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Blenheim 10k run for British Heart Foundation - where were the hills!!!???

Blenheim 10k run for British Heart Foundation - where were the hills!!!???

Where to start. Phew, what an amazing experience! I want to do it all over again. And I knocked 10 minutes off my previous 10k time (though this run wasn't quite 10k according to my watch) and got 3 personal records. My splits were 7.11- 7.58- 8.36- 9.22- 7.55- 7.49- 9.10- 9.20- 8.22- 9.01- The chip time was 1.23.10. My fastest 10k before was 1.33, so I'm immensely pleased with that. I ran the whole way and didn't stop at all as I was carrying fluid so didn't pause at the water station.

Ok, back to the beginning. Having banished poor Mic to the spare room so he didn't disturb me snoring, I woke up at 4.30am anyway. I managed to doze a bit till 5.45 then gave in and had breakfast and dosed myself on fruit juice with an electrolyte tablet in. Then a bath, donned my Sturdy By Design Graffiti leggings and pink Saucony top, and my Cloudflyers, slung phone, energy bar, soya chocolate milk and various other bits and pieces in a rucksack, and we were off. I have to say here that I felt completely calm about the experience ahead, and that sense of calm stayed with me all the way round.

We arrived at Blenheim Palace grounds just after 8, parked, and discovered that my daughter, son in law and granddaughter had parked just in front of us and were getting out of their car, so we all walked up to the event village together, where Rosie ( ClarkeyCat ) and I collected our BHF t-shirts, then we all hung around in the freezing cold for the next hour and a half, making trips for coffee (Mic, Alan and Hope) and the loo, (me and Rosie and 5000+ other people) and making general conversation while trying to keep warm.

The sun came out, lighting a flare of autumn colour from the trees, and a blue sky, striated with white mackerel clouds and aircraft trails arched overhead. There were hundreds of runners milling around, the numbers went well over 5000. Then we all drifted down towards the start, where there was an absolutely lunatic warm-up routine going on, that involved kicks and lunges and flailing arms, all impossible for most of us without decapitating everyone else because we were packed so tightly together. Then, after fussing setting watches and trying to traverse the barriers, we were off, with totally no organisation as to who went first, who was faster etc, except for the 60 and 70 minute pacers.

What can I say about running in this beautiful place, on a glorious autumn day. In many ways, it's a blur, but certain highlights stand out, though i'm hazy as to sequence: The beauty of the lake, serene with lily pads and reflected clouds; the ancient oaks, some of them hundreds of years old, that haven't been managed in any way and so are growing twisted and hollow with massive trunks you could stand inside; the geese that flew over low and huge; the beautiful shades of russet and old gold painting the trees in places; the wide paths leading away on either side; the woman, also in Sturdy leggings, who ran alongside chatting to me about what fabulous leggings they are and how addictive; the Indian lady who struggled with the uppy bits and felt embarrassed about walking and was relieved when i said it was ok to walk, but who said I was putting her to shame - which shouldn't have pleased me but did, as I've always thought of myself as a very slow runner. I have to say that at least half the people taking part walked a lot of the way, so I'm dead chuffed that I didn't.

Everybody said how hilly the run is and what a tough course, but, honestly, thanks to Chipping Norton being my nursery slopes when I began running last year, it all seemed very easy and not steep at all.

I did start to flag a bit towards the end, despite my little bottle of electrolyte solution, then suddenly the finish line was ahead, though it was a slog up a slope to get to it, so no sprint to the finish. They called my name as i crossed the finish line, which I hadn't expected but was nice. Then I was collecting my medal and being photographed by my friend Kate, who had come over to take pictures.

I should have kept moving, as my resting heart rate is very low and my running heart rate is high, but I stopped to talk to Kate. Big mistake, as I ended up feeling incredibly faint and unable to breathe, briefly, till I took several puffs of my inhaler - it was like a block in my chest and throat, very scary but thankfully over in a couple of minutes. It was followed shortly by an endorphin rush!!!

