I have been saying for YEARS that Princess Charlotte was meant to be. While the name of the newest member of the royal family doesn't have much to do with my 10K race - I like to think maybe I was given an edge on Sunday due to my name being good enough for royalty.
Sunday morning my husband and I ran the Frimley Park Hospital 10K race. We had booked this in just after Paris in a bid to keep going and it worked. I did a long run of 9 miles last weekend and had a couple of mid-week 5 and 4 milers, including some speed and threshold paces to keep me ticking over. I was running OK on these runs - I did the 9 miles in just over 9 minute miles but to be honest I was just running for the sake of running and being outside and not stressing about times etc. Twas rather nice!
The last time I did a 10K run was back in January when I had to do a timed 10K as part of the training plan and I did 52:41 which I was rather chuffed with. The last time I did an actual 10K race though? I actually can't remember - I think I did one in Richmond a few years ago. It has been a while.
So we arrived in Frimley and it was raining and a bit miserable but not that cold. We lined up at the start - there were quite a few people in fancy dress and the event itself was to raise money to help breast cancer diagnosis at the hospital. There were over 700 people running so the whole thing had a bit of an atmosphere and fun to it which was nice. My hubby pushed a bit further to the front at the start and I was left hopping from one foot to the other by myself - there was a lady who looked about the same age as me next to me, incredibly pretty who said "good luck" to me and we chatted for a couple of minutes before the gun went off.
I really had no idea how to pace it - so I set off thinking, I need to feel like I'm pushing myself so I'll try and run quickly but not too quickly. The first mile was horrendous - I felt full from breakfast still, which I had eaten ages ago. I was thirsty and my legs felt stiff. After the first mile my garmin flashed up 8:10 and I thought - bloody hell, that is fast!! But I kind of felt OK so thought I should probably keep going at this pace until half way and then re-assess. My legs loosened up at this point and my tummy calmed down and the whole thing felt a little bit easier. One thing I hadn't realised was that this route was hilly - not super hilly but undulating and enough to feel that I was slowing down. I tried hard to keep my speed up on the downhills and catch my breath and steady my breathing and heart rate on these nice bits too. The next mile which felt like it was mostly uphill went by and the garmin flashed 8:01 - what the??!! I didn't even know I was capable of running that fast - I feel OK but can I keep going for another four and a bit?
I reached half way and there was another hill - and I really started to struggle - I felt like walking here and in my head was thinking:
"Oh this is so stupid, a 10K - what's the point? I may just walk for a bit and then trot the rest"
Then the competitive beast part of my brain woke up and shouted rather loudly:
"Um excuse me? But are you the same girl who just ran the Paris marathon and got a huge PB? are you seriously being so lazy as to contemplate stopping or even slowing down? Get your heiny up that hill and don't you dare slow down"
Well the second voice was just so scary I had to listen to her. So I took some deep breaths and powered up that hill. Seeing the 7k marker was a welcome sight, knowing only 3km to go and it all seemed to be getting a bit flatter. Mile 5 flashed up as 7:45 - good lord I had no idea where this speed was coming from but it was hurting! I was rather out of breath by this point, legs were burning and I was seriously hot. As I came up to the 8km marker I started to feel a little light headed and then I started to feel sick. I purposefully slowed down at that point as I knew if I kept going at that pace, I would keel over. Who comes bounding past me at 9km but the really pretty girl from the start? Proof that I definitely started too fast!
After calming down and passing the 9km marker I knew there wasn't far to go. I dug deep and notched it up a gear - with in my head "less than 1km to go, less than 1km to go", playing on repeat. Pretty girl was in my sights but she looked strong, I was overtaking quite a few people at this point but she was gunning it and a goner.
Finally we turned a corner into the grounds of the hospital and whilst gasping for air and simultaneously trying not to vomit I crossed the line in...
Under 8 minute miles - how is this possible? Thank you post-marathon fitness!
I was so quick my hubby missed me at the finish and we both spent half an hour trying to find each other.
So now what? Well I have a plan for the summer. I do like a good triathlon in the summer and it is nice to shift the focus on to something a bit different in the summer months to mix things up. I have a sprint distance one with work at the beginning of July and then I am doing my first Olympic distance one at the end of July. Which I will need to do some proper transitioning training for. I then would like to do another half marathon later in the year around autumn time and of course like probably every other Real Buzzer I applied for my place in the ballot for VMLM 2016 yesterday.
I have yet to find a half marathon for the autumn - anyone got any good reccomendations? I would quite like a flat and fast one where I could get another PB as Berkhamsted was rather hilly in February.
I am also tempted to do the Bath Hilly Half again as it is quite good fun. It's quite nice planning these things with no worries of how-to-fit-in-a-20-mile-training-run - just need the weather to cheer up a bit. To help with the triathlon training I may do another 10K in June but oh my goodness, I had forgotten how horrid they are. How on earth does Mo Farah do them, like every weekend? I told my hubby how horrid it was and how much I pushed it and he replied saying:
"Well now you're pace is with the big boys, this is how it feels"
Blimey oh riley. Better keep those speed sessions up so I don't nearly pass out next time.
PS. Traditional post race selfie!
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