I had mentioned in my last post that my game plan for this race, based on information from my colleague and unofficial running coach George that it's a downhill start with an uphill finish, was to run hard the first half, then run at an easy pace for the second half, hopefully resulting in a PR? It seems as though, depending on who you ask, this race has various routes and elevations: if you check the race website, it states that it's 'a fast, flat 10km taking you out of Forfar....;' my colleague Pauline also said that it was flat, while Wendy, who ran it last year, said it was hilly throughout and at one point in last year's race, swore out loud at the fact that she was approaching yet another hill during. I guess the only way to find out what the route was like was to run it and live to tell the story.
My alarm went off at 7:15 this morning, and I was up to let our current house guests out for a pee:
|My favourite dogs|
|My lovely running friends|
As usual, I started out really fast, and ran two quick miles as a result. We also had the wind to our backs on the way out, which made things much easier.
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:58
Mile 3: 9:02
We then turned left and began to make our way back to town. I expected the water station at this point, and even exclaimed out loud 'Where's the water?' to absolutely no one. At 3.5 miles it appeared, and I grabbed a cup of water and walked through the water station. This felt like a nice wee break before what was to be hill after hill after hill to get back into town.
Mile 4: 10:04
At 4.5 miles, the route turned left and we hit a very strong headwind; I felt like I was running in slow motion. It is unbelievable how much the wind can slow your pace, because the moment I ran through a sheltered bit, I actually felt fast again and like I could speed up. There were a bunch of hills here too, with a few being a bit steeper and longer than the others.
Mile 5: 10:12
|A butterfly formation|
Mile 6: 9:59
My Garmin time was 1:00:03, with an average pace of 9:28. No where near my unofficial 10km PR of 56:04 from the Montrose 10km, and also not 10km distance. My watch read 6.34 miles, while some friends' phone apps said we ran 6.5 miles. This would explain why all of us ran slower-than-normal 10km times. I'd also attribute the slower times to the undulating course:
I agree with race organisers that yes, this appears to be a relative flat course, with a total elevation gain and loss of 120 feet, however it sure didn't feel flat running it. Lesson to be learned here: never expect a 10km PR in this race.
I picked up my race swag and walked around the field at the finish to cool down.
|My first race buff!|
I met up with my family and got some congratulatory hugs from them, then touched-base with Wendy and Amy. We reflected upon the race, talking about doing another programme this winter to help improve our fitness. I then headed to my Scottish Aunt Olive and Uncle Alan's house for a shower and some lunch!
|Kinda like chicken fajitas in a sandwich, but with paprika instead|
I visited with them and my Scottish Aunt Caroline and Uncle Fergus who were up for a visit. It was then home time for some much needed rest. I dozed for a while on the couch before making a most delicious meal of chicken and brown rice enchiladas:
It's so interesting how race conditions can change how your body feels after a 6 mile run. If we had done this on a weeknight, we would've felt a bit tired, but nothing out of the ordinary. Adding adrenaline to this makes for some tired legs and a definite nap.
Dessert was a slice of Victoria Sponge cake with whipped cream and fresh berries grown close by. Yum!
I have mixed feelings over this race: I'm disappointed with my time, but after looking over splits from Montrose compared to today's splits, I ran a very fast first half, with two sub-9:00 miles. This is excellent progress, thank you half marathon training! I was also able to recover immediately after running up the hills, and even sprinted up the last one to the finish. Again, more changes to my overall fitness. I'm also happy I ran the race because it was a good experience. I need to pick out the positives, right?
Unfortunately, I didn't spend any time mentally preparing for this race before hand, and actually had a very busy day yesterday, which totally preoccupied my mind and was actually tiring. I've been quite stressed with work lately with changing subjects, and a complete overhaul of the Scottish secondary education system, which means new plans and work for the kids, hasn't made things easy. It seems everything needs to be done immediately but priorities keep shifting. This stress, combined with being tired and wanting the term to be over, makes me more vulnerable to letting every little thing get to me. Which I have been and it's winding me up! I'm in need of some major balance right now, and in the weeks to come, will examine this topic more closely here, with the help of some blogger friends. It's now time for some much needed sleep.
See you tomorrow for some Half Mary Musings!
Did you race this weekend?
What's the best race swag you've ever had?
What do you do to mentally prepare for a race?