So today was my first 10k run (timed) in almost eight years. I think the last one (and only one before today) I ran in 1:08:xx. Needless to say, I was hoping for a bit better than that. When I originally signed up I was hoping for about 52 minutes, but that was a) before I injured my foot and b) when I thought it was flat.
I met my old school friend and her boyfriend beforehand and had a bit of a catch up, then when it was time, lined up in the 50+ minute section. I set off at a comfortable pace, but was a bit put out to discover that around the first half mile is all uphill!
The course is two laps (that differ slightly) of a course, which is good in some ways (you know roughly how to run the second lap) and bad in others (you know when the hard bits are coming!).
After the uphill, the rest of miles one and two are mostly flat or slightly uphill, with one short downhill street. It’s all on road/pavement, mostly around residential areas of Harrogate. The third mile is a slight incline to start with, then downhill most of the rest of way, plus a flat bit to take you back to the start line. At this point people were handing out water in plastic cups, though I think I managed to get more down my front than in my mouth. It did the job though! I finished the first lap in about 27 minutes, so I was pretty happy with this, and knew I was on for about 55 minutes if I continued at the same pace.
You then do it all again, plus a little extra where a couple of additional streets are added in to make up the distance. The first mile wasn’t bad, but at the start of mile five I really started to feel it. It was flat-ish, with slight inclines and a little downhill, and it felt hard. I was really looking forward to getting to the five mile marker so I’d know I was nearly there!
Unfortunately, the start of mile six is on a bit of an incline and it felt incredibly hard. I was pretty much ready to walk, I got a stitch, I felt sick and I was wondering how I’d make it to the end. I forced myself to keep running but was conscious that I’d slowed down. I had hoped to run the second half faster but it seemed that wasn’t going to happen.
I’m not going to lie, that sixth mile was a slog. Only when I got to the six mile marker and it was properly downhill then flat did I start to feel a bit better, but I didn’t really gave anything left in the tank to run a faster sixth mile, it just wasn’t happening.
I did manage to speed up slightly for the nubbin as it turned out. It didn’t actually feel like I did, but my lap times say otherwise. I was desperate for water (it was super warm) and mostly kept going to get to the end and get some fluids! To make it just that bit more difficult, the finish is about 0.2m in front of the start, and as I said earlier, the start is uphill! It wasn’t a huge incline (you can tell, but it really is slight) but it felt so tough! I definitely couldn’t have sprinted!
I was so happy to get over the line and immediately be given a bottle of water. I finished it very quickly! We were also given a souvenir mug (slightly disappointed there was no medal) and a flapjack. I considered eating it but I’m trying to be healthy and it literally would replaced every single calorie I’d burned! I’ll save it for fuel for a long run sometime.
I think my legs are going to ache a bit tomorrow, so I’ll definitely be attempting some yoga in the morning to stretch them out.
I’ve written myself a new training plan (more to follow soon!) but this week I’ll be taking it easy!
Anyway, I’m super happy! The marshals were excellent, it was very well organised and directed, super easy to collect my race number, and overall a great experience (there were also toilets at the start/finish). Overall, a great experience!