The Scribbler

14 November 2010

Not quite what I had in mind

Filed under: run — The Scribbler @ 20:02
Tags: ,
Me and some friends at the start of the race

Me and some friends at the start of the race

The Town Moor 10k is my PB (personal best) course. I am fitter, more experienced and have done a lot more training this year than last. It was a lovely day. Bright, sunny, not too cold, no puddles.  I deliberately hadn’t set myself expectations or a target time, just a good run.

I met some friends at the start, enjoyed some birthday hugs, warmed up, felt ready to race and powered my way round to a new PW (personal worst) of 56:39. Not even as fast as my first ever 10k and certainly the slowest I’ve run the distance this year, on arguably the easiest course.

My Garmin showed low battery when I started it up. Rookie error as I hadn’t charged it since my last run. But I’d determined not to look at it in any case.

I set off feeling great, eager to be running after a couple of days rest. I actually thought I was a bit slow to start but kept it cautious because I knew there was a long way to go. It’s a really nice route and one I’m familiar with from parkrun and it was great to be out enjoying the winter sunshine.

After a lap of the lake, the runners started to thin out and I found myself running in my own space.  Those ahead too far to catch. Those behind I thought offered no threat.

But somewhere along the way I had a bit of a mental battle. This is usually the thing that most upsets my running. And this was my toughest one yet. People started to pass me and I let them. And I let them pull away.

And as I tried to fix myself and get my mind back on focus, overthinking just made it worse. I was less than half way round and I was finding it hard. My head dropped, my breathing grew shallow and I was trying to come up with ways to fix it. I was putting in far more effort than my pace warranted.

Towards the end of the first lap I tried focusing on the runner in front – a tactic that brought me great success at the Blaydon Race.  And on the leafy, damp slight incline around the back of the tennis courts I overtook a lady in a long sleeved blue top. I was out on my own again.

I realised that I needed to clear my head, so I just said to myself “Don’t think, just run” and began to look for the positives. A couple of shouts from supporters lifted my spirits.

 “Don’t think, just run” got me through the headwind. “Don’t think, just run” got me along Grandstand Road. “Don’t think, just run” helped me catch the runner in black who overtook me for a while. “Don’t think, just run” got me to 8k.

Somewhere around the back of the museum the runner in the long sleeved blue top overtook me again. And my heart sank as she pulled away seemingly effortlessly. But I kept on pushing. I knew I could finish this now, even if I wasn’t looking at a great performance.

Back around to the leafy path and she was still ahead, with another man close by. But onto the final straight and I found a kick and another, and I didn’t care any more. I was angry with myself that I hadn’t been able to put in a better performance and I used that to fuel a final sprint finish, actually shouting out loud “I’m going to have you”. I chased her down and beat her to the line (sorry, it was nothing personal).

I had no idea of my time as my watch face had gone blank, but I took a good while to recover and a kindly finisher offered me some water.

It was great to meet my friends at the finish and congratulate them on their PBs. I enjoyed the hugs and cake and photos. And despite a slightly disappointing result, I did actually enjoy it in the end.

I know I can’t expect a PB every time and I haven’t really trained for this race. I did expect to do a bit better, but it’s still a decent run. And you just have to take what you get on the day.

Thanks to my lovely Fetch friends who always make me smile and some smashing marshalls who were full of encouragement today.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi hun great run just enjoy the running each run will be different you know you will be better sometimes than others.XXXX


    Comment by mum — 14 November 2010 @ 22:29 | Reply

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