I wasn't really feeling it this morning when the alarm went off at 6.30 so we could drive to Lacock for Relish Running's10k. M has been recovering from a hip injury and my toe has kept me off running for the last ten days, so we were both a bit meh about the whole thing.
Once we got there, there was a bit of a wait for the start while various waves of half marathon and 5k runners went off. I was starting to feel cold and we were both keen to get going. We felt a tad grumpy about the whole thing.
The RD's briefing was repeated for each separate wave of runners so by the time we came to hear it we'd listened to it several times. Lots of detail is no good at race briefings. People listen for the first few minutes then start to switch off and talk to their friends so you can't hear properly anyway. They really don't need to do more than draw your attention to any hazards on the route.
Anyway, finally we were off, running down closed lanes out of Lacock and past the Abbey. It was pretty muggy. I had decided I would run with my hydration vest, overkill for a 10k in some ways, but I don't like to gulp down a cup of water from the stations, it gives me a stitch, slows me down and I always end up spilling half of it. This way, I can drink sips from the off when I need to and it allows me to keep up a good, steady pace without breaking my rhythm.
We soon caught up with the slower 5k runners, people who were new to running and finding the distance and the heat hard work. I find it almost impossible to run past slower runners on a race and not call out a word of encouragement, so I was egging them on whenever I could. Almost all of them replied with a thank you, and some started running again. It does make a difference hearing an encouraging word or someone telling you you can do it when you're struggling on a race.
Lacock has to be one of the prettier settings for a race that we've done. The olde world charm of the village always impresses me. I particularly love this old barn in the centre of the village.
Lacock is two laps, which I quite like. I realised I was running faster than I have in a while over that distance, and, once I'd got the first three miles under my belt and warmed up, also realised I was fine at that pace. A lady called Kate and I ran most of the race together, sometimes she was in front, then I'd overtake her on the hills and I'd be in front. We had a few chats as we ran along, and I ended up encouraging her to run a marathon :o).
There was a ford towards the end of the laps. The first time I avoided it, the second, at about half a mile from the finish, I knew I could make up a few places if I ran straight through the water, so that's what I did, except I hadn't realised how slippery the cobbles were. Luckily I stayed upright. It was a case of gritting your teeth and praying! The cool feet were welcome though :o)
All in all it was a good race. My time was 53 or thereabouts, by far my fastest 10k for a while. Two weeks after a marathon I'll take that. More importantly, I wasn't tired (although felt the obligatory few seconds of sick and faint when I stopped, just to prove I'd been working for it). I realised as I went through the finish funnel that an old friend, Matt, was collating the numbers so stopped and had a quick hug and how are you before M and I went off to get our medals and something to eat. I had a curly wurly and picked up a twix to give to L for later. It's a standing joke between us that I run the distances and he gets the chocolate bar/ water bottle/ whatever else is in the goody bag afterwards :o) My toe was fine so I think that's now behind me, which means I can get on with training for marathon # 2 in August.
Hope all are well?