Southside 6 Race Report

Sunday 3rd November was a big busy day for me. After booking into the Southside 6 in February in the 4 hours before it sold out, I probably should have taken the afternoon off from swimming teaching to recover. But I didn’t. And it meant a big long day on Sunday for me.

SS6 Photos  / Southside 6 website  /SS6 Results

Here’s how my day went:

– Up at 830am, breakfast of eggs and berries coffee and water, and two pro plus later for effect.

– 930am, left to get a good car spot and register at 10am.

– 10am, register, met Ally and Caroline as one of the first there. Pee and drop stuff off at car. Met Paul Clawson and some colleagues from work (BBC) before the start.

– 11am, race start. Great event, some good running from me and I enjoyed it immensely, even though I lost my cape and had to walk a few times!

– 1:04pm, finished in 2:04:09 on my Garmin. Went to the registration tent and met lots more people, had soup and sugar (baking) and water.

– 1:40pm, left to get ready for swimming teaching.

– 2pm, showered and changed, making sure I was drinking enough to be hydrated.

– 3pm, burger and chips (and water) to keep me going.

– 3:30pm, swimming teaching for around 5 hrs.

– 9pm, pizza and ice cream. 🙂

– Just after 10pm, in bed for a broken sleep: 10pm – 1am then I woke 1-3, slept 3am – 7am.

The event itself was very well organised. A great and challenging route on road and trail, through parks and mud and on pavements and roads. It was an open race, so you had to be careful of traffic and people, but it was great to be running in numbers and running all over the Southside early on a Sunday morning.

My loose aim was to keep my heart rate between 150-160, but I soon realised a more realistic number would be 165. I flew down the first downhill at Battlefield and my first mile was 6:52. I don’t think I even started out too fast, I just took advantage of the downhill and felt like I was flying.

I did a wee test to take time out of the picture and just have my heart rate, Garmin training effect (which hit and stayed at 5.0 after about half way) and distance showing. It worked well and I only knew what my pace was when the mile splits buzzed away.

At one point I was running step by step with an older guy who was comfortably running along at what was probably too fast a pace for me. My heart rate was going up to 165 and I was feeling comfortable.

For the most part I was running on streets that I didn’t know, but every now and then I’d realise I knew the area we were running in. Over to Kings Park, up a long slow hill, I steadily began to find my pace and control myself and let other runners pass me as I slowed my pace down.

The thing I liked about the event was that I knew so many people. People from running, social and work circles. Others from running clubs, local runners, someone I’d taught to swim, pacers from previous events, followers of my blog / Facebook page. There were at least 6 of us from the BBC alone. I felt a bit like I was part of a cool but unknown running club. It was a good day out. 🙂

Up to about half way I settled into a nice comfortable pace. It wasn’t hard work, but I was working. Through each park you get to collect little sticker dots, and I managed to get all 6. I found and ran with a guy from work for a bit, Graham Gillies. He’d done it last year and talked be through some of the route.

We chatted for a bit and he pulled away from me a bit, then after a while I caught up with him and had another chat. Crossing roads, being careful. Before I knew it Graham was no where to be seen (apparently I’d pulled ahead of him, although I thought he must have pulled away from me. I climbed up any stairs, walking more than running, taking 3 steps at a time and getting a bit of recovery at the same time.

More stairs, parks, traffic, runners and pedestrians. I was feeling good. Running strong. Through Linn Park I ran with and chatted to a woman called Caroline who said my pace was good so she had run with me for a bit. Then the downhill in Linn Park came and I flew down it. Letting go, legs wide, leaning forwards, arms out to steady myself, carefully watching where I put my feet.

Then I was getting to where I knew, 4-5 mikes to go, Thornlibank and Pollok Park. The mud was ok, not to wet, and although it’s not my favourite surface to run on, I felt I was still running well. Through Pollok Park and out the other end, now I knew the rest of the route.

In Bella park and I could see a few female runners I seemed to be catching. Up those damn stairs, then the heavy rain shower came on. I met a Bellahouston Harrier Emma there and had a chat with her as we ran. She’d already smashed her half marathon PB and was on for a great time for this race.

As we ran up Nithsdale (which is perhaps my most favourite road in Glashow to run on), and I seemed to pull away from Emma a bit. Up the hill at Sherbroke, I was running steady and working hard. Then all of a sudden Emma was with me again we chatted some more as she ran with me for a bit, then I lost her again.

3 miles to go, 2 miles to go, nearly there. Up Pollokshaws, into Queens Park. I overtook a few more runners, before the nightmare that was the finish. I knew what was in store and I tried my hardest, but it nearly broke me.

Up the slow gradual hill of a path that the Farmers market is usually on, then the stairs, (with the photographer at the top, thanks very much!). Then up some more with a pedestrian crossing my path. I was getting there but I didn’t know where the finish line was. I took a right and it was yet further on.

I kept trying to run, but even with all of the people cheering me on, about half a minute from the finish line, my heart rate was 177 and my cape fell off and I took time out to walk. Then the guy behind me, who I’d over taken tapped me a little on my shoulder and told me I could do it.

Far from overtaking me, he pushed me along and got me to run what seemed like the long stretch to the finish.

Garmin time: 2:04:09
Official time: 2:05:17.

18th lady overall
10th senior lady
4th lady not affiliated to a running club
‘Brightest runner’ as named by one of the marshals and a few other people. 🙂

It really was a great event:
– Well organised,
– what seemed like hundreds of marshals,
– Lots of great people and runners I knew and who knew me.
– Good tshirt and goodie bag.
– A great day out. 🙂

My only wish would be if I could have got a medal for it, but for the price we paid for the event, I can understand why we didn’t get one.

Afterwards my legs from my knees down were sore. DOMS for three days – feet, shins, calves but everything else was ok.

Now four days later, and four days of rest later, I’m about ready to lace up my trainers and go out for another run. 🙂 Well rested and recovered.

I’ve spent the last 3 days in Stornoway with work, which has taken over just a bit and forced me to rest. I’ll maybe get out a run Friday morning and explore.

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