Race report: Derby 10k 2011

I’m a bit late posting about this, but here goes…

So Sunday was the Derby 10k. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you will be well aware of this.

After a couple of nights with ‘The Fear’, dreaming of all the ways I was going to screw up, I woke on Sunday after a full, uninterrupted, dream free 6 or 7 hours, feeling alright, maybe even looking forward to it.

I’d had a slight panic the right before, when I returned home at 9.30 to the realisation that ALL my running kit was still in the washing machine. Thankfully synthetic fabric dries quickly.

Back to the race day – I collected The Boy, then my work friend Nicola who was running with me & made our way to Derby.

Here’s us before the race:


Now, there’s a picture of us doing the warm up on the This is Derbyshire website, but I’ll refrain from linking to that. All you need to know is there’s a small dog sat on the floor with it’s owner in the background of the photo. And at one point during the warm up my right foot & the dog’s face may have come into contact. Mortified! Trying to follow the warm up, say ‘Nic, I just kicked that dog’ & hold in laughter. This combination does not make a good photo.

At the start, I was surprised how quickly everyone got going. The only race I’ve done before was the Great Yorkshire, where each colour group was stopped when they got to the start line & we had to wait a couple of minutes to let the previous group get ahead. At this one it was one starting gun & we’re all off. The start was very congested, in fact the whole course was pretty narrow & there was only one part where we ran over a bridge that the road really widened & you could run truly at your own pace.

Me & Nic ran together for the first 4k until she got too frustrated with the crowds & I gave her the signal to start weaving through without me.

I managed the first 5k in pretty much bang on 30 minutes, which was great, but at the same time meant I had no leeway to slow down in the second half. I hit 7.5k a couple of minutes shy of 45, and at that point was really enjoying it. The run from about 7k up until entering Pride Park was the easiest & best part of the race. The Boy was even surprised when I came round the corner all smiling & waving at 9.5k.

Here’s me as I’m running past him:


The finish was a lap of the pitch at Pride Park. I didn’t realise this & thought it was into the stadium, done.

I picked up the pace as I realised the gun time was still under an hour, so my goal chip time of under an hour was definitely safe. My final time was 57:52. Really chuffed! I said I would’ve been happy with even a second under an hour, so those two minutes were a bonus!

Nic managed 54:24 – really impressed with her, especially as she’d twisted her ankle about 4 weeks before the race & missed 2-3 weeks training.

Here we are post-race, in our new t-shirts:


We’re now on the hunt for more 10k races to do over the next few months. However, they’ve got to be easily accessible by bus or train as I’m in the process of selling my car. This is proving tricky!

On top of that me & Nic are weighing up whether to enter the Robin Hood half marathon at the end of September. Because that requires some proper, hardcore training!

Race day’s almost here…

Yesterday morning I went out for my final training run before race day tomorrow. It was awful, truly awful. My training plan called for a 20 minute light jog. After Wednesday’s run, where I ran 8.6k without stopping, felt pretty good & was actually confident about the forthcoming race, it really knocked my confidence.

How is it possible that I couldn’t even run for 10 minutes without stopping, when merely two days earlier I ran for almost an hour?

After talking it over with The Boy, we came to the conclusion that maybe the fact that I hadn’t eaten in 16 hours might have had something to do with it. Silly Lissy. This will not happen tomorrow, and already have a pasta based dinner, followed by a toast and honey plus banana combo for the morning planned. I do find it quite amazing how much what you do to prepare in the lead up to your run has such a bearing over how successful it will be. I really didn’t give a second thought to going out at 11am when I hadn’t eaten anything since 7pm the previous day, but it makes total sense that without fuel your body just wouldn’t have the energy to run properly.

I hate the feeling when you’ve got to the point where there’s now nothing more you can do to prepare. I now have no more time to run, train or get out on the streets – I just have to try to relax & look forward to tomorrow morning. Look out Derby, runner 4231 is coming to get you…

I never remember my dreams. The last two nights, however, I’ve been getting ‘The Fear’. I’ve had falling over after stepping in a pothole, twisting my knee, twisting my ankle, accidentally drinking five pints the night before, waking up late & missing my alarm all as plots of my dreams that have remained in my consciousness after waking. Brilliant. Just what I need to make me feel better about it. My particular favourite was the one where instead of getting ready & being at the start line, I was instead wandering round Derby’s Westfield shopping centre, until my Mum popped up & warned me I had 5 minutes before the race started. If I do manage to drag anyone along to Westfield tomorrow, it will definitely be after the race.

