Yesterday was my second ever 10k race. The last time I ran one - 5th May - the country was 'enjoying' record temperatures. Today was even hotter. In stark contrast to DiveMonkey's cold experience at the weekend this was about trying to stay cool on a run that provided no shade.
The difference being that I had trained for this one well. The most consistent period of running I have has since taking it up last Easter. I was confident that I could post a nice PB running on the relatively flat promenade of Eastbourne.
However, what I hadn't experienced was the sheer energy sapping power of the July heat.
We lined up ready for a 9am kick-off. Already a good 2-3 hours later in the day than I normally run. After getting my race number I headed to the only bit of shade I could find. I was already beginning to sweat.
The race soon started and we set off in good spirits. Strava was having a bit of a erratic few minutes to begin with, but when it settled down I could see that I was on target for the pace I had practiced and nailed down over the last few weeks.
However, about two miles in I started to struggle, I stopped checking my pace and began to think about turning it in. A few runners had by this point given up, but I pushed on. Get to the halfway point then stop at the drink station, I thought. I knew once I got there I would keep going.
I ran walked the way back, still thinking about quitting until I passed a young girl and boy in matcihng uniform so on their way to work. As we passed - me on one of my sweaty walk breaks - I heard him say to her: 'You can tell which ones are the athletes.' He laughed. Yes, I thought, the ones with the race numbers on, who have the dedication to get up and give it a go. (Strangely I passed him several hours later in the car as he was walking home from work. He was enjoying a McDonalds take-away straight from the bag as he strolled along. Thank the Gods of fate for letting me see that!)
Still his arrogance had spurred me on. I managed to get in just under the hour mark - a PB, if not quite the one I had hoped for. I was initially disappointed with myself, but just to finish yesterday was enough of an achievement, I feel. I will look over my next race options and plan for the, hopefully, more temperate month of September.