Sunday, September 18, 2005

The big 10k

The day finally arrived, and joy of joys it was a lovely morning. Bright, clear blue skies and not a hint of the rain that got in the way of my 5k back in July. You'd have thought it would be the other way round, really.

This time I had to drive up to the course so after a brief setback where I stopped for a paper and a bottle of water on the way and got blocked in by a delivery lorry, I made it up to Harewood House in plenty of time. I used to drive past that place every day, but I've never been into the grounds, and I've not even driven past since I moved into Leeds 2 years ago. I was far more organised than I was for Race for Life, I'd pinned my number onto my t-shirt and got my clothes ready last night (the early start kind of dictated that one), and I'd got a better idea of what I'd need to take with me. The main problem with doing all this stuff alone without "cheerleaders" is there's no-one to hold my stuff while I run and while I left some stuff like my wallet in the car, I wanted to be as unencumbered as possible.

I got there and I realised that the start was on grass. This didn't bode well for me, I'm not a great fan of running on grass, I find it slows me down and saps the energy from my legs. And not only did it start on grass, but it was on uphill grass. Not like the nice downhill paved surface for my previous mile and 5k runs round Roundhay Park. Welcome to the real world, YP.

I also noticed that whereas Race for Life was a run/walk for all the family, with lots of walkers, young, old, fat, slow, this was very definitely a run. Everyone looked at least vaguely fit (or clinically insane), and I realised how much my fitness has imprved that I could even consider running in the same company as this lot.

The warm-up was fine. Although I did realise (as I did for Race for Life) that back this time last year a warm up like that would probably have worn me out and done more than just get my heart rate up a bit. It did get me sweating a bit, which is the intention, but nothing too dramatic.

The start wasn't great. We got through the start, ran about 100 metres and then the course narrowed to go through a gate and everyone ended up slowing down to a walk again. Then the uphill grassy bit started. Of course I'm running at this stage, although by the top of the hill I noticed that some people weren't.

This is where the paved bit was, round in front of Harewood House and to the car park. I'm running quite well at this stage. A bit up, a bit down, trying to keep a nice soli pace and not wear myself out too quickly. Past 2k, I'm still running quite happily.

Then. The Hill From Hell. There is no other way to describe it. Of the people around me (and the course was still fairly crowded by this stage, before it started opening up a bit) about 2 people attempted to run it. From just after 2k til just before 3k it was very steep uphill (level 20 on the treadmill didn't come close), it was an awful surface with tree roots and pothills everywhere, and it was long. I was quite disappointed as I was hoping to run to at least 4 or 5k before breaking into a walk break, but this hill wasn't runnable. The good thing is that the level 20 hills clearly worked. I can now do a walking pace which isn't far off a slow jog (I can walk 5k in 45 minutes), and I was still managing to overtake people as I hauled myself up the hill.

At the top of the hill I overtook one of the people from Radio Leeds. It's always the same with these things, the local radio or tv station make a big thing about training for these events, but I've never overtaken one of them before. Usually the celebs start at the front and I never get near them. Ha.

A bit more running, another hill just before 5k which was also a walker, but shorter. The expected water station didn't materialise until between 6 and 7k, just before another hill. I'd got my own bottle of water anyway so didn't need it, but at this point I was very glad I'd taken the trouble to carry it round with me. At the top of the hill after the water station (a hill on which I managed to walk fast enough to overtake someone who was still trying to run) there was a string quartet. Quite randomly bizarre...

From there it was mainly downhill, and mainly running. I started to feel a blister on my foot but figured that it wasn't going to be any less painful to walk on it so I may as well run and get it over quicker! The terrain was still horrible, as it had been after about 2k - lots of mud, I nearly slipped a couple of times, holes, roots, stones etc. By this stage everyone had spread out a bit better, and it seems that most people had found their pace. There wasn't much overtaking going on at this stage, people tended to be running at a fairly steady pace with the people round them. I did actually overtake a couple of people during this stage, but there was nothing like the movement earlier in the course.

Then finally, round a corner and you could see the finish. I couldn't see the time for ages as it was hidden round a corner, but at least I knew the end was coming. In the end I got through in 68 minutes, which wasn't too bad and better than my outside target of 70 minutes. I'd have liked to go a bit faster, as I've done it in 60 on the treadmill in the past, but I know that would have been optimistic on a course that hard. It really was a difficult run, and I know that my next 10k in November will be far faster and flatter than that one.

I might be able to post some pictures later. The new hair is great for running as it just doesn't get in my eyes at all, but it did look a bit wild by the end! There were photographers round the course so I might see whether it's worth buying a picture to prove I did it.

Cocktails tonight to celebrate! (Why waste a weekend long 2 for 1 offer?...)

6 Comments:

Blogger kathrynoh said...

Well done, 10ks is excellent. I was stuffed after 4.

:)

2:02 PM  
Blogger Kykaree said...

Wow! I'll be your cheerleader for the next run, should you want one!!!

Your amazing and your progress is outstanding, I want to be just like you if I grow up!!!!!

2:07 PM  
Blogger SkinnyME said...

Awesome YP! You did great! Congratulations!!! :)

7:13 PM  
Blogger Gardenwife said...

YP, you're amazing, girl! I felt like I was running right alongside you. Only in my mind can I do that, believe me!

10:40 PM  
Blogger MrsDawsondn said...

That was absolutely great!!! Congratualtions on the run!! The descriptions were great also.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Shauny said...

kick ASS! well done well done well done :)

(dietgirl)

8:46 AM  

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