I woke up sweating and stressed – it was 11am – I MISSED THE RACE!!!
Then I remembered it was Saturday – PHEW – so I calmed down and got on with my pre-race day preparation. As this is the first race I’ve done I didn’t really know what to do or not to do. So I had a plan to eat healthily, drink lots of water and stay chiillllllled. I ate some fruit for breakfast, ryvitas with some cheese for lunch then homemade fish pie for dinner. The foam roll that I ordered also arrived Friday, so I did a few rolly things on that with my legs – I didn’t want to do too much in case it made them hurt Sunday! Carried myself off to bed at 10.30 and then spent the night tossing and turning. I sort of knew that might happen which is why I stayed in bed until 11am on Saturday (that’s my excuse anyway).
Today, I got up at 7.30, forced some porridge and blueberries down (I don’t normally eat breakfast til I’ve been up an hour) and then after slathering my torso and feet in vaseline (yes it’s overkill but I wanted NO problems) I climbed into my car and set off for Sandy – luckily only a half hour drive for me. I met up with Sharon and we passed some time gossiping, wandering around the school, going to the loo, looking at the route and generally fretting (me) and trying to keep my mind off the impending
doom race (Sharon).
Eventually we headed up to the start which was a good 10 minute walk from the race HQ, when we got there we sensibly went to the back – I didn’t want to get caught up with a big pack of people going to fast, or be the person that everyone tuts about because they are going so slow, and Shaz bless her soul was happy to go along with whatever I was comfortable with. We started off running along streets and after a mile I thought hm this could be OK, then we turned a corner and OH MY GOD the LONGEST HILL EVER stretched before us…
It should have had that warning on it…welll I might be exagerrating but it was HARD. I have not done enough hill training and it really showed today, so my new resolution is to do one hill training session a week from now on. It was a long slow trudge up it, a brief respite in the middle and then a further climb until eventually we go to the top and I chilled out a bit. I think Shaz was a bit worried after my hill performance so I vowed to pick up the pace a bit to put her mind at rest. The next few miles were pretty nondescript…I think at about mile 4 I went into that ‘other zone’ – Shaz was chatting away to me and I think I was replying but I may have been grunting. At mile 6 we came across a field full of donkeys, which Shaz started hee-hawing at – it was hilarious! She was trying to get them to talk to her and to be fair a few responded! I slowed down and took a picture – a few people told me to make sure I enjoyed the run so I thought why not. They all ran away when I got my phone out except for one that stayed and posed…a donkey after my own heart!
The next 2 miles were uneventful. I just concentrated on one foot in front of another, plod, plod, plod, breathe, breathe, I had to stop for the odd walk break, just 20 or 30 seconds at a time, Shaz kept plodding along in front of me and then I would catch up. Finally at mile 8 the downhill started, WHOOPPEEE! I didn’t quite have my freewheeling legs on, but it was good to be going down and not up. The downhill seemed to last about half the time of the uphill and when we passed the 9 mile marker we hit unknown territory – 9 miles was my longest run before this. I’ll be honest, the wheels came off a bit. I moaned, I walked a bit, I huffed, I puffed, I swore…it just seemed like the longest mile in my life. Sharon was a gem telling me how well I had done, saying not far now and generally remaining chipper and smiley in the face of my misery! Eventually we got to 200 m to go and I found a bit of juice in my legs and finished on a sprint to the cheer of everyone else that had finished and a few of my club buddies!
So, I finished my first race – 10 miles, in 1hr 56m 40s which I was very happy with. My runkeeper lost signal so I dont know what my splits were – but I think it was pretty consistent, we started the race at 10.30 exactly, we hit 6 miles at 11.39 which means 11 and a half minute miles, and the time I finished in equates to about 11m 40s miles. I just can’t believe I managed to maintain that pace over the distance. I am well chuffed!
Got home to a lovely BBQ cooked by hubby, and then had to have a snooze (naughty I know but well deserved I thought). Am now feeling very achey and slightly smug!
PS. I am doing all my runs this year for The Meningitis Trust. If you have a few pennies you can spare to sponsor me I would be very grateful. Thanks xx