Gosh it was cold this morning !
I started the weekend with sore, swollen glands in my neck and they haven't got any better but they haven't got any worse either so I thought I should still have a go at this race. It was a bit icy here in Telford but there was a lovely blue sky so I had hopes it would warm up. The race started at 10.00 am so I had toast and marmite for brekkie at about 8.00am and about three mugs of tea to sooth my throat.
The race was in Tettenhall and as we got nearer, it seemed to be getting colder and icier. I also started feeling worse - I don't know if it was lood sugar levels or too much caffeine but by the time we arrived I was feeling shaky and found it a struggle to pin my number on. I had aches and pains in my joints and was starting to wonder about the wisdom of doing this race but decided to just take it really easy and just aim to finish.
The race started with a lap of the track at the leisure centre and it looked lethal - big ice patches all over the place. At the start, we went to the back of the pack so we didn't get in the way of the faster runners. I did the whole lap right at the back of the pack, treading really carefully and trying to concentrate on a gentle running style so as not to jar my aches and pains. Once off the track, the route started with a hill - oh joy ! It was less icy though, and I managed to pass three people and chat to someone as well. I caught up with a friend from running club - she was still aching from our training session on Tuesday so we were both happy to take it easy and plod along at a conversational pace. One of the marshals came past on a motorbike. "I used to have one exactly like that", I said, "I'll have to get a picture at the end". A bit further on, the bike was parked next to the kerb and my friend offered to take a picture of me with it. Not really the done thing when racing but we stopped for our little photo-shoot, everyone passed us of course !
We set off again, there were a few small hills but nothing too demoralizing and we only had a few short walk breaks - can't blow my nose while running ! There were plenty of marshals along the route and they did a cracking job of stopping traffic when necessary and being very encouraging. We'd passed the runners who had passed us during the photo-shoot so just tried to keep a steady-ish pace, although both of us tend to be run-walkers, whereas another friend from running club averages a similar pace but just keeps plodding on at the same speed, something I find really difficult. As a result, we kept passing each other throughout most of the race but it was really helpful to "use" her as a pacer !
Eventually, we got back to the track for the two-lap finish. We were ahead of our steady friend by maybe 50-75 metres and decided to slow down a little for the first lap. On the second lap, Ii felt a bit guilty that we'd used our friend as a pacer and were now finishing ahead so we jogged on the spot and in little circles until she caught up, then all finished together with our version of a sprint.
Most of the other runners from our club had waited for us to finish, which was a lovely encouragement, and as we passed the finish line we were handed our edible reward of a small turkey joint
I was really pleased to find that my pace was only about 30 seconds slower than I've done on previous 10k races so allowing for the photo stop and jogging on the spot I was probably really at the same speed. Considering that I wasn't feeling anything like my best, I'm hoping that means that I've actually improved a bit ! I've got a 10k race in 2 weeks so I'll find out then, I suppose