The Inaugral Great Aberdeen Run 10k – 3rd Female

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.

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(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???*

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(“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).

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(Where’s Wally?)

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!

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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!

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(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!

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(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!

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(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!

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(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.

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(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!

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A Post-PE PB – River Ness 10km

Mixed thoughts on this one:

  1. I got a niggle in my glute about 1 week beforehand, and didn’t run very much in the run-up (that doesn’t make sense!). Struggled after 4 miles and was overtaken by a couple girls in the final kilometre 😦
  2. After a day feeling sorry for  myself, I realised that was my FIRST real running race post accident! Can you believe it!? I don’t include parkruns or any night or trail race I did for fun. AAAAND technically it was actually a PB! Although well off what I was hoping for/what I am capable of

 

I entered it about 2 weeks beforehand (mistake number 1) as I was feeling a little lost from the triathlon season being over. Mentally, I wanted a different challenge and since Kyle was in to do the Loch Ness marathon, I thought why not!? I backed off of the swimming (I am paying for this now) and have only done about 3 cycles since winning the Scottish (I will pay for this soon), so jumped into my own 2 week lets-smash-a-10km-in-a-fortnight program!

After the 1st week, cue Princess Fiona (who just rocked the Great Scottish Run in another sub80 minuter and was DISAPPOINTED…oh to have her legs!) Strava stalking me:

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This is what I emailed Babez:

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Yeah…kinda jumped from an average of 22ish miles a week to 79.8 the week I entered! See what happens when I don’t swim or cycle – I do ridiculous things in hindsight. At the time I thought it was totally sensible. Silly pre-race madness.

Anyhoo, that’s probably the reason for the niggle.

So the week beforehand, I was rocking a spiky ball and heat pack at work…

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(no wonder I didn’t break 37!)

So Saturday, we ventured to Inverness so Kyle could pick up his bib. My bib “was unfortunately not sent out” so I had to collect mine too (thanks for letting me know, race organisers. I had to ask when I got there). Then we went back to Forres to stay at Mummy & Daddy Greig’s, and visited the Findhorn Foundation’s culture event (it was… interesting). We had pizza for dinner and went to bed early as K had to get up before 6 to catch the bus to the start line from Inverness.

In the morning we said our goods lucks and I waited for Claudia, Adam and Phil the Mann to pick me up at 9! That was a fun car journey…! No psyching up was done!

The race started at 11.30 I think, but bag drop closed half an hour before. I understand why they would want to be organised and get the buses ready to send the stuff to the finish, but I have never had to wait that long with no clothes on before! Surely they could send the buses on a different route with the bags or something? I wore a teeny vest and shorts so had to run >2 miles before I felt properly warmed up.

I finished said warm up at the back of the start line, behind a couple thousand people, but luckily Sarah Liebnitz (who Oh Emm Gee SMASHED the Great Scottish Run in a sub-79 performance!) took me under her wing and escorted me to the front of the line, and before I knew it we were off!

The first mile is up a hill and then down a hill – I tried not to get too caught up in the action but I really can’t help myself when I see a bunch of girls in front of me. Instead, I actually focussed on Stevie Buchan (lucky man!) as I know he is a speedster and he was giving me so much motivation on route!

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(he’s some guy! I’m breathing out my injured behind and he’s showing off that perfect bod!)

Around a bend, we entered a foresty single track road where it really spread out. I was with Liebz and Steve, but Sarah slowly started to get a gap, so if Steve hadn’t been there I probably mentally would have given up (must work on this!).

At about the 5km mark, my glute started to say “no no. let’s stop now.” but I just tried to keep the cadence up and hope that would compensate for lack of bounce from my butt.

Unfortunately, about the same time, Steve’s ankle went (he’s been struggling for a while with niggles) so he was shouting at me to go and catch Sarah back up, but at the same time my literal pain in the ass had given up too.

So up the hill to Tesco I hobbled, and then at the aid station about 4 miles in, I seriously contemplated stopping. Then I thought about Kyle and the pain he must currently be in, given he also has butt pain and was trying to win a marathon. I manned up, and got on with it.

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(I just want it to be over at this point!)

Going over the bridge with about a mile to go, I knew I would finish, but the worst part was in the final kilometre when a bunch of girls passed me 😦 I ended up finishing in 9th place (the field was pretty stacked but I was hoping for top 5) with a 37.25.

At Ribble 2 years ago I managed a 37.32, so at least I have sneaked under that Metro 1st standard, but I was realllllyyyyy confident I would manage a sub 37.

