This was my third time running the Glasgow Women’s 10K.  All week long the weather had been looking pretty miserable for Sunday, but I woke up to partly cloudy skies and enough sunshine for me to regret not wearing shorts.  I had my now customary pre-race breakfast of a donut and cold brew and walked over to Kelvingrove Park.

I stood in the queue for the porta-loos 3 times, which was one time too few.  By the time I was in the corral, I really had to wee again and I was very annoyed at myself for not popping out of the warmup to use a porta-loo.

I was quite moved by the moment of silence for both the London Bridge attack that had occurred the evening before and the Manchester bombing two weeks ago.  It was so quiet and still; even the birds were silent.

We started at 10 minutes past 11.  It was warm and the sun had actually come fully out at this point.  It was pretty crowded but I tried to keep an even pace and ended up doing the first km in 6:18 which is pretty unheard of when not in a race situation.  The first km brings you down and out of Kelvin Way towards my old office building at Uni and up into Kelvingrove Park.

The second km brings you into/through Kelvingrove Park, where the pavement is a bit more narrow.  However, this year I was in the second corral so people were running and not walking with prams. I was surprised to see afterward that this km was run in 5:52 given that there’s a fairly significant hill!

The third km starts out at leaving the park and heading down past the Kelvingrove museum and then down a side street to the street I live on and then along past my flat. (6:21). I was hoping to see my flatmate but I’d been keeping a quick (for me) pace so she wasn’t outside.  It’s probably good that she wasn’t as I would have begged her to let me in so I could have a wee!

This starts the 4th km (6:36) as we head down towards the river and past and around the Riverside museum.  I was really hot at this point, and this was when I had to take my first short walk break.  Right before the 5km marker (6:55), was the water station.  I was SO glad for it, but wished they had given out full sized bottles, not half.  I wanted it to last but knew it wouldn’t.  I splashed some down my back and finished it as we headed along the river (the path I take normally when I run) past the hotel and then down to the other side of the river and around the science centre observation point and then past the BBC.

Now we’re at 6-7km (7:10 and 7:19) and it’s really quite warm and I’m kicking myself for not wearing shorts.  I stopped to walk a few times for about 10 seconds or so, as you can see from my decreasing times, but kept plodding on.

I tried to get enthused as I went over the Squinty bridge and even took a picture as I ran up and over it.  Right after,  at 7.5 km was the “power shower.”  I had laughed about it the day before thinking why would we need that if it was going to rain.  I wasn’t laughing as I ran through it as the water was ice cold, but so nice.  Luckily there was a nice breeze right after and I cooled off a bit!

I knew at that point I could PR but I had to stop walking, even if I ran slower, I had to keep going. (8km: 6:57)  Of course this is where the course gets all weird and twisty and I’m like where the fuck are we going.  They tried to make it less twisty then the year before but instead it was just kind of obnoxious, making the start of the 9th km (7:01) a frigging hill.  I was not amused by that and all I wanted was to finish.  I knew it was close so I just kept pushing and used every little bit of energy I had to get to the finish line.  (10 km 6:49) I really felt quite ill after that for a few minutes and was so glad that there was water in my goodie bag.

My chip time was 1:08:28 which was a PR.  Last year I ran the 10K in 1:22 (but had injured my knee and had slowed down in the second half of the race).  My previous PR was 1:12 I believe but a lot of the 10K’s I’ve run were not chip timed, so it’s hard to tell how accurate the time is as it’s based on Runkeeper. I do have some more to say about the PR and whatnot, but this post has gone on long enough, so I’ll have to save it for another entry.

Here’s a selection of photos from the event, including one of the race photos (a rare purchase!) as I’m just about to cross the finish line.

Last weekend I ran 10 miles in 2 hours.  This weekend I ran a “practice” 10k and was surprised when Runkeeper told me it was my fastest to date.  I’m still slow AF, but that was a 3 minute improvement over last summer.

I’ll be running the Glasgow women’s 10K on Sunday; the race last year I had hoped to PR, but got injured.  Hopefully, there will be a positive outcome to the 10K that will fuel me on as I start to plan out my training for the Royal Parks Half in October.

I just have to trust in the training and all the running I’ve been doing for the past year.

Other than the running, I took a weekend trip to Mallorca two weeks ago and it was amazing.  I got two short runs in while I was there, and they were terribly slow as I took in my surroundings and stopped to take lots of pictures.  I had a great time, got lots of sunshine, and had a massage on the beach!  I would definitely recommend to anyone, and would love to go again!

This race should have been a massive PR for me, and up until the 6th kilometre, I was on pace for smashing my old record.  Until it wasn’t.

 

The start line

The start line

The first 3 kilometres were fine and great.  I felt good and I managed a steady pace.  Yeah, it was hot (by Scotland standards, not anywhere else) but I didn’t feel overheated or anything.  I wasn’t sprinting, nor was I dawdling.  I didn’t want to start out too fast and not have anything in the tank for the end.  Sadly, neither of my knees got the message.

Steph was outside the flat (I love a race where I can run past my home and the route I regularly run!) with a sign for me to cheer me on.  This was about 3.5km in.

2016-06-05 15.57.00

 

It was just after I saw her sign that I had to stop and stretch.  I hoped that stretching would alleviate the slight niggle from there, but it just seemed to get worse and worse and in both knees, which is something that has never happened before.

Somewhere around mile 4-5 was the worst and I had to stop running altogether.  I would try again every few minutes to see, and the pain was just unbearable.  I stopped to stretch a few times to see if I could just loosen up, but unfortunately, nope.  I walked as fast as I could without having any pain, but by the end I was practically limping.  I was really frustrated because I had trained well, and was really very well prepared for this race (having a UTI this past week not withstanding).

When I saw the finish line, I made every attempt to run; I wasn’t walking across that line!  I managed a very sad hobbling gait, but I did it.  At least I was faster than the first time I ran this race!

I was so glad that Steph was there, because it was terribly crowded and people kept shoving me (not for the first time today) and I nearly burst into tears as I was so frustrated.  I had her lead me out of the park and home (the wait for post race massage was insane!).

I am pretty bummed about my time, especially since I was making good time and felt really confident at the 5K marker.  It’s terribly frustrating to set out to PR and totally bomb the race.  🙁

At any rate, I’ve stretched and Tiger Balmed my knees and they are feeling better now.  Not 100%, but I know I will get past this.  I have a half-marathon to train for!  I will definitely be making a call to my physio tomorrow!

Post race ice cream!

Post race ice cream!

 

An aside about the race itself- this was the first time this course had been used, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I was a fan.  I loved the fact that I was able to run past my flat and run along the river as I normally do.  However, when we were restricted to the narrower paths of Kelvingrove Park and along the Clyde, I was shoved, punched, and hip-checked several times.  I’ve never had this happen in a race before and it wasn’t a good experience.

I also found it difficult to pass people while on these narrower paths as those that were intentionally walking the race were walking 3-5 across and generally didn’t appear to be aware of others.  I made sure I checked to the side and behind me anytime I moved over or overtook anyone as to not bump into anyone else, but not everyone was as vigilant.  I think this could have been remedied with an additional wave or two and have anyone walking stay at the end of the wave they were in. I know this was difficult to do today considering I was in the queue for the porta-loos well into the warmup and just jumped in the middle of my wave where I was able to find a place to stand.

Hopefully, if the course is still the same for next year (and I’m still here to run it), these issues will have been ironed out.  For now, it’s icing, stretching, and on to the Great Scottish Half in October!