Then posing for photos, and it was all over, though we saw the half marathon runners going round as we left the park, and i wondered how Clairecandothis was getting on. I'm pretty tired but I want to do it again!

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F A N T A S T I C! ! !

You came, you conquered, you rocked that 10k. Way to go Flick!

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Thank you! honestly i'm on such a high now!

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Just brilliant Flick!! Huge congratulations on your PB and just for entering and enjoying.

Just great :) :)

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Thank you. Loved every minute!

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Fantastic! Massive well done, Flick! And 10 mins off your 10k PB is so impressive. Glad you had good fun, too. Inspirational. xxx 😘

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Thank you! It was an awesome experience, partly because the surroundings are so beautiful. i wish there had been time to take photos. xxx

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Fantastic post and achievement Flick.Brillant.WOW.💥🏃‍♀️💥

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Thank you :)

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Wow, well done Flick. It sounds a brilliant race. I'm now logging on to the Sturdy website to select some groovy leggings!

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Thank you. and, yes, you must, they are gorgeous!

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Well done you! Brilliant! Superb! You seem to manage it all with great ease even with waking at 4.30am. Seems like your preparation was perfect and what an improvement to your PB! Congratulations! 😊🎉🏅👏🏻🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️

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Thank you! I could have done with more sleep, but, heyho! I was very pleased with the results today. Restored my confidence after coming last the one and only time i did park run.

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But then, I thought that you realised, that there were several after you. My memory isn't brilliant, but I am pretty sure that you posted an update when the results were emailed. 😊

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You are right, but the trauma of THINKING I was last is etched into my psyche :( LOL

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Lol!!!!

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Amazing Flick! Wonderful achievement. Your local hills finally paid off 😁👏👏🏆🏃‍♀️

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Thank you, and they did, they did! Who knew??? It was worth those early c25k days of nearly dying after running for a minute and a half and feeling like i was dying!

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haha yes you made it through the hilly gauntlet

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What doesn't kill you makes you stronger - or kills you later LOL

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🏆🍾👏🏃♀😁!! - roughly translated as "whoo hoo, go Flick, congratulations, you are AMAZING!!

Love the description of your race & so very pleased for you that you beat your pb and kept going. I do firmly believe the SturdybyDesigns have some enchantment on them to make you go faster!

Bask in the glow of your triumph and enjoy the rest of this beautiful autumnal day. Xx

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Thank you. and, yes,I 'm convinced it was all down to the Sturdies. i got tons of comments as i was going round xx

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Well done!!!!

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Thank you!

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Very well done!!! I’m so pleased for you! I was thinking about you when I was out running today! Sounds like a beautiful place to run!! 😀🎉🏃‍♀️👏xx

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Thank you, and, yes, it must be one of the most beautiful charity run routes in the country.

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Well done Flick - you are a legend!!😀 Great write up and super pb time! Inspirational lady☺😚!

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Thank you! i do feel as if i'm creeping towards a more respectable/less embarrassing pace at last!

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Just awesome☺

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Bloomimg marvelous Flick a PB to boot ... a very BIG well done that's how you do it 😊😊

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Thank you - I'm only sorry it's over. it was a wonderful experience :)

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It is a real Buzz 😊😊 I am sure there will be many more 😆

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I hope so. I enjoyed it so much that I want to do other public runs. Definitely Oxford Town and Gown 10k in the spring, and i hope to work up to a half marathon next year.

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No stopping you now 😊 and thats how it should be , that HM is well within you

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Thank you - i hope so. I couldn't have gone twice the distance today.

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Just usual steady build up, looking after yourself and you will be fine 😊 I never thought I would get anywhere near the distances I am currently doing , get the head right and the body will follow 😊

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Yes indeed. i've done 12k and been less tired, but it wasn't as fast as today. i want to get faster and go further!

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Our Fabulous Flick! I've been watching out for your report. Many congratulations for the race and the PB and so well done to you, you look fit and gorgeous and it sounds as if you had a blast.

