Thursday, 3 August 2017

Itchen Valley RR10 Race In The Rain



Image result for running in the rain


Rain. All day. Heavy and prolonged. It was the Itchen Valley RR10 at 7:15pm and I kept looking hopefully out of the window while I cut and ironed forty fabric squares for F's going away to uni quilt, Every time I glanced out of the window it was raining and the trees were waving with increasing hysteria. The dogs agreed they didn’t want a walk so we remained inside. Despite all of this, I couldn’t wait for the race.

As so often seems to happen, we left the house in rain, arrived in rain, stood around at the start in rain and set off in rain. This time, because we were with the running club, there was a boisterous camaraderie present as we huddled beneath Ray’s enormous golfing umbrella seeing how many of us could squeeze under it and taking selfies to record the result. It was a healthy acknowledgement of the sometimes ridiculousness of our collective devotion to our sport. There were various impromptu versions of rain-related songs: Derek’s It’s raining men was particularly well-received and earnt a few whoops and a small round of applause at the end, and Karen’s (Club Boss) rendition of If you’re happy and you know it as we waited in our racing vests and shorts shivering in the rain at the start line, was supplemented by the rest of us supplying the claps. As a result, we were all grinning by the time we started running.

I think Itchen Valley is my favourite RR10 to date. It’s off road and goes across fields, through woods and over a short track section. I was running very steadily as I have a final pre-half marathon physio session with Steve tomorrow and getting the all-clear to run on Sunday is dependent on the RR10 going well. Because I was going steadily I loved every minute of it. I was well within my comfort zone (judged largely by how my thank you, marshals! to the hardy souls huddled in dripping fluorescent jackets at strategic places around the course didn’t come out a desperate wheezy gasp), not taxed in my breathing and only mildly sore in the knee department. I would have liked to have run a tiny bit faster, but that will come as the knee heals up and the lateral muscles strengthen. In any event, I did run up the one significant hill on the course which you do twice and, given that everyone around me was walking up it, felt good about it.

The course twists and turns, with the result that at various stages the runners further back in the field can see those at the front. Twice I clocked a Romsey shirt in the lead and recognised Dr Matt. Lynne (with whom I was running at that point) and I cheered him on madly. A little later I saw Becca running very strongly and doing the Romsey ladies proud. We waved at each other across the field. Being part of a team in a team event which also allows for individual performance is part of the fun of being in a running club, especially a friendly one like ours which welcomes everyone- of all abilities- and celebrates each equally.


I finished the 4.3 mile race just as the rain eased up, resisting M’s exhortations to sprint! Go on! You can take her! (referring to Karen, who was ahead of me), and trotted sedately to the finish in a little over 43 minutes which I was more than happy with, given that the knees survived the experience and that’s the furthest I’ve run in three weeks. Hopefully it will be enough to convince Steve that I’m fit to run the HM.

Hope you're all well.

CT :o)



21 comments:

  1. Yes, it seems to be raining everywhere at the moment. Love that the rain gives you a shower at the same time! Made me smile. Well done on your time.

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    1. Sunshine here today although I've been glad of the rain for the garden.

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  2. Well done on another great achievement, hope you can do the HM now!

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    1. Got the go ahead from Steve, so full steam ahead!

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  3. We too have had our fair share of rain lately, feeling more like Autumn than Summer, so glad you had a lovely time running and it all sounds like a lot of fun.
    Amanda xx

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    1. They're a great bunch the running club, always laughing x

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  4. Not a fair weather runner then! You sound like a very fun bunch with all the singing. I'm glad that your knee held up well. xx

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    1. I'll let you into a small secret- I actually love running in the rain. Getting warm and dry after a nice hot shower after running is the most blissful feeling :o) xx

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  5. Congratulations, the hardest part is not to run too fast and keep a pace to ensure your knee is ok all the way through.

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  6. Good Luck for Sunday! And wishing you better weather!

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    1. Many thanks. Ideally I'd like it to be about 16 degrees and not windy!

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  7. Oooh that sounds like a luscious run! Well done for keeping a steady pace. That is awfully hard with a bunch or runners around you. Great news that knee is holding out. It's all looking very good for the weekend. I'll wish you luck for Sunday now as my sieve-like brain will probably forget closer to the time!! SmallP xx

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    1. Saw Steve, got the all clear so it's game on. Here's to hill running, eh? I shall be channelling you and your magnificent recent snowdonia run ;o) xx

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  8. That's great! Sounds like you'll be all set for the HM. I'm thinking of signing up for one myself soon. I managed a short run last night following a few weeks off and it went fine thank goodness. X

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    1. Ooh! Exciting! Will you do an HM or something shorter? If you've not raced before can I suggest a Parkrun first, then a 10k then a half? Ignore me if you've already done these. I found working my way up and getting used to races and increased distances in race conditions really prepared me for the more demanding HM experience. Good luck! X

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  9. Nice job CT, glad it went well despite the rain. I've discovered the puppy isn't that keen on rain either. We went and stood under a tree the other morning. The idea was that I sheltered and he ran around and got exercise. He didn't fancy it though, and just stood under the tree with me. Can't blame him. Hope all goes well with the physio. CJ xx

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    1. I can just picture it! Poppy is rain-proof, Teddy less so. Ted asks whether Bertie might be prevailed upon to write a blog post soon? Xx

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  10. Sounds like you are making great progress with the knees. All runners are mad, I've decided. Although that singing in the rain sounded a good laugh. Hope the physio session goes well and Sunday is on. B x

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    1. It's a good kind of mad, hardy and strong :o). I hope you're surviving the Triplet Experience? Parkrun this Sat? I'll be doing ours, then it's HM time on Sunday (I have Physio approval!) xx

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    2. Yippee. Go girl! No Park Run this Saturday as I'm seeing off the triplets, hopefully next Saturday.

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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