Bad dreams aside, I am looking forward to the race. Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow to report on a (sub an hour) time, fingers, toes & everything in between crossed.

Hills, hills, hills

Warning: this is a smug post. Having regained my running enthusiasm last weekend, and posting last Tuesday morning about getting the ‘kicked up the butt I sorely needed’, this week’s training has gone pretty darn well. I’ve been out for five runs in eight days – one a quick 2 miler last Tuesday evening, three runs that were just over 5k – one Friday morning, one Sunday morning and one last night, as well as the biggy – tonight’s 5.2 miles.

On the 5k runs I tried out a couple of new routes. Neither intended to be as long as 5k – I just had a quick look on Google maps & picked a few new roads to run down. Both routes were really enjoyable and proved to myself, three times over, that 5-6k is a pretty easily doable distance for me now without too much pain or sweat.

This week I’ve stuck ridgedly to the training plan that had largely been ignored for the past 6 weeks, which called for a 60 minute run this evening, and I only fell short by a minute. So I did the 5.2 miles just shy of an hour, which although is a lot slower than I’ll need to run to hit 10k sub an hour, is the longest distance I’ve run since my race in September last year. Insert happy face.

Now, I may have mentioned this before (no, I’ve definintely mentioned this before), but I consider where I live to be quite hilly. Maybe it’s coming from Norfolk – probably one of the flattest parts of Britain. You may not think so to look, walk or drive around, but once you start running, you realise it really is. So much so, that I decided to take a few (somewhat dodgy) pics whilst out on a couple of my runs this week. Unfortunately none of the photos can convey what my thighs were feeling at the time.


This one is a bit dark – even though the mornings are getting lighter, this was about 7.15am. This is running up Mansfield Road, away from Nottingham City Centre, down the hill and then up through Sherwood. This hill is made worse by the fact it goes straight through the little shopping area in Sherwood, so there are lots of lovely people about to watch me puff and struggle.

Now, the next two really don’t do the angle justice. It’s looking up Mapperley Hall Drive, which leads to Mapperley Top. Cleverly named as it is, a the name suggests, on the top of a hill. A really bloody big hill! One that required a quick walk/photo taking break and everything.

There you have it. Boring photos over. Conclusion: I like running and I like when I like running. I need to remember this more often.

Race Day Countdown

I am officially in countdown mode. Also known as blind panic mode. I’m running the Derby 10k in 24 days (Sunday 3rd April), and freaking out has commenced.

I went through the exact same training pattern last year – start off all enthusiastic, write up training plan, stick to 3 or 4 runs a week, make some quite quick, pleasing progress.

Then, a few weeks in, I feel like I can get away with missing a run or two. One or two turns into not running for nearly three weeks until one day, the realisation that I’m running 10k in less than a month sets in and there it is – the fear.

This fear quickly turned to guilt this weekend when I saw all the Team Bangs on the Run ladies on Twitter completing the Paris Half Marathon. They’d all trained so hard – I’m only doing 10k in the town down the road – I need to pull my finger out! Especially as I’ve told anyone who will listen that I’m hopefully going to complete it in less than an hour.

So, (I think) I’ve got the kick up the butt that I sorely needed, and this week training starts again with a vengeance. Watch this space…

I’m back!

Last night I was on a near 3 hour train journey back to Nottingham after a flying 24 hour visit home to Norfolk. I spent a good proportion of this journey (an hour and 40 minutes) on the phone to he of A Janathon Confession fame. This put me in a really good mood, and I’m not sure how but in turn this developed into some much needed motivation to go for a run.

So, kit was laid out on the radiator, alarm was set for 05:45 and when I woke up this morning, I was wide awake and actually really excited to run.

Made it out the door for just gone 6am and ran 3.8k (even added a little detour at the end to ensure I tipped over the 2 mile mark). Took 25 minutes, which evened out at slower than I thought but ran my fastest km (5:50) and fastest mile (10:03) on today’s run. These times need to become the norm in the next seven weeks in order to hit my goal of a sub one hour 10k, but I’m a super happy bunny this morning!

Whilst out running, I was thinking about the post I’d read on Bangs and a Bun’s blog about excuses people make to get out of going running. I think at one point or another I’ve made all of the excuses listed (bar the one about kids!) I’m never going to be someone that can keep up their training plan without fail every single week. Before this morning, I hadn’t run for 10 days. I go through waves of motivation, which you’ll be able to tell from all my previous posts. But Bangs’ post did make me think I need to stop being so pathetic and just get out there. A recommended read for anyone like me that’s trying hard to get into running, but just needs a bit of a nudge sometimes.