Sunday saw the arrival of the much anticipated Lincoln 10k. I love the race, which takes place in my home city. The route is good and the support from the public is fantastic. I am always nervous before a race but this year I felt more anxious than ever. From recent attempts at running relatively fast and my performance at Park Run in the past few weeks I knew marathon training had taken a lot of speed out of my legs so really was not sure how the race would go.
I have run the Lincoln 10k for the past two years. In 2013 I entered last minute and was pleased to finish in 52.32, with little focussed training. In 2014 I set out to run a sub 50 minute time and actually trained with the race in mind - I was ecstatic to finish in 47.40 and as the 75th woman overall. So for 2015 I had set my sights on a sub 45 minute finish... that was until I found out I had a marathon place!
My hope for this year had therefore initially adjusted to being somewhere close to my 2014 time, in the last few days I had begun to think even this was a little optimistic after a few marathon training runs in which my 10k was looking around the 55 minute mark! Unfortunately the Lincoln 10k fell in the section of my training plan in which mileage is at its peak, so tired legs and tight muscles are also at their peak - although I must not complain really as marathon wise I am really pleased with how my training is going.
Race day morning arrived and I left my house with the mind-set that if I could run sub 50 I would be happy – not pleased – but happy! Anything over 50 minutes I would not be happy with! The day was perfect for running, a gentle breeze in the air, blue skies and sunshine. My two friends were also taking part in the 10k so it was lovely to be able to share the race build up with them, as in previous years I have stood nervously alone in the mass of runners at the start line. As the starting gun went off they soon both disappeared amongst the sea of lycra, I knew they would both finish before me and I was very much willing them both to record good times, so was strangely pleased to see them go!
This left me and my race. The first 5km I felt good, I kept a good pace of around 4.50 each km and for a few moments I felt like I could possibly get near to the 48 minute mark. However in the last 5km the power seemed to go from my legs rapidly, they were not especially tired, just each stride felt like it was not really getting my anywhere - my missing speed haunting me again! I soon lost those crucial seconds and the last 2km – which are completed over a long, gentle incline – saw my times creep over to 5.10 and 5.15 km splits.
Looking at my watch I knew I was in for a 49 minute ‘something’ finish if I could just push through to the finish, which luckily I did, crossing the line in 49.50. A ‘happy’ outcome.
My friends both did fantastic – a hugely deserved 44.54 and a 46.57 respectively. Being able to celebrate their achievements definitely helped me feel less disappointed with my own performance than I may have done if I had run alone. I saw a quote on Instagram a few days before the 10k which I kept in the forefront of my mind: ‘celebrate finish lines not finish times’ and after the race we certainly did. I immensely appreciated spending the rest of the day in good company, eating good food and enjoying a few alcoholic drinks. This was the first time I had really had chance to relax a little since starting marathon training and it felt like such a reward.
Taken as a whole the Lincoln 10k 2015 will go down as my favourite run to date. Considering my time and the fact I personally set no records or PBs, just shows you how much enjoyment running can bring without having to focus purely on results.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...