So guys, I did it! The race I’ve been training for happened yesterday and let me tell you, what an adventure that was. The Worcester City 10k 2018 promised to be a flat(ish) run, so I hoped my hilly training runs had really helped.
But before I go into it, let’s recap. It’s Sunday morning, I don’t usually eat breakfast before my morning long runs. I force myself to eat two bananas ahead of the race. I thought by the time I finish the Worcester City 10k I would be starving. Also it could affect the race if I was running on empty (it did but in a different way, I’ll come to that). I have a brew in the vague hope it would wake me up after having every dream possible and walk to the race. It’s about 5km from my house, I thought it would be a good warm up. It was (aside from the rub to my right foot).
I use the bag drop, I fix my first issue. My shoe decided to rub on my walk to town. After hundreds of km my bloomin’ shoe decides to rub. I’m so upset! Anyway, I fix, I rub Vaseline everywhere and anywhere. I quickly check in with my friend Hayley, who is super fast so I let her disappear off to the front. I position myself at the 55-75 marker and probably closer to the 55 mark. Over zealous I know, but I needed the push if I was gonna make this race what I’d been training for. A one hour 10k. The horn eventually goes after a warm up that is lost on me (the people at the back couldn’t hear it). I walk, then jog, then pick up my pace as I cross the chip timer.
#1 – Ok my foot doesn’t hurt that badly but I really need a wee
I tell myself the urge for the loo is because of my nerves. I honestly was so nervous about the race. I run the first km quite quickly (5:30ish – a bit too fast if I’m honest) and keep an eye out for a toilet. I convince myself squatting behind a bush in Cripplegate Park is not the one.
#2 – Ok why do I need a wee so bad? I went before I started
Ok so it’s bad now, in my head I realise there’s probably nothing til the water stop at 5k. I can’t wait that long. I plot finding somewhere along Foregate Street. My mind the settles on Wayland’s Yard. I’m a regular and I knew I’d be back to buy coffee to repay the favour of using customer loos when not purchasing something. I got there and they were totally cool, so I sort myself out and head back out to race.
#3 – I forgot they changed the route a bit since I last did it and I got a bit confused
Ok so brain can switch from panic mode into running mode now. I’ve done the first 2km too quickly. Both 5:30ish pace. So I’m gonna have to dig deep to continue. There’s a slight bottle neck, I get pushed a bit. It sets me off badly. My third km is slower, my brain starts to think my hour chances have gone away already.
#4 – Oh bugger here comes the long hill by the Cathedral
I settle, I run down Friar St and at the end I’m greeted by my old boss Oli. If you need running shoes in Worcester, check out The Active Foot Co. He wishes me well and cheers loudly, I need it. The hill is here. I take it in my stride with a smile on my face. This is the racing Pond I remember.
#5 – Clock my watch time at 4.47km, see I’m slower than I’d wanted to be coz of loo stop, speed up coz can’t shake time from my head
I see I’m not gonna hit my 5k sub 30min. It was my intention. I get sad and annoyed. There’s a downhill, I push mile 3/5k too quickly in the end. I make the sub 30. But it costs me later on.
#6 – What another hill? Bastards!
We turn off the river past a house Dr W and I viewed when we were looking (it takes my mind off the impending hill). But here goes and off we go up another hill. This is where digging deep begins once again. It’s getting warm. Other people are running at awkward paces so I have no one to stick with. I have to find myself my own pace.
#7 – Oh god why do I feel sick? Oh god my elbow hurts!
Yup. This wasn’t good. The bananas have come back to haunt me and my arthritis starts to shout. I start to think I’m gonna have to drop it all here. I’ve lost track of time, the world, everything. I desperately reach for a jelly baby and water gets thrust at me. This immediately relieves my sickness, but my elbow still hurts. Walking with my arms in the air happens. I get really upset. I’m not getting the hour now and I contemplate DNF.
#8 – Why the hell is it sunny? It wasn’t supposed to be!
F*ck it’s warm. I didn’t put sunscreen on. I turn my music off. It’s too much, it’s making me feel sick again. Everyone around me is digging deep, so I do too. It helps that we’re all in it together. I swear at myself a little too loudly and the guy next to me tells me I can do it. He’s a good guy.
#9 – Finally the 9km marker!
The bit between 8km and 9km feels like an eternity as there are not many people cheering at this point on the narrow riverside footpath. When in reality it was a super fast km for me. It’s weird how your brain works right? Stupid brain. I really start to bribe myself regarding the coming finish line, mapping out the landmarks to the end in my head. Ticking them off as I go further along the river.
#10 – Over the tannoy I hear “if you push now you will get in under 60 minutes”
I’ve somehow got close to the finish and I’m still going despite everything screaming and my pace being pretty strong. I can hear the crowds but I can’t hear specifics. It turns out I had several people shouting me on (thank you – sorry I didn’t see or hear you). But the one thing I do hear is the announcer, the sub 60 is a possibility and I have to push. I grab a “sprint finish” out of my legs (I don’t think it was) and then I’ve done it. Over the finish line I go to a sub 60 10k. In tears because I felt like I hadn’t got it, but also because of knowing I’d actually some how (!?) f*cking smashed it.
And there we go, I did it. A whopping chip time PB of 59:12! If I hadn’t have stopped it would’ve been 58 something (which is what my watch says as I hit pause). But I’m happy with the outcome despite my disasters. Worcester City 10k 2019 I’m coming for you! So to celebrate my run, Dr W and I headed back to Wayland’s Yard for brunch (yum – Burnt Ends Hot Dog for me) and then to Wintrip Brew Co for a drink. The perfect post run foodie treat, before going home for a much needed shower and nap!
Have you raced before? Did you run or race this weekend, if so how did it go? Let me know in the comments,