Mile splits: 5.46, 6.02, 5.54, 5.58, 6.09 (“uh oh”), 6.18 (“ouch, where is the finish line”), final 0.2 was 6.04 pace (“just. finish.”)

Kyle’s parents found me at the end hobbling around and they just laughed at me! I then did a cool down with some Inverness Harrier lads, got changed, and waited for Kyle….

His recap will come next…!

Lumphanan Detox 10k

I did NOT wake up feeling particularly fresh on the 2nd. My legs were sore from the previous day and I was in no mood to race. But I knew it was going to be good fun and that there would definitely be a good couple of hundred people a lot more worse for wear than myself!

We entered Keith as part of his Christmas present, but he hadn’t run in over a month (this was the kick start he needed – he is doing the half iron distance tri with me in May) and Kyle was confident he could win but was not going to push himself.

The weather was stupidly cold. Not as cold as Ribble Valley, (speaking of which, we got an email last night saying we “forgot” our prizes for that race. My £10 for 9th and Kyle’s £20 for 7th!! Must have been a big race. Normally anything after 3rd gets nada!!) but cold enough for there to be lots of ice as well as complaints! Parking was fine (about 1km from registration) and we had plenty time to do a wee warm-up (we went up the infamous hill to remind ourselves how brutal it was) and then to the start line we went. As I was in no mindset to race, I decided to wear a skirt (don’t worry, people – Scotland is windy so I was sure to wear shorts underneath!)

We caught up with a few people we hadn’t seen at the start line and before we knew it we were off! My race report would go something like:

As soon as the gun went off, Fiona (1st female, runs times I could only imagine to run and someone I have a girlcrush on!) shot off and left me lagging behind, so my rubbish mindset decided to settle for 2nd and go at this comfortable speed for 10k (unless another female were to overtake me, then I would speed up). I did try my best going up the ridiculous hill but my quads were shot and my coccyx still hurt on the downhills from the Ribble Valley fall #Debzielovesanexcuse. Weirdly, only the impact of the downhill; uphills I am fine. Does anyone know how long recovery time is for these kinds of falls? Anyway, the uphills were hard, the downhills were sore, and there was ice everywhere and the 2km trail section made me realise I need to work on offroad stuff. I came 2nd. Didn’t even break 40. I should probably stop eating and drinking so much. The end.

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(Around half way up the hill. I’m in the skirt and pink socks.)

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(so happy to see that finish line)

Splits: 7.17 (stoopid hill), 5.59 (downhill – that’s my current pace on a flat 10k), 5.52, 6.18, 7.21 (I can’t run trails), 6.25 (hurry up finish line)

Kyle’s report would go something like this:

I thought I had it in the bag. Someone made a surge at the top of the hill. I didn’t recognise him. I therefore wasn’t going to let someone I didn’t recognise beat me. I ended up running very hard and fighting to the end. I won by 10 seconds and was the 4th fastest time in the history of the race.

It turns out 2nd place wasn’t from Scotland, had some excellent running times and didn’t know what Kyle was saying at the end (but then, who does?). So that was that.

The above contrast shows how mindsets can really have an impact on a race. Something I really need to work on!

Keith finished in 49 minutes and his recap would go something like this:

I really should start running again

Race aside, it was so much fun catching up with people and I’ll definitely do it again! It is certainly not a PB course though!

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(After the race with Stuart, McDoogz and Ron (he was more of a mess than me after the previous day’s antics)!)

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(The race made the paper too! Well done speedsters!)

At night, me, Kyle and McDoogz went to see Unbroken – WHAT A FILM!!!!!!!! We are now fully inspired to get back training and race hard again!


Questions for you:

Are you able to change your mindset for races?

Any inspirational films you recommend?

Ribble Valley 10k Recap

Kyle’s 2014 main running goal was to break 31 minutes for the 10k (again, not a typo people – he is that fast!)!

For 7 months, until around May time, he was injured. He couldn’t even run for 1 minute. Dollar was his 1st race back in June where he got 2nd in the Scottish hill running champs, qualifying for the Scottish team in the Snowdon International hill race (where he came 9th).

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He then got injured again after slipping down Snowdon in the final mile.

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SO this only gave him a few months to recover, train his butt off and try and achieve this goal.

At the Stirling 10k, he got 31.10 and was pleased it was a PB, but he was still chasing sub 31. He tried again in Paisley and River Ness, but still couldn’t get it.

