Thursday, 9 June 2011

Croxteth Park 10k

Instead of doing seperate race reviews, we decided on a joint review, 1st timer V's Elite !( Elite???!!! Hardly, it was only my 5th 10K!) to share the different experiences.

My Race day started OK - despite having the worst nights sleep ever - had my standard porridge (slightly more than my Slimming World allowance - sorry Kate !!) but stuck to the same breakfast - remembering the rules of not doing anything new on race day.....

I got up nice and early to have my usual bowl of museli with banana, seed mix and raisins with a coffee, then just before I set off to the park, about 2hrs before the race I had a small bowl of plain yoghurt with honey

Then we were off.......

I met Claire at Croxteth Park Hall and then the nerves kicked in and I started having sneeky peeks at all the other runners trying to suss out how fit/fast they all were and trying to figure out where I'd come - I did the warm up run - talking 10 to the dozen - visited the bathroom...............and again.........and again .......and (you get the picture!)

Although Ive met friends at other races before, this was different, It was great to do a warm up jog (something I mean to do but usually fail at), and standing in the start-up crowd chatting with Andrea was great ! The crowds at the hall were small compared to my 'usual' races, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and there were no queues for the toilets at all - Bonus !!!

I must admit my nerves had gone at the start and suddenly after the start everybody started whissing past me - aaaggghhhhhhh - so what did I do ?? - after all the preparation - and talks from hubby ( who is a seasoned runner was getting antsy watching from the sidelines rather than being involved) - I did the fatal mistake, panicked and started off too fast trying to keep up with the pack, breathing went AWOL and took until about 2k to sort it out again...... (same thing happened to me, but realise THIS time that it will always do that, so instead of letting it put me off, I just went with the erratic breathing and wobbly legs for 2k until I calmed down and settled into the run). -

But we did it I finished whoop whoop go me !! I beat my training PB by 6 minutes (I somehow beat my PB by very nearly 5 min and got a SUB 55 mins time !!! I have to put this down to weight training - legs of iron and a relaxed start).

Here is the photo to prove it !!!!

The course was a surprise. I assumed that it being a park race that it would be on paths - I bimbled down the paths only to find myself running on trail tracks and across fields - good job it wasnt raining ! - this was probably ok for me because of being a beginner im not stuck to just one style of running - and because of where I live and where Im doing my normal training runs Im up hill and down dale as it is )I did worry about dirtying my trainers though - Im such a girl running lol !!)

Im not usually not a fan at all of anything remotely 'off road'. The park-y trails were fine, really nice actually and the fields were a surprise (note to self - find route map before run). In the end I wound up enjoying the field tracks, they were a bit uneven in places (I did stumble once, and there was a bit of an obstruction at one gate) but thankfully it had not rained enough recently to make them slippy at all. The views were nice, it felt nice to be out in the countryside a bit, and although it felt a bit narrow in places with not much passing space at times it did ensure I paced myself a bit. The race marshals were encouraging, they clearly indicated where we should be running and there were plenty of them, the signage was clear, and saw all the km markers (does not always happen).

The only thing I was worried about was coming last (I knew she wouldnt, and she didnt!). and to be honest I think I should have concentrated on my own game rather than what everybody else was doing and worrying about people watching me - I think I just need to boost my confidence in my running and my abilities.

Yes it was my first 10k running - but have been on the sidelines as a spectator for many years, and I personally thought it was extremely well organised, water at 5k, timings and photos were up on the website really quickly - I have a special thanks to the marshals who were brilliant and really encouraging - especially the one who told me to pretend it was a steeplechase when I asked him if he was having a laugh expecting me to get over a sty at about 7k (whoever you are you made me chuckle !)

This was a fab race to do and it'll go in my diary to do agaim, just need to remember to get trail shoes if it rains next year - there was even a free post-race massage available from Gina (of Mossley Hill Athletics!)

So BIG THANK YOU'S to Bug Runs for making my first 10k a really great day - and in the words of Arnie - 'I'll be back' - LOVED IT - thank you x x

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