On Sunday I ran at my first event of the year – the Loch Katrine 10k. A very well organised, simple and friendly little event, which has a 10k, half marathon and marathon route, out along Loch Katrine and back.
We got there early, maybe just before 8 and went and registered. We sat in the cafe for a bit, me trying to wake up after a week of not getting great sleep for one reason or another. I saw a few people I knew, then we went to go sit in the car and have some breakfast / keep warm.
Fit Girl got number 270 and I got 350. (Asda and Jasper came along for the ride, but stated in the car).
We’d parked next to Marc and Zander who I’ve met at other events. Marc was doing the half and Zander the marathon. I had a really strange sense of calm, knowing that I was ‘only doing the 10k’, whereas on other race days if I’d have been doing a half or full marathon, I know there would have been butterflies going around.
It was nice knowing that I only had at most an hour of running ahead of me, and it was great seeing all of the other runners getting ready for the other events. It was an enormous sense of relief in fact. The marathon kicked off at 9am, so just before 9 we went out to cheer them on.
I saw my friend Janice, and she was giving lots of hugs out. And I also saw a few other faces I knew. I took the opportunity early to introduce myself to race director Audrey Macintosh, and I said I heard that it would be a brilliant event (and it was).
We were at the back and Fit Girl noticed someone from the pack looking at us… Libby (who I didn’t know) then came up to me and said she loved my blog, and asked me if I had my cape on. I asked her name and we got chatting briefly, she was doing the marathon I think.
Libby if you’re reading this drop me a line, it’d be good to catch up email@example.com
Anyway, I said I didn’t need my cape for a 10k… and wished her good luck. (Little did I know later on, I’d definitely need my cape!)
I have to admit I had a little tear in my eye after that. It’s so nice when people you don’t know come up to you and tell you that your writing or blog has helped them. Or they know about my cape theory and I haven’t told them directly.
I also saw Ian and Sandra, a glimpse of the speedy Gerry Craig, and Pauline from when I used to play basketball at Tollcross years ago.
Sandra was at the end of a 75 mile week and was to come in as 2nd lady in the half with a time just a smidgen off her pb, on a very hilly course. Amazing running.
Now, Loch Katrine was my first event of the year, and the only one I’m signed up for far. I’ve got back into my running after Oct-Dec with reduced mileage, and I’m doing 100 miles running comfortably. I really should look at doing more events, as they’re good fun.
I’ve been doing long runs up to half marathon distance, but not much speedwork. If you know me you know that I prefer to take things easy… and only tend to do fast or hard runs when it really strikes me, maybe once a fortnight.
(Here’s a pic of me getting my photo taken by Marc, me with Zander ahead of him doing the marathon)
I’d started a cold on the Friday before, and I’d already thought it would be best to take it easy and just run with Fit Girl and have a good time, but something in me flipped just before the start, and I decided I’d go all out for once.
I blame Janice… it was raining quite heavily at the start so we were huddling together in the entrance to the cafe building. As the briefing went on, we waited and waited until the half marathoners went off, then we waited a bit more. Then I went down with Fit Girl and we squeezed our way to the start line.
Then just at 10:03 as Audrey told us all to go, Janice, who had waited behind sheltering for a bit longer than we had, zoooomed past us and made fun of the fact that she was ahead of me in the start line pictures. That did it…
I was meant to be running with Fit Girl (and I’ll never run this down) but I asked if I could just go it alone, she agreed, so I went. I simply ran and got my heart rate up to about 165, and tried to keep it there.
It was very undulating, and I eased off on the up hills, trying to remember where they were for the way back (out and back, so they’d be downhills). I tried to let go going down the hills, and I split the run down into 3×2 mil sections, with a wee boost at the half way turning point.
I don’t run races often, but because this was such a small event, there were only 100 runners, and I’d started at the front – I realised I had a chance of being up the front somewhere in terms of finishing places.
Men don’t count in my world ( 😉 ) I mean in races, so at the turning point I counted the women who were ahead of me. I was pleased to see a female Carnegie harrier up front, beating a young guy who was in 2nd, then another female Carnegie harrier in 3rd at half way.
I counted 7 women in front of me, so I was about 8th if I’d counted correctly. And when Fit Girl passed me, she said I was 22nd (again men don’t count so I was just thinking I was 8th lady). By the end I’d managed to overtake one woman (in the pic below), and I finished in 7th, with a time of 48:19.
I don’t tend to race events and about 0.3 miles before the end the guy in the picture above overtook me… I decided I still had some left on me and overtook him back, but he got me before the line. But bearing in mind that men don’t count (in races) that was fine.
Half way through I was thinking, I can do this, I can really do this, pushing myself to keep going fast and hard, using my heart rate to tell me I’m doing my best. And my cape was most definitely on by that point. Lol.
I managed a negative split, just, and all in all I had a good run. It was tough at points, and I needed about an hour to come down after it, but it was good. Fit Girl came in not far behind me in about 52 mins, 14th lady.
I remembered how disorientating it can be finishing after you’ve pushed it so long so I made sure Sandra had water and she had a wee sit down too. It was a really great and simple event. Well supported with plenty marshalls (thank you marshalls!) and a great location.
The only change I might have made was to have the water and goodie bags closer to the finish, so it’s obvious where they are for disorientated runners, but they weren’t all that far away really (they were only about 10m away, in shelter). And it was probably better to have the goodie bags in our if the rain in shelter anyway!
Anyway, the event raises money for Alzheimer’s, so I decided after it that I would donate to Audrey’s page, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Audrey-McIntosh1 . She’s raised over £21,000 which is just amazing.
Hopefully a sign of good things to come. 🙂
A good wee day which most definitely makes me want to enter more events. Which ones will I do? (Under 20 miles).