Sunday, 4 February 2018

Race 2: Chichester Priory Goodwood 10k

We spent last night at the cinema watching Darkest Hour. Well, I say watching. M watched, I squirmed and wriggled for two hours because my seat was so uncomfortable. In the end my lower back more or less seized up completely and I was terrified I wouldn't be able to run today's race. I didn't even enjoy the film, I didn't think Churchill was Churchill, although M loved every minute of it. Some judicial stretching on the way home eased my back and it was fine by the time I woke this morning. Phew.



We were up early to drive to Chichester. It was actually 6:08 but I didn't have the camera with me. All the pre-race prep went smoothly. I had my normal pre-race breakfast of oats and seeds and coconut milk with a drink of water, and remembered to pack a snack for after the race. I even managed to attach the chip timer to my running shoes first time, (something I always worry about doing wrong)....






We were slightly ahead of time picking Brenda up from Romsey. There was no traffic so we arrived at Goodwood at 8:15, with well over an hour before kick off.

It was FREEZING.



The car may say two degrees but with a raw east wind gusting and no shelter it felt like minus fifteen. We sat in the car (me with a blanket over my legs) asking one another what on earth we were doing there. We all revised our clothing choices: Brenda donned a wind cheater, I fixed my number to the front of my body warmer instead of my thermal running top and added a neck warmer, and M kept his thermal long sleeved top on under his racing vest. But he was still wearing shorts. He's a hard man, my husband.

Brrrrr. We retained our sense of humour though....

Anyone with a beard, wait here to be delivered to the start by a marshal....






I hoped the first official outing for the leggings wouldn't be a disgrace. It's hard to hide in them :o)



Eventually, the clock ticked down to 9:15 and (after a quick loo stop) we braved the elements and headed to the start where the end of the mass warm-up was fading out. We bumped into friend Mark and his wife and then the boys headed off to the 35-40 minute markers at the front of the 2000-strong field while B and I headed to the 55-60 minute markers near the back. A sea of peopled stretched ahead and behind...




It was a short walk out of the motor circuit to the mats on the closed main road which signified the official timed start. Here I pressed go on my garmin, hearing the corresponding beep as the chip on my trainers registered with the mat. Mindful of my promise to stick broadly to 6 min/ kms, I trotted dutifully along for the first 6k, pleasingly getting the pace almost exactly spot on. Here are the stats: 6:02; 5:56; 6:01; 5:58: 6:00; 5:53. I thought of you all and took a couple of pics while I was running (a new skill) to show you what running along the country lanes of Sussex with 2000 other people looks like (Parsnip, I thought of you especially because I know you enjoy seeing the photos).




At 6k my knee started to ache and I considered pulling up. There's no point pushing recovery beyond what it's ready to do, and there are plenty of 10k races over the year. Then I remembered some advice I was given by a sports therapist that muscles fatigue when a very even pace is kept on flat terrain for a length of time, and that varying your pace up or down accordingly can give tired muscles a break, because they work differently. Worth a try, I thought, so I picked up my pace to something I'm more comfortable with and ran the final 4k like this: 5:20; 5:20; 5:31: 5:08. The 5:31 in the middle was because we were out on an open section of the Goodwood race circuit by then and running into a strong headwind. It was hard work and I knew it had slowed me down. Surprised by how much though. Miraculously, the ache in the knee disappeared as my pace increased and I also felt happier to be racing and overtaking people, rather than jogging along (I appreciate my faster pace is still a jog to some- my husband, for eg, runs 3:45 min/kms, but we're all different, eh?).

The increased pace meant I was overtaking for those final 4ks, which always gives me a mental boost. Only two guys came past me, and they went sprinting off so I didn't need to worry about keeping up with them. One of them was called Disco Tony, which made me smile. His friend was just called Paul. When I asked him why, he said he had no rhythm. I suggested his next shirt read Running Paul, as he shot off into the distance. 

I heard someone call my name and saw friend Mark waving from the sidelines, and then M was there cheering me on to the finish. I waved to them then concentrated on sprinting to the finish, crossing the line two minutes faster than predicted. I felt strong, if slightly sick for a few minutes, but this is normal- it happens when you run too fast for the lactic acid you produce to be got rid of and soon goes when you stop- I just kept walking till it passed. I remember the first time it happened I thought I was going to pass out! M had run well (38 mins) and B had come in two mins ahead of me and was pleased with her performance too, all the more as she's training for London and has been unwell this winter.
Luckily, I had not embarrassed the leggings :o)




So all in all a cracking (if cold) morning out. We were all very glad we'd done it. Next stop, a 10k road race at the end of Feb with a few hills thrown in which I'm intending to run faster than today, all being well. I can't tell you how lovely it feels to be back to middle-distance racing :o) :o) :o) :o) :o)

Hope you're all well and having a good weekend.

CT :o)

24 comments:

  1. Congratulations. It looks like you had a beautiful morning for the run, albeit a cold one. I hope your knee is feeling OK now. I'm really tempted to enter myself for a 10K, to give me something to aim for, just need to feel a bit more confident - all those people! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My knee is fine, rather unbelievably. Am really hoping it means all the strengthening work I’ve been doing for the last six weeks is starting to pay off.
      There are loads of smaller 10k’s out there- 200-400 runners is more typical. This is only the second one I’ve done in the thousands. I promise you all abilities run this distance from very fast to very slow, you won’t be out of place. Go for it! I’ll be cheering you on like mad if you do decide to give it a go (what’s to lose?) xx

      Delete
  2. Those leggings certainly he'd a good first outing x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looking at the blue of the sky you would imagine the tropics, but boy you must have felt the cold. Fantastic that you made it and that running faster helped the knee. Sounds like a brilliant venue for a race. Well done you, definitely back in the loop. B x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was proper cold. Had I been home I may well have decided not to go out 😬. Thrilled at how it went xx

      Delete
  4. You look brilliant in the leggings with the sun shining away. Another successful outing. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hurray, hurray, hurray, so glad it went well and that you are officially back to middle distances. Brilliant that your knee stopped aching too, all that work has paid off. Leggings absolutely excellent. I am smiling and waving. CJ xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. So interesting about running faster and your knee felt better. Super smart to remember that.
    You look so cute in your new leggings !

    Thank You for the photos that is a lot of people in front and in back at the start.

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a bigger race than I’m used to, numbers-wise, but a good experience.

      Delete
  7. Goodness, you are hardy - it was freezing here yesterday. The leggings are fabulous and I'm impressed by your little shoe gizmo. Hurray for well knees! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not sure I would have run in those temps at home! Xx

      Delete
  8. Your leggings are splendid CT and it looks a COLD COLD day so well done you for even starting the race! I am very impressed with your timings, you pace us like Hussain Bolt's compared to what mine is!! You are an inspiration xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That made me giggle, Rach. What a huge compliment :o) Mr Bolt and Mr Farah run like lightening- Mo's 10k record time is 27:28, half an hour faster than I was yesterday! :o) xx

      Delete
  9. You're going through a purple patch. Keep it up!

    I slipped and fell on wet grass after today's hill session. Fortunately no damage. I average one tumble a year, so that's that out of the way.

    Maybe a race next weekend. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Brr it must have been freezing, hopefully your leggings will prove lucky in other races too! Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was SOOOO cold, Sarah. Not too bad once running, but hanging about at the start....brrr indeed xx

      Delete
  11. Hello- thanks for commenting on my blog (Maria Runs)- I've only just got around to replying and visiting. Those leggings are fab and well done for that race on what looks like a totally freezing day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was proper cold. Not too bad once we got going, you know it is, but still glad of the extra layers!

      Delete

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