I bet you'll be entering another race before the night's out 🙂

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Aw, thanks. It was wonderful. And I'm now hooked, as you've guessed. It was lovely having my daughter there, though we didn't go round together as she's faster. she did it in 1hour 8 mins, which is five minutes slower than her previous and only other 10k race, but she had a cold today. xx

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So glad you enjoyed it x

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Amazing! Sounds a beautiful place to run 😆

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Spectacularly beautiful!

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Great stuff Flick, what they all said :-)

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Thank you kind sir 😊

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Fabulous! Fabulous ! Fabulous ! Congratulations on your great achievement Flick! I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you got on and I’d guessed you did fab!

Great photos and super bling! Once again Flick well done❤️🏃‍♀️👏👏🏅💐xx

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Thank you my lovely running buddy❤️😊 time to put my feet up and watch Strictly this evening!

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Of course sweetheart! Strictly the best! I have to say Flick you are an inspiration to me and now I’m itching to have a go too! 10k I mean not strictly🤣🤣🤣. Anyway Rest my dear friend and reminisce on you fab achievement!❤️🤗🤗x

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I really want to do more races now. It was brilliant!

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Brilliant!👍👏👏🤗🤗

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Well done you, so satisfying being able to run all the way. Off to check out Sturdy leggings now 😉

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Thank you! Well I always run all the way, except I do stop for seconds at a time usually to take photos or cross roads, which gives a small breather. I kind of wish I’d taken photos today but I didn’t want to slow my chip time. Sturdiest are fab!

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Aah what a brilliant post Flick!! Congratulations to you running for a fantastic charity. One close to my heart too! And there you were wondering where the hills had gone! 😁😁🤩! Fantastic 🙌🏽🙌🏽❤️

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Whoop whoop Flick....😁 👌way to go lady! Congratulations on your new 10k pb... so pleased you had such a great run...and showed what you are made of too! Awesome...😊xx

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Thank you! It’s given me a lot of confidence. Who knew I would be doing this when I set out on this journey almost a year ago and ran slower uphill than an elderly gentleman on a Zimmer frame was walking!😳😂

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Wonderful, Flick! Well done - a great time (and I’m sure most of the rest of us would have noticed those hills!!) 🎉🎉🎉🎉😃❤️🏃‍♀️💥❤️😎

Looks like a lovely place to run. 😃😃

I’ve found Tatton Park (near Manchester) do a flat attractive looking 10k race in November, so we’re eyeing that one up. Running through a park with lakes etc does look good - though it’s not as big an event as Blenheim.

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Thank you 😊 ooh, your prospective race sounds lovely. Be sure to post lots of pics if you decide to do it x

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Absolutely brilliant Flick and I’m sure Mr IDS understands the short break in the spare room. UTS disappears during hay fever season too.

Fantastic timing, maybe that little parkrun initiated a racing instinct.

😄🏅👏

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Thank you 😊 Actually I think Mr IDS rather liked being in the spare room: he’s said he’ll stay in there another night “so he doesn’t disturb me”! Probably relieved not to get prodded and bellowed at 😂😂😂

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🤣🤣

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Well done - it all looks great -and a cracking time too.

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Thank you. Not quite Mo Farah but fast for me 😊

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Well done Flick you are an inspiration to us all. It sounds like you had a great run and glad all the ups and ups of chippy have paid off.

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Thank you Richard. the run was wonderful, glorious surroundings and lots of nice people :)

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❤️❤️❤️💥

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xxx

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Congratulations!!! I am still at the beginning so this is inspiring.

And thank you for the post. You conveyed the atmosphere- it must be an amazing experience.

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Thank you. And you have an amazing journey ahead of you. It was one of the highlights of my life, a run when I was surrounded by beauty, i felt calm and everything seemed to just come together and feel effortless - except the last km or two!

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Exactly! THAT feeling! Of beauty all around and the feeling you could go on and on at that tempo. I've felt it momentarily. Can't wait for that 'zen' state everyone talks about.

