A race report!! Will wonders ever cease? Possibly not. Well, this is my first race report of the year, although technically it should be the third. However, being the lazy bee-atch that I am, I *may* have not bothered to actually run the other two 10k races I had signed up for. I had no choice but to complete this one though, since I’d made my pals from work sign up too (again), and I couldn’t let them down by not running when I’d forced them into signing up (as I did in February. Sorry!). So is it fair to say that since I knew I would be doing this race, come hell or high water (always a possibility at a seaside race), that I was adequately prepared? Eh, no. Not exactly. Quite the opposite in fact. I’ve completed 4 Parkruns this year (two of which were in June) and one 4 mile run last weekend. That’s it. I knew today would hurt.
Anyway, the race in question was the Portsmouth 10K, which started at the RNLI Lifeboat station in Portsmouth, headed west along the Southsea promenade, round the castle then back. Happily the weather came out to play and it was a beautiful day. Some may say (not me, obviously) a little bit too nice. It did feel rather scorchio, and the ever familiar breeze (or gale-force wind when you’re running into it) along the front was conspicuous by its absence. The race set-up was really good – instructions emailed out a couple of times, along with start number nearer the time, and it took about 2 mins to pick the number up. Starting at the same time as the 10K was the ‘Pieces of Eight’ 8 miler, and lots of people made a great effort to dress up as pirates. Clearly I should have been doing this, as a member of the Pirates (virtual triathlon club for the unaware), so I might need to go for this race next year.
The race itself was really well-managed, marshals at key bits to ensure we went the right way (i.e. to get us from the start to the promenade, without being mowed down by traffic), and lots of cheering. Southsea esplanade is such a lovely place, it’s always a joy to run (shuffle) along it, and especially when the sun is shining. The only odd thing was running the opposite way to the local Parkrun, yet along a lot of the same route. It was hard to get a feel for how far along we were. There were lots of km markers for the 10K, and mile markers for the 8 miler, but of course I would have sworn they were all wrong because surely I must have already run 17 miles, that’s what my legs are telling me?! Being so woefully unprepared for this run (technical term), I decided to stick to a run/walk plan of 6/1, and I stuck to it rigidly, and it worked. I was a bit slower on the return leg, as my right hip started to tighten up, as it always does, but knowing the short walk breaks were coming made it easier to plod on. Also, having the Pieces of 8 race at the same time meant those runners would run past on the way back, so that was quite nice, because it didn’t feel as if I was out there on my own. I was convinced I would be last, but there were a few folk behind me which was a novelty. Eventually I reached the finish, and lots of people were still around cheering the last of us in which was lovely. Gun time (as per my watch) was about 1:22, so a PW by about 14 mins, but actually I’m happy to have finished it, since I’ve been doing virtually NO running this year. I reckon I could have pushed myself to run a bit faster too, so I will do that in the future. I’ve got another 10K in December, and I VOW not to rock up to that with so little running in my legs. Promise!
Now, it must surely be time for cake?!