His last chance was the Ribble Valley 10k, held on 28th December. This meant his bday (19th December) and Christmas (if you don’t know the date of Christmas you have issues) would have to be semi-sensible for him. He was happy to make this commitment and bookings were made. I tagged along as I wanted to play cheerleader and fancied another 10k (I did Paisley too, as my 1st real 10k but was unhappy with my 5th place time of 38.43, got injured, and wanted to redeem myself for my 2nd 10k). I also predicted he would get a PB so knew champers would be involved – it was a no-brainer that I went along!

Anyway, onto the race…

The road trip was so much fun! We brought semi-healthy snacks and stopped off at the Gretna outlets for some shopping in the sales, and did a run in Kendall.

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(Meet Perry – the lucky Platypus. I go cray-cray on long road trips btw…)

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(“Why not run up a hill the day before an important race?”)

Anyway, 5 hours later we arrived our our gorgeous hotel, visited the spa, went for a nice dinner in a cosy Christmassy pub, bought our breakfast for the next day (he had a couple cereal bars sandwiching a banana, and I had 2 crumpets with almond butter and a banana) then had an early night.

Everything went smoothly the following day. Everything ALMOST went smoothly the following day. We woke up early, had our coffee and breakfast, and left in plenty time. The car said -3 degrees and there was ice everywhere. Kyle nearly skidded at a roundabout but his awesome driving meant we didn’t hit anything! We did get a great parking space about a mile from the start line, and we picked up our bibs with no issues.

HOWEVER, the port-a-potty line was MENTAL so I knew I wouldn’t have time for a warmup. We’re talking about a 30 min queue. A question: why do people take so long?!?!! It’s not like they’re nice places to do your business?!?!? And can’t boys go in bushes?!! Anyway, I started doing some mobility exercises, did a couple jumps and BOOM I open my eyes on the ground with my coccyx in AGONY. I had slipped on black ice and hit the ground with a THUD. I refused to cry and was a little angry with myself for not noticing the ice, but I was doing the race no matter what! I found Kyle and told him what happened but I couldn’t get ice or painkillers because they had called us up to the start line. I let him do his thing and we went to different areas at the front of the line. This was slightly difficult considering there were around 1500 starters, but I have good swimmer shoulders to push my way to the front of any line! 😉

The gun went off, my adrenaline kicked in and the pain in my butt (literally) was pretty minimal. It was an undulating course (a couple of painful hills!) but there was no wind and people around at all times which really pushed you on!

One thing I would say is the fact that they closed the roads for the race was great, but they should have checked it better for ice. I slipped a couple of times which did slow me down. Also, after 5k, you go up a hill for a 180 degree turn around some cones. Everyone walked this part as it was so slippery, and the way back down the hill had black ice so I walked for a good 5-10 seconds. Apart from that, I was happy with the course! Oh wait, no I’m not, the final hill with 0.25 to go was a killer!!!

Mile 1: 5.49

Mile 2: 6.05

Mile 3: 5.56

Mile 4: 6.09

Mile 5: 5.58

Mile 6: 6.00

Final 0.24 @ 6.14 (THAT HILL!)

Can you tell it was undulating?! My watch said 37.30 (6.01 average pace) but results said 37.32 – never mind! I was pleased with my 75ish second PB and 9th place!!

AND KYLIE BABEZ GOT HIS SUB31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was flying in 7th place in 30.46!!! That is an average of 4.57 PER MILE!!! Bear in mind it was the North England champs so a top 10 placing for both of us was great, and our times were good considering the conditions! Kyle even stayed with Derek Hawkins (Commies runner) for 3k! And NO ONE broke 30!! That shows he was right up there and it certainly wasn’t record breaking conditions!

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(I didn’t pose for the camera this time! Coach Kyle was so proud.)

As soon as I finished, my pain in the butt was back and I had to hobble to the car 😦 We went straight back to the hotel, had a shower and checked out before heading to Leeds. We took the country roads instead of the motorway (I’d say on purpose, but that would be a lie…) which ended up being stunning! And as soon as we got to our hotel, the Champagne was popped!

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That went down nicely, as did his the following bottle (his favourite, Asti)

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Our room was ace! It was on the 16th floor so our views were great! We ended up celebrating on our window sill as it was so pretty!

We headed out for dinner and for a few more drinks, before collapsing back in our room at about 9.30pm. Rock ‘n’ Roll! Wow we are getting old….

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Well done KYLIE BABEZ!!!!