Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Leamington Regency 10k

When I entered this race (one week before London Marathon) I didn't think that I would be nervous about the race for one moment, after all this was just another training run. I barely slept Saturday night thinking about the race, and also, imagining falling over and injuring myself, yes, taper madness continues into this post!! I woke up and sorted my kit out, then sat to eat my breakfast. It took me 15 minutes to eat 2 weetabix - ridiculous! What on earth am I going to be like next week??? Grr

Regency Runners have now been a running group for a whole year, and with over 100 members there were many of the ladies running today, 42 in total. We had arranged to meet at the Pump Rooms at 8.30am and then walk up to the start ready for the 9am start. The blue shirts were really out in force!!

I've never been a fan of 10k's, my last 10k at Kingsbury was an absolute nightmare and I hated it. I had never run in the Leamington Regency 10k before but many people had said that it was a great run, the only thing I needed to get over was the hill on the golf course! I decided that I was going to go for it and enjoy myself, no pressure, just a training run.

A couple of the faster runners at group, Tabby and Meagan, had asked if I wanted to run with them as they didn't feel that they had done the training for the distance, I was so welcome of the company so jumped at the chance, we were also joined by Martha who was running her first race, exciting!

We started off together with Jo and Sharon, however they were both chasing PB's so they soon shot off ahead and the four of us settled into a nice rhythm and ran up towards the dreaded golf course. I tried to be careful around here as it is quite uneven under foot but we kept to a nice chatty pace and within no time we were at the top of the hill and it was all downhill from here. I didn't feel that I could completely let my legs go down the hill as again, very uneven under foot and also a very steep area which I almost walked down to save the ankles!!

As we came off the golf course it was all road so I could relax that there was less chance that I was going to fall over! There were a few potholes but big enough to see in plenty of time. We carried on back towards Leamington and found that we were having a great run, all four of us were smiling and there was no pressure to get a good time (like that would happen for me anyway!!) round Vicky Park and back through towards the Pump Rooms. As we got onto Vicky Park we only had 1 1/2 miles to go, my legs were ready to go, I wanted to run as fast as I could to the finish but I knew that would be a bad idea so close to the Marathon, plus I wasn't doing this for time, it was a leg losener training run with my mates! We upped the pace slightly but kept to a pace that Martha was comfortable at, as far as we were concerned this was her race, her first race and thats a big deal, and we were there to get her round. Tabby is one of the Regency Runner leaders so she was able to talk to Martha about the best strategy for the last mile and where we were going to up the pace.

We ran past the Pumps Rooms and here at less than a mile to go Tabby upped the pace but let Martha take the lead through Jepherson Gardens. I found myself runing ahead with Meagan but we slowed so we could all run the final straight into Mill Gardens together, where my sister Helen was cheering us on with the already finished Regency Runners. We finished in 1:09:22, hooray for us and a great morning run with friends! And in time to get cake made by Helen before it had all gone!

When I finished I realised that the pain on my inner thigh that I felt with a mile to go was because a hole had developed in my running capris, rubbish!! I had been wearing my marathon kit for a few weeks now on runs so this was really disappointing, and also, as I am writing this two days later, chaffing bloody hurts and it doesnt seem to be getting any better! I thought about taking a photo but realised that that would be weird! Hmmmm, so I now have new capris to buy, grrr (I do have more, they just arent right for running a marathon, I'm picky!!)

I spent Sunday night putting together a pace band generator where I have dedicated each mile to people that have helped me, supported me and ran with me during my training over the last few months. I have to admit it was quite an emothional thing to do but I'm really pleased that I have done it as I now feel like I have somebody running with me for the whole distance.

Monday was my appointment with my physio Cathy, who gave me a final sports massage before the big day. Cathy pre warned me that she would be going quite deep and it would be a real workout for my legs, so rest and NO RUNNING for at least 24 hours, ok I can do that, can't I? Taper madness setting in again!! Generally Cathy was happy with how my legs were, although my shins were really tight so she showed me some stretches to help and recommended ice packs. I could tell by the pain how tight they were, I nearly shot through the roof and poor Cathy nearly got a foot in the face (accidently of course!!) She gave me some final advice, reminded me to keep my back straight, use my core and relax my shoulders. I have added Cathy to my pace band at mile 21, which I felt was a mile that I might find tough so will remind me to sort myself out!

So tomorrow, I'm off down to London to the Expo to get my number and chip, and have a general nose around. Lina is coming with me to keep me sane! Unfortunately we won't be able to stay down there too long because of the ridiculous cost of train travel, but as long as I have my number, I'm good!

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