So at my running club awards night in November just after the London Marathon Ballot had been drawn three of us girls laughed and said “lets do a spring marathon” and “lets see if us slower runners can win a club champs award next year” SO …….. the very next morning I woke with a touch of a hangover and the drive to race. I entered Milton Keynes Marathon and a few of the club champs races (my bank account did not look too healthy after this little hungover race spending spree). One of the races I entered was Winslow 10k on 23rd Feb. It was only when my good running friend was writing my programme i realised ….. “oops … i need to be getting my mileage up by then” so the plan on Sunday called for the 10k race (raced at best effort) followed by and 8 mile run OUCH!
The start of the day was a bit depressing. The weather was windy and cold. My running club friend Clare drove us to Winslow and we followed the instructions to park at a local community centre and walk to the location. We started to become a little bit stressed as there seemed to be no sign of any marshals (or runners) and we only just managed to find the race venue. The organisation of collecting numbers was pretty straight forward and well organised but I was a little disappointed to find it was not going to be chip timed. This wouldn’t stop me entering in the future but wish I had been aware of this before.
I was also impressed by the availability of refreshments in the centre – amazing cakes, pastries and fruit as well as a variety of drinks were available (I must remember to take money to these events for a post race treat).
Although I didn’t use the baggage area other members of my club did and it seemed very straight forward and quick at the end of the race!
The Race … we walked to the start line and I made the decision that I would use my garmin to get my actual finish time as I was not planning on being one of the first to cross the start line. However I must learn in future that i am (slightly) better than I think and I should maybe start a little bit closer to the front. The road was pretty narrow so the first half mile was slower than I wanted as there just seemed to be no space to get around people. Matt has said to be before that I need to start closer to the front than I do …. but I suppose I still need to find my inner runner confidence as I still don’t believe that I ACTUALLY RUN!!!
The course…. i tweeted in the morning that i was off to Winslow. A reply came in “keep something in the tank – a few hills on that one”. This I was not prepared for. Running around Bicester I have come to forget what A hill actually looks like.
It was not a mountainous course and I don’t think I would call it undulating as such but at 2k it did gradually incline for around 2 more kilometres. It then evened out with a nice little downhill followed by a horrible incline in the last km.
The course was lovely and out in the countryside through a few villages. It was a lovely run. They also had 2 water stations with plenty of enthusiastic kids to cheer us on and the marshals were all friendly and encouraging.
The Result ……
I was 228th out of 318. So not speedy speedy …. i don’t think ill ever be a speedy runner. The time recorded was 57:42 …. BUT my garmin time was 57:23 ….. only 1 minute off my PB. Considering the course was quite uphill in places I was pretty pleased with myself. I was more pleased for my friend Clare who achieved her first sub 1 hour 10K ….. GO CLARE!!!
RUN NUMBER 2 ……..
So we got in the car … i stuffed an apple rice pudding down my neck for energy and we drove home to Bicester ready for me to meet up with my other friend to get 8 miles done. WOW … by the time I met Abby I was still in my runners high and raring to go BUT the legs said NO!!! It was a slog … we misjudged the distance and only did 7.5 but it was a mental slog. Legs were heavy heavy but still managed an average of 10:30 per mile. Thats only 15 seconds slower than my predicted marathon pace so I was pleased with that too. I was once told “its all about the time on your feet”. I am glad i listened and went out for that second run!!
So how did I treat my running hangover? A few days away in London with Hubby in a fancy hotel. We arrived Sunday night and I spent an hour in a nice hot bubble bath, with mood lighting, a bath pillow .. and fell asleep. Great end to a great day of running!!!
Next week …… Silverstone half followed by a 3 miler! I must be insane!!