Set up by the Road Runners there’s a pride for Bellas in the park – the race is well organised and you get a good T-shirt / long sleeved top for completing it. Up to 2017 the route was different than it was today – and I have to say I liked this route better. It starts in the middle of the park, and not far in you get a good long downhill which is then repeated twice before the end. I took advantage of that on the first two laps, then really took advantage of it on the last lap.
I went along around 1145. Fit GIrl had driven me there and held my jacket as I ran. We walked up to the start line and I met a bunch of my favourite Glasgow Running Club runners – the Bellahouston Harriers. Although this race is run by the Road Runners, the Harriers are my favourite club as they are so friendly and nice and encouraging. I know a few of them, and it looks like a great club to be a part of. (I photobombed their start line photo – eeek! Can you see me? Photo Courtesy of Gillian Glass / Bella Harrier)
Anyway, Bryan Burnett was there to do a bit of chat at the start and the end, and Jimmy Irvine himself and his wife started the race off. There’s something special about seeing the man who’s name the race was set up in, standing encouraging the runners on. I didn’t start too near the start, but I was close to a Harrier Anne and a few others I recognised.
As I didn’t know the route I didn’t really know what to expect, but straight away more or less we were around the corner and down our first big hill towards the elephant in the park. I wasn’t trying to be reserved with my effort or pace, and could see my heart rate was about 160, so all fine. My plan was to keep it about 160 for 4 miles then see what happened.
The race started bang on 12 and my first mile ticked off at 7:25 min miles… probably a bit too fast… and not long after when I was running back into the park from Mosspark Boulevard, I started to feel it. I’d been gliding along outside the park… HR 160 … then as I climbed up the gradual climb back into the park… I started to feel an uncomfortable stitch like pain on the right side of my neck… I was overdoing it. About 2 miles in I decided I would ease off a bit. I wanted to enjoy it and if I was in pain I wouldn’t.
Up around the corner to the right, getting cheered on by the marshalls and support… I eased off up the uphill, and towards the turning point. Tania was there cheering people on – she said I was looking good – that I very much doubted. I felt a bit better and knew the route was to go up a bit more so settled back in and kept going. I passed Anne there and gave her a high five. Up the hill, past the start line, and then around the corner to go down the hill again…I also saw LInda from work and gave her a shout out.
I was a little worried the first time, in case I’d slip. It was cold and there were pin needles all over the ground… but by the second time, I let go a bit and did my usual of letting my legs open up and fly down the hill. I guy next to me did the same and we flew down the hill, back towards the elephant again. Great fun. I passed the 5k marker in a bit over 24 minutes and I figures that perhaps a sub 50 might be on the cards. I didn’t expect that, but then it’s not often I push myself to run fast, and today was going well.
Along the straight near the finish line and I saw Fit Girl who got a few snaps of me… and good ol’ Bryan Burnett cheered me on.
Out towards the exit of the park again… and I heard someone who sounded like she was pacing or coaching someone else to push it on up the hill and out the park… ‘run on your toes up the hill’ the coach said… it turned out it was Kirsteen and Efric from the Prosecco Panthers from Bothwell. Efric helped Kirsteen to get a great time and push her through feeling sick…. well done to them both. I helped Janice by pacing her a few years back and the race reminds me of her a bit. Today’s weather was a lot nicer than that day.
Along Mosspark for the second time and I was feeling a bit better now… nice and steady still, HR 160… in the park again and right past Tania and the turn point again. Past the start line and I was feeling ok. I encouraged someone to keep going up the hill, then I decided I’d push myself a little on the big downhill this time.
I really let go this time…nice and fast, legs open wide and I passed quite a few people who must have wondered what I was on (the hill was the answer). I high fived a little girl who had her hand out…maybe she helped me stay strong.
A marshall said I was looking fresh and as if I’d just started…but I certainly didnt feel like that. I met a friendly guy called Freddy who said he was pleased that we’d managed not to be lapped…and we ran in the vicinity of each other until the end I think. I had about a km to go and since I’d pushed down the hill I decided I’d try to keep the pace going. 1km = about 5 minutes… I figured I could keep this up for another 5 minutes. I noticed my cadence was high around 185-187 ish – all good to help me run fast.
My HR went up to about 170 ish… past the Palace of Arts with about 0.3 miles to go… I looked at my watch and I think it said around 46 or 47 minutes… sub 50 was most definitely on!
I ran strongly towards the football pitches…. and managed to overtake a few people in the last stretch. I didn’t hear this, but apparently Bryan Burnett called my name out and did a week shout out for me… :-). I was feeling good and running strong…
I picked up my goody bag from Bella Road Runner Louise, and got my long sleeved Jimmy Irvine top too. Then I went over to Freddy and said well done for his run. I’d pushed myself to the limit and done as well as I could. Ideal conditions. My average HR was 164 (90%) and my max was 183 (100%). I think it was about my 15th fastest 10k and not far off the time I did in 2017 at the same race.
Those who know me know that I don’t often push myself to run fast, but it’d good when I get to do it every now and again. After it I stretched and drank some water….then back home for a shower, before lunch at the irresistible Moyra Janes….
My splits ended up being 7:25, 8:03, 8:19, 8:11, 8:10, 7:33 And a 6:17 sprint to the end – and i managed to get a negative split just… it must have been pushing on mile 5 and used the last hill to really let go and try to make up some time before pushing before the end. A nice simple goodie bag.