled by the ‘elites’ 😉
I told myself to aim for around 7.20min/miles but see what happened (i.e. go slower if needed). The course had a couple of hills/gradual inclines which were annoying considering we had to do them three times, but otherwise it was a nice and scenic on-road race with lots of support.
To begin with I got really confused in my adrenaline-fuelled brain. For some stupid reason I panicked myself thinking it was 10 miles not 10km until realising no, no it was 6.2 miles. Thank God. Because each lap was around 2 miles I decided to segment the race that way in my head, trying to convince myself it was just a tough parkrun (yeah right).
I was so pleased that running felt fine. Maybe a slight hint of a niggle but nothing to change my gait or bother me. In fact, as the race continued I felt better and better (adrenaline? pills? magic??)
(Thanks to Gary in our club for the great photos!)
This was just after the first lap and first water station. I’d dumped a water on my head at this point as it was just so hot. I hate 10ks. They just go on forever and the pace is just so hard. I never enjoy them. Mentally you have to stay focused. I tried to keep people in my sight and either not lose them or gain on them.
It was tough, I’m not going to lie. To keep the pace up and also mentally to just stay focused. I was chuffed to catch up to a few people who I didn’t think I could beat on the final lap, and then it was the home-straight to the finish.
My official time was 44:04, 14th female and 1st female in my club. I felt pooped afterwards.
Sadly Ben didn’t have quite as good a race as he’d hoped. In his words, he prepared badly the day before (bike ride, not drinking enough water, and drinking too much wine the night before). And with the heat and the undulating course it really did help.
He finished in a time he wasn’t happy with (48:10). Though obviously I’m proud of him regardless, I do understand why he was unhappy (his PB is 45:01). Us runners are too hard on ourselves about hitting targets and we’re perfectionists. We will ruthlessly beat ourselves up when we get a less than stellar result. When I saw people finishing that I knew Ben would ordinarily beat I knew he’d be unhappy. After he finished, he became the Grumpy Runner (like I was the entire week before).
To be fair though, the race wasn’t easy and barely anyone got a PB. I’m proud of how far he’s come – this is the guy that gave up smoking and struggled to run a full mile when he first started running just a year ago. One race is not an indicator of ability.
After chilling for a bit after the race (and obviously eating a slice of rocky road that our ladies team captain had brought – thanks Kelly! ‘No Cake’ is over!), we headed back to get showered, me to have an ice bath and then go back to Netley for a running club BBQ.
And then the prizes were handed out. I was awarded 1st Ladies Senior and Ladies Champion. Obviously I’m over the moon but I must just add that one of our speedy runners is currently pregnant and therefore graciously allowed me to claim the prize 😉 She’ll be back next year to win it back I’m certain (and another speedster is suffering from shin splints).
And then I enjoyed a lot of chicken! And Fanta Zero…I could live off Fanta Zero, it’s my nectar. But I had a banging head ache the next day – too much sun and Fanta. Rock and roll, people. After a fun game of rounder’s we headed home and collapsed on the sofa. Job done.
Have you ever gone into a race knowing you’re injured? My hip isn’t necessarily a ‘proper’ injury, but running a hard race on I’m sure didn’t help it one bit. The next morning it ached a lot.
Would you give up a good race if you’re injured or just run it anyway?
How do you console someone who had a bad race/result? There was nothing I could say to Ben to make him feel better. I do understand as I know nothing would make me feel better; it’s all in your own head.
What’s your perfect BBQ food and drink?