Sunday, 23 April 2017

Southampton Marathon Weekend: 10k Race

Half Marathon start

The finish

Runners coming in on the big screen

Race medal

We were up at 6.30 this morning having an early breakfast in preparation for the Southampton 10k (me) and Half Marathon (M).

It's the third year the revamped event has run and the first time a marathon has been added to it. Several of our friends were running in each event so there were a few familiar faces at the start, out on the course and at the finish, and more still were spectating in various places around the city (although I didn't see them, M did). Over 5000 people ran across the three events with 30,000 supporters lining the streets of Southampton cheering everyone on.

It's the first big city road race I've done, and at times the crowd noise felt a little over-whelming, probably because most of my training is done on my own with the dogs through countryside empty of people. I tried to keep my focus on my breathing which helped, but couldn't resist clapping the cheerleaders who were doing a grand job bouncing up and down and waving pom poms while shrieking encouragement to everyone who'd come down off the Itchen bridge, and high-fiving some of the little kids who were standing with their hands held out hopefully as the runners went by. 

At key moments (the long, up hill slog over the Itchen bridge, and the last mile in particular) the crowd support was fab and just what was needed to carry flagging energy levels forward. This was helped by the fact you could opt to have your name printed on your race number so lots of people I didn't know were yelling me on by name. People are so generous towards one another - complete strangers - at these events. It's good for the soul.

I kept a steady pace all the way and watched my gps so I knew when the last k was starting and managed to sprint it to the line, setting a new 10k PB which I was very pleased with. I was knackered (although as it turned out only briefly) at the end, so reckoned I judged the pacing about right.

M came in soon after and we collected water, bananas, beer, t-shirts, medals, found our two eldest children who'd been cheering us on, and stopped to chat to some friends. You get cold quite quickly after a race so we put the t-shirts on for warmth, which was when I realised that while M has '13.1 miles' on the back of his, I have '26.2'. 
I went back to swap it for a 10k one and discovered there'd been a mix-up with the labels on the boxes and all the 10ks had gone. So now I have a totally fraudulent 'well done: you've run a marathon!' t-shirt when all I've done is a quarter of that distance. I wouldn't feel right wearing it so it will sit quietly in the drawer until such time as I muster the aptitude to run a full marathon and then it will be deserved. I just hope people who ran their first marathon today didn't end up with a 10k shirt! 


While I enjoyed the run and I had no energy left to go any faster at the end, I think on reflection I should have run the Half. The 10k distance isn't enough of a challenge anymore now that I can run it comfortably, and as the average times for the HM today were 2:20 hours and I should be able to get round in 2, I think it would have been a better bet. When I compare how I feel after today's race to how I felt after the Cub and the West Wight Challenge, I don't feel I've especially tested myself. Still, this year of racing has always been about finding these things out and I will take the learning from that, so it's All Good.

Hope you've all had a good weekend?

CT.



18 comments:

  1. It sounds like a fabulous event and what beautiful weather for the occasion. Well done you. Have you always done a lot of running? You're making me more determined than ever to get out there and do something. It would be amazing to be able to run a marathon. I just need to build my strength up first before I attempt to do anything. X

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    1. I took up running a few years ago but only began to focus seriously on it last autumn. This year is all about finding what distances and speeds work for me, as well as the types of races- trail or off road, road racing, hilly or flat etc are all very different. I definitely prefer off road, hilly, muddy races to being on the roads.
      Running teaches you a lot. I'm an avid fan now and will sing running's praises to anyone who'll listen! If you want to start, the simplest thing is to look up 'couch to 5k' programmes on line, download one and follow it. They include lots of walking so it's a great way to begin. Or you could join a local running club as many of them run those programmes. Following couch to 5k should prevent injury and mean you build up gradually. The aim at the end is to run a 5k Parkrun. They are great free events and the buzz you get when you accomplish it is like nothing else. Give it a go- you really don't know until you try what you're capable of. I honestly believe we can all do much more than we think we can if we have the self belief and the discipline to keep going. Good luck! xx

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  2. It's a great achievement, I do under stand your feeling on the T shirt, it's a shame you could not get the 10k one.

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    1. I might email and see if they can change it but I'm not holding out great hope!

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  3. You're making it sound easy now CT! I feel the half marathon happening very soon and then the marathons? You seem to be thrashing all the barriers. I can imagine the noise of the crowd would be a little off putting after your wonderful rural runs. Nothing like encouragement tho. Just finished another 25 minute run before I head off on holiday. Taking my running shoes but not sure how I will feel about running in a strange place. I'll let you know if I'm daring :) Have a good week. B x

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    1. Excellent! Well done you. You're doing brilliantly. Worth taking your runners, you might find the perfect spot.
      I'm focused on the half distances now. If they go ok I might just think about a marathon. It's a big step up though from half to full xx

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  4. Very well done you, another good race by the sound of it. Shame about the t-shirt, but I know you'll earn it for real one of these days. Love that you get beer and bananas at the end of it all. CJ xx

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  5. Well done! I just ambled around for a 58.30 10km training run today, it was a lovely running day!

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  6. Maybe the London Marathon 2018?! I've just watched part 1 of the documentary 'Mind Over Marathon' and I'm itching to get back to the running. I'm just nervous as I'm walking fine again now but dread another injury. Congratulations to you and M. I have every confidence that you'll be wearing the T shirt before too long. xx

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    1. I was tempted after watching the highlights last night. It's infectious! We saw the marathon prog too- weren't they an inspiring bunch? Can't wait to see how they got on. If you pick up week one or two of the c25k programme again, see how you feel and take it from there I doubt you'll pick up an injury. Good luck! Xx

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  7. Ha ha! That's the way to do it. Well done. x

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  8. Well done CT (and good to see ABP/SCT sponsoring you!). I'm with you on getting away from roads (full of wannabe Olympic cyclists in my hilly neck of the woods) and into the beautiful countryside. We had the most wonderful 15 mile off-road ride yesterday and saw less than a handful of people which for a sunny Sunday was amazing - maybe everyone was up in London for the Marathon. Loved your butterfly post from the other day -I'm doing some counting for my area's local recorder. Our cuckoo has still not returned.

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    1. I think many of the cuckoos are still in Africa. The BTO tracking shows three of their seven haven't even started the return flight to the UK. Bad weather has held up the migration generally this spring, so hopefully you'll hear your cuckoo yet.
      The bike ride sounds lovely and well done you for flutter recording.

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  9. Oh that's hilarious, tho if I'd done 26.2 and been given a 10k finishers' shirt I'd be gutted! Maybe you could use the power of social media to arrange a swap, presumably the mislabelled 10k shirts went somewhere??

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x