I still consider 1k to be something and here you are talking of it like it's a 100m!! 😁 love it!!

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Last October, when i started c25k (not having run since my teens) I dreamed of when/if i would be able to run to the nearest village - it seemed a dim and distant dream as I puffed red faced to manage a minute at a time running. Now it seems on the doorstep. Our bodies are wonderful thing and quickly adapt to the demands we put on them. you will get the zen state more often, though it doesn't happen on every run. When it does, you can't see where you end and everything else begins. First time it happened to me, i was running along a footpath across a field of wheat. suddenly I was literally one with the landscape and my legs were turning of their own accord. It felt as if I could go on forever.

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So well done and a fantastic time too. Very chuffed for you FlickM3, hope you are ok after your feeling faint episode. One question. Where did you get those snazzy leggings from? Love them. Congratulations to you.

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Thank you! Yes, i was fine after about five minutes. i should have kept walking to let my hear rate come down naturally and gradually! I'm an idiot!

Leggings are from Sturdy by Design. i've got several pairs of leggings and capris in different patterns. they are super comfortable, come in all sizes, and they do normal and tall in the length for some leggings. bit.ly/2Ix6Jxq

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Well done Flick! It was an amazing atmosphere. We turned up around 9 and there were already so many people milling around. I watched the start of the 10k but couldn't spy you. It was a fairly manic start lol and the warm up was crazy I agree! But everyone seemed so happy. My friend and I were saying how nice a 10k run would be! I think I was buzzing on nerves at that stage.

Your write up is beautiful. It makes me appreciate the beauty i live behind. I am lucky to run inside Blenheim and I'm not sure how happily I would have started 0to5k without being able to hide in there! It isn't that hilly! It's just not flat. But your hills way overtake ours! I never walk on a run either, it can be tough when you hit hill without training though! I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. Congrats on your personal best too. Xx

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Thanks Claire 😊yes it was a really nice atmosphere, people were very friendly. The beginning of the 10k had absolutely no organisation, but once we were running we all sorted ourselves out. And you were so right about people haring off then hitting the hills and grinding to a halt. There was a LOT of walking going on, but I guess it wasn’t as serious a race as the HM so people hadn’t all trained for it.

You are so lucky to live there. The grounds are magical. I shall remember it all my life. What a place for my first public race !

And I love your post. You did so well xx

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Ha . Looks like we both did our first proper 10K at about the same time. Funny old world and very well done! Smashed it! Lovely post too!

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John, I've replied to this twice: the site keeps eating them! But I read and commented on your fab 10k. Yes, after quite a few unofficial private 10ks it was amazing to do a public one. Also I often stop for seconds at a time to take photos or cross roads, so this was one of the few absolutely continuous ones - though I've only once walked on a run and that was when I forgot to take my hat in the summer and was getting heat stroke, and only for about 90 seconds. I know it's ok to walk, and I tell other people it isn't cheating, but, for myself, I began running again because I love running, so I would rather not walk if I can help it.

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Wow what a great race write up!!! I’m so pleased for you Flick - you did sooooo well and loved it!

You’ve settled my nerves a bit for my 1st 10k race on Saturday - so thank you!!

🏃‍♀️🥇 💪🏼🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🎉🎉 😍xx

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Thanks Alka 😀 Actually I was incredibly nervous a week or so before, but then calm descended a couple of days before the run and never left me. The start was chaotic, but I was able to take my time setting my watch, then slotted myself among other runners and we soon thinned out as some people forged ahead and some fell behind. I found it useful running on the spot on and off before the start and had no toxic 10 as a result.

Just give yourself plenty of time to go to the loo before the start as there are queues. People were friendly and I found myself chatting to some and encouraging others on the way round.

Honestly, you will be fine. Most of my fears were practical ones about loos and being in the right place and collecting my t-shirt and going off in the right place, but I needn’t have worried about any of it. Now I can’t wait to do another 😊xx

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Thank you for your great advice. X

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I’m looking forward to your race report 😊

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