This was always going to be a fun run for me. I knew a lot of people doing it, and after how successful the Tour Series was in Aberdeen, I was hoping for a similar atmosphere; people you recognise everywhere, lots of positive people cheering, beers flowing and the sun shining! To be honest, part of me thought it was a given that I would get a PB. My training has been better than ever and my current time is when I had to stop and walk for a few seconds, as a glute injury had flared up. So I was more excited than nervous; guaranteed PB, lots of friends around…well that didn’t go exactly to plan!
So one of my great friends, Robbie Renwick, was actually asked to start both the Half Marathon and the 10k. We had been having banter in the weeks leading up to the event as he was also partaking in the 10k (loser buys the beers etc etc).
I was looking forward to seeing him because each time I’ve met him since Rio (he lives in Stirling now so it’s not that often) he has promised to bring his silver medal but always forgot it! Well THIS time he HAD to bring it, so I was sure to act like he was a major celeb and take a pic with it.
(me and Rabster)
He and his lovely girflfriend Jodie and I had breakfast together after the race and I forgot how hard swimmers find running (I guess I have got used to it over the years – or have I?) so they were pretty happy to get just under the hour!
Kenny (men’s overall winner in the 10k) and Espie (men’s 2nd place in the 10k – and previous blog post about him!) had a sleepover at our house the night before which was so much fun! I attempted to cook and we caught up while playing video games. #ladsladslads #crispylasagne
In the morning, we forced Espie to drive so that Kyle and I could have beer at the end
*note: remember Kenny and Espie got a gold and silver but never drank…Kyle and I both got bronze and chose to drink. Who are the sensible ones here???*
(“I’m running to beat Kenny & Espie”)
We arrived and got a space about a km from Union St. We didn’t have too much time to WU but I followed Kenny along the route to the 1st km and back and then it was a quick strip and to the starting pen. That is when I saw SO many people I hadn’t seen in ages, so lots of hugs and kisses later, we were 3 minutes to the start and the blind runners were off.
In hindsight it was probably a little worrying that I wasn’t nervous. I more felt like I was going for a hard run with friends. When the gun went off, immediately some douchebag with massive headphones, sporting a baseball cap and about 30 extra kilograms than his “rivals” in our starting area who had found himself RIGHT at the front, started off at a 10 minute mile pace. I was angry but shouted something trying to be funny and a couple people around me laughed, so that put me in a better mood (since it is a rare occasion when someone laughs at my jokes).
Back to the race, Kenny shot off like a rocket. He was so far in front even after 40 seconds, that I felt like I didn’t have my legs today. But then I realised I was next to Fiona and Nic, so that couldn’t have been a bad thing? Down the short steep hill after about a minute of running, Fi shot down superfast (but how? She weighs nothing!? Surely fatties like me should be overtaking everyone at this point?!). I have NEVER been a good descender so sprinting to try and not lose her was mistake number 1 (of many!).
I carried that momentum to about 2km and found myself leading (idiot.). But I felt really good, I promise!
3km came and we were on the beachfront. It was the 3 of us girls and a couple guys; one of whom was very keen to chat about the weather. I couldn’t string more than a few words together so ignored him, but managed a laugh when we started to pass the blind runners who were chatting about the McGregor/Mayweather fight that had happened that night!
Then suddenly, just after the 4km mark, Fiona went off and I had NOTHING. But I didn’t just lack the surge speed. Suddenly I lacked any speed at all. I’ve gone out and died in races before but this felt different. Every step was a struggle, even on the downhills and the second half contained underpasses and short sharp hills so I just admitted defeat.
I tried to find a rhythm and not let any girl pass me (there were plenty guys!). Shout out to Stuart Milne who passed me at the Mounthooly underpass and shouted at me to stay with him, and I couldn’t even grunt back at him! Sorry, Stu!
(I’m in a very bad place here!)
There was a car wash style shower on the road with just over a mile to go, so I went in that just to wake me up (I was actually sleepy at this point?) but that was a STUPID mistake because for photos afterwards that combined with sweat made me look like a drowned rat compared to the two goddesses who beat me.
Anyway, it woke me up a little and I was able to muster together some faster cadence in the final 800m or so when the crowds started to appear. They were cheering so loud it was awesome!
(Nicola, Fiona & me…the clock still reads 39 behind us so not much time to chill!)
Happy to come in 3rd but unhappy with a personal WORST (apart from Lumphanan a couple years ago and also the Balmoral 10k that I did straight after the 5km race and after maybe 4 or 5 proseccos in the corporate tent that was downed in between. For those who don’t know, I ended up in A&E that night after falling down my stairs…so I don’t count either of those races!)
One downside to the 10k – other than that it should have been done in REVERSE – was the presentation. They told us it would be at 10.50 (the race started at 10). The average finisher of a 10k, when around 5000 people are doing it, is probably just over the hour. So Union Terrace Gardens was dead!
(What I meant when I said it should have been in reverse! Photo courtesy of Kenny and his splits…definitely not mine!)
Also, Nicola’s Mum was running in the 10k with a goal of breaking the hour (which is a huge achievement!) and so not only did her mum miss seeing her daughter get her medal, Nicola couldn’t watch her mum over that finish line.
Furthermore, there were no signs (that I saw anyway) saying where and when the ceremony was, so the guys doing the half mara that would have had plenty time between watching and warming up to race, had no idea and so Kyle and Tom (Fi’s husband) missed us too!
The half ceremony was done a good time after the better guys were done. They also had a brutal course AND the sun really came out for the them, so they were all pretty tired by the end!
(Go Metro! Ginie came in 5th but has been off with a stress fracture for ages – great to see her back!)
It was amazing catching up with people and seeing friends every street you turned onto, but this meant that we were all getting pretty HANGRY at this point as we were constantly stopping to chat! We ended up going to Spin, a burger/record place, and got peanut butter burgers and chilli cheese dogs, before doing a mini pub crawl and heading home.
(Check the special boy still wearing his medal!)
It was a lovely day, but on a serious note there is a lot of work to do if I want a decent 10k time soon!